Colin left his car and walked towards the turnoff to the Cross. He stood behind a bush watching the road from the south. He was getting antsy waiting for the car to come up the mountain. Every second lasted an hour. He felt his responsibility for Luigi and Cody. The interview he’d had with Cody was etched into his memory. And he remembered Luigi’s grace and compassion and strength. He’d been amused to catch the looks form Luigi which hinted at desire. Colin knew he was 100% straight. He admired Luigi’s beauty the same was he admired a van Gogh painting or a Bach quartet. Luigi, beautiful as he was, did nothing for him. But, perhaps because he was so sure of his own heterosexuality, he wasn’t afraid of gays, he didn’t despise them, and he didn’t think he needed to fuss about them, even if from time to time they cast eyes of approbation and desire at him. He liked Luigi and he was sorry for Cody, and he took the police motto with real sincerity and passion. Uphold the right. Up until a few years ago it had been “Tenez le droit”, and secretly he preferred the former French motto. As he’d said to Luigi, he’d always wanted to be a policeman. He’d never forgotten his pride at the passing out ceremony at the Victorian Police Academy, at the taking of the oath which made him a police officer:
I, Colin Pierre Andrew de Graves swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen as a police officer in Victoria in any capacity in which I may be appointed, promoted, or reduced to, without favour or affection, malice or ill-will for the period of five years from this date, and until I am legally discharged, that I will see and cause Her Majesty's peace to be kept and preserved, and that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences, and that while I continue to be a police officer I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties legally imposed on me faithfully and according to law.
He’d chosen the religious affirmation over the secular one because he did still believe in God, despite the behaviour of the Church. He prayed now, his heart full,
“Lord, save Cody and Luigi, and if it be your will, lead the Killer to repentance. And give me the courage and strength and insight to do what is right.”
This was the first time he might have to use his weapon. It was the first time he might have to kill someone to save someone else. He had no doubt that he could and would do it. He did not know how he would feel afterwards, but in his own mind, his duty was clear. He had to save Luigi and Cody. If he couldn’t also save the Killer, well, so be it. Like Esmé, he wondered what had driven the Killer to kill. Like Esmé, he knew that he would do his duty, whatever it was. I hope, he thought, I won’t make a fool of myself. He didn’t even think that he might himself be killed.