Join date: Jun 12, 2022


When Rory went into the cellar that same evening he had eight pounds in his pocket.

The Pittie brothers were already at the table, but the two men partnering them were unknown to Rory until he realized that one of them was the third Pittie brother. He was a man almost a head taller than the other two. His nose was flattened and looked boneless This was the one who was good with his fists, so he had heard, but by the look of him he wasn’t all that good for his face looked like a battered pluck. The fourth man looked not much bigger than little Joe and he had a foxy look, but he was well put on. His suit, made of some kind of tweed, looked quite fancy, as did his pearl-buttoned waistcoat. During the course of conversation later in the evening he discovered that he was from across the water in North Shields and was manager of a blacking factory.

Rory kicked his heels for almost an hour before he got set-in at the table, for after the game they spent quite some time drinking beer and eating meat sandwiches. Although he always stood his share in buying the beer he drank little of it and tonight less than usual, for he wanted to keep his wits about him. Some part of him was worried at the presence of the third Pittie brother, it was creating a small niggling fear at the back of his mind.

The big Pittie was dealer. He shuffled the cards in a slow ponderous way until Rory wanted to say, ‘Get on with it’; then of a sudden he spoke. ‘You aimin’ to buy old Kilpatrick’s yard I hear?’

Rory was startled, and he must have shown it for the big fellow jerked his chin upwards as he said, ‘Oh, you can’t keep nowt secret on the waterfront; there’s more than scum comes in on the tide . . . Your young ’un works at Baker’s, don’t he?’



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