Went into town late morning as planned. Went to police station first to get the worst out of the way. After waiting some considerable time, Sergeant Brooks appeared, not looking any happier than previously. Explained about note and handed it over in a plastic folder. Said I tried to prevent contamination of the evidence. Sergeant replied with
"Thanks Sherlock, we'll send that straight to the lab. Anything else?" And with that I was walked to the door. Most displeased with affairs when one isn't even welcome in a police station.
Next trip was to see manager of jewelers about the clock. Plonked the packaged clock on the counter only to be told manager was out for lunch and would be back shortly. Proceeded to wait some considerable time, after which I asked assistant when he was expected back. Was told 30 minutes yet. Distinctly annoyed at this stormed out of shop, only to barge into pedestrian just outside. Apologised profusely and helped the chap up, didn't seem to help his anger. Presently headed off to bookshop where I could spend 30 minutes, most productively browsing local history section.
Returned to shop and again asked for manager, only to be faced moments later with chap I had 30 minutes previous knocked over in street. Didn't seem any less annoyed.
Followed a most fruitless negotiation on return of the clock. Was about to give up when another customer walked in, only to stand next to me looking right at me, most distractingly.
"Is it you?" woman uttered. Turning to shop owner before anyone had time to answer said
"Do you know who this is? It's the man from the news! The Hapless Homeworker!"
Protested most significantly at being called out in public with this information, but woman clearly bowled over by this.
"I say - are you buying a new clock?" continued woman, with some excitement. "It was a terribly exciting story."
At this point shop owner chipped in, saying he had seen a story about a missing clock on the news with some hilarious footage that had him and his wife laughing for some time. Went on to exchange moments of hilarity with customer whilst I waited patiently. Man's annoyance disappeared and was also in rapt excitement.
Decided to take my opportunity, and explained in a previously unheard twist that clock had been RETURNED to me, adding drama for visible audience delight, and this was why I was returning clock I bought.
With this exciting revelation shop owner quite happily allowed return of item "given the circumstances" and with that I made a hasty retreat while still in good fortune.