Friday, 10 April 2009

Murder on the Goldfish Lodge Express

As you will remember, I did not sleep well last night - due to my concerns over the fate of my missing rents from Goldfish Lodge.

When I finally did get to sleep, my slumber was not undisturbed.

Firstly, I was awoken by the screeching of brakes. The train abruptly came to a halt.

I looked out of the window and was somewhat surprised to see it snowing. Odd for the time of year, one might think, but even odder given that the Trans-Homeward railway runs completely underground.

Noddy Ninety poked his head around the door. "Sorry, for the delay Sir, been an explosion at the Dwarf's Confetti Factory. Should be underway again, soon." he explained.

I have heard some strange excuses for train delays but it seems that this really was a case of the wrong kind of snow.

I had barely got to sleep again before I was once more unceremoniously awoken. This time by a loud cry from Noddy Ninety - "MURDER, MURDER!" he cried as he ran down the corridor.

"Don't Panic, Don't Panic, Sir!" he cried as he rushed in "But there has been a murder - someone has done away with young Eddie Eighty!"

Murder - an unheard of event at Homeward. I summoned A.B.Fox, my detective, to the Restaurant Car.

"This is all most inconvenient. Come on Fox, I need you to get to the bottom of this pronto!" I instructed him "We'll never get to Goldfish Lodge at this rate!" I added.

An hour later, he asked us all to convene, over a light supper, to inform us of his deductions.

"I am afraid, Sir, that there is no doubt that one of you followers must be responsible" he declared to our astonished group.

"It is all about motive and opportunity, Sir, and clearly a number of your followers had the motive!" he declared.

"Really? - I cannot imagine why anyone would want to kill Eddie Eighty?" I responded.

"Well Sir, that is why I am a detective - having interviewed all the suspects it is clear that there are a number of reasons for your followers to have felt threatened by Eddie. The Old Monkey felt deeply that his position as your monkey servant had been usurped by the administrations of Eddie at dinner last night. The One-armed Badger was clearly aggrieved that Eddie had proven porterage skills that were at least equal if not better than his own." declared A.B.

Both the Old Monkey and The One-armed Badger looked upset and were about to interrupt - but A.B. waved away their remonstrations and continued his discourse.

"However, there is only one person that had both motive and opportunity - Noddy Ninety!" he postulated, pointing an accusatory finger at the nonagenarian.

At this, Noddy promptly fainted.

"Yes, I am afraid it is so, Sir" added A.B. "Fearing that the younger man would prove a more efficient railwayman, and despite the fact that he himself had trained..."

He got no further, as, at this point Eddie Eighty came bustling through the door, with the refreshments trolley.

"I see you are all having trouble getting to sleep, anyone fancy a nice cup of cocoa as a nightcap?" he inquired solicitously.

Noddy, who had just come round, promptly fainted again at the sight of the walking dead.

"You are supposed to be dead!" I blustered at Eddie.

"Oh sorry, Sir, am I? - I did not realise. Is it a game? - only I have been having forty winks. Have I missed all the fun?" he replied.

"Noddy!" I shouted "Can you not tell the difference between a dead man and a sleeping man??!"

"Well, he did not have the decency to snore like everyone else" said Noddy lamely.

"For goodness sake! Get this train moving or we will never get to Goldfish Lodge!" I commanded - "Old Monkey, be so kind as to bring me a bucket of cocoa!" I added.

The Old Monkey gave me a grateful look - honestly, the idea that anyone could replace my faithful servant is absurd!

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