Jackie and I arrived at the conveyancer’s office at precisely 14:03 on Tuesday afternoon, the fifth of January. The weather was fair, although it seemed that would soon change, with dark storm clouds approaching. A typical day in Melbourne, for summertime. We’d been sent on a mission to find a rogue time traveller, who was reportedly attempting to buy a house in the early years of the twenty twenties. This was the fourth conveyancer we’d visited yet in this time period, and hopefully, it would lead to some answers about the time traveller’s whereabouts.
I pushed open the door to the firm of conveyancing around Mentone, and Jackie followed me inside. He had that usual swagger in his step that seemed to suggest he felt good about this one, even though it had been present at all the other conveyancing firms we’d visited. Ever the optimist, old Jackie.
As the receptionist welcomed us to the building, I pulled down my dark shades and stored them in the front pocket of my suit jacket. Lifting up my briefcase, I placed it on the receptionist’s desk without so much as looking her in the eye. In the corner of my vision, I could just make out the furrow in her brow, and I had to hold back a smirk at her surprise. There was a lot I liked about this job, but catching people off guard had to be right at the top of the list.
“Conveyancing receptionist,” I said casually, pulling a photo of a young man from my suitcase, “have you seen this fellow recently? Early twenties, likely too young to own a house, but not young enough that your superiors would refuse to see him.”
The receptionist gave a sigh that almost seemed as if she was exhaling a puff of smoke. “He was here earlier today. Said he was thinking about buying a house in Malvern. It didn’t work out with us, unfortunately.”
I looked at Jackie, giving a brief nod. “That’s all we needed to hear.”