“Good God!” Sergeant Major General was almost beside himself. “Not another bleeding eye! How many of them are there in this case?” An angry red flush rushed through his already flushed cheeks, his whiskers standing to attention at the outrages of coincidence.
“It is indeed perplexing,” said Kirk Bill, as they passed by further iniquities (rather intriguing iniquities, Sergeant Major General thought privately, resolving to revisit the Eye of the Tiger when this infernal case was over) in order to leave Miss Worzleham’s establishment. “I don’t believe I have ever worked a case that exhibited such a confluence of signs. Unless it was the Case of the Illusionary Illuminati, where everywhere we looked people were performing complex and secretive handshakes. Do you remember that one, General?”
“No,” said Sergeant Major General.
“Ah yes,” said Kirk Bill, “you had succumbed to a rather debilitating case of paranoia; I had to administer some spirits of wine and leave you on a divan to recover”.
“I say, Bill,” said Sergeant Major General, “this case is starting to get my goat. So many promising leads, and yet we have still to engage anyone in fisticuffs. A bit of biffo would be just tickety-boo right now.”
“It is frustrating,” Kirk Bill confessed. “And yet – hi! You!” Kirk Bill suddenly set off in pursuit of a suspicious figure slouching under a streetlamp, at least, he was slouching until Kirk Bill starting chasing him, after which he started took to his heels.
“What is it, Bill?” gasped Sergeant Major General, trying to keep up. “What did you see?”
“Call it a hunch,” called back Kirk Bill, as he raced ahead, powerful legs pumping, his limbs poetry in motion.
They rounded a corner into a dark alley, suddenly coming face to face with as motley a gang of thugs as you had ever seen. (Not you or I really, of course, that’s just an expression). One wore an eyepatch and knuckledusters. (Also clothes, it wasn’t a naked gang of thugs or anything). Several held coshes or rusty pipes or chains, which they swung menacingly. Another fingered a devilish looking knife (but menacingly, not in a rude way). The figure they had chased stood at the front of the gang, grinning widely and malevolently. His teeth were surprisingly good, for a motley thug. Sergeant Major General resolved to beat the name of his dentist out of him.
“Good God!” he exclaimed, first. “Bill! His tattoo!”
For on the lead thug’s forearm was a prominent tattoo. In fact, looking around, Sergeant Major General noticed that ALL the thugs had the same tattoo. A tattoo of a giant, yellow, staring EYE.
TO BE CONTINUED