If that couldn't do for the Silencer, I don't know what could.'Reacher Gilt asked for me,' said Gryle. It was more a breath than a voice.
The clan of Igors had had any tendency to shuddering bred out of it generations ago, which was just as well. Igor felt uneasy in the presence of Gryle and his kind.
\"The marthter ith ekthpecting--\" he began.
But there was no one there.
It wasn't magic, and Gryle wasn't a vampire. ...It was just that there was nothing spare about him--spare flesh, spare time, or spare words. It was impossible to imagine Gryle collecting pins, or savouring wine or even throwing up after a bad pork pie. The picture of him cleaning his teeth completely failed to form in the mind. He gave the impression of restraining himself, with difficulty, from killing you.
...In his study, Reacher Gilt poured himself a small brandy. ...\"And for yourself?\" said Gilt.
\"Water,\" said Gryle.
\"I expect you know what this is about?\"
... \"You know about the Post Office.\"
\"How, may I ask?\"
\"There is talk.\"
Gilt accepted that. Mr Gryle had a special talent, and if that came as a package with funny little ways then so be it. Besides, he was trustworthy; a man without middle grounds. He'd never blackmail you, because such an attempt would be the first move in a game that would almost certainly end in death for somebody; if Mr Gryle found himself in such a situation he'd kill right now, without further thought, in order to save time, and assumed that anyone else would, too. Presumably he was insane, by the usual human standards, but it was hard to tell; the phrase \"differently normal\" might do instead. ... He'd been a real find.
\"And you have discovered nothing about Mr Lipwig?\"
\"No. Father dead. Mother dead. Raised by grandfather. Sent away to school. Bullied. Ran away. Vanished,\" said the tall figure.
\"Hmm. I wonder where he's been all this time? Or who he has been?\"
Gryle didn't waste breath on rhetorical questions.
\"He is...a nuisance.\"
\"Understood.\" And that was the charm. Gryle did understand. He seldom needed an order, you just had to state the problem. The fact that it was Gryle you were stating it to went a long way towards ensuring what the solution was likely to be.
\"The Post Office building is old and full of paper. Very dry paper,\" said Gilt. \"It would be regrettable if the fine old place caught fire.\"
\"Understood.\" And that was another thing about Gryle. He really did not talk much. He especially did not talk about old times, and all the other little solutions he'd provided for Gilt over the years.
\"Require one thousand, three hundred dollars,\" he said.
\"Of course,\" said Gilt.
... \"Description,\" said Gryle.
\"No one seems to remember what he looks like,\" said Gilt, \"but he always wears a big golden hat, and he has an apartment in the building.\"
For a moment something flickered about Gryle's thin lips. It was a smile panicking at finding itself in such an unfamiliar place.
... Gryle stood up. \"I will do this tonight,\" he said.
\"Good man. Or, rather--\"