Jimmy was frozen to the spot, staring open mouthed at the tall, thin man in front of him, he had spoken in a strange accent, although Jimmy had never heard one before, he was fairly sure the man was American, he spoke again,
"Good evening", he was quite calm, softly spoken, Jimmy glimpsed the lamp light reflecting off the large tin buttons on his uniforms jacket, he straightened himself up, trying to look brave,
"Good evening, sir, might I ask where your off to in such a rush?",
"No", replied the stranger, Jimmy was taken a back, he'd delt with defiant people before, but some how, he just knew, this one really didn't care, still, he coughed and continued,
"I am an officer of the metropolitan police force, sir! And I demand to know who you are, and why your running the steets so late, especially during the largest man hunt this countries ever seen!", Jimmy actually impressed himself,
"My name", the stranger began, "Is Tiamat, and I have absolutely no intention of telling you what I'm doing here", he was not rude, or agressive, very calm, but was making his position on the matter quite clear, but Jimmy wasn't about to back down now,
"If you persist on refusing to explain your business, sir, I will be forced to take you in for questioning, sir!", putting a little to much emphasis on the last 'sir!', Tiamat smiled back,
"Oh I'm afraid I can't let you do that!", he chuckled, his voice still quiet and calm, he paced around Jimmy, taking in his appearence,
"Hmmm" he thought out loud, "No helmet, no visable weapons, I'm gonna take a stab in the dark here and say, your not ACTUALLY on duty, are you, officer?!!", he grinned a broad white smile at Jimmy, this was getting out of hand,
"Why don't you tell me what YOUR doing here officer, during a man hunt and all?!!", Jimmy tried his best not to show any strain,
"Investigating!", he responded, Tiamat laughed out loud, "Oh, Is that so? Well, mister detective, what exactly are you investigating?!"
Jimmy sighed, this was pointless,
"My friend thought he saw something tonight, when we was out on patrol, he had a funny turn after", Tiamat had stopped laughing,
"What do you mean, funny turn?",
"He went white as a sheet, said he saw a ghost!!", Jimmy tried to force a chuckle, sure that Tiamat would laugh at him again, but the tall, thin, dark haired man, wore a face of stone cold seriousness. Tiamat stood right in front of Jimmy, grasping his shoulders with both hands, boring into him with his empty eyes,
"What did It look like, did you see it??!" he was almost shaking Jimmy,
"NO!", Jimmy snapped, pushing Tiamat back away from him, noting the dampness of his clothes, and the two new damp spots on his own shoulders, "I saw nuffin, all 'appened so quick!", Jimmy stepped back from Tiamat, wanting to keep the xit of the side street behind him, in case he was forced to run,
"DId he tell you that It looked like??!!", Tiamat seemed desperate,
"Yeah, said it looked like black smoke, rising from a chimney, then it just stopped, in mid-air!",
"He said, he said It turned, and looked at him!", Jimmy felt foolish, but Tiamat was now pacing the little grassy area, finally he stopped,
The two men left the side street and began marching back up towards Dorsit street, Jimmy having to run every few paces just to keep up wit Tiamat, he was rushing on as though his very life depended on getting back to Millers Court! Jimmy took in his companion as they moved, he really did have the most pointed nose Jimmy had ever seen, his chin too, even the tips of his ears seemed slightly to long?
"How much further?", all trace of playfulness lost fom Tiamat's voice,
"Just up 'ere a bit more, then down Dorsit, bout halfway!", Jimmy replied, trying not to sound completely out of breath,then something occored to him,
"You do realise!", he panted hard, "that this is actually a police matter!",
Tiamat grinned and replied without looking at Jimmy,
"Not anymore", there was a finality to his voice that suggested to Jimmy it may not be best to push the matter, and to be frank, if he wanted to help Jimmy chase ghosts over London, he'd be glad of the company,
"So where do you come from?", this time Tiamat did stop, he turned and looked down into Jimmy's eyes,
"What a weird question?", he pondered, apparently to himself, "Why do you ask?", now Jimmy was taken back,
"Well, polite, innit?!", he did sound quite confused, Tiamat carried on walking as he replied,
"Well, originally I'm from a small town near San Fransisco!",
"So you are a Yank?!", Jimmy stammered, they rounded the corner Jimmy had chased Tiamat round earlier, back into Dorsit street,
"HA!", Tiamat laughed, "fraid so mister detective, that going to be a problem for ya?!", he was only joking, but still Jimmy had to wonder if it was? He'd never an American before, let alone worked with one, no matter how unusual the case,
"Na! It's just I've never met a Yank before?!", Jimmy's head was starting to hurt, thinking to much, there were reasons he was happy as a 'Bobby on the Beat', Tiamat tilted his head to look at Jimmy, he laughed again,
"I think I'm gonna like you, hey, what the hell is YOUR name?!", it then occored to Jimmy to that he hadn't actually told Tiamat who he was,
"Officer James 'Jimmy' Grove! at your service!", Tiamat laughed at the formal introduction, Jimmy to,
"Well, Officer Jim Grove, I think I'm very please to make your aquaintance!", the two men laughed together for a while before Jimmy put his hand up to stop Tiamat, again noticing that his clothes were damp,
"We're 'ere!", he looked into Tiamats empty round eyes, "you fall in the river?!", Tiamat was no longer smiling, focusing on the path ahead of them,
Tiamat paced the ground by the house Jimmy indicated was the one where Tom had seen his ghost, he was drawing get lung fulls of air, eyes closed, obviously lost in thought, he opened his eyes,
"This is just about where I lost him earlier!", he took another deep breath, "he must have doubled back while I was talking to you! Dammit!!",
Tiamat walked past the house, continuing up Dorsit, his nose tilted up, sniffng the air as he went,
"You smellin' for something?!", asked Jimmy,
"Sort of, there are usually tell tale odours, little clues that they've been around", he carried on walking, never looking at Jimmy, just sniffing and then stopping, it was as though he were using his sense of smell as a sense of direction?!
"I'm sorry Jimmy, I really can not explain anymore than I've told ya already, It's not that I don't like you!", he turned to look Jimmy in the face, "Its because I like you, that I can't tell you, now listen to me officer Jim Grove, go home, just forget everything you've seen and go home!", Tiamat turned and walked away,
"Erm, excuse me!", Jimmy called after him, "I was actually conducting an investigation 'ere, you know!",
"But the investigation was never yours to take, Jim, It is mine and mine alone!",
"Being my point!", Jimmy summed up all the courage he had and paced right up to Tiamat, getting his face as close as possible without standing on tip toe!
"I am investigating the claim of a fellow officer, in the course of my enquiries, I have discovered that the thing I am looking for, maybe contected to you, and as you can offer me no proof of your business here or even who you are, I am obliged to accompany you!", he was shaking from head to toe!
Tiamat seemed impressed! He took another look at the policeman, he looked strong, obviously had some guts if he was out here by himself, looking for the same thing Tiamat was, but then, he didn't understand, he couldn't! The thing he was chasing was evil in its purest form, even Tiamat was terrified, but then he DID know what he was chasing, and what it could do!
"Listen Jim, I like you, you've got guts, and you obvioulsy care for your friend or you wouldn't be out here....!", Jimmy interrupted,
"Actually, I hardly know him, but I know of him, good officer and a fine man, not the type to just lose 'is marbles, but that ain't why I'm doing this!", Tiamat gave him a concerned but curious look,
"Then why are you out here?",
"Because ever since I started chasing you, I realised it was, not the right thing exaxctly, but the thing I HAD to do!", Jimmy felt awkward, that didn't make any sense, but then when he looked back at Tiamat, the tall thin, pointed man was smiling,
"Jim!", he said, "I know exactly what you mean!", he winked at him,
"Come on, lets hunt!"