“Like hell,” Carmell said simply.
Jones was unused to hearing any sort of rejection, and he nearly lost his temper, yet the ice and surety in the detective's reply made Jones' tongue mute. After a moment's careful consideration, he was pleased he brought along Venctin. He nodded to him, and his muscle man sprung into action, circling Carmell's backside in a most threatening manner. Meanwhile, Jones explained the modified situation to Carmell, “You see, Stephen. May I call you that? I find that sometimes people don't pick up on a hint for one of three reasons: they're too stubborn, too distracted, or too stupid. Now, I don't presume to know why you chose to ignore a blatant request to leave, but it is my duty – with the help of Mr. Venctin here – to see you, personally, to the town line and see you on your way. Do you understand what I have just told you, Stephen?”
Carmell's face remained impassive – thoughtful, even. Then he shrugged, “That kind of sounds like a threat to me. Are you threatening me, Sergeant Jones?”
“Not at all. I am just endeavoring to make my point irrefutably clear. I worry that some of the subtlety might be lost on someone from Durham City. Have I made myself clear, Mr. Carmell?”
“I am not a subtle person, Sergeant Jones. You will find that to be true in the very near future, I am quite sure of that.”
Venctin rushed Carmell and roughly wrapped his arms around the smaller man in an effective choke hold while simultaneously driving his knee into Carmell's kidney. It was the kind of blow that sent most men groaning to the ground, but Carmell stood there impassively, as though watching a tennis match.
“Well, Mr. Carmell? Have I?”
“I'm sorry, I seem to be distracted by an overwhelming fecal stench. Does your monkey ever bathe?”
The choke tightened like a vice around Carmell's throat. It instantly got very difficult to breathe, but he remained calm and cool, “What were we talking about again?”
Jones looked around at the odd passersby as he rounded the front of the car and stood an inch from Carmell's chin, “I asked, my dear unwelcome guest, if I made myself clear.”
Carmell's eyes were icy pinpricks of iron as he responded, “Irrefutably.”