Peters settled back into his seat, tearing open a plastic triangle of cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches and taking a bite before he answered. He chewed several times and swallowed. “Right. Something weird. If you can call anything weird compared to what we've been through the last few days.”
“Go on.” White reached across and took the carton of fresh milk from his sergeant's plastic bag.
“I had a quick chat with Mr. Xio. Monday morning he gets a couple of local lads in.”
“Students. He says they live over there.” Peters took another mouthful of sandwich and used it to point at the doorway the soldier was guarding. “Anyway, they were acting a bit strangely.” He swallowed. “The younger one looked to have been in a fight, he said. He had one white eye and one eye missing.”
“So he said, only it didn't seem to be bothering him. The weird thing is they were opening packets of raw bacon and eating them.”
“Raw?” White stared at the milk in his hand, then put the top back on and passed it back.
“Yes sir. Made a right mess of the display an' all, he said. No theft, mind. The taller one paid for everything they had. He barred them anyway. He didn't like the look of them.”
“Did they say where they were going?”
“Hospital, they said, to get the eye seen to.”
“Right. Have they been back since?”
“Not according to Mr. Xio. He seems to know everyone's comings and goings.”
“What does he think of all the soldiers?”
“Bad for business.” Peters took a sip of milk. “Most of his profit is on snacks and fast food and with the army here the dealers have all moved on. No dealers means no dope heads and no dope heads--”
“Means a sharp drop in the munchies.”