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Burgess plonked his briefcase on the coffee table, sloughed off his coat and jacket and began to prattle.
“Odd thing, bumping into you twice so soon. I don’t seem to run into you in any of my clubs. Although I suppose you’re not a clubbable sort of person. Of course your father was. And I’m pretty sure I first met him in one club or another. I forget which. The Reform, Brookes, the Garrick? Come to think of it, it probably was the Garrick. He was a member, wasn’t he? An awfully good choice now I come to think about it. After all, it’s the actors’ club. Unlikely to be full of fellow-hacks. And I suppose what anyone wants from their club is a haven. Perhaps even an escape. Did he ever put you up for membership? But I suppose policeman aren’t really clubbable, are they?”
Troy hit him in the sternum. More of a tap than blow. Just enough to send Burgess backwards into the sofa.
“How quickly you catch on.”
“Bloody hell,” said Burgess. “I mean, bloody hell.”
“Stop pretending, Guy.”
“Stop pretending what?’
Troy picked up the briefcase. Yanked on one of the many pieces of string holding it together and scattered a dozen sheafs of paper across the table. White, buff and red covers. Every one of them stamped ‘Secret’ or ‘Top Secret.’
“In case you’ve forgotten, Guy. A red cover means ‘Do Not Remove From Office’. You didn’t knock your briefcase over accidentally. I know you can be a clumsy fucker, but after one drink? Guy, whisky is to you as mother’s milk is to a baby. It’s the stuff of life. There’s nothing you can do sober that you can’t do pissed. You knocked it over just to be certain you had my attention.”