The deaf old lady did not hear the knock, but Coke did. His heart began to pound wildly. Whoever it was obviously knew there was someone inside because there was a light on and smoke coming from the chimney. He had to decide what to do, and quickly.
"There's someone at the door", he said loudly, but the old lady did not understand.
"There's someone at the door", he said again, this time even more loudly than before. She went out of the room and Coke quickly stepped back into the shadows of the front room. The old lady opened the front door. Coke could see her quite clearly, but nothing else. He listened carefully.
"Hello, Mrs Bentley. I'm from the village police station. The sergeant sent me. I've got something to tell you."
Then Coke saw the policeman very clearly. Coke looked around quickly. There was a poker lying in the fireplace. He almost went to get it and then stopped.
"No!" he thought "That's too dangerous. They already think I'm a spy. Whatever I have to do I can do just as well with my fists."
He stepped back and waited. The old lady and the policeman came through the door into the sitting-room. Coke was still behind the door, so the policeman could not see him.
"Good evening officer. Can I help you?" Coke said very loudly and clearly. The policeman turned around and looked at Coke. He was very surprised. Then Coke hit him as hard as he could in the stomach and he fell to the floor heavily. The old lady screamed. The policeman tried to get up, but fell back weakly. Coke ran out of the room.
The phone rang about five minutes later at the local police headquarters. Halls answered it.
"What? Coke? Where? When?" Baxter stood up as soon as he heard Coke's name. He quickly put his hat and coat on. Halls listened carefully to the voice on the other end and quickly made a few notes. Then he put the phone down and turned to Baxter.
"Well, we know where Coke is now. A policeman almost caught him only five minutes ago."
"What do you mean, 'he almost caught him'? Did he catch him or didn't he?"
"No, he got away. He stole the policeman's bike."