There was something about wearing a suit that Blaise loved. It didn’t matter that everyone owned one, that most men wore aspects of a suit no matter what time of the day, there was just something about them.
He wondered whether it was the soft feel of the wool, or the slightly rougher feel of the tweed. He was particularly fond of tweed.
The tailor he used, Messrs Norton and Sons, travelled all the way up to Harris, in the Hebrides, to meet the crofters that made the material, to discuss the quality of the wool that year, to order the next batch of material and to talk about new weaves.
Unlike the new lounge suits that had rapidly started to replace the more formal frock coat, tweed could be worn pretty much anywhere, which was why it was such a popular choice for wearing on a shoot. It was also tougher than the usual woollen suit, so ideal for clambering through woods and stalking through heather.
He looked down at the suit he was wearing. It was a lovely shade of dark brown, a hand tailored piece of art. A Masterpiece in his opinion. Every measurement had been carefully taken and recorded in the tailor’s notebook. He smiled as he remembered the tailor had thought for a moment after writing them down and then said ‘You’ve lost two inches around the waist, but gained an inch on the forearms and half an inch on the neck.’
Blaise liked to keep trim. It was important for his job that he remained in tip top condition, and his tailor’s notes were a clear sign that, despite the hardships and the rationing, he was doing a good job.
He had to wait nearly six months for the suit to be finished. Over sixty hours and eleven men had been invested in making it, as well a large sum of his hard-earned money. It was more that most people earned in two months, but it was worth every pound, shilling and pence.
Maybe that was it. The fact that so much time and effort had gone into making it. Even before the work had commenced there had been a considerable effort put into resourcing the materials. The wool from Wales, the cotton from overseas, eventhe chalk used to mark it out.
He tutted as he saw a speck of dust on the sleeve and flicked it away, taking the opportunity to smooth away a crease he saw. There was nothing worse than a creased suit. What was the point in wearing them if you weren’t going to look smart. The whole point of a suit was to look smart, to look powerful.
Was that why he liked them? The appearance of power? No. He didn’t need to appear powerful, the badge in his wallet made him powerful. The gun in his hand made him powerful. But it did help to look the part.
Whenever he worked undercover he always felt that, when he flashed the badge at the end of a case, people didn’t really believe that he was a servant of Her Imperial Majesty’s Government. That maybe he was just playacting at being a policemen, rather than pretending to be an enemy of the state.
He shrugged his shoulders, annoyed that he couldn’t put his finger on the reason. The jacket settled back down onto his shoulders like a soft suit of armour.
Was that it? Was it the way he felt as he slowly dressed in the morning? Slipping his mind into a mental suit as he slipped himself into his physical suit? The way the suit made him feel as though he was ready for anything?
No, that wasn’t it either. He decided to give up and return to the matter in hand.
‘Fuck it. Thomas Smith, you are charged with treason and resisting arrest.’
He looked down at the man kneeling in front of him, bruises covered his face, a clear sign of the of the fight he had put up. Like many he was a veteran, probably still on the reserve list, and he had put up a good fight. Blaise could still feel where Smith had stamped onto his shin.
Smith was dressed in a shabby suit, the edges of his cuffs frayed, the jacket sitting loosely on his shoulders, there was even a patch on his elbows. Shabby in the way he dresses and shabby in the way he ran his illegal business.
I just can’t be bothered to fill out anymore paperwork.
It took less than a second once the decision was made. There was a gasp of fear, a flash, a loud bang, and the Smith’s head snapped back as the bullet punched its way out of his head, spraying bone and brain matter over the wall behind. The body toppled backward, contorting like only the dead could, legs folded under the torso in a stretch Smith would never have even contemplated let alone tried when we was alive.
‘Right. Time for a drink, Thatcher. Thirsty?’ he looked over at his assistant.
‘Always sir, always.’ Thatcher answered with a smile. They left, chatting about inconsequential matters as the blood pool grew ever larger.