July 16th 2006

I answered the front door. Pollitt was standing there, all surly. He looked me up and down. “Who are you?”

“Haven’t we got this the wrong pay someone to do essay way round,” I said. “Shouldn’t you be telling me who you are?”

“Wayne Pollitt,” he grunted, and cocked a thumb in the direction of his house. “From Number 36. Now who are you?”

“Atkins.” I cocked a thumb in the opposite direction. “From number 12.”

“Well where’s whosit, what’s-is-name, who lives hear?

“Mr Ravenscroft? He’s on holiday in Lanzarote. I’m looking after his house for him while I’ve got the Decorator’s in drinking tea and not Decorating my house.

“What? Oh. Only he was interested in taking our dog for a walk, he even bought it a collar and a lead, and now it’s gone missing, and I was thinking…..”

“Well Mr Ravenscroft is hardly likely to have broken his holiday in The Canneries to come all the way back to England to take your dog for a walk, is he?”

“Well I didn’t know he’d gone to Lanzarote.”

“Well he has. But if there’s anything I can do to help?”

“Well have you seen anything of it. Our dog?”

“Yes I shot it.”


“And berried it in the back garden in a shallow grave I dug in the lawn which I then planted a rose bush in so it looks like a flower bed.”

He looked at me gone out for about ten seconds. Then he gave a silly grin. “You’re having me on, aren’t you?”

“Well of course I’m having you on. If I’d shot somebody’s dog then berried it in the back garden in a shallow grave I dug in the lawn I’m hardly likely to tell the owner of the bloody dog, am I?”

“No. Course you aren’t. Right then. Just thought I’d ask.”

And off he went. “I’ll keep an eye out for it,” I called after him.


I went back into the living room content that whatever suspicions of what had happened to his dog Pollitt might have in the future they would not include it having been shot and berried in Razza’a garden.

“I thought it was women who were supposed to be Devious,” said the wife, who’d obviously overheard my conversation with Pollitt.

“Who do you think I learned it from, my sweet,” I replied.