The Sunday Serial: Episode 4 – The truth emerges

Simon finally reveals all to The Tab but Archie and Tom are one step ahead as usual.

Corruption CUSU Gin helen mirren Hermes robert eyers tab editor Varsity

Simon awoke with an empty and aching head, an empty bottle of the Lizards’ wine and an empty inbox.

The hangover anger set in. Why was Jeremy, the Tab’s editor, not answering any of the emails Simon was sending him? Especially considering the quality of the stories attached.

Simon headed over to the shower, hoping to clear his head with a powerful jet of steamy freshness. But the water pressure was low – it was less of a shower and more like being rained on by a benevolently directional cloud. This only fuelled his temper. By the time he had towelled himself roughly and pulled on some suitably irritated jeans, Simon had made up his mind to visit Jeremy. He chose his angriest tshirt and slipped into some noticeably piqued shoes. Then strode across Cambridge to Jeremy’s college.

The air was warm, though the breeze chilled Simon’s bare arms as he strode down King’s Parade. Tourists were beginning their morning bout of goggling, wondering internally what kind of city it was that only had coffee shops, art galleries and chocolatiers. Henry VIII looked down on them all, as he had for centuries. Yet, in all that time, he had never seen someone walking as purposively as Simon. The man was moving as if possessed – he hadn’t even put on socks.

Simon reached Jeremy’s college, and strode past the porters with an if-you-look-at-me-I’ll-slay-you glance (much as Sir Touchalot would have given the officers working on Operation Yewtree), and worked his way through the grassy courts to Jeremy’s room. His door was open, and the editor was sitting at his laptop writing an embarrassingly short essay.

“Hi,” he said, noticing the shadow leering through his door. “Simon! What are you doing here?”

“Do you never read your emails?” he growled.

“I do. All the time. Do you?”Jeremy swung his chair around and looked benignly up at Simon. Simon entered the room and perched on the bed.

“Then were you ignoring me?”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“I sent you quite a lot of emails last week. You must have got them.”

“I haven’t had an email from you since that article two weeks ago on why Cantabs have better sex lives than Mongolians. Good story, by the way. Pity it didn’t make the Most Read.”

“I’ve sent at least twelve to you since then.”

“What about?”

“Two stories. First the Master of Rons is screwing the president of CUSU, and second CUSU are paying for the drinks our drinking society consumes.”





“Your Master?”


“Who is he?”

“Sir Reginald Somethingorother, ex-admiral.”

“And the president of CUSU is Sarah somethingorother, isn’t she?”


“How do you know this? I mean, I believe you, but…”

“…you can’t publish without evidence. Which I sent you.”

“I swear I haven’t had a single email from you. Look.”

Jeremy pulled up Hermes from behind his essay and logged in. Simon stood behind, watching over his shoulder. Sure enough, his inbox was sparse – not a single one of Simon’s emails was there.

“I don’t believe this.”

“Did you definitely send them to me? Jks24?”


“Then it must be something cocked up in the system. I’ll talk to the IT guys.”

“It’s ridiculous. I sent so many emails.”

“I genuinely haven’t got any of them.”

There was something going on here, and Simon knew it. Jeremy was clearly suppressing the stories – they must be in his Trash folder. But Simon’s brand of investigative journalism was the non-confrontational type so, rather than pointblank demanding a look round Jeremy’s Hermes, he tried a new approach.

“Look, I’ll send them to you again. Give me ten minutes to get back to Rons and you’ll have fresh copies in your inbox. Alright?”

“Good idea. I’ll wait here and Facebook you if they haven’t arrived in a quarter of an hour.”

Jeremy swept from the college and, as he hastily strode back down King’s Parade, muttered over and over again ‘Mirren93’- the password he had seen Jeremy typing into his Hermes account.


“I reckon you’ll be president of CUSU soon, mate.”

Tom and Archie, meanwhile, were sitting by the river in Rons, nursing their hangovers with lunchtime gin.

“Mirren93? Such a weird password. Such a weird guy.”

“I don’t know – isn’t it weirder to hack someone’s email?”

“No, because we have something to gain from the hacking. You’ll become CUSU president, and I’ll become editor of the Tab because we hacked his email. But what can he gain from idolising Helen Mirren?!”

“Gives him something to wank to?”

“Still weird.”

“Fair enough.”

Tom shifted onto his elbow and looked at Archie.

“You know mate, using Simon like that was a stroke of genius.”

“Cheers. I just thought blackmailing Sarah was too straightforward. This way we bring down the Tab too.”

“Riskier, though.”

“Yeah, but Simon was always going to find the photos. And he was always going to send them to the Tab. And, like I said at the time, the drinks thing was just for good measure. If he hadn’t found the invoice he’d still have got pissed off enough with Jeremy to eventually hack his emails.”

“I guess. He may be a prick, but he’s a good journalist. Have you planted the drafts?”

“Yep. Did that earlier when we saw him leaving college.”

“What did you write?”

“Just left some emails in Jeremy’s outbox to ‘[email protected]’implying all kinds of high level corruption.”

“False email?”

“Of course. And I sent some from that account to Jeremy, demanding that he hold back the stories on the drinks funding and the shagging.”


“We’ve got him, Tom.”

“Well done, mate.

“Now we just sit back and drink gin until he finds these emails, realises the Tab’s corrupt, CUSU’s corrupt, Sir Reginald’s corrupt…takes the stories to Varsity and then we’ll stand for election during the ensuing shitstorm. We’ve got them.”


Just two minutes walk away, in his room, Simon typed in Jeremy’s password and fired up his Hermes.