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The Adventure of the Venetian Pearls (part 17)

"Yeah, but I think you're on the wrong scent there," Chris answered with a mouth full of cake. "I've found out what he really does."
"You have?" Daniel asked, thrilled.

Chris lowered his voice. "He is a special agent with the UN." He savoured his listeners' astonishment for a moment then went on,
"Yes. He works for a unit called 'beach force' and is on a constant errand to protect the beaches of this world from dog sh..."

"Good afternoon, Mr Stevenson," Nicky interrupted in a loud voice.

In the heat of his tale and because he was sitting with his back to the door, Chris hadn't noticed the Major entering the café and coming their way. He mumbled a brief hello with a tomato-red face and heard his cousin say sweetly,

"We were just talking about you. Did you have a nice afternoon?"

"Yes, thank you. Ah, and I see you've made a new friend." The Major saw Daniel's book lying on the table and asked, "Do you want to become a pathologist, young man?"

"At the moment I'm more interested in chemical analyses," Daniel answered politely. "But I've still got a lot of time before I have to decide."

"True, true. Enjoy your youth while you can."

For good-bye the Major gave them one of his nods and retreated to a table at the back of the room.

Later in the street, Nicky, Chris and Daniel were discussing what to do the next day. The weather forecast was unclear. Not that this meant a lot; it was always difficult to make a prediction and the locals' opinion was usually more accurate than the official report. They decided to meet in the Chemist's-square close to the Quay at about a quarter to ten. That way, there would still be time to settle for a plan.

Suddenly a strange whistle that reminded of "Waltzing Matilda" interrupted their conversation.
(To be continued)