White watched the man descend the remaining stairs, one step at a time and leaning against the bannister. If he'd been a betting man, he'd have given himself better than even odds Waterman would trip and break his neck. Fortunately, he wasn't a gambling man, because he would have lost.
When he reached the bottom, Waterman put down his bags and thumped DeVille on the arm. "You could have helped."
"I was busy entertaining the detective-inspector and making sure he didn't steal the silverware." He lowered his voice. "Only joking."
"Thanks a lot." White rubbed his eyes. "Have you got everything, Mr. Waterman?"
He checked the bags he'd brought down. "I think so."
White pointed to the bag of toys where he could see several boxed dolls and computer games. "Aren't they a little old for your daughter, sir?"
"My daughter?" Harold stared at the bag. "They aren't for her. They're for me." He looked at DeVille. "Should I pack stuff for her as well, do you think?"
"We'll be away for a day or two, old bean." DeVille patted his shoulder. "I think you should. Spare clothes, toys, hairbrush, toothbrush, cryogenic chamber."
"Cheese, I meant. Cheese." DeVille smiled and made shooing motions. "Come on, Harold. Chop chop. Mr. White wants rid of us as soon as possible, I'm sure. It can't be easy to run a spurious murder investigation when the chief suspect is in the house watching over your shoulder."
"I resent that, Mr. DeVille. I'd thank you not to make such comments in my presence."
"Right you are. Sorry. I'll wait until you're out of earshot, then."