Surgeon to the Bowfin: Third Wake
Surgeon to the Bowfin
‘I am a respectable woman. Inspector, I still feel
myself at sixes and sevens. I believe I took the greater
‘Now, madam. I hope you’ve thought of it—
The assailant could well have cast aside those letters.’
She tells him she accepts it may be fancy. Yes, there
are Good Samaritans in the world. It is only in her heart
she feels his hand must be—
‘But…why do I say he? I’ve told you though,
the assailant…as you put it…’ She sips her tea
‘Was rather queer. I swear I know it, sir…he looked them over.
Then posted them for spite.’
Inspector Samuels sighs. She’ll say her piece twice more.
So he expects. Respectable madam leaves her train.
She is in a temper.
‘Yes, the usual incompetence. Making some delay.’
And finds herself sister to a low, dishonoured jade.
He has in mind a figure…a man he might name Wake.
But as the superintendent has already put a second P.C. on,
he’ll hold off speaking to the neighbours. Samuels
distrusts the public taste, for making pickpocketing
Turn murder. Keep the poor blighter safe.
I couldn’t keep the fellow from sidling up
He’d taken lodgings in my house, this Howitt
Surgeon to the Bowfin, she
Having her barnacles scraped in dry dock
‘I’ve been three times round the world, Wake.
I can tell you a thing or two. There are islands in the Indies…
I mean the Dutch Indies…where it’s nothing to see a chap
Tog himself out in skirts. Very true
that travel makes one see men as they are.
You’ll consider me a confidante, I hope.’
(2017, Stephanie Foster)