And so, indeed, life does continue. Of course, there is a melancholy air about Old College in the days following the death of Professor K, but this subsides to the general feeling that he was an old man, he had a good life and these things happen. And of course, this is true. Something is niggling me, though. Call it the old policing instinct, call it paranoia, call it what you like. The more I think about it, the more I think the Professor was trying to tell me something. Something quite important. I think the events from all those years ago upset him. It appears to me that he was suspicious of the deaths of those Fellows, that there was much more to it. There must have been a reason, aside from his habit of talking in riddles, that he didn’t tell me straight out what he was thinking. I wonder if he was scared of something.
Head Porter had the good grace to allow me to attend Professor K’s funeral, which is being held in a small but prestigious chapel in The City. It is within walking distance of Old College, so I don my bowler hat and smart black woollen coat and make my way through the streets. It is a funny feeling, being a College Porter outside of a College. Of course, The City has many Colleges littering its ancient streets so you do occasionally come across the odd bowler-hatted gentleman wandering around, but usually I feel quite conspicuous when out and about. College business doesn’t often take me outside of its walls but when it does I must say that I do feel rather proud to be so obviously a Porter from Old College.
I have picked up on the fact that there is a bit of friendly (and, on occasion, not so friendly) inter-College rivalry in The City. This usually manifests itself in sporting events, the boat races in particular are especially highly contested. I am not aware of any inter-College Porter rivalry, but that may just be my naivety. I would quite relish a bit of Porter rivalry, actually. I could just see my chaps cornering the chaps from Hawkins College round the back of the bike sheds for a bit of fisticuffs. How well they’d fare, I have no idea, but it would be bloody good fun, I imagine.
But anyway. I’m on the way to a funeral and I really should be a little more sombre. Although, I have a feeling Professor K wouldn’t mind a bit of frivolity on today of all days. I think of those twinkly eyes and I cannot help but smile, in spite of the tears in my own eyes.