The phone sitting on Geoff Wilkinson’s desk rang. Geoff yawned and picked up the receiver. ‘Yes?’ he said shortly and then, when the receptionist announced that his next client had arrived to see him, added without much enthusiasm, ‘Show him up.’
Prompted by the imminent arrival of the client whose name he quickly checked in his diary, he pushed aside the file he had been working on and then quickly opened the sash window of his office. He hoped that that might remove the lingering smell of the fish and chips that he had not long ago consumed for lunch. His fingers, he noticed as he straightened his tie, still smelt of vinegar.
It had been raining for some time and the sound of traffic swishing along the wet High Road floated in through the now partially open window. A sudden raucous burst of laughter caused him to glance out of the window and across the street were a group of teenagers loitering in a shop doorway. Yobs, with nothing better to do, he thought. Then he noticed that one of them was a youth he recognised and groaned inwardly. Oh no, he thought. Don’t tell me he’s out already. The last time that he had seen the youth he had just been sent down by the local quarter sessions judge, a miserable old git with an explosive temper, not helped by the fact that the youth in question had made up a story about having fathered a child and having a job, neither of which proved to be true when a suspicious police officer looked into the story.
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