Emma thought of Rhoedean: of the chapel with the naval flags hanging from the rafters, of playing hide-and-seek in the rough ground they called Spiders, of the 'bunny runs' between the houses. For the second time that evening she felt near to tears. It didn't help to hear Mag Connolly described as bright either.
'Did they look in the tunnel?' she asked.
Edgar looked up. 'What tunnel?'
'There's a secret tunnel inside the school leading down to the beach.'
'A secret tunnel?'
'Well, not exactly secret but it's only opened once or twice a year. We used to be made to scrub the steps as a punishment.'
'That sounds positively Dickensian,'
Emma waved this away, annoyed at the teasing note in Edgar's voice. 'Maybe Rhonda got away that way. She could have gone through the tunnel and into Brighton on the undercliff walk. Ed!' Emma grasped his arm, all tears forgotten. 'Let's go there now! You could get the keys from the caretaker. I know the way. We could be there in ten minutes.'
Edgar smiled. 'How could we leave the children? I'll tell Bob to send a couple of PCs in the morning.'
Upstairs, Jonathan started to cry again.