by Trevor Hopkins

Campsie and I strolled down the side-street to the main thoroughfare and turned left just to walk past the much more impressive - if currently firmly closed - front entrance of the Stalactite Saloon. We were making no particular attempt to conceal ourselves. There were no shadowed figures lurking in doorways, nothing so crude as a person bundled up in a long coat and a concealing hat following us at a discreet distance, although any of a hundred windows could have hidden a watcher or two without anybody knowing.

There is always a certain risk of paranoia in this job - although that paranoia has proved to be justified on more than one occasion - but there's also a certain feeling I get sometimes, a tingling at the back of the neck that suggests that one's movements are being closely monitored.

Campsie clutched my arm in a companionable kind of way, her face naturally moving close to my ear.

"Do you get the feeling we're being watched?" she asked softly.

"Hmm. Yes I do," I mouthed in response, "Best to ignore it for now."

"Really?"

"Sure. We don't have anything to hide, do we?" I answered, "So, we don't have a care in the world. Just two Private Eyes making their happy-go-lucky way through life."

Campsie giggled, then held my arm more tightly while we descended into the more crowded entrance of a travel tube.

*

Back in the office, I pulled out the envelope that Broxden had presented me with, slit it open with my fingernail and emptied the contents onto the desk. There were several typed sheets laid out in neat columns with details of the staff at the Stalactite Saloon. There was also a separate piece of paper, upon which somebody - I strongly suspected it was Broxden himself - had written the name, address and telephone number of a well-respected firm of theatrical agents.

"Well, Broxden seems to have done a thorough job," I said, scanning the sheets quickly just to get a feel for what kind of information was included, "No obvious omissions, at least."

I tossed the typed sheets back on the desk and turned my attention to the handwritten sheet.

"Presumably had somebody in his accounts and payroll department just run through all the whole employment records," Campsie suggested, reaching for the paperwork and running her own eyes down the columns.

I folded the handwritten sheet carefully and stowed in away in my pockets. I'd be visiting the agency when I got an opportunity.

"Just one name that stands out," I said, "Gimme the list."

"Who's that?" she asked, tossing the papers back over to my side of the desk.

I ringed the name with my pen and pushed the paper back to her. Campsie picked it up again, frowning.

"Pow Drumfin," she read, then asked curiously, "Who's he?"

Part 24 Part 26