“Are you sure?” Jasfoup pulled out a notebook of the sort police detectives used and carefully, with one hand still holding the mug of tea, flipped it open to a page filled with the dense squiggles of the Tongue of the Abyss. He wondered what it looked like to James, who obviously didn't have the sight. “On the evening of the twentieth of this month you were spotted in Chervil Circus with another man of similar build, sporting an identical mask and attempting to assault a conveyance of public transport.”
James laughed, a sort of hgn hgn hgn starting at the bridge of his nose and ending in two streams of green snot at the bottom. He reached for a piece of kitchen towl but Harold intercepted and handed him a piece of bread instead. James used it as a handkerchief without realising until he was already blowing, at which he glared at the Harold, Jasfoup and the world in general. “That was just Eddie and me scoring some dope.” He dropped the slice of bread into the bin and turned back. “We wore the masks because we didn't want to be recognised but the bloody bus driver wouldn't let us on the bus. We kicked his tyres, that's all.”
“Eddie Hislip, He lives four doors up at number seven.”
Harold raised an eyebrow. “Lucky number seven, eh?”
Jasfoup was less forgiving. “All? That cost the company four pounds in lost fares. You could have been depriving a driver of his livelihood because you didn't want to be recognised buying a restricted substance.”
“Yeah, well. I'm sorry, all right? Is there anything else?”
“I don't think so.” Jasfoup closed his notebook and handed James his mug. Harold hadn't even seen him finish it.
It was only when they were outside again that Harold noticed Devious was eating a slice of bread.