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Release date: 2022-12-01 08:11:34 Author:xDLRKzrB

Norman prodded at his paper. 'Wheelbarrow clue in double slaying.'

But naught, however, remained to signal that either Jim Pooley or John Omally had ever been there, naught but for two half-consumed pints of Large going warm upon the table and a saloon-bar door which swung quietly to and fro upon its hinge.

'Yes, I can't see the Mercury's ace reporter getting the journalist of the year award for it.'

Pooley jerked himself awake. 'Where am I?' he groaned.

The words were drowned by the scream of a police-car siren. Driven at high speed, the car came through the red lights at the bottom of Haling Road, roared past them and screeched to a standstill a hundred yards further on, outside the Flying Swan. A plainclothes detective and three burly constables leapt from the vehicle and swept into the saloon bar.

'What's that,' asked Neville.

Pooley jerked himself awake. 'Where am I?' he groaned.

Norman's shop was closed for the half day and a few copies of the midweek Mercury still remained in the wire rack to the front door. Jim took one of these and rattled the letterbox in a perfect impression of a man dropping pennies into it. He and Omally thumbed through the pages.

But naught, however, remained to signal that either Jim Pooley or John Omally had ever been there, naught but for two half-consumed pints of Large going warm upon the table and a saloon-bar door which swung quietly to and fro upon its hinge.

'I don't think the Professor would appreciate that, it might interfere with his plans. Also the police might claim conspiracy because we didn't come forward earlier.'

'No, either the reporter had no film in his Brownie or the police didn't think it necessary.'

Omally awoke with a start, something was pressing firmly into his throat and stopping his breath. 'Ow, ooh, get off, get off.' These imprecations were directed towards Jim Pooley, whose oversized boot had come snugly to rest beneath Omally's chin. 'Will you get off I say?'

'We?' said Pooley. 'Where do you get this "we" from? It was your wheelbarrow.'

Pooley jerked himself awake. 'Where am I?' he groaned.

'I mean we might tell the police about what we saw; it might start an investigation into what is going on in the Mission.'

'I don't think the Professor would appreciate that, it might interfere with his plans. Also the police might claim conspiracy because we didn't come forward earlier.'

'But there isn't a photograph of the wheelbarrow?'

'But "early arrest", what do you think that means?'

'Here it is,' said Jim, '"Wheelbarrow Clue in Double Slaying. Chiswick Police leading an investigation into the matter of the two bodies found on the foreshore upon the fall of the Thames last week believe that they now have a lead regarding the owner of the wheelbarrow discovered at the scene of the crime. Detective Inspector Cyril Barker said in an exclusive interview with the Brentford Mercury that he expected to make an early arrest".'

Omally was not listening, he was peeling a potato. Before him a monstrous heap of such peelings spoke most fluently of the restricted diet upon which the two were at present subsisting. 'It is spud for breakfast,' said he.

Pooley jerked himself awake. 'Where am I?' he groaned.

'Yes, I can't see the Mercury's ace reporter getting the journalist of the year award for it.'

'I was just talking about that to Pooley,' said Neville, gesturing towards Jim's table.

'But there isn't a photograph of the wheelbarrow?'

Omally awoke with a start, something was pressing firmly into his throat and stopping his breath. 'Ow, ooh, get off, get off.' These imprecations were directed towards Jim Pooley, whose oversized boot had come snugly to rest beneath Omally's chin. 'Will you get off I say?'

'I mean we might tell the police about what we saw; it might start an investigation into what is going on in the Mission.'

'I have no other suggestions,' said Jim. 'I can only counsel caution and the maintaining of the now legendary low profile.'

'What's that,' asked Neville.

'I don't think the Professor would appreciate that, it might interfere with his plans. Also the police might claim conspiracy because we didn't come forward earlier.'

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