"Ir there were some whistlers after you so we shot them."
"Is that true or are you joking?"
"We are joking Ir."
"Oh I could not tell" (for how could I?")
Your wording did sound like it might be true, but then again I have heard wording in media that sounds untrue. Many people think this.
I give the man another £1. Another hour. And tell him that I'm staying late because I've got the Government after me. Which is true. It is stated in writing.