Rupert couldn't believe what had happened. After seeing Lance arrested on charges of mass murder, he had been wandering around, almost missing hearing Lance's posh elocution and usage of fancy words. So, he thought he'd better get his act together and as a good PI (after consulting the handbook of course), he'd traced the route that Lance must have taken to L'hotel Magnifique and along the way, he had asked everyone that he had met if they had seen a posh man in a suit acting in a suspicious way. Then, he came to a street where a group of young boys were having a kick-about on the road. They looked tired and could have been there for hours. So, he asked them if they had seen a posh man in a suit actly oddly. He was, himself, exhausted by no and irritated at getting the same answer over and over. No. The answer they gave him surprised him but it was one that he had been waiting for.
"Oh, you mean that posh old prat - Lance Lotus?" asked one of the kids. He looked like the clear ringleader of the group - he could only have been about 11.
"Umm, i guess so. Oh and by the way he's Sir Lance Alotus". Even though his former friend had committed this heinous crime, he was still a man of deep self respect and deserved to be a Sir.
"Not no more he aint", replied the kid. "We 'eard that he lost his Sir-ship or whatever. What a ponce, right lads!" All the other kids laughed except for one, weedy little kid. "Why didn't you laugh Freddie? Aint I funny enough for ya? Well I'll show you funny!" With that the ringleader punched Freddie in the nose and blood gushed out. Rupert felt that the conversation was slipping off topic.
"Wow, mate just cool down. All I want to know, was if you saw him. What mood was he in? Good? Bad? Bad enough to kill 114 people?"
"What's it worth to ya? I need a new bike i s'pose. And my trainers are a bit tatty..." The kid was clearly a smooth operater and knew how to handle these situations.
"Listen kid. I am Private Investigator Moranne and you better tell me what I want to know or there'll be trouble". Rupert had seen this done in the movies and had always wanted to try it out.
"We don't want no trouble", said another little kid who had given Freddie a tissue. "He was putting the circle thingy over the hole and Jake kicked a ball at his butt and he fell in. Then when he came back out ages later, he was all weird and that." Rupert took Jake to be the ringleader and smiled at the little kid.
"Cheers kid. Now Jake, do you want me to tell your parents that you punched someone in the nose or shall I?" asked Rupert in a kind tone. He was attempting the good cop bad cop thing from the handbook and he seemed to be quite good at it.
"I 'aint got no parents. They dead init. My family is this lot. We live rough but we don't care or nuffin'." Rupert felt awkward. He obviously wasn't very good at it.
"Ah. Okay then. Later guys." And with that, he crossed the street, headed towards the manhole cover. He could hear Jake giving the little kid a tough time about telling him the story and not getting any money out of it and thought about going over there but changed his mind. He had bigger fish to fry...
And then there was Tyler. How odd. Of all the people to meet down this manhole, he wouldn't have expected to meet Lance's older brother.