The identity cards had checked out. The two mystery men watching the apartment block were on the lookout for a group they suspected of claiming benefits under various names. Kay and Irwin had holstered their guns and taken up residence on the rear seat whilst they waited for the confirmation to come through.
“Well I don’t think anyone saw you waving your guns around.” the passenger, Paul, deadpanned. “We may still be able to carry on the watch.”
“What are you recording?” Kay asked.
“Comings and goings. It’s just about ascertaining who visits who could be worth further investigation.”
“Do you keep a log? People and vehicles in and out, that sort of thing.”
“That we do. Jim.”
Jim, the driver, was still brooding over a wet- and overheated if not burnt- crotch, so he wasn’t so talkative. He handed a notepad back to Kay.
There were three pages of notes. Starting at the end Kay found Gloria and then, up the page, Irwin and herself. She flipped to the second page and paused to tap a couple of likely notes- two vans, twenty minutes apart, which had parked in the side alley beside the apartments. The occupants of each vehicle had headed for the canal towpath and returned within ten minutes to put something into the rear of the vehicle then drive off.
Kay phoned the DI. “How’s it going on getting us some uniform?” she asked.
“We’ve got a couple of cars at our disposal, the chopper’s going to do a few circuits of the centre in case we need eyes in the sky and Armed Response are sitting in their Range Rover just waiting to play with guns. If we don’t get a result that can go on the clearup stats I’m going to owe some big favours. What have you got?”
“We’ve got a couple of number plates which might be worth running. Both white Transits.” Kay read the numbers off.
“Okay. Those should take five minutes at most. I’ll put out a call for them to be looked for but not stopped yet. I imagine we’ll want to angle weapons onto them just in case.”
“We’ll go and see if Gloria’s turned anything up.”
“Gloria eh? Say hello to her from me.”
“No sir, I won’t. You’re a married man.”
The Detective Inspector chuckled. “You exist to spoil my fun. Later.” He hung up.
Kay handed the notepad back. “Thanks for your help. And sorry about the guns, but this is that sort of case.” Irwin and she exited the car and walked back to the apartment building as inconspicuously as they could manage.
Other fiction by Ian Pattinson