Sunday, 30 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part Seven

The last of our literary evenings, so A.B.Fox read the final episode of the adventure from his memoirs...

Beaver and his gang were about to blow the tower, Dolores, and me sky high. She looked me fondly in the eyes.

“Well, it’s been one hell of a trip.” she murmured, fluttering her eyelashes in that way that makes my stomach flip.

“Yep, some experience – shame it has to end like this.” I replied.

My ears pricked up. Above us I could hear the whirring of blades. As if from nowhere, a rope ladder dropped from the heavens. I looked up as a helicopter appeared through the clouds. “Hello, old chum.” shouted Colonel Lungy, hanging from the cockpit. “Sorry for the delay, Uncle has let me borrow his engineer, Cowgill, and this wonderful machine – just had a bit of bother navigating up the Thames. It’s changed slightly, you know, since I was last here. I was saying to Cowgill – whose put that bloomin’ great Ferris Wheel there?...as I recall back in the fifties there was a great big pole thing called the Sky something or over…but I don’t know about this wheel…popular with the tourists I believe…but I don’t....” I interjected quickly before he could go on “Sorry, Sir but I think it would be a good idea if Miss Dolores and I left now before things starting hotting up.”

“Oh don’t worry about the Badfort Crowd – there being dealt with…”said Lungy. I looked below. Sure enough, the Badfort Crowd were being surrounded by a fearsome bunch of foxes. “…it’s the ‘Foxes from Uncle’ – don’t you know.” Lungy added. “But look, the Badfort Crowd are getting away to the Thames through the Traitor’s Gate.” I cried. “Yes,” observed Dolores “…and they have a speed-boat moored outside.” The man piloting the helicopter piped up “Sadly, they always seem to get away, Sir.” Lungy sighed “Yes, I’m afraid Cowgill is right – that is what usually happens.”

Oh well, I thought, down these mean streets a fox must go always on the look-out for skewers.




Goodman shyly asked if A.B. if he still saw much of Dolores. The detective, looking slightly embarrassed, replied that their paths had crossed on a few cases but that he always found that, with his type of work it was best to work alone.

Of course, I remember 'The Case of Black Tom' well, I have a letter from the Queen of England, somewhere, thanking me for the speedy intervention of the 'Foxes from UNCLE' thus saving the Royal Crown from being defiled by the head of Beaver Hateman.


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Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part Six

Once more we all gathered in the fireplace in the Great Hall of Homeward, last night, to hear the next episode in A.B.Fox's adventure....

It looked like Beaver Hateman had finally bested me. My new partner, Dolores, and I were trapped in a sports-car falling between the lifting roadways on Tower Bridge.

“Hang on to your hat, Mr. Fox” shouted Dolores as she pressed a button below the gearstick. Suddenly, our seats shot into the air. I mentally thanked Jimmy Saville for instilling in me as a child the dictum “Clunk-Click” every trip.

Zooming up into the sky provided a wonderful view of London. When a fox is tired of London, he is tired of life, or so the saying goes…but as I hurtled back down towards the bright lights I was beginning to wonder whether life was about to get tired of me. Dolores just looked over and smiled as parachutes shot out from the back of the seats and billowed open above us.

We landed gently in the courtyard of the Tower of London. Dolores helped me to my feet. What a dame. I looked at her askance. “You weren’t just rescuing a kitten were you.” I enquired, smiling. “No, Special Agent Dolores Fox – at your service. Colonel Lungy could not get Scotland Yard to believe his, admittedly rather bizarre, story. So he called on Uncle. My organization is known as the “Foxes from Uncle.” replied Dolores fluttering her, rather beautiful, eyelashes. “Well, lets get on and sort out the Badfort Crowd, shall we?” I conjectured. “Yes, lets.” she declared.

It did not take long to find them. All the doors were wide open. Clearly the Black Tom induced mesmer had worked on the Beefeater. We walked straight into the Jewel House.

Siggi was trying to hide the Imperial State Crown under his cloak. Hitmouse was trying to saw the Sceptre in half. Beaver had stuck the Orb down his sackcloth robe. “This is what I call striking a blow against Sovereign Government – Power to the People!” shouted Beaver. “Yeah – should fetch a bob or two melted down an’all.” squealed Hitmouse gleefully. Then they spotted us. They all charged and I must admit Dolores put up a hell of a fight. The Queen of martial arts, indeed. But we were soon driven back, by sheer weight of numbers, to the White Tower. We climbed the stairs to the top but were not chased by are assailants. “Why do you think they have not followed us Mr. Fox ?” said a puzzled Dolores. “I fear they have other plans for us, my dear.” I answered pointing below. Beaver and his gang were piling up explosives around the base of the tower.

They were going to blow us to Kingdom Come.




Another exciting episode....of course, I know how the story ends.


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Friday, 28 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part Five

I expect you are all looking forward to the next episode of A.B.Fox's exciting adventure as much as we were....

Trapped on the roof of the Badfort Crowd’s HQ at Walmington-on-Sea. Siggi had a crossbow pointed right at me. It looked like I had no choice but to surrender. Then I noticed something glinting below. The Sea. I dived as Siggi fired.

There was a huge splash and I desperately held my breath beneath the waters. My hands were still handcuffed – which made swimming a tad difficult. A lifebelt appeared as if from nowhere and I could hear someone swimming towards me. My head went under again but I managed to struggle back to the surface “Please – hurry – can’t last much longer – got handcuffs on.” I managed to splutter. My rescuer was soon at my side, pulling me back to shore and aiding me on to the beach. I looked up to see the identity of my saviour.

She was certainly a sight for sore eyes. A really foxy vixen. “Hi, I’m Delores – I was just rescuing a lost kitten when I heard your cries.” she whispered. “Well Delores, I hope you like a fox of action – because tonight’s going to be some adventure.” I replied. She looked somewhat askance at my handcuffed paws. “Uh, Oh yes, I need to get out of these things – it’s a long story.” I stuttered, blushing.

She was some game dame – without batting an eyelid she ran to a sports-car on the esplanade and returned with some bolt cutters. Funny thing to keep in the boot of her car, I thought, perhaps she often has to help foxes in handcuffs. “Thanks,” I said, giving her a peck on the cheeks. It was her turn to blush now. “No time to lose – we need to get to the Tower of London – fast !” I cried, before events got out of hand.

She certainly knew how to make that motor purr. She was easy on the eyes too, but I had to concentrate. One thing was bothering me. Walmington-on-Sea should have been crawling with cops. Had Colonel Lungy failed me?

As we approached Tower Bridge the lights were green. “Put your foot down, we’re nearly there.” I shouted above the roar of the engine. Delores floored it, but as we got onto the bridge the roadway began to lift. I turned to face the control room hoping to warn the engineer of our presence. The face of Beaver Hateman grinned back at me.

Dolores applied the brakes, but it was too late. The sports-car flew over the elevated roadway and dipped towards the Thames.

It looked like another dip in the water for me tonight.




Blushing a little, Goodman told A.B.Fox that Delores sounded like a feisty young vixen. A.B.Fox merely sighed and looked into the distance. I thought it best to change the subject. "Well," I told the assembled literary devotees, "I'm sure tomorrow will bring another fine example of our detective's ingenuity in escapology!"


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Thursday, 27 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part Four

A.B. Fox enthralled us all with the next episode from his memoirs...

I came to and found my paws handcuffed behind a chair. A one-legged donkey stood guard over me holding a crossbow. He looked a little the worse for wear. “Nice cosy attic ain’t it? Andcuffs comfy?” he slurred “Nishe-bit of Black Tom this –cor I feel shleepy – shing me a lullaby or this crossbow might go off by mishtake.”

I started to sing an old tune taught to me by a sailor on the Shanghai Ferry. The Donkey was soon nodding off. I quietly took his crossbow and spotted a chopper on a bench. I put it to good use. As I swung the chopper down the Donkey woke to find he had lost his wooden leg. As he hobbled around I covered him with the crossbow, in my handcuffed paws, and backed towards a ladder in the corner of the room.”Keep your mouth shut till I am out – you can ask Santa Claus for a new leg.” I shouted back.

The ladder lead up to a trapdoor and out on to the roof. I could see the whole of Walmington-On-Sea before me. Below I heard a cry from the Donkey “Elp, Elp E’s got away.” Soon, the rest of the Badfort Crowd would be in hot pursuit. In the meantime I intended to find out their plans. I spotted a skylight and took a gander. I was in luck. Below me I could see Hootman swing a pendulum in the eyes of an intoxicated….Beefeater !”. Hootman clearly had him under some kind of Black Tom induced influence. “You will leave the security doors open and the alarms unset” he said in a mesmeric sing-song voice.
“So, the Crown Jewels, is it?.” I murmured to myself – with some admiration for the audacity of Beaver’s scheme.

Suddenly there was a clatter from the trapdoor. It was Siggi and Hitmouse giving chase. Hitmouse threw a skewer hitting me in the arm. The crossbow fell from my hands and clattered over the roof tiles dropping to the ground. I ran but found myself at the edge of the building. I had two choices. Jump or surrender. Siggi raised his crossbow. Hitmouse shouted “Shoot.”




How would the fox escape this time ?


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Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part Three

Last night, we were all intrigued to discover how A.B.Fox would extricate himself from his predicament. He began reading...

There I was, in a cave in Comfort Cove, tied to a pole with the sea rapidly rising. It looked like lights out for me. I cried out for help in the vain hope someone might near me. “I say old chap, what you doing there – a spot of scuba diving hey?” came a shout. “No actually, I am tied to a post.” I replied. “What you want to do that for?” shouted back the disembodied voice. Out of the gloom a tall some-what dried-up looking man wearing a khaki shirt and well-pressed khaki trousers appeared. “Hello old fellow, Colonel Lungy at your service, what’s this then – some villainy afoot I’ll be bound. I’ll have you free in a jiffy.”

The water was up to my mouth now so I conserved my breath. Colonel Lungy took out a curved knife and cut the ropes. I explained the situation. He nodded his head and said “By jove smugglers, you say? – reminds me of an incident back in the province of Shotconjuberry, or was it Shutvanjuberry? No matter, I’ll think the names out afterwards…anyway as I was saying…” I interrupted him “Sorry Sir, this is a time when swift action is needed. We must follow those villains back to Walmington-on-Sea with their next consignment of Black Tom – do you have a boat?”

I decided I liked Colonel Lungy a lot despite his propensity for long and fearfully boring stories. We were soon in his fast and sleek speedboat heading after Beaver and his gang. “Did you have a chance to visit Uncle’s palace during your adventure?” he inquired, shouting to be heard as we crashed through the waves. “It reminds me very much of the palace of the Rajah of Duk Duk Province. It was one of the wonders of the world! We used to take troops there to see it from Banderush, Osnobagger, Chellsbojerry and another place – the name escapes me for the moment. Let me see, it was Nocharchander. No, thats not right. It began with an N, that I do remember.” I tried to interrupt. “Wait, wait, I’ll get it” he continued. “Don’t trouble Colonel,” I said hastily. “We need to formulate a plan of action.” “Indeed we do, Sir, indeed we do.” he replied “I think those rascals need to feel some cold steel.” He was certainly a game old bird, who had seen some action, but stealth was clearly not part of his vocabulary. “I was rather thinking, Sir, it is now likely, with the speed of your vessel, that we will get back before them. I intend to lie in wait and discover their plans. I was hoping that you could inform the authorities so that we can catch them red-handed.” Colonel Lungy looked thoughtful. “I was rather hoping” he said, pointing to a boar-lance on the deck “that I would have the chance to use that on them blackguards – but I take your point. You can rely on me to organise a rear guard action.”

We soon reached Walmington-On-Sea and I strolled along the pier, pretending to be a tourist, whilst Colonel Lungy went off to contact Scotland Yard. A poor little girl, who seemed lost, approached me.
She was crying. Drat, I thought, that’s the last thing I need. Still, Wolferton’s code of conduct meant that I had to assist. “What’s your name, little girl?” I enquired. “Little Liz,” she sobbed “and I can’t find my mum.” “Where did you last see her?” I said – trying to be patient.
“I think she went in that dark and gloomy hut there that is the perfect place for a trap.” Funny turn of phrase, I thought as I escorted her to the hut. I poked my head through the door “Are you sure she’s in here…”

Suddenly it all went dark as a sack was pulled over my head. I just had time to hear Hitmouse cackling…”he fell for that, pronto!”…before a blackjack blow to my skull turned the lights out.





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Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part Two

Yesterday night the detective A.B.Fox read the next instalment from his memoirs...

I was tied up in the hold of the motor-boat. The pair of thugs had made threatening noises but in the end had decided to keep me for the ‘The Boss’ to deal with. “Yeah, Cos he don’t like nosey parkers.” squealed Hitmouse as he prodded me with a skewer.

In the morning we arrived at a small port. I guessed where I was. Far in the distance I could see the great towers of Homeward, the world-renowned home of a millionaire philanthropist, the elephant Uncle. They tied me up in a sack and took me to their headquarters. I could see through a hole that it was a sinister looking seedy seaside hotel called “Grunge Villa”.

They took me to the bosses office. “O.K. who sent you – come on spill the beans.” said an ugly mug in a sackcloth. “To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking, may I ask?” I said in a nonchalant manner knowing he would be unlikely to reveal his identity. Siggi piped up “Don’t tell him, Beaver.” Beaver gave Siggi a look that spoke daggers. I would not like to be in Siggi’s shoes later, I thought. I was not too happy about being in mine either though. I was clearly held captive by Beaver Hateman – Boss of the infamous Badfort Crowd. “Speak, or we will have to try a little persuasion.” growled Beaver.

Needless to say they were forced to try persuasion. After a bit of roughhouse stuff they had to admit defeat. “He won’t squeal Boss.” said Hitmouse, in frustration, after he had stuck all his skewers in various parts of my body. “Take him to Comfort Cove, then, he’ll make a nice dinner for the Scob fish.” chortled Beaver.


They dragged me back to the boat and took me to a cave in a nearby cove. The centre for their smuggling operation.“That there post is where we ties up them o’talk too much. Tide comes up, and stops their chatter ha-ha.” said Siggi wagging his finger at me. They tied me to the post and left in their boat. “Try singing I’m forever blowing bubbles” scoffed Hitmouse. The water was rising all about me with no chance of anyone hearing my shouts.



Another cliffhanger ending - How would the fox extricate himself from a watery grave?

Goodman was beside himself with excitement.


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Monday, 24 September 2007

The Case of Black Tom - Part One



Yesterday evening we gathered in the fireplace in the Great Hall of Homeward for the first of our literary evenings this week. The fireplace is just like a little house; it has thick walls on three sides, and a little window at the back, looking out onto the moat. We had a great cauldron of hot ginger wine slowly warming on the log fire. A storm raged outside, which seemed appropriate for our first tale of the evening - a story of daring do from the detective A.B.Fox.

As Goodman the cat looked on in rapt attention, the fox began his tale....

On my first day at the Wolferton Detective Agency my boss, the Old Wolf, gave me some sage advice garnered from his many years as a tough no-nonsense investigator.“Son,” he said “Down these mean streets a fox must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete fox and a common fox and yet an unusual fox. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a fox of honour -- by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best fox in his world and a good enough fox for any world. Now, go make me a cup of tea.”

I thought back to that day as I wandered around Walmington-On-Sea. Not really mean streets – more quaint cobbled streets. This sleepy little seaside town on the South coast of England was not my usual port of call for investigation. It looked to me like someone ordering an expresso in the local Olde Tea Shop would be a major incident round here. I had said as much to the Old Fox when I had reported in the previous night. “Don’t be so sure – we have had reports of some queer goings on – people going mad, running off to the Big City and robbing banks.” It seemed unlikely to me but I had a job to do. I decided to hang around on the pier, pretending to fish, keeping my ears pricked up.

Before long I overhear a couple of mugs whispering behind some barrels and crates. “Orders from the boss,” says a swarthy looking guy in a sacksuit “Take these empties over to Moribund Marsh – pronto.” “O.K. At high tide tonight.” replied the midget next to him. A nasty piece. I could see he was armed with a number of sharp implements. I decided to hide until their return and see what these two low-lifes were up to. That night they loaded a motor-boat up with the barrels and crates – with yours truly still hidden in one of them.

I laughed as the big one loaded my barrel on board and moaned “Eavy eh?”. His mate giggled “Wait till it’s filled hup !”
In the cabin, I could make out muffled voices as they discussed their plans. “Right, Hitmouse - at HQ we fill up with Black Tom, and then sell it back at Walmington - then when they are completely under the influence Hootman will hypnotise em’ into doing another robbery.” said the big one. “O.K. Siggi.” Said the little one. Now I could put names to faces.

Suddenly, this bat thing started screeching around my barrel.”Look out – Batty smells a rat.” said Siggy. “Cor that ain’t no rat – it’s a fox. Look his tails sticking up.” said Hitmouse. I was rumbled. It looked like things were going to get a bit hot ! “Come out or I will riddle this barrel with skewers!” squeaked Hitmouse. Siggi grabbed me - “Little Foxes who have their throats cut don’t squeak !” he threatened.

The fox finished and slowly unwrapped his tail from beneath him. Goodman could barely contain his excitement - but the fox insisted that the next part would have to wait for tomorrow night.


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Friday, 21 September 2007

A Treat for Goodman



Goodman is a rescue cat. He used to work for Wizard Blenkinsop who treated him abysmally - and only paid him three saucers of milk a day. So I rescued him. Well, that is to say, I offered him a job. On far higher pay I might add. Unlimited milk and fish. I know, overly generous you might think.

Goodman is a most intelligent cat. He says that he is very glad he is not called 'Cookie' or 'Socks'. His only weaknesses are that he is apt to talk too much and also, very occasionally, to steal fish. He is good at frightening away rats, and sticking stamps straight on letters.

So I gave him work helping out the Old Monkey with my business letters and accounts.

He is also a voracious reader so he sometimes helps out Will Shudder in the library.

Goodman has a strong turn for adventure and reads a lot of detective stories. Sometimes he lies on the floor in the library gently turning the leaves with his paws and purring loudly at exciting places. When he gets to a very thrilling part, he mews, and sometimes he leaves the book and rushes around the room.

His greatest joy has been the occasional jobs he gets as an assistant to the great detective A.B.Fox.

I must say he is very good at walking quietly and finding things out.

As the nights are drawing in now we are going to recommence our literary evenings and every night, next week, A.B.Fox has agreed to read a tale of his early days as a detective working for the Wolferton Detective Agency.

As you can imagine Goodman is terribly excited.


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Thursday, 20 September 2007

Disgraceful Adverts

As I mentioned yesterday, sadly, The Badfort News seems to be back in print.

Even The Classified Ads are a disgrace.

Click below to see a larger image.




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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Badfort News - again

I had thought that I had put a stop to the publication of that disgraceful newspaper, the Badfort News, but it has managed to get going again.

This is a cutting from the latest copy:

THE CON-ARTIST OF HOMEWARD

Great woe has been caused to many well-wishers by the news that we have been starved into paying back those mercenary and merciless capitalists at Badgertown Rock £812,000 16s 4d.

We had borrowed the sum of one million pounds in order to fund our life-time of hard work and heroic attacks against the lying, boasting owner of Homeward. Uncle, the tyrant and bully, told the misers at Badgertown Rock to force us into submission by with-holding the basic necessities of life - Black Tom and Scob Fish. A gross act in defiance of our human rights.

To add insult to injury the unscrupulous elephant took advantage of our attempt to raise funds to pay off the debt collectors. We held a Cart Boot Sale during which he conned Comrade Hitmouse into selling off a valuable painting at a knock down price. It turns out that, all the time, Uncle knew it was a valuable painting by some old Dutch geezer who as well as being a painter worked as an entertainer doing impressions.

This gross act by the arch-tyrant will be avenged.

Luckily, we had already managed to spend some of the money on the new People's Palace - Black Tom served all night.


Ha, a typically poisonous skewing of the true facts by that reptile Beaver Hateman.




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Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Hitmouse van Gogh

In my last blog, you will recall, I purchased a painting by Hitmouse for an exorbitant amount. The only reason I paid so much money for it was in an attempt to enable the ne'er do wells from Badfort to pay off their loan from Badgertown Rock.

As it turns out I should have kept my money in my wallet because the eccentric art connoisseur Charley Scratchy paid Hitmouse £200,000 for his hut!

It was a pretty awful abstract self portrait but we decided to hang it in the Rogues Gallery anyway. It was pretty badly stained with mildew and the like, from Hitmouse's hut, so we decided to clean it up using Gleamhound's Dirt-Producer for Enemies. As you will be aware, Gleamhound's stuff works backwards and so we knew that this concoction would do a restorative job.

Waldovenison Smeare carefully wiped the fluid across the painting...



....but clearly Hitmouse had only used a cheap emulsion because in a few moments another image began to be revealed beneath his own handiwork.....



We could not believe our eyes. "By Jove !" cried out Smeare "It looks like a van Gogh!"

Whitebeard fainted again.

Indeed, it did turn out to be a lost masterpiece by that great artist - valued at £1,000,000.

Hitmouse, not realising it's worth, had just painted over an old canvas to save money.

Not such a bad buy after all. So, never let it be said that a good deed is not rewarded.


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Monday, 17 September 2007

Badfort Cart Boot Sale

The problems at Badgertown Rock have caused a bank run. Thousands of anxious savers have besieged the bank trying to withdraw their funds. Much against my better judgement I have had to step in and guarantee that their debts will be met.

Luckily, the blockade at Badfort seems to be having an effect and Beaver and his cronies have started paying back the money they have not spent. Unfortunately they have already spent a considerable sum on Beaver's pet project 'The People's Palace'.



Think Las Vegas meets Soviet Architecture and it will give you some idea of the monstrosity he has built around the back of Badfort. A veritable den of iniquity. Beaver has been fleecing visitors with a fixed roulette wheel and exorbitant prices for Black Tom on tap.

Yesterday, Beaver held a Cart Boot Sale in front of Badfort Castle, in order to raise funds for what he called 'payment of the loan sharks at Badgertown Rock'. Much as I detest the man, at least he was making an effort, so I decided to lend my support by paying a visit.

For those of you who have never been to a Cart Boot Sale - this is the way it works. Anybody can drive their carts there and sell off unwanted items. As the Badfort crowd prefer to go around in bare feet there are usually large numbers of boots for sale. Hence the title. The great artist Waldovenison Smeare came along too, hoping to buy some paint, and the miser Alonzo S. Whitebeard - who cannot resist any bargain. He likes a good haggle.

The Badfort Crowd were certainly had a wide range of objects for sale. Sigismund was selling bags of old nails, and Hootman was offering to haunt your worst enemy for a quid. Whitebeard was very pleased with an old chair leg he found for a halfpenny. Apparently the one on his kitchen table had broken and he had propped it up with books because he was too mean to buy a new one.

Beaver had removed the window frames from some of the disused parts of his castle and was selling them for a pound. Unfortunately as soon as he spotted me he started jeering. "Look at the old tyrant come to gloat at our misfortune ! - it's not enough for him to starve us out he wants to dance on our emaciated bones !" he cried. We quickly moved on.

Hitmouse was sitting outside his nissan hut. He was working his way through a pile of old plates cleaning them. There were piles and piles of them cluttering up his abode - he had obviously not done any washing up for weeks. Next to him were lots of rickety easels displaying paintings of dubious quality. In between scrubbing the plates he would shout 'works of art for the proletariat - knock down prices !'.

Surprisingly, the reclusive millionaire art collector, Charley Scratchy had turned up. Hitmouse gave him a lot of spiel about his paintings - claiming they were unique works of art created by a horny-handed son of toil and bona fide member of the working classes - namely himself. Charley just dismissed them as amateurish work showing very little original or imaginative thinking. I could see a certain look come into Hitmouse's eye and knew that he was about to stick a skewer in Charley. He was distracted by Whitebeard who offered him sixpence for an abstract self portrait. Hitmouse turned puce with anger. I quickly interrupted before events got out of hand. I asked how much he wanted for the painting and without batting an eyelid he demanded a thousand pounds. I reluctantly agreed despite Smeare dismissing it as having very little merit and Whitebeard collapsing into paroxyms at the thought of how many table legs he could buy with that amount of money. After all, how else was I to ensure Badgertown Rock and I would get our money back? Anyway it will make a good addition to the Rogue's section of Homeward Art Gallery.

Flush with his success Hitmouse tried to sell Mister Scratchy one of his old plates. A rapturous look had come into Charley's eyes. Yes, he wanted the plate - he wanted everything. He had to have the hut and all it's content. Apparently, it was the most extraordinary piece of conceptual art he had ever seen - the abject state of Hitmouse's hovel, the use of detritus, and unfunctional, everyday objects, was a true statement on modern society.

Would Hitmouse be willing to except £200,000 for the whole work? wondered Charley.

Hitmouse, Smeare and Whitebeard fainted.





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Friday, 14 September 2007

Badgertown Rocks



I had the King of the Badgers around today, wanting me to bail out something called Badgertown Rock. I could not understand why he wanted me to fund some music festival?

He had brought with him some sleek looking badger in a rather ostentatious suit. He introduced himself as, Peter Porsche, COE of said Badgertown Rock. It turns out they are some financial organisation that has got involved in lending in something he called the sub-prime market. Enough of your financial gobbledegook, I said, what you mean is that you have been stupid enough to lend to some ne'er do wells and you have no hope of getting the money back have you?

Peter Porsche admitted this was the case. It turned out that they had lent a million pounds to the inhabitants of Badfort who had used Badfort castle as collateral. I spluttered in disbelief. I could not believe that anyone would be so foolish as to lend money on the basis of the value of that broken down old wreck of an eyesore.

Porsche, looking embarrassed, argued that Beaver Hateman had claimed it was a desirable residence, with beautifully laid-out grounds and an excellent scob-fishing river running through it. Yes, I told him, but if he had thought to actually look at the place he would have seen that most of the windows were smashed and the beautiful rooms long since torn apart for firewood.

I surmised that they would have no hope of getting their money back from those blackguards. Porsche started crying then. Apparently he had been around to Badfort to tell Beaver that steps would be taken to turn him out and he had been answered with a volley of Duck Bombs.

The Old Monkey and I soon came up with a solution. I told Porsche to block the Scob river at either end and put road blocks at all entrances so that they could turn back any transport carrying Black Tom.

That will force them to hand back their ill-gotten gains.




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Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz



The mozzies this year are driving me mad. This is one of those occasions when a trunk comes in handy to scratch the itches. The Old Monkey keeps telling me to stop - he says it just makes it worse - he says I should rub a little lavender oil on them.

We certainly seem to be in the midst of a bit of a mosquito explosion. Goodman blames the weather we have been having but I suspect that the Badfort Crowd have been overfishing the Scobs. Scob fish are the main predators of the nasty little creatures.

Why don't the Badfort Crowd seem bothered by them ?

I suspect that as mosquitoes are attracted to your smell it must be, quite frankly, that the Badfort Crowd smell horrible.

I suppose that is one of the advantages of drinking Black Tom. It leaves a distinct odour on the breath. They also crush the leaves of fettleweeds, and rub it all over themselves. The only problem is that crushed fettleweed smells a bit like dog poo - not that it seems to bother the Badfort Crowd what they smell like.


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Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Black Tom

Black Tom is a disgusting drink that the Badfort Crowd distill themselves. The less said about it the better as it promotes rowdy and violent behaviour.

Will Shudder, has found this article from the Badfort News in which Beaver waxes lyrical about the vicious brew. I strongly advise that you avoid this intoxicant if you value your physical and mental health.

Click on the image below for a larger view of it.




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Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Scob Fish

Some have you have requested more information on the staple diet of the people of Badfort - Scob Fish and Black Tom.

Scobs are small savagely biting fish which infest the sticky mud of Gaby's Marsh just beyond Badfort. Every now and again the scobs move in a solid block from the marsh to the sea, and then lots of bears and badgers from Badgertown come and try to catch them. Nobody eats scobs except the inhabitants of Badfort, but the oil from the fish is useful for burning, and for oiling locks, pram wheels and so on.

My Librarian, Will Shudder, has found this article from the Badfort News that shows how scob fish is considered a delicacy by Hitmouse - but beware, you really should not try this at home.

Click on the image below for a larger view of it.




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Monday, 10 September 2007

A lovely Autumn day - again

Many of you have asked if I could repost this story as the recent attack by Hootman meant that you were unable to read the whole blog.

It was a beautiful day today, already feeling quite Autumnal here at Homeward. The Old Monkey, Goodman and I decided to go on a short expedition looking for unexplored towers. It was very pleasant walking along the edge of the moat. Cloutman and Gubbins were mowing my vast lawn and a lovely smell of cut grass was in the air.

We came upon a mysterious tower with red lights in every window and green smoke coming out of several large chimneys. Goodman ran ahead, and soon came scampering back saying that he had discovered a strange door with a notice on it that simply said "Time Portal". Carefully we opened the large wooden doors and and were greeted by a strange man wearing a fez. "Hello come to see the Camera Tempus obscura have you? - follow me up the steps then." he said. So we all climbed up the rickety wooden steps to a darkened room at the top of the tower. In it was a large, round, paper covered table. Projected onto this, by an apparatus working on the periscope principle, was a picture of the main area of Homeward. The clear, bright picture the machine obtained, with its special virtue of silence, made Homeward appear particularly charming, the roofs, walls, railways and gardens being seen as from a height. You can find out more about Camera obscura here.

But this Camera obscura turned out to be very special indeed. The strange man said "You can watch all the activity of this busy place and it gives me a special satisfaction to do so - but this apparatus has a magician's crystal so you can see anytime you most wish to as well."

I looked over the table and to my delight saw a very young version of myself accepting the key to Homeward from Wizard Blenkinsop all those years ago. Each of my companions were also in rapture as they looked at some past event that had made them particularly happy during their time here.

The strange man, who's name he revealed to be Doctor Tempus Fugit, then invited us all for tea on the roof gardens.

At first we were all too deep in thought to discuss the events we had seen, but soon we were all in high spirits recounting remembered anecdotes that had been prompted by the memories brought back to us by the Camera obscura.

Doctor Tempus Fugit bade us all farewell at the door and so that was the end of our very exciting day - as you can imagine we all found it both a very exhilarating and quite emotional experience.




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Saturday, 8 September 2007

Sorry Old Monkey

I have had to apologise to the Old Monkey. Apparently he is not responsible for the grammatical mistakes in this blog.

He felt sorry for this eccentric old chap, called 'Mad Codger', and gave him a job working on my websites.

He is a very sad case - he has spent most of his life working in darkened rooms staring at screens. I think it has driven him slightly insane.

The Old Monkey thinks that it is probably best not to confront him about his failings and foibles.




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Friday, 7 September 2007

The Second Volume of my Biography



My fans will be pleased to hear that the second volume of the biography of my life written by J.P.Martin is to be republished next Autumn.

The sad news is that I have had to issue the Old Monkey with a severe reprimand. He is responsible for transcribing my dictaphone recordings for interweb purposes and has been guilty of some gross, error's in the use of comma's apostrophe's and General Punctuation.

Remember, without General Punctuation we would never have won the Battle of Portaloo.

The Old Monkey got really cross and excused me of being an arch-pedant, annually retentive, and a grammer and language snob. He stormed off saying I should be more interested in using a living language than one set in stone.

Perhaps he just needs a holiday?


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Thursday, 6 September 2007

Apology - Normal service will be resumed shortly



Many apologies to all my fans.It appears that the computers at Homeward have been 'broken' into by Hootman, the arch contriver of schemes against myself. He works for Beaver Hateman. Hootman is a shadowy figure, all vague and misty. Really he is a sort of ghost, but a very inferior one. Other ghosts will have nothing to do with him, so he has to live at Badfort. Apparently his non-corporeal nature makes it very easy for him to manifest himself within machines such as computers.

Cowgill assures me that he will soon be able to create a robust defence against this "cyber warfare" and prevent any further brutal attacks.

In the meantime here is the classic interlude film from the Badgertown Broadcasting Corporation - of the famous windmill (An exact copy of the one at Bury St Edmunds) I had built for decorative purposes just outside Homeward.






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Wednesday, 5 September 2007

A lovely Autumn day

It was a beautiful day today, already feeling quite Autumnal here at Homeward. The Old Monkey, Goodman and I decided to go on a short expedition looking for unexplored towers. It was very pleasant walking along the edge of the moat. Cloutman and Gubbins were mowing my vast lawn and a lovely smell of cut grass was in the air.

We came upon a mysterious tower with red lights in every window and green smoke coming out of several large chimneys. Goodman ran ahead, and soon came scampering back saying that he had discovered a strange door with a notice on it that simply said "Time Portal". Carefully we opened the@&%£$(*())&R%&R*^R^E^QE&%E(^I&R)(*Y_+(U{}



*%£$*)P{:">{}_(*&%@!@£%^*()_)_)+{++_(&^%$**()_)*)&^*%$£%E!$@!$@^%$^*&%^()*(&(*&^*(^*&%
and so that was the end of our very exciting day - as you can imagine we all found it both a very exhilarating and quite emotional experience.


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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Office of the 'Badfort News'


This morning I was still determined to go to the office of the Badfort News.

To be on the safe side the Old Monkey and I brought along Cloutman and Gubbins.

Over by the stream that runs through Badfort, people were fighting over one small scob fish. The place never changes - it's always full of quarreling and shouting.

Scob fish are much prized as this small savage fish provides oil for the Badfort Crowd's lamps. Some of them even like to eat the awful things washed down with a swig of Black Tom!

We soon found the broken-down hut that serves as the offices for the Badfort News.

Along one wall ran a daubed message:

THE BADFORT NEWS NOW SELLS
THREE MILLION COPIES PER DAY

Underneath this was a counter, and behind it stood Beaver with his back to me.

I walked up to the counter and smacked it loudly with my trunk.
"Attend to me!" I shouted. Hateman threw a can of cold soup over his shoulder onto my velvet jacket. Without looking around he said "I seem to hear somebody shouting who has a voice nearly as rotten as the Dictator's!".

I was so overcome by this vile behaviour that for a moment I stood speechless.

Beaver finally turned around and said "Oh, it's you!, what d'you want?"

I informed him that I had come on serious business - and leant on my stone club to show I meant business.

"You mean that you want to subscribe to the Badfort News!" said Beaver.

This cheeky remark made my blood boil and I told him his rag was vile. As Hateman edged towards an open case of duck bombs (a missile often used by the Badfort Crowd that bursts covering a person with a nasty sticky juice) Cloutman and Gubbins pinned him by the arms.

We soon discovered the place where they printed their degraded rubbish. Down in the cellar we found a small badger working a rickety old printing machine and Hitmouse (Badfort News's Chief Reporter) scribbling away in one of his Hating books.

The poor badger was actually chained to the machine. Apparently Beaver paid him a saucer of beans a day and had promised him ten pounds a week when he had passed his internship. "Going to pay you !, that old story!" I said to the badger. "And why not?" said Hateman. "Have you never heard of anyone doing an internship without pay - I just interned him in this cellar, that's all!"

This remark was too bad - I moved back for a run.

"Now look here," said Beaver "If you kick me up all the things I have done before will seem like rapture."

I bounded forward and with a thud the body of the odious editor of the Badfort News soared through the open window up, up, up into the clear blue sky landing in the muddy water of Gaby's Marsh.

I trust that is the last of those evil writings in the Badfort News that we shall see.




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Monday, 3 September 2007

Scurrilous Rag !



Today's Badfort News contained a libellous account of the incident at Watercress Lake last week.

THE DICTATOR'S BIGGEST STEAL

We have pointed out, again and again, that the Dictator of Homeward is a thief. The citizens of Badfort were peacefully laying claim to Watercress Lake when they suddenly found themselves being attacked by depth charges.

The fat tyrant then deliberately sabotaged their vessel forcing Mister Hateman and Mister Hitmouse to flee. If it were not for their noble skills at swimming they would not have escaped with their lives.

Uncle and his brutal followers just laughed at their predicament.


I have had enough of this. The paper is a disgrace. It is always full of attacks against the people of Homeward, and against any sober, honest person or decent trader.

The advertisements are also very low. Burglar outfits are offered for sale, also knuckedusters and false money.

It's high time I put a stop to this. I shall call at the office of the Badfort News tomorrow, and make a complaint.



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Saturday, 1 September 2007

Big Uncle Final



Thankfully, this year's "Big Uncle" did not turn into a debacle like last year's.

Not surprisingly, the winner this year was Professor Watkin. The audience really took the Professor to their hearts after his excited description of the work he was doing on the largest scientific instrument ever built.

The machine is being bolted together inside a tunnel 17 miles long, far beneath Homeward. When the power is thrown on, in November, it will recreate conditions unknown for 14bn years since the extraordinary fireball that marked the beginning of the universe - the big bang which blasted time and space into existence.

The project may prise open extra dimensions and create baby black holes; it may reveal enigmatic "dark energy" that drives the expansion of the universe. It should certainly discover what some call the "God particle".

This provoked a lively debate amongst the housemates as to the nature of existence with the Professor asserting "We are stardust, billion year old carbon, we are golden, and we have got to get ourselves back to the garden"

All the housemates heartily agreed and they all went into the garden to sunbathe.

The Professor has even started a new fashion trend - who would have thought that the tweed jacket would become the must-have wardrobe item this autumn for teenagers?




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