Sunday 29 June 1863; thirty-one-past-six

If I was poisoned by one of Dave Gorman’s crew of motley market manipulators they will surely rue the day. Honed in the doorway of Miss Jordan’s bedchamber for much of the day, the cough is working overtime this evening as I make my way round to Bateman’s – released on bail and determined to ‘explain everything’ before half-time in tonight’s Euro ’63 decider. Whoever is responsible for the strange, occasionally lethal misdemeanors of the last few months is soon to encounter my deeply-throaty, intimidating hinting as I seek out the clues that will finally send them ‘darn’. And like a hunky punter in tight-fitting fluorescent coal sack on the prowl about Lion Lion, glancing at his bling-encrusted pigeon for a time check and hearing it’s only just gone midnight, I am keeping my options open. To persuade them from their Russian roulette and craps (two activities I’d have no problem combining, were I gambling man) I have given Gorman and his cohorts irresistible odds on a Spanish victory, but on condition they attend the soiree; DH, Sydney and Larry are also expected in spades. Should everyone show up we will already have a dangerously overcrowded balcony, eleven floors up, overlooking the city, yet my money is on an uninvited guest or two swinging by before the day is out.

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