“Elgie I’ve got two more for you!”, Detective Dalloway exclaimed as she burst through the office door excitedly. “ ‘Opening up a can of worms’ and even better ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’. What do you make of that!?”
“Wonderful. Whatever do they mean? Where did you hear them?”
“It was Mr Bladon. He’s a man in a hole in the road, which he’s digging. It’s something to do with a huge pipe down there that shouldn’t be there. He’s fixing one that is, but his boss wants him to find out what the other one is for.
“Evidently it’s something animals use in some way then, ranging from worms to dogs.”
“Perhaps it’s a secret tunnel under the city?”
“No, if there was a secret dog tunnel I’d have heard of it through my network of contacts”.
Deirdre doubted this, although she didn’t say so. Elgie’s ‘network’ consisted of
1/ Percy, a mendacious pug who spent all day staring out of the window next door or chasing bicycles. His imagination was, if anything, even more fertile than Elgie’s and he hadn’t yet provided any reliable intelligence.
2/ Gruff – who lived on a barge which worked up and down the London canals all day. Because of this, Gruff knew other dogs all over town. Elgie had asked him to put the word about in relation to several cases, but Gruff always forgot and played cards and drank whiskey with his contacts instead. (Deidre didn’t know yet, but Elgie was regularly losing money to Gruff).
3/ And Lulu, a black poodle who lived at the flower shop Deirdre liked to visit. Elgie had a big crush on Lulu, and whilst Lulu was very clever, Elgie had singularly failed to ask her questions of any use to them. (“Truth be told”, he had explained to Deidre, “I’ve only ever asked her what her favourite flower is”).
“Gruff will be of most use, I expect. Can you ask him?”
“Er, yes….I have to go and see him anyway”.