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‘Aw well, you see, I don’t play meself, Mr Connor, so I wouldn’t know.’

‘There’s other places, Joe.’

‘But you’ve got to be known, Mr Connor, an’ . . . an’ it’s me livelihood you know https://www.onlinecasinosvizzera.com/casino-software/.’

‘You could do it, Joe.’

And so the conversation went on, flattery pressing against caution; but by the time they parted caution had won.

‘I’m sorry, Mr Connor, but . . . but I’ll let you know. I’ll take a walk around your office as soon as I can manage anything for you. That’s a promise; it is.’

Rory nodded, and as he stood and watched the small shambling figure hurry away and disappear around the bottom of the street he repeated bitterly, ‘That’s a promise.’ Then he asked himself the question, ‘Where’s he off to, rigged out like that?’ He wouldn’t need to dress up to go round his usual haunts. He was going some place special?

As if he had been pushed from behind he sprang forward, but when he came out into the main street he slowed to a walk. Little Joe was well ahead, but he kept him in sight until he turned into Fowler Street.

There he was impeded in his walking by a number of people who had stepped hastily up on to the pavement from the road to allow a private coach and a dray-cart to pass each other. There were angry shouts and strong language among those who had their clothes bespattered with mud, and as he didn’t want his own mucked up, he kept as near as he could to the wall, and because of the press he was only just in time to see little Joe turn off into Ogle Terrace.

Ogle Terrace, apart from Westoe, was in the best end of the town. Who was he going to see up there? On the small figure hurried until at the top of Plynlimmon Way he disappeared from view.

Rory, now about to set off at a run towards the end of the terrace, was impeded for a second time by a party of ladies coming through an iron gateway and making for a carriage standing at the kerb.

When he eventually reached the top corner of Plynlimmon Way there was no sight of little Joe.

He stood breathing deeply, working things out. Joe wouldn’t have had access to a front door, not around here he wouldn’t, yet it was into one of these houses he had disappeared. So the place to wait was the back lane.

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