Cherylkay | 19th November 2014 02:56 (113 weeks ago)
"We've been reported," his friend said. "There's a man who...sorts things out. We'd better go straightaway though. He doesn't like to be kept waiting."
Mr. X took the ringing phone from his pocket and looked at the number. It was one he knew well. It was Mrs. Turner from the pub down the road. She was always hysterical and if there was one thing he hated, it was an hysterical woman.
"Hello, Mrs. Turner," he said. "How are you?"
"I rue the day I put those tables in," she replied. "They're nothing but trouble. I'm sending two lads to you; a couple of right hustlers they were, too."
"Calm down and start at the beginning," Mr. X said, sitting down in case he was in for a shock.
"I know the game," Mrs. Turner said. "Those boys thought I didn't know what they were up to. They waited until the other lads had had a couple pints and then asked for a game. I'm not sure who did the asking, but the other lads agreed. They acted all clumsy, like they didn't know how to play. Got 'em drinkin' and talkin', just like mates. That one lad, the blond one with the fancy shades, he knows his way around, there's no doubt of that. They took those lads for a hundred quid at least."
"Are you saying the boys conned those other guys?" Mr. X asked.
"That's exactly what I'd call it," she raved.
But Mr. X heard another voice in the background, arguing. And he knew that voice well. He knew the lad had a history of stealing, but he never had him figured as a pool hustler.
"You shut it!" Mrs. Turner said to the boy who was arguing. "And get going!"
"Mrs. Turner, pool hustling is a bit outside of what I normally deal with," Mr. X told her.
"Well, those other lads were spoilin' for a fight," she said. "There was nearly a riot. I had to talk fast to get those lads to leave in peace. Who would've paid for the damages?I told 'em go see Mr. X or I call the police. This is a respectable place, I'll have you know."
"Right, Mrs. Turner," Mr. X said, "I'll take care of it."
"I'm sending double your usual fee on account of there's two of 'em," she said. "You wanna watch that other one as well. He's got a nasty gob on him and he likes to argue. You tell those lads they're never to set foot in here again."
"It'll be alright," Mr. X assured her. "I'll give you a ring to let you know they've gone through with it."
"What if they don't" she asked.
"They will," he replied. "In all the years I've been doing this I've never seen one lad take the alternative."
"Oh well, cheers then," she said and hung up.
Pub fights. Why was it always pub fights with these lads? He had to admire Mrs. Turner's pluck. Not many women would have been able to talk two guys who'd just been cheated out of a hundred pounds out of taking it out on the perpetrators. He put on his mask and waited for the knock on his door.