More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye by J. M. Gregson

Book: More Than Meets the Eye by J. M. Gregson Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. M. Gregson
Tags: Suspense
that, Mr Fraser. You went looking for violence. Maybe you began it yourself. The evidence is there for all to see. You took a dangerous and unlawful weapon with you. To whit, a steel knuckleduster of the most vicious sort.’
    Alex didn’t know that there were various types of knuckleduster, some apparently less vicious than others. It didn’t seem the moment to voice that thought. ‘It was just a last-minute precaution. When you’ve had nights out in the Gorbals, you tend to take precautions. You have to look after yourself up there.’ To his dismay, he heard the last statement emerge with a ring of pride, as if he was denigrating these southern softies.
    Grey-suit said grimly, ‘Yes, we know about your past history of violence. It will no doubt be taken into account when the judge is passing sentence.’
    Alex said desperately, ‘I shouldn’t have taken the knuckleduster. I realize that now.’
    â€˜Indeed you shouldn’t, Mr Fraser. There’s a man with a broken jaw and another with fractured ribs who will bear witness to that.’ The plain-clothes officer wasn’t sure yet how serious the injuries were in this affray. But he’d use the details to intimidate this young thug. No one was on oath yet.
    Alex couldn’t see a way out of this. Perhaps he should have demanded a brief from the start, but he’d hoped it wouldn’t come to that. ‘Look, we weren’t the guilty parties. We didn’t start it. All we did was enjoy a twenty-first birthday party in a private room. It was boisterous and noisy, but it didn’t cause any trouble. That came when we came out of the pub, when we were ready to go home after a good night. We had a taxi organized, Matt and Tom and me.’
    â€˜But by that time you were pissed and looking for a fight. And you found one for yourselves immediately, when you spotted a rival gang.’
    â€˜No! We weren’t meaning any harm to anyone, and then we found these buggers waiting for us as we came out of the pub.’
    â€˜And promptly set about them, rather than finding your taxi and departing.’
    â€˜We’d no choice. They were waiting for us in the street. They had us cut off. And not a bloody pig in sight to keep order and prevent violence.’
    For the first time, Alex saw the uniformed man smile in unison with grey-suit, and knew that he’d made a mistake. He said hopelessly, ‘I shouldn’t have taken the knuckleduster. I realize that. But we were the innocent parties in this. They set upon us. We had to defend ourselves.’
    Grey-suit smiled, registering his victory before moving forward. ‘What do you propose to tell us about your attempts to sell drugs, Mr Fraser?’
    â€˜Sell drugs? I’ve never dealt in my life. I’m not even a user, never mind—’
    â€˜You were found with a considerable quantity of class A drugs on your person. Are you now trying to suggest they were planted upon you?’
    For a wild moment, Alex was tempted to take up that suggestion, to claim that the filth must have slipped the stuff into his pocket as they flung him into the van or led him into the station. But he sensed that such lies would only infuriate them and make them throw everything they could at him in the way of charges. He said dully, ‘No, they weren’t planted.’
    â€˜So who’s your supplier?’ Grey-suit couldn’t disguise his eagerness.
    â€˜I don’t have one.’ He realized he couldn’t leave it at that. ‘Those drugs were passed to me. I was supposed to hand them on to someone else. No money changed hands.’
    Grey-suit looked at the uniformed man, then back into the pale, lightly freckled features beneath the fiery red hair. He sighed theatrically. ‘Surely you can do better than that, son. You wouldn’t even believe that yourself, if someone tried to sell it to you.’
    Alex had an uncomfortable suspicion

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