She’d watched Sturgeon’s henchmen for ten minutes before working up the nerve to walk close enough to overhear their conversation. Her palms were slick with sweat as she reached into one of her pockets and pulled out a note she and her brother Hannibal had written last night.
The two street thugs kept chatting away as Dido made another pass. She waited until they were both looking in the same direction and one of her hands shot out like a striking snake. The folded note slipped halfway into one of their pockets.
Dido was so well practiced that he didn’t feel a thing. When he turned back and stuck his hand in his pocket, he did a double take.
“Nearly gave me a heart attack. This note just appeared in my pocket.”
“And you doubted the Ghost,” his friend said.
“Just a really smooth plant.”
“When’s the last time someone picked your pocket without you noticing?”
“That just means he’s practiced.”
“You’ll come up with any excuse to keep from admitting the truth.”
“Shut it. Let’s just see what he says.”
Sturgeon’s henchman furrowed his brow and squinted at the note. When he finally spoke, it was halting.
“Heard you have another job for me to make up for the last. No charge for this one. Put the details in the usual dead drop.”
Dido couldn’t help wincing at how bad he was at reading. But it seemed like they’d gotten the message. The other thug took a sealed letter out of his pocket.
“Here’s the boss’s note. I’m thinking maybe we should drop this off and then see if we can catch a glimpse of the Ghost.”
“I thought you were scared of him?”
“That doesn’t mean I want to pass up an opportunity like this.”
“Sturgeon said we leave the note and then get out of there.”
The other man gulped. His curiosity to see the Ghost might be greater than his fear, but apparently nothing was greater than his fear of Sturgeon. The two men got up from their booth. The crowd instinctively parted around them, giving the burly pair their space. Both pulled rounded, narrow brimmed hats over their heads and wrapped scarves around their noses and mouths before heading for the door.
Dido’s fingers itched. She got the feeling every time there was something nearby she wanted to steal and she was forced to wait. Hannibal had pointed out the mind meltingly obvious to her last night. This second job from Sturgeon could be a trap. Dido touched a second note in her pocket.
She needed to steal the details for the job and replace it with her own letter saying that she’d gotten it. And she needed to do all this before this pair reached the dead drop, and without them noticing. Dido watched the two thugs move towards the door, ready to follow. Then she looked past them, and saw Officer Scipio walking into the bar.