Behind the grand neo-Grecian fašade of the police
station on the corner of Queen Charlotte Street, busy
bobbies buzzed around, dealing with a multitude of
enquiries and misdemeanours.
that day the No.16 bus's big back brake-block broke
whilst it was careering down Constitution Street and
fifty thrifty folk were thronging the cop shop with
complaints and accusations.
the Leith police were very dismissive as they were
already providing shelter for six sick scenic sightseers
who had recently visited a thrift shop, and lost both
their theatre tickets and the volume of valuable licenses
and coupons for free theatrical frills and thrills.
of them, Sarah, was also sounding off about some inferior
garments she had recently purchased. Sarah saw a shot-silk
sash shop full of shot-silk sashes as the sunshine
shone on the side of the shot-silk sash shop.
a shame such a shapely sash should show such shabby
stitches,' she bemoaned. She also wanted to know what
time the wristwatch strap shop shut and which wristwatches
were Swiss wristwatches. After visiting Mrs.Smith's
Fish Sauce Shop she had also been informed that chop
shops stock chops and that Sam's shop stocks short
her other purchases were a box of biscuits, a batch
of mixed biscuits, six thick thistle sticks and a
proper, copper, coffee pot. She was truly rural and
the epitome of femininity.
of the other sightseers entertained the constables
with stories of how in his country thieves seize skis
and how he would listen to the local yokel yodel.
used to dream of a fictitious caretaker in a small
zoo who would fantasise about running a non-existent
animal house,' he said. 'Can you imagine an imaginary
menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary
sergeant was questioning another of the tourists:
'Is this your sister's sixth zither, sir?'
another was reprimanding a constable:
you tell that knife thrower she was allowed three
free throws? And why did you give Mr. Snipa's wife's
knife a swipe?'
one of the interview rooms, a suspect was being interrogated
over the theft of a roll of linoleum and a big black
the mists of cacophony, another chap was protesting
that he was being unfairly detained due to a case
of mistaken identity:
am not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's
mate. I was only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant
plucker's running late,' he complained.
one of the PCs was reporting to his senior officer
on the case of a drug baron named Washington who he
and a colleague had been keeping under surveillance:
we were walking, we were watching window washers wash
Washington's windows with warm washing water,' he
who washed Washington's white woolen underwear when
Washington's washer woman went west?' queried his
was either Kate, Washington's sister, or Ruby Rugby,
his lover who we suspect is pregnant, as Ruby Rugby's
brother bought and brought her back some rubber baby-buggy
bumpers. She stood on the balcony inexplicably mimicking
him hiccupping, and amicably welcoming him home.'
what about Esau?'
I saw Esau kissing Kate. I saw Esau, he saw me, and
she saw I saw Esau. So we had to call it all off.'
the racket raged on, outside, above the Water of Leith,
a crow flew over the river with a lump of raw liver,
while in Constitution Street, two lorries, one of
a crimson hue, another of yellow, whizzed by.
week: Strategy Tragedy