‘Oh. Oh, it’s you, Mr Connor?’
‘Aye, Joe. I wanted a word with you.’
‘Oh well, Mr Connor, I’m off on a message you see.’ He brought his two unusually long and fine-shaped hands in a sweeping movement down the front of his short coat, and Rory, nodding, smiled and said, ‘Aye, you’ve got your best toggery on, must be some special message www.onlinecasinosvizzera.com/software/microgaming/.’
He had never before seen little Joe dressed like this. He had never imagined he had any other clothes but the greasy little moleskin trousers and the old broadcloth coat he usually wore. Not that he couldn’t afford to buy a new suit because he must do pretty well on the side; besides being a bookie’s runner, little Joe could be called upon to negotiate odd jobs, very odd jobs, along the waterfront. Last year it was said he almost went along the line when two lasses went missing. They couldn’t prove anything against him for he was a wily little beggar. But the case recalled the outcry of a few years earlier when some lasses were shipped off. Afterwards of course this line of business had of necessity quietened down for a time, but nature being what it is a demand for young lasses, especially young white lasses, was always there, and so was Joe.
He said to him now, ‘I want you to get me in some place the night, Joe, like you promised. But no back-yard dos.’
‘Aw, it’ll take time, Mr Connor, an’ I told you.’ He came out into the lane now and pulled the door closed, and as he walked away Rory suited his steps to the shorter ones.
‘Now you can if you like, Joe. You said . . .’
‘I told you, Mr Connor, it takes time that kind of thing. And they’re on to us . . . coppers; they’re hot all round the place.’
‘You have ways and means, you know you have, Joe. An’ I’d make it worth your while, you know that.’
‘Oh, I know that, Mr Connor. You’re not tight when it comes to payin’ up. Oh, I know that. And if I could, I would . . . There’s Riley’s.’
‘I don’t like that lot, I told you last time.’
‘Well, I’ll admit it, they’re a bit rough.’