Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chapter 21 -- Disturbing Words

Down the well-trod steps, and out, into the restaurant.

Around the artificial plants, and there seated at a table, the bandaged man.

A potent, mutual greeting.

'How did you recognize him so quickly ?'

"The way you shifted your butter knife at the table," declared the Inspector, with a slight note
of ironic pomposity.

"That, and the fact you're the only individual on the whole island in dire enough condition
to be wrapped in bandages from crown to fingertips."


A few moments later, Officer Glidden had followed Winsteeple down the same formerly secret steps, but held back, his view obscured by the dusty plastic fronds, on seeing the Inspector
seated with the unusual patron.

His superior had his back to Glidden, so that he could not quite hear easily all that he said to
the man(?), nor could he be certain of his mood. Was this, already, a suspect?

Just as he began to transfer his own unease and curiosity to the bandaged patron, he partly
heard the Inspector ask what, (in fact), had happened to him.

'Shwgth shiff had a three pair of lab legs, Ala Babah,' the impossible reply.

Glidden felt like a child, trying to make sense of such muffled mishmosh, as if he were hiding
from his parents rather than not wanting to burst in inopportunely. Amidst further strings of
muttering, he heard distinctly the words "club", (but unthreatening?), and the more disturbing "die", (said without menace, but with some melancholy or fatigue).

With a few beats more, and the whispered "surreptitious", (so coincidentally & reflectively
accusatory), the officer threw aside his non-professional stance, 'rehearsed' the little message in his head, and came on about to interrupt the Inspector's mysterious meeting.

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