The cook—a burly red-faced man—emerged from along the hallway that led to the kitchen. Above his shoulder, on a brown tray, he carried a traditional full British breakfast of bacon, sausages, black pudding, hash browns, bubble and squeak, baked beans, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, scrambled eggs and coffee. He placed the tray on an empty table, served the customer, then joined the others at the bar.
Pavel Sudoplatov scooped up some bacon and a section of scrambled egg on a slice of his toast and bit into it while listening to the men gathered at the bar. His attention settled on Jock Mahoney, the owner of the Ringwood Pub. Massive in everyway, it was obvious Jock had been a bare-knuckle boxer earlier in his life. His demeanor, companion to piercing and intelligent eyes, easily exercised control of the group.
“Your ‘boat,’ Jock,” chortled Quentin Hogg. He turned and alerted the others to take notice.
“What about me face?!” growled Jock, stepping behind the bar, still reading the front page of the paper.
“It looks like it’s been to the ‘deadly nevergreen’ and back, don’t it boys?”
Low muffled “ayes” and nods to the reference of “gallows” rumbled in unison from the patrons.
“Cheese it!” Jock bellowed, slamming down The Echo. The room went still. “Now that you’ve stopped your ‘cackle,’ get off your ‘bottle and glass’ and ga...