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Only A Cop Would Walk Down A Dark Street Whistling

Page 3

Chris Grierson

And it only gets better, Franc assured me, pointing his brow across the bar. Lady Friday over there. I looked across to a dried out old lass looking to be going on seventy in the corner. She doesn't look like much but she is one of the richest people going around. You know that mansion on Collins Street Hill. I nodded, everybody knows that mansion on Collins Street Hill.

That's hers. Franc told me he had seen her going into it, on a Friday of course, and there's more, Franc added, tapping that head of his, reassuring me that like any great writer he'd done his research. It turned out the old lass's father was a well-connected magistrate. All the players at the time knew him, Franc sat back again, nodding that nod. You name it, he smiled, and he was paid off for it. Obviously nobody had ever told Franc that mansion on Collins Street Hill was a psych clinic. But as I said I wasn't there to upset Franc. And I was also vaguely becoming interested in whether and how Franc was going to tie these characters together into the central narrative, surely he had something up his sleeve apart from the bar; a card game, the races, AA surely.

And then something out of the blue, a freebie, Franc smiled. Only a cop would walk down a dark street whistling, remember that, he told me tapping his head as if pushing that thought in. Which I agreed had some potential, like my night if she turned up. And, of course, Dinks. But Franc was holding out on Dinks whom I couldn't help but eyeball. He could be Sweet Jane's date, just; young-ish, well-dressed with a hint, just the merest hint in his overly pale, fallen-down face of a habit.

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