Jamie sat down at the table next to me.
He eyed the small sticky puddle where the syrup had dribbled down the side of it's bottle. careful not to touch the syrup, and with an almost pained expression, he opened a green hard cover note book and slid it across the table towards me.
At first the shock of being allowed to look into one of Jamie's much discussed notebooks left me dumb. I gaped into his pained expression for a moment longer than what would necessarily be considered polite. Jamie shifted uncomfortably and inclined his head towards the book.
I snapped back into focus and turned my attention to the page. I saw four columns of numbers, scrawled in tiny, ant-like digits, down the page. precise, perfect, and miniscule. and slightly mad-looking, to be honest.
"What is this, Jamie?" I asked him.
My heart beat a little faster, slight claustrophobia creeping in under my collar the way it did when I felt cornered. I didn't have time for mad people right now.
There was a dead man lying in the morgue who had been stabbed to death with my fountain pen! I had no alibi aside from reading at home and my only witness was my cat! I had to solve a murder if I wanted to stay out of jail and I did not have time for crazy people.
I looked at the open door way feeling like a caged animal.
"Wait, Ms Barnes, look. these numbers here on this side are the times that people walked past this window. the next column tells you who it is, every person who lives here has a number, worked out according to when I fist met them. the next column tells you who came inside and the last one here what they ordered."
I looked at him, my breathing slowing to normal. Jamie was either brilliant or hopping mad. either way he wasn't normal, but he might have some useful information after all.
"You see," He said in his quiet voice,"Mr Schoenburgs, he is number 3721, he always comes past here between four and six PM, although his exact timing is a little erratic. but the last few days he has been coming past earlier and earlier, see, and then yesterday he didn't come in at all."
I looked at the lists of numbers. There in the second column the same numbers repeated themselves every so often. I started to see a dizzying pattern immerging. the numbers danced around in front of my eyes like ants.
I wasn't sure how uselfull the information would be but for the first time a small ray of hope touched me.
"Jamie may I make copies of these?"