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The Adventure of the Venetian pearls (part 20)

Because of the slippery floor-mats, Daniel put one of the wooden deckchairs close to the pool edge. His flesh-coloured artificial leg with the leather sleeve at the top made him look like an android.

Apparently without the slightest inhibitions, as if it were only a shoe, he took it off, put it on the chair, sat on the edge and let himself glide into the water. There was nothing disgusting about Daniel's leg. It simply ended a few inches below the knee and there were some scars. Nicky and Chris remembered the sharp metal of the car floor.

Daniel was a good swimmer and Chris had a hard job beating him when they raced each other. Nicky was sitting on the edge watching them. She had long before given up the competition as a bad job.

Two figures walking past the glasshouse suddenly caught Nicky's attention. She got up and wiped the steam off the pane with her arm.

"Hey, boys, the Nuzzolos have just been walking past," she called out.

"Ah, yes. I forgot to tell you." Daniel heaved himself out of the water. "I saw them yesterday in the dining room. I think they're staying in one of the castle rooms. They gave the waiter a hard time because something seemed to be wrong with the wine."

Nicky was still watching them through the small patch of wiped glass.

"I don't believe it!" she exclaimed. "Mr Stevenson has just met them and they're talking together."

"Let me see," Chris said and clambered out of the pool.

"Now they're leaving together. Too bad! I can't see them anymore."

"I wonder what they were talking about," Chris said, peering through the glass.

Daniel shrugged his shoulders and glided back into the water. "Perhaps they're discussing the use of poop scoops."

The others laughed and joined their friend.
(To be continued)