It had been a busy couple of months for us. Even apart from all the administrative details and meetings, there had been several difficult mysteries to solve. The mysterious docking of the freighter Lorelei had just been explained, and before that we had dealt with the strange case of Jack's cousin from England, and the vampire murders.
This morning, I anticipated a quiet and possibly tedious visit to a school. Of course, I was wrong.
As we approached the school, I saw a familiar figure leaning against the fence, smoking a cigarette. "It's Pete!" Jan said (rather unnecessarily), and he waved casually as we approached him.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
He smiled. "I'm preparing to molest some schoolgirls. I've heard that they can often be found in the vicinity of schoolyards." He waved at greeting at me, then he looked around pointedly, in case some molestable schoolgirls might suddenly appear.
Jan laughed and lit a cigarette. "I did not mean to imply that you wouldn't have anything to contribute to education. Are you here teaching music?"
"No," he said, "they haven't added rock and roll to the curriculum yet, though I have suggested it." He dropped his cigarette and stubbed it out with his toe. "Come on, I'll show you why I'm here."
Pete was well-known around U-town. He was a musician, a popular local character, an expert on a variety of arcane subjects, a fairly small man with glasses and longish hair, but these descriptions don't cover his best known characteristic.
What was best known about Pete was that he lived with starling, the well-known (and apparently reformed, at least for the moment) lunatic murderer. She doesn't appear in this story, but it was difficult to see Pete and not think about her.
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