Arnold Pratt is my new hero (sort of) and features in my latest novel. I caught him as he was resting between dodging two police forces and MI5, all of whom want him with a vengeance.
"Hello, Arnold. You look a bit harried."
"You'd look harried, too if you was being chased by the law and the secret service. Especially if you haven't done anything wrong. But they aren't going to get me. I've got a plan."
"Well if you haven't done anything wrong, then why don't you just hand yourself in?" It seemed a logical question but somehow seemed to make him even angrier, although it was really hard to tell as what I could see of his face in the gloom was covered in mud, blood and something smelling of cow poo. I tried to steer the conversation away from anything that might involve me and by extension send me in prison.
"Did you ever think about changing your name?" I backed away at his scowl.
"Why? And before you tell me, A pratt isn't a pregnant goldfish. Goldfish are lizards and lay eggs." It was obviously something he'd been teased about before. I flinched as the ripe smell of something dead wafted from his coat. I didn't really know how to go on. He doesn't seem like a master criminal - slightly bonkers perhaps - but not actually bad. At the sound of a distant passing police car he scurried back into the bush where I'd found him. "I'm going to get them all for this. I've got friends. Friends who owe me favours. You watch; they'll rue the day they picked on me.
With that he was gone, shambling over the field at the outskirts of the village in which he lived; or used to live. Judging from the suspicious bulge in his coat, I didn't want to be around when he invoked his master plan. He was already wanted for double murder and perhaps espionage. God help the police force and MI5; they'd picked on the wrong man.