“That’s right! Oliver Twist, pickpockets they was.” Simon says, his face lighting up, then, “’Ere you gonna get yourself a squad of posh little fuckers and lift a few wallets down Kensington? ‘Arrods mate, that’s where you wanna go.”
“You,” Beckett said, tapping the side of his head, “can be a right soft prannet sometimes, Simon my son. You know that.”
Beckett drains the dregs of his pint then eyes the back door as he fishes out his fags and lighter.
“No.” he says, lighting up without offering his fags round, “Now listen, what would you say was Stinking Billy’s main characteristic? Other than bein’ a posh fucker.”
“Stinking Billy.” Beckett says, “Fuck my old boots, don’t you know no history neither? Ignorant fuckers. Look, never mind, we’ll be here all bleedin’ night at this rate, won’t we. He’s small, isn’t he. That’s the thing of it.”
Still all Beckett is drawing is a couple of baffled expressions.
“I see I gotta draw you a bleedin’ map? It will be right easy to boost the little bleeder up through small openings, such as windows, or if needs be even down soddin’ chimneys.” Beckett explains triumphantly.
Understanding dawns on the would-be thespians faces but it is a short-lived day and almost immediately the light of comprehension fades back to the midnight of ignorance.
“Yeah,” Paul strains at thought like a dog on a short leash, “but I mean, why would he? He’s already loaded ain’t he. It’s not like he needs the dosh.”
“That’s right.” Simon beams in support, “What would be in it for him, eh?”
Beckett shakes his head.
“Have either of you two sad fuckers ever heard of teenage rebellion? I mean, I don’t know how you two are ever gonna become actors with you knowin’ sod all about human psychology, and that.”
But then Posh William comes back from the bogs, miraculously intact, the luck of the oblivious, and so Beckett doesn’t, at least for the moment get to further discuss his angle with Paul
Over the next few weeks, Beckett introduces Posh William to a cross-section of the minor-hoodlum segment of his acquaintances. Posh William feels he’s being admitted to some romantic criminal underworld, while Beckett is again careful to present Posh William to his cohorts as a mark he’s discovered, some lamb to the slaughter he’s intent on gutting.
By the time Beckett has “dropped in” on Fuscia for the fifth time, he feels he is definitely starting to get somewhere. But at the same time he is careful to keep his priorities straight, dosh first, then birds. Because the former can lead to the latter, but in his experience rarely the other way round.
As happens out the very night of Posh William’s full-fledged entry into the criminal fraternity coincides with the entry of Beckett into Fuscia’s knickers. But then every now and then the gods of chaos will choose to smile on their least favored son.
Beckett and Fuscia have been flirting their way through a drowsy, late August afternoon and when Beckett finally decides to call her bluff. He finds himself sucked into a maelstrom of carnal expertise that by rights should well beyond her tender years.
But then, he thinks, that’s the bleeding rich for you, all over innit.
Causes Luke James Supports
Doctors Without Borders