An investigator later discloses that the restaurant that Larry had owned was under the scanner for selling spurious liquor - especially the famed Laphroaig isn’t what it claims to be, more of grain whisky than malt. When Tony accompanies the investigating officer to the Silver Moon dance, he tastes the said malt and pronounces his judgment, after which the officer prohibits the sale of alcohol in the restaurant. Tony also learns that before his death, Larry had bragged that he could pass off substandard booze for the real stuff. The duo meet Paul Young the company representative, who is flummoxed and taken aback at the charges Detective Sergeant Ridger is filing, but puts up a brave front. The investigator (Mr. Wilson) grills Tony about his whereabouts and what he saw on the day of the tragedy, did he see anyone other than the four year old child besides the horsebox? Was there a possibility that someone else could’ve been in the horsebox as it rolled downhill, crushing the Sheikh?
When Flora and Tony investigate the prints in the horsebox, they are struck by the fact that many of the prints are those of a child - could the little boy have managed to finally live out his childish fantasy of driving a big car, and could he have mistakenly released the brake that cost eight lives? Meanwhile, the Silver Moondance has been looted and plundered - when Tony goes to find out what’s actually transpired, he is met with Ridger’s dark silhouette in the basement, near the wine cellars - the wine list and bottles are missing, no liqueurs, beers, malts or any alcohol is left in the restaurant.
In an office, Tony finds Paul Young in a state of unconsciousness, and another two corpses in the office - one is that of a constable, seated on a chair, head between his legs, and the other of a man, on the floor, his head and neck encased in plaster of Paris, identified as the wine waiter - Zarac. An intriguing read, Proof is one of Francis’s finer novels, engaging and entertaining. Loaded with interesting facts about wines and liquor, it is also a book that uplifts the reader in terms of Tony coming to accept that his inferiority is only a figment of his imagination, in fact, he is brave and is a hero.