Saturday, 17 September 2022

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!"

Last night I dreamt I went to Homopoly

Lat night I dreamt I went to Homopoly. It was most peculiar. It began by me being interviewed by Mister Wossy. In the dream, he was a fanatical collector of board games. He kept on going on about a very rare edition of Monopoly he had that was set during the blitz. It sounded a very difficult version of the game, given that you could put a hotel up on Park Lane and the next minute have it blown up! He asked me if we played Monopoly here at Homeward. Of course, we have our own version - Homopoly. The Great Hall is the equivalent of your Mayfair and then there are the various towers that all have their places on the board. Watercress tower is worth quite a lot, but Haunted Tower has little value. Badfort is, not surprisingly, of a similar value to the Old Kent Road. The dream then got even stranger as we all became part of the game. I was staying at Sunset Beach in a holiday home owned by Mister Wossy and his wife, the Ferret Princess. It was infested with extremely long mice and their youngest child insisted on letting them loose in the skirting boards. The electricity kept blowing up as they gnawed through the wires. I was there to present a programme on seaside resorts with a Mister Walliams, the famed cross-channel swimmer. As you know I am very fond of seaside holidays. He was presenting his part of the programme from, of course, Dover - in England. We did a live link-up, and as a jest about the quality of the weather at seaside resorts the director had arranged for large storm clouds to appear in the sky at both Dover and Sunset Beach. It poured with rain. Dear reader - what can it all mean? Do the storm clouds infer that trouble is brewing with the Badfort Crowd?

End of the Pier Show

What a marvellous day it has been! My supporters organised a fantastic show in the pavilion at the end of the pier. Noddy Ninety sang and Wizard Blenkinsop gave an amazing display of the art of prestidigitation. This was followed by a performance of a play I had written myself on the dangers of revolutionary zeal called "Homeward - This Green and Pleasant Land". At the end of the performance a brass band began to play 'Hail to Glorious Uncle' and as I walked onto the stage a group of young badgers began to sing: "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..." Unfortunately, at this point a raucous voice interrupted: "See that pompous humbug Unc On the platform raise his trunk... I felt that the only dignified course was to take no notice of this sordid and unfortunate incident. In the corner of my eye, though, I could see Beaver and Hitmouse bobbing around on a raft by the pier and making rude gesticulations towards me. I decided to make my short speech of farewell in which I thanked everyone for their support and hoped that the tourists would enjoy the rest of their holiday. Besides me were a whole pile of parcels containing items such as buckets and spades, rubber rings and water wings which I graciously offered as a token to their esteem. Everybody clapped and cheered and, despite the incident with Beaver, I felt it was a fitting ending to my time at Sunset Beach.

A Fierce Battle

This morning, Beaver Hateman and his gang of villains made an attack on Homeward armed with their latest weapon the Johnny Seven (OMA) gun. But we were prepared, I had surrounded the courtyard of the Great Hall with followers - armed with high power treacle hoses. I had ordered the that only light resistance should be made so that as soon as they burst through the gates we would have them trapped and surrounded. My plan worked perfectly, I knew that once the firing pins of the Johnny Seven (OMA)'s were sufficiently engulfed in treacle they would be useless. Unfortunately, they were still able to let off some initial salvos of Duck Bombs - one of which hit me square on the trunk. Totally incapacitated, I found myself trapped in the deluge of treacle. Beaver had also been mired in the flood and for a brief moment the hostilities of battle were put aside as we aided each other to escape the quagmire. Of course, I did not allow the sentiment of this isolated incidence of camaraderie to prevent me giving him a good kicking up as soon as the effects of the Duck Bomb wore of.

In the Far Southern Seas

The village has suddenly sped up on its journey. We have become caught in the West Wind Drift, have rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and now find ourselves in the Indian Ocean. As we drift through the tropical seas, the people who are left carry on a dream-like way of life - not caring where we are going or what is to become of us. Tourists still bring in a bountiful revenue, as do the offshore registered companies, so the villagers are still wealthy. But they no longer seem interested in money - they are happy to sit watching the long blue ocean swell past giving the whole mass of the place a slow, sleepy, gentle rocking motion. Only Beaver is still scheming away with money-making ventures. The one thing that I have missed on our journey is bananas - I do like my bananas. So, I was most pleased today when Beaver paid a visit to my cell with a big bunch of them. "Thank you very much, Beaver, but why the despondent air?" I inquired of him. "Them damn yellow fings - thats wot" he bellowed "You know its the Brits favrite fruit? I thought I would corner the market in the fings! make a killing. So I met up with some plantation workers and done a deal with them for some knock-off fruit. Only I found out I paid the same wot Tesco do!" "Hmmm, I see - well look at it this way Beaver. For every £1 worth of the fruit, the retailer takes 40p, the international trading company gets 31p, the distributor gets 17p, the plantation owner 10p and the worker picking them 2p. By buying them direct from the workers you have just exponentially increased their wages. It is a huge publicity coup!" I replied. "Cor, strike a light you're right, mate! Beaver Hateman - Hero of the Working Classes!, I can see the headline now!" marveled Beaver. "So, how about releasing me - in return for that sage advice?" I asked him. "You must be joking - after that kicking up you gave me?" laughed Beaver. "Not on you Nellie!". I remarked that his attitude merely confirmed my belief that he had turned the village into a banana republic - but he did not seem to get the joke.

Boris claims dirty fight in mayor race !

Boris Badger claims that his office was infiltrated by Internet hackers who broke into his email and disrupted his computer system for several hours. He also said that his opponents were "fighting dirty" and would use any tactic to smear him and ensure that Ken Goat won a third term as mayor. A politician, journalist and former editor of Badger News, Boris is the great-grandson of Ali Brock, a Turkish journalist who was briefly Interior Minister in the government of Ahmet Melo Borsuki, Grand Vizier of the Ferret Badger Empire. On his Web site Boris describes himself as a "one badger melting-pot," with Blaireaus, Porsoks and Dachs among his ancestors.

All of a twitter

Cowgill has insisted that I get up to date with modern communications and start being a twit. At first I thought that he had gone mad and was insulting me but, apparently, it is all the rage and many celebrities are doing it. Now you can keep track of all the momentous events in my life, that may have global significance, in the column on the right. I think it is marvelous and quite enthralling but the Old Monkey is cynical. He thinks that it is frivolous time wasting and merely reflects the mundanity of most people’s everyday lives. I would hardly describe my life as mundane. He says that, as with all new gadgets, I will soon get bored with it and fed up with being constantly twitted. We shall see. My first day's twitters:- * The Old Monkey has drawn my bath. With an HB. Now he is filling with lots of hot water to the optimum temperature. * Lost the loofer. Old Monkey is diving for it. * Barack on the phone - in the middle of my bath! Honestly, he cannot keep ringing me up for advice all the time! about 23 hours ago * Breakfast. Bananas and Koolvat! My Favourite! * Rent Day. There is nothing more I like to see than the sight of thousands of dwarfs in well organised lines queueing to pay their rent! * Gordon just twitted me - should he smile more? No, I tell him your lugubrious features fit perfectly the current depression. * I am sure that Goodman had made a mistake in his book keeping - we are a farthing short! * I'm making Goodman count them all again. One has to learn the importance of punctiliousness. Meanwhile, I am having a nice cup of tea. * Having a ride around in my traction engine! * Barack twitting me now. Any more whizzy ideas for saving the world economy? he asks - honestly can a celebrity entrepreneur ever have peace? * Beaver just threw a duck bomb at me. Missed! * Sarkozy twitting me now. Absolutely furious that Barack is visiting me first! * Stephen Fry just twitted me. Apparently he is going for a walk. * Even the birds are twittering at me now. * Elevenses! A cask of Ham and a bucket of Cocoa! * No surprise that the King of the Badgers is twitting me now - and no surprise that he wants to borrow some money! * Nasty itch in my trunk - the Old Monkey is scratching it for me. * Gordon again. Wants to know if he should save the car industry. Tell people to get on their bikes I say. * Now Beaver is twitting me! He wants to know if I have had any bowel movements today! * All this twittering is driving me twitting mad!