Monday, 20 October 2008

Tight Little Island

I have not posted for sometime because I have had a very serious problem to deal with.

The villagers seemed to have regressed in their behaviour and are getting up to the deplorable antics of their ancestors.

In the 18th century, Homesea was reportedly the busiest smuggling community on the Homeward coast. Its natural isolation, protected by marshy moorland, offered a natural aid to this well-organised business which at one point led to 80% of the tea drunk in Homeward being untaxed.

This smuggling at sea was backed up by many on land who were willing to finance and transport contraband. Notably, Beaver Hateman's forebears.

As now, the villagers were a tight knit community. Fierce battles ensued between smugglers and excise men, both at sea and on land, and the villagers were known to pour treacle over excise men from bedroom windows in the narrow alleyways.

Hiding places, bolt holes and secret passages abounded. It is said that a barrel of Black Tom could pass from the bottom of the village to the top without leaving the houses.

Undercover of darkness, smugglers would creep up the beach into a secret tunnel that led to a further labyrinth of routes deep beneath the village.

My suspicions were aroused when I spotted Beaver plotting with some of the local french fishermen. I arranged for my detective, A.B.Fox, to be secretly parachuted into the village to conduct investigations.

It appears that Beaver has been smuggling Black Tom into France and bringing in untaxed goods to the village. At first I thought it was just the Badfort Crowd up to their usual tricks, but it seems pretty much everyone in the village had their hands dirty. The pubs were full of villagers consuming cheap whiskey. The shops abounded with tax free spirits, tobacco and perfumes - drawing in even more tourists looking for bargains.

I could not, of course, allow the Homeward Exchequer to be robbed in this way and ordered the Homesea Guard to put a stop to these activities.

Last night, fisticuffs ensued as they chased the Badfort Crowd out of the tunnels. Noddy Ninety declared that Hitmouse certainly did not enjoy having a marlinspike up him.

The tunnels are sealed. I may not be so popular with the villagers - but law and order must prevail.

Perhaps they will be happier tomorrow, after I unveil my plans for Homesea's return, at the Town Hall meeting.



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