I turn to see a fellow copper coming out of the hall. He goes scarlet when he realises that this Charlie, apart from being a Sergeant and not just a Mr, is actually a Miss. But he doesn’t fall over his feet to apologise, like most of them do, and I almost like him for that.


‘Yeah,’ I reply. ‘And you are… ?’

‘Gayle. Richard Gayle. Your partner on this case?’ So they’ve got me a partner. Great. No one ever tells me anything around here.

I nod curtly. If I was in a hypocritical mood, I’d tell him I was delighted to make his acquaintance. But I can’t be arsed, so that’s that.

‘I suppose you’ll want to see all the stuff on the Watts Case.’ It’s a statement, not a question. Do I? The Watts Case? I suppose Watts must be the drunken sod who went and fell off a goddamn cliff when he wasn’t looking.


‘You’ve read my statement?’ he says, holding the door of the hall open for me like a true gentlemen.

Oh, so that’s what the envelope marked ‘URGENT’ on my desk was. I used it to make a shopping list and draw cartoons of all the coppers in my office. And a much better use it was, too.

I grunt non-committally. I never read the paperwork, as a rule. There’s no point, far as I can see. The guy was either murdered or not. How’s trawling through a heap of rubbishy statements going to establish that? Give me a car-chase any day. Far more useful, not to mention exciting.

He’s kind of waiting for me to say something. Should I say something? I decide against it, and so glare so hard at him that the paint starts to peel off the wall behind him.

That’s shut him up.

The End

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