When the Cromwell Street* sub-Post office closed it was as sudden as a memo. Alfred Peacock and his wife Maureen were left, after twenty-seven years of serving the one hundred and forty odd** residents who preferred not to use the main post office in town, without so much as accrued holiday pay*** or pension.
"I thought I'd be working there my whole life," Alfred told the tall, black gentleman who bought him a pint of Mild in the 'Lion and Unicorn' on Wingate Road. "I never made a plan for retirement."
"There's always time for that," said the gentleman, draining his mojito.**** "I sell them myself, in fact, on a 'money for old soul' basis." He laughed.
Alfred laughed with him. "You're the most honest investment banker I've ever met," he said.
Jasfoup smiled. "Honest is my middle name," he lied.
*A different Cromwell Street. There were no patios.
**some of them, like Mrs. Harris who still dressed like a prostitute at the grand age of 74, very odd indeed.
***Twenty-six years worth. The year after they married and opened the shop they bought a dog and never went away again. The shop was only ever shut on Weekends and bank Holidays, Wednesday afternoons and alternate Tuesdays.
****despite them not being served at the establishment.
Image: The Cromwell Street Murders: The Detective's Story