Our pockets were full of deng, so there was no real need from the point
of view of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an
alley and viddy him swim in his blood while we counted the takings and
divided by four, nor to do the ultra-violent on some shivering starry
grey-haired ptitsa in a shop and go smecking off with the till's guts. But,
as they say, money isn't everything.
The four of us were dressed in the height of fashion, which in those
days was a pair of black very tight tights with the old jelly mould, as we
called it, fitting on the crotch underneath the tights, this being to
protect and also a sort of a design you could viddy clear enough in a
certain light, so that I had one in the shape of a spider, Pete had a rooker
(a hand, that is), Georgie had a very fancy one of a flower, and poor old
Dim had a very hound-and-horny one of a clown's litso (face, that is). Dim
not ever having much of an idea of things and being, beyond all shadow of a
doubting thomas, the dimmest of we four. Then we wore waisty jackets without
lapels but with these very big built-up shoulders (`pletchoes' we called
them) which were a kind of a mockery of having real shoulders like that.
Then, my brothers, we had these off-white cravats which looked like
whipped-up kartoffel or spud with a sort of a design made on it with a fork.
We wore our hair not too long and we had flip horrorshow boots for kicking.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
There were three devotchkas sitting at the counter all together, but
there were four of us malchicks and it was usually like one for all and all
for one. These sharps were dressed in the heighth of fashion too, with
purple and green and orange wigs on their gullivers, each one not costing
less than three or four weeks of those sharps' wages, I should reckon, and
make-up to match (rainbows round the glazzies, that is, and the rot painted