Gently Go Man

Gently Go Man by Alan Hunter Read Free Book Online

Book: Gently Go Man by Alan Hunter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alan Hunter
    ‘Yet he leaves the sticks at home,’ Gently said. ‘Why was that?’
    ‘Just his home supply,’ Setters said. ‘You can maybe buy them in Castlebridge.’
    ‘Did you find any at the crash?’ Gently asked.
    ‘No,’ Setters said. ‘But that proves nothing.’
    ‘You’d have thought they’d have had a spare one about them,’ Gently said.
    Setters rubbed his cheek. ‘The girl didn’t have any at home,’ he said. ‘When the medic told us we sent round, but we found nothing there. And it’s right, she ought to have had some. She had a case in her bag. It just wouldn’t be that chummie Elton whipped those reefers, you think?’
    ‘You’ve met him,’ Gently said.
    ‘Yeah,’ Setters said slowly. ‘Pass back. He isn’t the type. He’s next to human. He wouldn’t have gone through her bag.’
    ‘I’ll want to talk to her,’ Gently said. ‘Is there a chance of me doing it?’
    ‘I’ll ring the blood-house,’ Setters said. ‘But she hasn’t been conscious again since.’
    They parked at H.Q. and went through to Setters’ office. He rang the hospital. Betty Turner was still in a coma. Gently had spread out the reefers and the serviette on a sheet of paper on Setter’s desk. He sat looking at them while Setters phoned, pushing them about with the tip of a pen-holder.
    Setters hung up.
    ‘You’ll have heard,’ he said.
    Gently shrugged, put down the pen-holder.
    ‘What do we know about them?’ Setters asked.
    ‘They’re a common make,’ Gently said. ‘We’ve picked up scores of this type in Soho and points west.They’ve been a headache for some time. You’d better dust them and send them to Narcotics.’
    Setters nodded. ‘And the serviette?’
    ‘Dust that too,’ Gently said. ‘Then put a man on tracing its origin. He can start on the cafés in the Ford Road area.’
    ‘Yes,’ Setters said. ‘That’s probably where Lister got those sticks on the Tuesday morning. He wasn’t late home so it’d be in the tea-break, and he wouldn’t go far from the site for that.’
    ‘One other thing,’ Gently said. ‘Suppose you wanted to pull a jeebie. Where’s the most likely place to lay hands on one?’
    Setters thought about it. ‘Try the First and Last café,’ he said. ‘You’ll find it just out of town on the Norwich Road.’
    ‘Is it cool, man?’ Gently asked.
    ‘Bloody arctic,’ said Setters.
    ‘Like I may make the scene after a meal,’ Gently said.

    A T THE SUN Gently ordered a high tea and while he ate it read the evening paper. Two reporters had been waiting at H.Q. when he first arrived there and after the conference he had given them a short non-committal statement. He had been photographed. The photograph appeared on the front page. It showed him stooping to enter the Rover, on the whole a flattering shot. It was recognizable also. His waitress had recognized it. She now addressed him as Mr Gently and had a conversation about him with another waitress. The manager, who’d known about him all along, nodded to him with superior deference.
    Setters looked in again after tea with the results of the print-taking, but the prints on the reefers had been few and partial and those on the serviette were Lister’s. He’d sent out Ralphs with the serviette and expected a report from him during the evening. Ralphs had been on the case from the beginning: he was keen not to be dropped now.
    ‘Will you want me with you this evening?’ Setters had asked.
    Gently had grinned. ‘Am I likely to need you?’
    ‘Not in this town you shouldn’t,’ Setters had replied. ‘But you might not be popular where you are going.’
    He’d borrowed the paper and gone out looking at it. But only his arm had shown in the picture.
    At half-past seven Gently left, after studying a plan of Latchford which hung in the hotel hall. He drove up the High Street, turned right at the top, drove some distance through a residential street. The street ended abruptly. There was

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