A stroll in Pall Mall
From a distance it was the stride you noticed first, the measured pace, not fast, not slow; regulated, uniform. A bowler hat perched at a rakish angle on his head, navy blue blazer, shirt, tie, neatly pressed trousers and black brogues polished to perfection. Neatly trimmed moustache covering his top lip. Umbrella tucked under left arm like a baton. Probably in his sixty’s, not muscular but clearly fit. Here is a man with a mission, with a purpose, confident in his own skin and master of his domain. As he marches down Pall Mall, he whistles a jaunty little ditty. Something patriotic no doubt. For this is Major General Cuthbert Robertson-Smythe and he has an important meeting this morning. A meeting which could change the world.
At the entrance to the boot makers of Messrs Everson and Worth, he pauses, looks left then right and finally gazes into the window display, ostensibly to checks his appearance, straightening his tie but in reality, using the reflection for rudimentary counter surveillance. When he is confident he is clear and has received sign from Peterson his watchman, he enters. Walks straight through the store, nods at the staff before exiting the rear delivery door and into a Mews. Left, then right and he finds himself in front of a graffiti covered black door. Raising the umbrella, he inserts the tip into an invisible little hole about a foot from the ground which appears designed for its purpose, there is an audible click as the door swings open, he steps inside.
“Good Evening R.S.” Says a meek and well-presented man in long tail coat, breaches and white powdered wig, bowing and taking his hat and Umbrella. “They’ve been waiting for your sir”.