“Wha’ the fack are you doin’ down ‘ere then?” O’Brien wanted to know.
“Slummin’ it, ain’t I. What about you? Where you been?” Beckett said, hopping from foot to foot and trying to peer round O’Brien at the entrance to the apartment building.
O’Brien completely ignored the question.
“You’re turnin’ blue you are.” O’Brien said, leaning up close into Beckett’s face.
“Look, why don’t you fuck off. I’m trying to work here, ain’t I?”
Beckett knew it was a mistake the second the words left his mouth.
“Workin’?” O’Brien was all ears. “Doin’ what?”
“It ain’t none of your never mind, is it.” Beckett said, treading the thin ice of O’Brien’s temper.
“Well ‘scuse the fuck outta me, I’m sure.” O’Brien said, “Bleedin’ charmin’ way to treat a mate you ain’t seen in donkeys.”
“Oh dear, have I hurt your feelings you sensitive little fucker. Now piss orf out of it. Look, I’ll see you up The Palace, Crouch End, tomorrow night alright.”
Beckett lowered his voice and leaned toward O’Brien.
“I might be able to put a little something your way. A little something I might need fencing. If that is, you was to piss off just now and let me work my bleedin’ ticket.”
But O’Brien, as was his habit, had already started to leave halfway through Beckett’s last sentence, the tail end of which was addressed through gritted teeth at his retreating back.
The remainder of Beckett’s vigil was a short one. For a start, after 11.30, there was practically no other bugger on the street and Beckett knew it wouldn’t take long for his two hundred yard sweeps up and down the street to attract the attention of passing panda cars. Secondly, he had a nice lump of Moroccan and new vindaloo-hot porno vid waiting at home. He reckoned the chances of this bird coming home now were slim enough as not to be worth worrying about.
Beckett decided to make his move just after dark on Saturday. He’d borrowed some straight clothes from Sol the Suit, over in Golders Green. Beckett swanned in through the front door with an “I own this fucking place” look on his snoot. He strolled casually into the security elevator, which necessitated a second key to gain access to the floor the apartment was on. He had taken each of the three keys Mme DuPont had given him and dropped them by Harry Cleffs over Hackney for a nice set of duplicates of the “do not duplicate” stamped set of originals.
Beckett positively swaggered down the Persian-carpeted hallway that led from the elevator to the bint’s apartment door. He was thoroughly enjoying himself. After all, it wasn't every day he had unrestrained access to the world in which he’d always felt he rightly belonged. Poor Beckett, snatched from the mansion as a baby not by gypsies, but by a bus driver and a waitress.
Causes Luke James Supports
Doctors Without Borders