The porter had suddenly turned chatty. Perhaps he was bored. More likely he was taking a measure of the new fellow.
‘So why St Andrews? If you don’t mind me asking. Must seem very dull here compared to Oxford.’
‘Oh, that’s fine by me’ I said ‘too many tourists in Oxford. Hard to get any work done.’
‘Plenty of tourists here as well,’ the porter corrected me, ‘at least in the summer.’
That was true, but the difference for me was hard to explain without self-incrimination or unhelpful vagueness. You could weed those numbers tourist numbers down a little, given the circumstances, but those same efforts employed in Oxford hardly made a dent. More certain methods were not my style.
‘Yes,’ I said finally, ‘but I am no fan of golf, so the tourists can have the links, and stay out of my way.’
The porter smiled. He thought that was a perfectly sensible plan.
(more fragments from the Oxford Noir series. This time, the equally obscure and forgetable Nails for St Andrew’s Cross).