He quickened his pace and come to realise the rain was getting heavier by the minute. Every step he took become a little more treacherous than the last, the shiny cobbles underfoot becoming unbelievably slippery and all the harder to negotiate.
Negotiate he must and continue onward for he would meet Dr Gray before the clock at St Giles woulds strike nine. He would continue at pace through the old town, passing through Fleshmarket Close, on towards the High Street and moving toward Old Fishmarket Close but, no so near as his stomach would churn at the rancid, wretched smell from all those rotting fish carcass disposed by Maggie Dickson and her cronies a few short hours before.
Onward he walked and good time he was making, checking his pocket watch and hurriedly putting it back where he had carefully stored it, avoiding the ever worsening downpour. With his attention firmly focussed on remaining upright, not making a complete fool of himself and sliding back down the Royal Mile at pace like a circus buffoon or clown, he failed to notice the footsteps behind him.
Indeed, he failed to notice the whispering voices and the sound of a horse and cart further down the High Street was completely lost on him. Until he stopped, stepping carefully around a large hole in the cobbles and stopping long enough to hear; the voices, the footsteps, the horse and cart and the blood curling scream that come from the very vaults of hell itself; “he’s spotted us”.
He daren’t turn around yet he must know his fate. He must face those who would mean him harm. He must know their reasons. He must, yet he could not. He looked ahead and the crown spire of St Giles was in sight, the clock proclaiming just a few minutes to nine. He would make it beyond the Tron Kirk, on to the cathedral and meet Dr Gray. He would survive to tell this tale. The footsteps got closer as he quickened his pace with gusto and resolve….