My gang of pickpockets is about to wallop its first victim, a man with unusually large pockets. As I think I may have mentioned before, if you've been listening, large pockets are good for novice pickpockets, because you can get in there and have a good old rummage about without being detected. There is a downside, of course. People with big pockets tend to keep a lot of rubbish in them. Sometimes you have to dig your way through layers of used tissues, boiled sweets, bus tickets, envelopes, cow bells, fully integrated goat milking systems, rolls of lino, dead mice and apple cores before you get to the shiny valuables and the cash.
Perhaps that was why Dodger was taking such a long time, because he seemed to be gone an awfully long time. I looked at my watch, but it didn't really tell me much because it wasn't there. One of my gang grinned up at me and handed it back. I congratulated him and cuffed him round the ear. According to my watch, the big hand was on the three and the little hand was on the fourteen. This still didn't tell me much, because I hadn't made a note of where the hands had been when Dodger had left.
I turned to Oliver and told him to go and find out what had happened. He left. We waited. We waited some more. The big hand was now on sixteen and two thirds. I turned to one of the other of the gang. I didn't know his name, we weren't that close, but I told him to go and find out what had happened to Oliver. Well, he disappeared as well, and in this fashion I worked my way through the whole gang until I was the only one left. That's when I felt a "thunk" on the back of my head, and everything went dark.