Albert lay on the sofa and realised that he had stopped breathing. The porch door closed again. Albert had just decided that it might be a good idea to start breathing when he heard footsteps going around the side of the house towards the back gate that led into the garden. Sure enough, there was the sound of the gate scraping on the path because the bottom hinge had come loose. Whoever this mysterious visitor was, he wasn’t going to go away.
Albert got up and approached the rear of the house. He kept close to the walls and crouched like a very stealthy burglar in the hope that he wouldn’t be seen. When he reached the back window that gave a view onto the garden, Albert hung back. The intruder was wearing a brown sweatshirt with a hood that made him look rather like a monk. He was solidly built in jeans and steel-toe capped boots. The man stood very still, like a statue, and calmly appraised the garden.
It was impossible to see his face but breath came from his mouth and floated on the air like cigarette smoke.
Lord knows what he made of the garden.