Fingers inc.

His hands were nut brown and deeply lined; outdoor hands, prematurely aged by strong sun and salted wind. But not working hands; his cuticles and nails were so neatly kept that each shone like a polished coral coin, the pink stark against the dark of his skin.

Got to pick a pocket or two

“They ever make you read Dickens at that school of yours, Sonny? Oliver Twist? Sherlock Holmes?”

The use of Sonny was optimistic at best. They could both be teenagers, albeit at either end of the range. It would have been a strange life indeed for one to be the father of the other.

“He was a London man, Sonny, a real London man. Knew a thing or two about life, too, life for people like us. All those hundreds of years ago, but his London weren’t that different from ours.”

He sat back and took some time to relight the roll up that had been glued to his lower lip. Pleased as punch with a point well made. However well-rehearsed.