That evening Simmonds and Piccolo dined at the hotel. It had become their second home. They were both tired of being there but it was convenient. Nevertheless they had decided to spend the upcoming weekend back in Welby.
‘I think I have a new lead’ said Simmonds.
‘Oh yes?’ asked Piccolo ‘Do tell’.
‘Someone with the initials M.C.’. Simmonds went on to explain about the book in the bedroom. ‘I’ll have to do some digging around to find out who it is’.
‘Mortimer Catchpole’ said Piccolo much to Simmonds’ astonishment. She’d put two and two together while listening to the tale of Margaret’s room. ‘I’ve met him’ she added, relieved now that it was no secret.
‘You’ve met him?’ said Simmonds in semi exclamation. ‘How? Where?’.
‘His name came up in conversation – when you were at Headquarters. He sounded intriguing so I visited his bookshop, it’s just a few streets away’. She tried to be as matter of fact as possible. The bookish connection convinced Simmonds that this was his man.
‘On your own? That could have been very dangerous’ Simmonds rebuked, though he should have known better as he well knew Piccolo could look after herself and hardly required a chaperone. ‘So how was he?’ he asked, regaining his composure.
‘Charming, urbane, and with a proclivity towards the Occult which has aroused much suspicion’ Piccolo expounded.
‘… and?’ said Simmonds.
‘… and?’ Piccolo mirrored quizzically.
‘There’s an ‘and’, I can sense it in your tone’ said Simmonds. He knew her too well.
‘Let’s just say he has a background’ said Piccolo. ‘One you may wish to enquire into’. She continued with her soup.