by Trevor Hopkins

With Agent Duncrub out of the way, we could turn to more pressing matters.

"Are you still okay for the undercover job?" I asked Campsie earnestly, "It might be dangerous."

I don't normally railroad people into doing things they didn't want to, and I certainly wasn't going to start now. But Campsie had lots of theoretical background - and maybe a little fieldwork, too - courtesy of her college work, and she had shown herself very much able to get stuck into the current investigation with, I had to say, rather more usefulness than I might have expected.

"I admit I did think about it last night," she replied, looking at me earnestly, "But I did come here for proper work experience. Which I've definitely got so far. So I'm keen to do more."

"Okay, so for this interview, we need to think about what kind of impression you should give. Some of that's about attitude and how you speak, of course, but a lot of it is about what you wear."

"My clothes?"

"Yep."

In my limited experience, Campsie had always gone for very sensible and practical clothing: dark top, dark skirt to mid-thigh, heavy dark tights and stout boots, topped by a long overcoat. Nothing flashy, nothing to stand out on the streets.

"You need to dress like somebody keen to get into show business, to go with the bubbly attitude you put over on the phone," I suggested, "Less practical, more colourful, more zany: wide stripes in primary colours and lots of cheap jewellery, and more make-up as well."

"I don't have anything like that," Campsie complained, frowning, "I'd never wear it."

"That's good," I said.

"It is?"

"Sure," I explained, "It's completely different from your normal appearance, which will help. And, looking different will help you to feel different, too. Help you to feel frivolous, slightly air-headed - naive, even."

"Well, okay," Campsie replied, looking only very slightly dubious, "So I'll need to get a few items, then."

"Right," I replied, "And keep the receipts: maybe Broxden will pay for them on expenses."

"What about my bag?" she asked, holding up the item in question.

"Get something else," I suggested, "Large and wacky-looking. Make sure it's full of all the kinds of things I'd expect. Leave the notebook behind, and keep the PI buzzer in the bottom, just in case you need it."

She shook her head in amazement.

"You've thought about this, haven't you?"

I nodded.

"Sure," I replied, "Now I'm off to interview some employees myself. You get yourself kitted up and ready for your interview, and we'll catch up here this evening."

Part 36 Part 38