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The Adventure of the Venetian Pearls (part 16)

Chris edged still a little closer. "Can I touch it?" he asked.
"Sure," Daniel grinned.

Under Daniel's jeans Chris could feel the laces and the leather Daniel had talked about. It was like touching a walking boot covered with fabric. Chris pulled his hand back quickly.

"Cool!" he announced. "And you can really do everything?"

"My orthopaedist says he knows a young man with an artificial leg who does parachuting. But I don't go swimming very often. People stare at me when they see the prosthesis and even more so when I have to take it off to get into the water. I don't like that very much. When I'm dressed, I'm just like anybody else."

"Why didn't you tell those two boys?" Nicky asked. "It would have saved you a lot of trouble."

"Why should I? All I wanted was to read my book. You can't just go at people because they don't like the same things."

"Yeah," Chris said. "Why should you tell people that you're different if they'd never notice otherwise?"

"Are you as thirsty as me?" Nicky asked. "Let's go to the café and have a drink. Want to join us, Daniel?"


So they went back to the town centre. The café was situated next to the post office. At lunchtime it was popular with the tourists because of its Cornish Pasties and in the afternoon because of the cream teas served there. With a large, cool drink and a slice of cake in front of them, talking was easy. Chris and Nicky soon told their new friend about the encounter with the Nuzzolos, the mystery surrounding their sometimes biting collie and the Major.

"He says he works for an insurance company but that's hard to believe," Nicky explained. "I wouldn't be surprised if he had some job in the Home Office. He's just like I imagine one of James Bond's bosses. Isn't he, Chris?"

Post office and Café in Hugh Town