Tuffin’s house was new, when he was new, and now both of them were 60 years old.

At 11:15pm on Thursday he sat in his chair in the sitting room.

He knew that beneath his feet was a red rug, a brown carpet, grey linoleum and wooden floorboards.

He went to the tool shed. He selected a jemmy and a claw hammer.

He moved his chair, lifted the rug, rolled up the carpet and peeled back the Lino.

With the jemmy and the claw hammer he removed a small area of floorboard.

He exposed the joists and the brickwork but it was dark.

Tuffin went to the tool shed again and collected a torch.

With the torch he was able to see down beneath the joists.

Beneath the red rug, the brown carpet, the grey linoleum and the wooden floorboards a thick layer of grey dust covered a concrete floor.

Embedded in the dust were several fresh footprints as finely wrought as the finest filigree.