Am I under arrest, or not

Another Wednesday, another flash fiction. Enjoy the story!

I watched Inspector Wittkower ignore the throng, offkey sirens, and acrid stench of a train burning. No. Fairness demanded noting a train wasn’t burning. A lone engine belched smoke not steam. A small one. Hardly worth fussing.

Still Wittkower ignored all and the responders parted about him and the lady he spoke with. Her genteel clothes didn’t belong here. Jacket, bustle, skirts. All screamed breeding. This was a place of poverty.

She was trouble best avoided.

I shifted the manacles binding my wrists. Kremnitzer design. Easy enough to slough, but my guards where erstwhile. Arrest was a bother.

“I still must protest.” Wittkower’s voice broke my concentration. He was paces away now.

“Protest as pleases you,” she said motioning to the men holding me. “Still you will release him to me.” I felt them stiffen until Wittkower nodded. They stepped away.

Wittkower pulled a key from his coat pocket handing it to her. “He’s your problem now.” Turning he marched away his men following.

I waited ten breaths before ridding myself of the manacles. “My thanks, lady,” I said. “I’ll be going now.” I turned and halted. Men standing there, no uniforms but they’d pistols trained on me.

“Or not,” she said behind me.

I turned and tried for a cocky smile and bowed. “And who is my benefactor from the stalks?”

“Not yet.” Her mouth twitched.

“To which part?” I asked.

She turned as arms grabbed me again. “That determination hasn’t been made yet.” Yes, she was trouble.

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