The small square that marked out North End was noisy and dirty. Scores of children rushed around hustling and playing in the street.
Jeeves turned the wooden token from the victim’s pocket over. Of course, the engraving of the flower was wisteria and it matched the flowers of a worker’s cottage nearby.
Jeeves knocked on the door and with a short explanation was allowed to enter. Several families lodged in the property and the room was stuffy and airless. Jeeves tactfully described the deceased and, once he was satisfied he had the correct man, broke the news as best he could to a tearful landlady.
“His name was Bartholomew Sear and he’d lodged here for 10 years. After all this time, I didn’t know him well, he kept his distance. Even so, if I’m truthful, I’d been worried. He’d been a little… troubled lately.”
“In what way?”
“He’d started going out every night. I don’t know where he was getting the money. Yesterday he fetched back from his work hours late, reeking of drink, injured. Had a real dent in the back of his head that had been stitched up. He said it was nothing. He wouldn’t even tell us where he’d been treated. I told him he should go to bed, sleep it off but he just changed his coat and went straight back out.”