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xxx “No message from Commander Lowe yet, McNoodle?”
xxx “Nothing, sir. We lost him on the way back from Glasgow. CCTV picked them up dashing into GOMA to get out the rain.”
xxx “I guess somebody had to find a reason to go there eventually.”
xxx Nussbaum snickered at his own cynical wisecrack, but he was worried. Lowe was a loose cannon at the best of times. But now he was playing with fire, running round the streets of Glasgow with Paulina Kenvodski, the dangerous agent from the Welsh Marches.
xxx “Her ship sails from Rosyth tomorrow,” said the bored lassie with the laptop on her desk. “He has tae get her back to Embra in time for that, surely? And don’t say don’t call me Shirley, or I’ll feckin’ fetch ye wan.”
xxx “Relax, sister. But you’re right, her ship sails tomorrow afternoon and we’ve already arranged for agent Thompson to pick her up just after noon, disguised as a cab driver.”
xxx “That could mean trouble for Thompson!”


xxx “It’ll mean trouble for Lowe either way. If he doesn’t get his report in to Grieve-not Lake by midnight, his reader will be worried.”
xxx “You really think he has a reader, Ed?”
xxx “Nah — you’re probably right. Forget about it. He can do the blog tomorrow instead.”
xxx “But Chloë McNoodle had already shut down, folded away, bagged up and carried her laptop away to the nearest pub, before Nussbaum could finish his sentence.
xxx He shrugged, reached for his coat, and headed out after her.
xxx “Better remember the umbrella too,” he said with a grim smile. “No rain’s gonna force me into a cockamamie modern art gallery!”