The phone rang and Goon picked it up.
“Detective Sergeant Goon? This is Gwen from Superintendent Johns’ office. The Super would like to meet you at 11 today. Would you please come around to my office around by 10:55. The Super does not like to be kept waiting. Thanks”
Goon replaced the phone and shifted uneasily in his chair. It seemed rather large even for his rather large frame. The arms were padded and he liked that; the well-worn leather surfaces seemed opulent to the corpulent Detective Sergeant, Scotland Yard’s newest addition to its staff of detectives. In his first week in this new posting, Goon was still awed. Coming into work everyday, past the revolving sign, into this new world of high efficiency, he was acutely aware of his too-tight, new suit and his village constable boots.
So far, his week had been uneventful, taken up with orientation to his new office, procedural courses and introductions to colleagues, policies and the cafeteria.
At 10:55 he was standing in Gwen’s office, looking in surprise at the curly, blonde hair cut short around a pretty but slightly tired face. She looked up as he cleared his throat in embarrassment.
“Ah, Detective Sergeant Goon. Please wait, I’ll let the boss know you’re here.”
She picked up her phone, pressed a button and said “Superintendent? Sergeant Goon is here.”
She listened, looked at Goon, smiled and said into the phone “Yes, I’ll send him in.”
She replaced the receiver carefully, looked at Goon almost as if she was taking a quick rest. Goon again got the impression of fatigue. That fleeting impression was gone as she got up and walked to the the Super’s office door. He became even more conscious of his awkwardness at the thought of the authority and reputation of Superintendent Johns. He was going to meet one of the hardest detectives in Scotland Yard, the lady who had fearlessly broken through the male dominated organization, a battering ram of a policewoman.
Gwen opened the door and walked in with Goon behind her.
Gwen said, “Detective Sergeant Goon is here to see you as you requested, Superintendent.”
She walked out, shutting the door behind her. Goon felt slightly trapped. He wasn’t sure what to do so stood there irresolutely. The Superintendent was busy reading papers. As Goon watched she made notes in the margin with a strong and fluent air, set it aside and looked up.
“Why are you standing? Sit down, man!”
Goon pulled out a chair and sat down, knees together, hands on his knees, stiff and upright.
Superintendent Alicia Johns leaned back and appraised the figure of the acutely embarrassed figure of Detective Sergeant Theophilus Goon.
“You’re not a bit as I imagined you to be. Well, first of all welcome to Scotland Yard, I hope you’re settling in nicely?”
Goon managed a gruff, “Thank you, yes.”
“You did a good job there in Buckinghamshire, Goon. A pity about Jenks, a good man he was. He sent us a full report before he died and recommended that we had a good look at your performance on the Marlow Mangler case.”
Goon’s face flushed with pride. “Very kind of him. He was a good man.”
“Yes, he had his faults, but so do we all, don’t we? Anyway, let’s get to the point. I wanted to assign you your first new case. We’ve had a series of small incidents in this one neighbourhood. We’ve got this young Constable who has been investigating it and so far we’ve not got too much to work on. You’ll know this Constable, I’m sure, Trotteville, his name is. Fred Trotteville. I’m assigning him to you. I want you to meet Trotteville and lead him through the case.”
Goon, who had just begun to relax, was now rigid in his chair. “Young Frederick Trotteville? But, he’s a ”
Alicia Johns cut him off, “Yes, I heard that you and he did not quite get along, but he has been in charge so far and now you are. In charge of him and the case. Ask Gwen for access to the files and to set Trotteville in to a desk near you. Goon, get this case solved quickly, please. “
Goon stood up and said “Yes, Ma’am, sir…”
He shut the door behind and went to Gwen’s desk who looked up.
“I’ve already set up access to the files and Fred Trotteville will be moving in tomorrow to the desk on your right. You could say he’s going to be your right hand man”, she laughed.
Goon tried to laugh but could manage only a grimace. He walked away, his heart full. He sat down at his desk, staring into space. He turned to the computer at his desk and decided he may as well read the files and take his mind off the fact that that fat little monster who had so tormented him through his years in Peterswood was not going to be a distant memory but a continuous infliction, like a pimple that refused to go away.
He was busy trying to login on the computer when he heard a cheery voice “Mr Goon, what a pleasure to meet an old friend! How have you been?”
Goon looked up into the smiling face of a fit and bronzed young man in his late twenties. The face looked familiar, the body had lost all it’s fat and been replaced by a wiry toughness, but undoubtedly, it was the Trotteville boy.
“Oh, it’s you! It’s Sergeant Goon now, Constable! Let’s get that clear, right now.”
“Yes sir, Sarge!”
“Don’t call me Sarge”
“Yes, sir! But Detective Sergeant Goon is such a mouthful. With respect, sir”
The looked at each other, the one with a ghost of a smile and the other with a scowl.
“Now I know you’ve been working on this case here in, … what’s it called…”
“Ok, where are the files? Show me where you’ve put them.” Goon indicated the computer.
Trotteville pulled up a chair and turned the monitor so it was halfway between him him and Goon.