“I-I’ve changed my mind—forgot me mum needs my help with break ‘n’ fastin,’ so I really got to go home now Juve”—began Frank.
“Oi, Stev’en. I got ‘ou new ‘erson. Lookie, he big, strong”—
A short, bearded man, closer to an elf than a man, moved out of the snowy shadows, and leered up at Frank. “We met yesterday,” he said, “’E worked all day for me.” Frank paled as the light-blue eyes met the dark orange, and remembered how long he had toiled for almost no money. He spun around to Juve, saying, “When’s that gang arriving, Juve?”
Juve was absolutely delighted.
“’Ollow me. Sorry St’evn. Me knickerbockers all twisted.” They backed out, and with Frank following Juve as quickly as he could, Steven wordlessly returning to the shadows. “We wait o’er here, where I was. Dey arrive when market and meat shop open. Dat shuld be in…in…four-four hours.”
“Four hours!” Frank exclaimed, rather irritated. He’d waited long enough for food already. “What should we do for four hours?”
“Sleep.” Juve said simply. “You’ll need your ‘nergy when ‘e nock o’er dat store.” He looked up, the meat store signs reflected in his eyes.
“I re-ay pan to you. You follow?” Juve looked imperiously at Frank.
“Yeh, okay. What’s the plan?”
Juve punched Frank on the side of the nose. “Not so ‘oud!” He whispered. “C’mere o’er here.” They moved into an alleyway adjacent to Steven’s, Frank even more outraged because of his now bleeding nose. “Righto. When they arrive, dey make a cuckadoo noise. Sound like a chicken. When we hear, we make bird sound. Dey move thru Ste’vens, and greet ‘im. Ask for shoe shine. Dey apologize for wastin’ ‘is time, and walk past him. Dey hop fence, we go thru pipe ‘er”—he pointed with his middle finger at a large underground pipe, and Frank noticed his index was missing. “And get out in second back alley. ‘Ou follow?”
“I-I kind of got it…” grumbled Frank, rubbing his nose with his shirt. “There better be a lot of money to justify that punch, though.”