The Old Monkey and I's suspicions turned out to be right. When we arrived at the Badfort Crowd's makeshift Jail, in the cellars of Lion Tower, we found the doors wide open. The Birds had flown.
The two officers of the Badgertown Police, who were supposed to be guarding them, were staring adoringly at a 'Wanted' poster of Beaver Hateman.
"What is the meaning of this dereliction of duty" I demanded. We could get little sense out of them, however.
"That kind Mister Hootman brought us a lovely lunch - and we soon realised the error of our ways." they mumbled "Beaver is such a hero - a champion of the people. He is so kind, always fighting against injustice - not like you, you big fat tyrant. We just had to let him go, so that he could continue his good works."
"Have they gone mad?, Sir" asked Goodman. "No, not mad." I said "Just infatuated, I fear - but hopefully the affects shall soon wear off." I replied.
It was quite clear that Hootman had spiced their drinking water with Gleamhound's Hate Potion. As usual, his medicine's backward effects had led them to become besotted with their prisoners.
We climbed up Lion Tower to a giant balcony on the top floor to have our tea. My followers were despondent at the thought of the Badfort Crowd on the loose again. As I looked out over my domain, I remarked on what a wonderful day it had been to the Old Monkey and he agreed. Everyone else looked at us askance - "How can you say that, Sir," piped up Goodman "It has been an appalling day - the Badfort Crowd have escaped and goodness only knows what atrocities they are planning..." at that point he was interrupted by a loud caterwauling from below.
"What's that racket?" said Will Shudder. We all looked over the balcony."Why, I do believe that I am being serenaded." I laughed.
Below us the Badfort Crowd were singing a song:
"We love to hear of Uncle's deeds, He makes us feel so glad; His bounty makes the poor man rich, And fills with joy the sad, "How vast his stores of ham and lard, How huge his vats of oil..."
This went on for about twenty verses, all extolling my virtues.
I looked around at the Old Monkey..."So, it worked then?" I said.
"Oh yes, Sir, a Black Tom barrel just outside the cellar exit...I knew they would not be able to resist it. Laced with a whole bottle of Gleamhound's Hate Potion. Seems to have done the trick." he replied.
Of course, I made sure that the whole performance was being filmed - I felt it might prove a useful propaganda tool in my continuing battle with the Badfort Crowd.