Madge could not remember where or when she first got the idea of putting the names of the people who crossed her in the freezer. Not inclined to be superstitious, and if anything a bit of a sceptic, Madge always found great solace in this technological variant of voodooism, confident in the knowledge that no actual harm would come to her intended victims. Perhaps, she felt it was just the most appropriate thing to do in the country that did more than any other to promote the use of refrigeration.
For Mr Curran the freezer beckoned. The anger Madge felt dissipated as she opened the fridge door and very deliberately placed the business card with Mr Curran’s name on it inside the freezer compartment. She was totally unaware of the chilly fate this would precipitate for the Health Inspector, and when later told of what happened next, she would dismiss it as a coincidence and nothing more.
Backing out of the shop into the morning light, Mr Curran regained his confidence and composure, albeit momentarily. “This won’t be the last you’ll be hearing from me Mr Thomas.” The weasel whined, standing ankle deep in the slosh of freezer ice.
Dean advanced and Curran turned to make a graceful, if hasty, retreat. His feet, unable to find the traction necessary to transform a turn into a step, made a few quick, desperate, ineffectual movements before sliding forward, dropping their owner arse first into the melting sludge.
Dean laughed as the health inspector scrabbled to his knees and scrambled to his feet.
“You’re as bent as the rest of them!” Dean shouted after the weasel as he scurried off down the street.
“That’s the owner.” Ray Purvis said pointing to Dean. “They brought the shop off some Greeks five years back, and seem to have done pretty well out of it.”
Sitting next to Purvis in the back of the Rolls Royce, Elliott Price looked up. “He looks like a man who knows his own mind,” he said as Dean walked back into the shop. “Are you sure he’ll sell?”
“Of course, as always it’s just a question of the two p’s, price and pressure.” Purvis said with a laugh.
Elliott Price remained sombre and silent. While he was happy for the company he controlled to provide finance for the projects of Purvis Holdings, Price did not like to be troubled, or soiled, with the sort of details that he knew Purvis found fascinating.
“There are no problems Elliott, I swear.” Purvis said eagerly. “Everything is as sweet as a nut, the Town Hall’s on-side, and as far as the building inspector is concerned …”
As a look of distaste crossed his face, Elliott Price held up his hand to silence Purvis. “Just send me the figures Ray and I’ll see what I can do.”
The front door of the “New Age” shop next door to the deli swung open and the men in the Rolls parked opposite watched in silence as Sky Crystal stepped out onto the pavement. A tall attractive woman in her mid-twenties with long hair and flowing clothes, Sky looked every bit the rich girl hippie. Dressed in the clothes of the sixties, she had the style to seem somehow both forty years out of date and absolutely contemporary at the same time.
“That one shouldn’t be any problem,” Purvis finally said pointing to Sky. “She’s a bit away with the fairies… calls herself Sky Crystal!”
“I wouldn’t be so sure.” Elliott Price replied slowly, a slight smile crossing his face.
In the next episode, “A Convenient Death”, the odoriferous departure of the Major brings benefits for some.