A drunken, Scottish taskmaster bellows incoherent orders to
a sea of blurred, brown faces. He knows his reputation is riding
on this. His livelihood. Why can they not follow simple instructions?
Why must this godforsaken place hide its history so deep?
The last of the decent scotch is long gone and the local grog
rots his guts. He can feel it, even now, eating him alive from
within. Gradually, he becomes aware of another presence
beside him: a low, urgent voice in his ear. The accent is strong
but the English stronger. They have made a find, it tells him.
They believe it could be significant. Would he like to see?
He tries to look the Arab in the eye, but is too far-gone to focus.
It will keep until morning he slurs. It is morning sir, the calm reply.
Image: ceiling detail, Manchester Town Hall