Without his mobile, Peter Boo – or Pete Laddie, as he was getting used to being called – was thrown back on his memory, a device which had not stored telephone numbers for well over two decades; first he woke a battle-axe in Craigmillar, though he was convinced that the area code he had dialled was that of Eton Terrace, in the New Town, where he, Noushka, his wife, and their children, Athena (8) and Paris (6) live in a state of remarkable equanimity; he took potluck with the second attempt, hitting keys at random and was surprised when the ring-tone sounded familiar, but the voice was not – it was a velveteen fawn, seventy-year-old Cedric, in Roehampton – wherever that is – who, on hearing Pete's educated tone, took rather a definite fancy to him: "come over, do, sweetie, you'll not regret it, I can assure you of that, and wear your kilt, I've always kept a place for Kilties," and he disconnected quickly; the third one was much closer to home, for he recognised the voice of Dinah Dickin, his secretary and realised that his index finger must have accessed it's own muscle memory, but he was reluctant to discuss his family with Dinah, who had always made it clear that she had no interest in his wife, children, in-laws, out-laws or Noushka's second cousins thrice removed who were in the throes of a rather nasty divorce and won't to land, unannounced, on the Boo's threshold, either individually or in tandem and dominate the family home for weeks on end, disappearing just as abruptly and leaving behind too much food just bought, and a hefty bill from the nearby wine merchant: "It's me, Peter," he said, quietly, in case prying ears were pressed against the outside of the wall, "can you cancel all my appointments for the rest of the week? something came up unexpectedly," and he flushed when Dinah giggled, then continued: "someone tried to kill me, fired a bazooka but just missed, so I've gone undercover, lying low with elderly friends in Melrose," and he read out the number of his hiding-place, which was helpfully written on a label stuck to the handset: "don't give it to any of the Partners," he insisted, knowing them all to be as leaky as sieves, "just yourself, Monty," his Pupil, "and Jumbo," the Chief Clerk, who had served Percival Boo, Pete's father, and had a very soft spot for Noushka Boo and would almost certainly call her to pass on whatever form of the message Pete had just given her she had come to believe by the morning; he thanked Dinah too much and too effusively, but accepted that he had to keep her on-side, for she knew too much for him to risk antagonising her and, promising to call her in the morning with rather more information, he ended the call; a moment later the phone rang and Peter almost dropped it in surprise – he didn't recognise the caller's number, but did know the voice: "hellllll-lo Kiltie, I'm wearing a new sarong, but if it clashes with your tartan, I'll drop it like a shot. . . . ." at which point Pete killed the call and with admirable skill, fuelled by fear that Cedric might call again and reach Algie or, even worse, Aggie, managed to bar that number and, after listening carefully, he opened the front door a crack and took a few deep breaths of cool night-air, before closing and locking it and climbing back up to the twins.