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Chapter 6

The Murder Bag

…'Right,' he said. 'Ground rules. No photographs. No touching, unless I say so for the purpose of demonstration. And absolutely nothing I say is for the record. Got it?'

'Got it, sergeant,' I said.

'Good. Then let's go.'

‘What was the name of the detective who founded the museum?’ Mallroy asked.

‘Inspector Neame, sir,’ Caine said. ‘In 1874. Do you want to have a wander round in here? There are plenty of blades.’

Mallroy was peering at what  looked like a pirate’s cutlass.

‘Please,’ he said. ‘You go ahead with DC Wolfie.’

I followed the curator through a doorway with no door.

‘I heard they might open this place up,’ I said, filling the silence.

He stopped to look at me sharply. ‘Open it up?’

‘To the public,’ I said. ‘To raise money.’

‘The public?’ he said with some distaste, as if it was the public who were largely responsible for the human misery on display in Room 101. ‘Who wants to open it up to the public?’

‘The council,’ I said, wishing I had kept my cakehole shut.

‘Over their dead bodies, ‘ said Sergeant Caine.

‘Don’t you mean -‘

‘I know whose bodies I mean,’ he said. Then he clapped his hands, his mood brightening as he gave me an evil grin. ‘Not one of those queasy types, are you? Let me know if you’re going to bring up your Weetabix.’

‘I’ve been here before,’ I said. ‘A Crime Academy visit.’

‘Ah, an expert. An old hand. Let’s see how much of an expert you are, sonny.’ He picked up a walking stick. ‘What does this look like?’

'A sword,' I guessed. 'A sword disguised as a walking stick.'…