Mr Hinds wrinkled his nose in distaste, then folded closed a little black notebook and placed it in the inside pocket of his trench-coat. Mr Pears was not a beast by any means, but seemed to engage in his work with some vivacity. At times Mr Hinds thought his colleague’s methods rather crude and messy, but when discourse failed and time was in short supply there was little doubt that such vulgarity, though regrettable, was the most expedient course of action (Mr Fraden’s train had arrived late).
Mr Pears never smiled, there was no manic grin or gnashing of teeth as he went about the business of beating the living shit out of people; nevertheless his eyes widened, his pupils contracted, and each blow was targeted with precision and the full force of Mr Pears’ considerable strength.
“Mr Fraden. George. May I call you George? This would go a lot easier if you would just tell me where I can find the boy, Edward Wickes.” Mr Hinds advised, interlocking the fingers of his leather-gloved hands behind his back as Mr Pears swung an uppercut into George’s stomach. Mr Pears gripped George by the lapel of his jacket and hauled him up.
Mr Hinds strolled slowly over to where Mr Pears held the man, dark blood oozing from his mouth as he coughed and wheezed in ragged gasps. “Well George? How about it? The boy, where is he?”
“I…don’t….I…” George whined, shaking his head feebly. “I don’t know any Wickes.”
“You’re an engineer aren’t you? The boy’s father, Eric Wickes, was rather infamous. You’ve never heard of him?”
George looked up at Mr Hinds, tears streaming down his swollen cheeks, then looked down and shook his head again. “No…no, I swear…”
Mr Hinds turned to walk away. “Then, thank you for your time.”
There was a muffled scream as Mr Pears landed the final blow.
“Mr Pears, we shall visit the gentlemen’s clubs frequented by engineers” said Mr Hinds as his colleague caught up.