By Peter Corris

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The dog retreated and I advanced a few steps, brushing away a branch of a shrub that had partly obscured my vision of the man. I could now see that he was tall, thin and straight, with brown skin and a frizz of white hair. I stopped short of the porch but put one foot up on it. ‘Hardy,’ he said. ‘Private detective. ’ Some time back I’d helped ex-fighter Jimmy Sunday straighten a few things out for Jacko Moody, who was then on his way to the national middleweight title. ‘I know Jimmy. ’ ‘Come in, then.

I’ve known a few West Indians here and there. Good people. I remember Julie, that’s the wife, saying that it was a good combination, West Indian and Koori. You know the Saunders family, Reg and them? Reg had a West Indian in the line, grandfather I think. And he was a captain in the army. First Koori officer. His kids’ve done well, too. My Julie was looking ahead ... See, Angie’s our only kid and Julie comes from this big family down Bingara way, on the south coast. She’s a Roberts, big mob of them down there.

Clinton asked me the same question and I gave him the same answer. ’ ‘Clinton said he’d destroy whoever was responsible and I believe him. ’ Carey shrugged. ‘Search me. Maybe he is. Maybe he had to go interstate or to New Zealand. Some of the stuff comes from over there. ’ ‘Wouldn’t you? Yeah, the time I had this talk with him he’d had a few, but he wasn’t cracking up. He was white-hot angry. I could’ve used that anger on the court and I was sorry I couldn’t tap into it. Bloody sorry. ’ He looked at me as if I’d asked him to spell cat.

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