“Still before my time but at least I know who you mean. I watched some of the earlier ones when it was re-released with that guy with the mole on his cheek.”
“I grew up on that program. Dashing home from the park on a Saturday night. Dad would treat us to a chippy and we'd all watch it. A cliffhanger every week. There used to be cardboard cut-outs in the cereal packets it was so popular.”
“I'll take your word for it, sir.” Peters nodded toward the kitchen window. “Best we knock on the door, sir. I think the little girl saw us lurking.”
“Police officers don't lurk, sergeant. Only villains lurk. Police officers perform their duties with circumspection.”
“Nevertheless, sir, the little girl saw your circumspection.”
“Hmm. Perhaps there's another word for it.” White tried to think of one but couldn't circumnavigate the thoughts of penises Peters had alluded to. “Right, we are here on official business after all.” He strode to the door and rapped on the wooden surround. He could see a shadow moving toward him from the darker recesses of the kitchen and while he waited for the door to be opened gave the three ladies staring out at them a half-smile and a nod. Twenty years ago he'd have felt a compulsion to salute but the time for such niceties has sadly passed.
The door opened to reveal Harold Waterman himself in a comforting domestic pose, drying his hands on a tea towel. “Detective-inspector White.” His gaze flicked further. “And Sergeant Peters. What a pleasant surprise.”
“I wish it were, sir.” White glanced at Waterman's trousers. Was that a trace of blood on the bottoms? “We have been in pursuit of a suspect and have reason to believe he's headed this way. He may already be in the grounds.” He took a moment to look around the stable yard for emphasis. “Perhaps even inside the house.”