“Ah, Lestrade,” I say, sauntering up to the chap in the corner. I Lift my hat in that frequently-observed cordial greeting one frequently observes in Europe (a sign of gracious bonhomie, I’m told). “May I buy you a drink?”
“Get tae fuck, ya poncie cock.”
I infer from this less-than-cheery salutation that I have erred somewhat. “Excuse me, I mistake you for someone else.”
“Ye wantin a smack, son?” The speaker begins to rise from his seat and the throb of conversation in the hostelry drops to a stunned hush.
“A generous offer, but one which I shall decline.” I doff my hat and retire to the end of the bar. Clearly the recent artist’s impression I have of Lestrade is imprecise.
[Note to Evil Assistant – remove Hans Holbein III from our list of certified portraitists]
I desist from talking into my device for a few moments (apart from the talking I’m doing now) and concentrate on watching the door.
Ah-ha (I say to myself) – an odd-looking person with sweaty eyeballs has entered the room. I watch him carefully and note with satisfaction that the ominous silence (that recently fell in response to my own actions) has once again fallen ominously.
The newcomer approaches the bar and appears to be asking for some kind of beverage, to which the other drinkers respond with grumbling sounds and several unintelligible phrases. I deduce from their tone that a resounding welcome is not on the agenda.
I make my move (again). “Inspector Lestrade?” I hold up what I believe is a large-denominational note in the currency of this region and wave it at the landlord, but Lestrade (if it be he) is already heading for the door.
“Scheisse,” I say into my patented Moriarty-Conical-Rite-a-Phone and make my own move towards the door.
At that precise moment, the person I unsuccessfully conversed with earlier, once again appears in front of me, blocking my exit. “Ah’ll tak that, pal,” he mutters, and reaches out for the monetary note.
I hold the piece of paper out of his reach and announce: “In circumstances such as these, dear heart, I predict that a distraction is called for.” (I say this in my native tongue, so as not to alert the individual). Then I drop the note to the floor, muttering “Oops!” and in an instant, the entire assemblage of the room converges upon the item allowing me to make my escape.
Back in the alley, I look left and right and am gratified to spot a dark figure disappearing into the even darker darkness. Clearly this is a trap, however I have no option but to follow, since it is also part of my evil plan. Mwah, hah hah…
[Note to Evil Assistant – remove the last two mentions of the word ‘clearly’ – I have clearly been over-using it. And that one]