The door opened. Silence descended. This time the sergeant had a little old lady with him. Hat and glasses, clutching a near empty Tesco plastic bag to her chest. Hesitantly, with a gentle nudge from the sergeant, she approached the line of men.
One by one she walked by them, hardly giving them a glance until she reached the suspect. He smiled warmly at her Bob noticed from the corner of his eye. After what must have been twenty seconds she resumed her walk, her disinterested scrutiny.
‘No,’ she announced when she had reached the end. ‘He’s not here.’ The sergeant gave a disappointed shake of his head and offered his arm to the lady to lead her out.
‘Whew,’ the suspect said theatricality. ‘That was a close one.’ He gave Bob a wink, ‘I really thought she was going to pick you out,’ he stage whispered. An officer arrived shortly to handcuff him and take him away. ‘Thanks for all your help lads,’ he shouted as he was departing.
The men were paid for their services to justice. A collection box was pointed out. Police Benevolent Fund.
Bob decided have a drink on the Met.