Hieronymus Hampton settled behind the ancient desk and rubbed a cautious finger across the much scored beading. So many great men and a few women had sat here, he mused, and now him. Prime Minister. It had a ring, didn’t it? Not bad for an Old Wykehamist who took a ropey third in Land Economy and only avoided jail because they couldn’t spell his name properly.
A cough made him turn. Leopold Raddle stood in the doorway, unctuously rubbing his hands. The dry rasping made Hieronymus wonder if he ever triggered an accidental conflagration.
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