Chapter 19

The Village Inn was a rather strange name for an Edinburgh city centre pub. With its population of four-and-a-half million, Edinburgh obviously wasn’t a village, and the “inn” itself wasn’t an inn in the proper sense, as there wasn’t any accommodation on offer. Nonetheless, it was handy for the station, they served a good pint and the grub was pretty damn excellent. They certainly didn’t fuck about with side salads that no-one ever eats. Inspector Pigshit liked the Village Inn a lot. It wasn’t one of those grim, depressing pubs where old men go to sip beer, fart and read the Sun, and neither was it one of those loudy, trendy places full of students, tourists and Festival-goers.

Pigshit and Morrison met Steve on the way in. The place wasn’t too busy, just a few lunchtime drinkers and one table with a bunch of people talking and laughing. Pigshit recognised the guy with the lush blonde hair and the shiny white teeth. John fucking Rebus. Him and his coterie of hangers-on.

“Yo, Pigshit!” shouted Rebus, giving a big smile and a cheery wave.

“Twat,” muttered Pigshit. He looked around for a decent table. He froze momentarily, and nodded towards the jukebox.

“What’s that shite?”

Morrison and Steve took a moment to listen.

“Noah and the Whale?” suggested Morrison.

“No, it’s that other lot,” said Steve. “Mumford & Sons.”

“Bunch of fucking buskers,” said Pigshit. He knew it would have been Rebus who put that on.

Suddenly, the music cut out. Pigshit looked over towards the bar. The barmaid, Jill Harvey, smiled back at Pigshit.

“Oh dear,” she said to no-one in particular. “Looks like the circuit tripped again. Sorry, folks.”

Pigshit knew there was a switch behind the bar that turned off power to the jukebox. He had always admired and respected Jill. She had no time for phoneys and bullshitters and she was, unquestionably, one of the smartest people he knew.

“Get the drinks in, Steve,” said Pigshit.

“I’m away for a slash,” said Morrison, heading for the gents.

Pigshit sat down at table and picked up a menu. He considered the scampi and chips, but no: he definitely wanted a ploughman’s. It was going to be a rough afternoon.

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