“Come on, Peters. What are you doing back there?”
“Coming sir.” Peters used his knife to lever up a coin. He tried for a second but the light from White's torch was growing dim in the distance. He grabbed the one he'd managed to free and hurried after his boss, slipping the disc into a pocket and drying his hand on his trousers.
White was standing next to a tunnel. “I wonder where that goes.”
Peters's candle flickered. “I don't know, sit. You're not going to ask me to go down there, are you? Not without a decent light. There could be anything down there.”
“What? Spiders and rats?”
“Maybe, but I was thinking more along the lines of limestone caverns and sudden drops I was liable to break my neck on.”
“There's definitely a flow of air, though. It leads outside. Maybe in the gardens?
“Maybe. We'll get a team to check it. Talking of caves, did you know there were some extensive ones under Laverstone?”
“I didn't, no.”
“Yes. They were a tourist attraction in Victorian times. There used to be an access from the park, where the museum is now, but they were closed in the eighteen-eighties.”
“There were some accidents, yes. I forget the details. Meinwen has a book about it.”
“Ms Jones? Of course. She would have, really.”
“What's that supposed to mean?”
“Well. She's not a native, is she? Yet anything to do with Laverstone's history, there she is with her 'I've written a book about it'.” Peters's imitation of Meinwen's voice was accurate if uncomplimentary.
White stifled a smile as he peered into the tunnel, his torch flashing across calcium deposits and the sparkle of minerals. “Is that a light down there?”