As usual Arthur’s breakfast spread was impressive, as if he was catering for a small B and B rather than himself and a single guest, there were several racks of toast each of a different type of bread, assorted bowls of marmalade and and jam, jars of cereal, a selection of fruit juices, a pot of tea and the unmistakable aroma of bacon and eggs drifted through from the kitchen. Arthur was sat at the head of the breakfast table working his way through the morning paper’s crossword muttering the clues under his breath. Liz took her seat and helped herself to some toast which she spread marmalade over liberally and poured herself a glass of fruit juice, “I see you have the prune juice out again. The old trouble appeared again…”
“It not appearing is the trouble,” replied Arthur, “but that is hardly talk of a breakfast table. Nor indeed any table.”
“That is true,” agreed Liz. She indicated the robe and nightdress she was wearing, “this is very nice and a good fit. It begs two questions, first up why do you have women’s nightmare in your guest rooms..”
“..incase I get female guests who stay overnight who call in the dead of night and ended up spending the night.” Answered Arthur, “also if I am on caretaker duty…”
“…and the second more worrying question is… these garments fit a little two well.”
“The ministry has your details on file and it seemed more likely you’d be the main female guest staying the night. So you can take solace that I am not sneaking around your wardrobe or measuring you up in your sleep.” Arthur looked up from his paper, “I guess you are wondering about the dog.”
“Was it in the paper’s then?” queried Liz. Arthur raised his eyebrows. “Of course not,” Liz deferred.
“The paper’s would have gone to press long before the incident, though the websites may have something on them. But..” he paused for dramatic effect and rose from his chair and proceeded to the coffee pot. “…the paper did provide me a little clue.” He poured two cups. “No doubt you will have come across the lost dog story online…”
Liz nodded, Arthur knew her well. “So no doubt there will be talks of the line being haunted by lunchtime.”
Arthur smiled, “I would imagine so, that after all was the intent…”
“Yes,” confirmed Arthur. “I some how doubt a ghost dog playing fetch with a stick in the park had the desired effect, so something else had to happen.”
“Ghost dog playing…” Liz was befuddled.
“It is very simple,” Arthur began. He was interrupted by the sound of the door, he made his apologies and disappeared out the room. A moment later he returned, demeanor more serious, he was quickly followed in by a small man with dark hair and deep-set features. Arthur called into the kitchen, “Mrs Dean, you’d better put on a third breakfast.” He turned to the little man and gestured a seat who took it and glanced at Liz, “don’t worry about her. She is a guest in my home and I assure you her security clearance is more than high enough for the situation.”
“We’re always on the job,” mused Liz wistfully. She studied the man, he looked vaguely familiar but she couldn’t place where.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” began the little man. “My name is Professor Ronald Hayes and I am a researcher at Lionsfield.”
“The chemical and biological testing centre?” asked Liz rhetorically.
Arthur and Hayes nodded in confirmation. “It would appear that we have a security leak.”