Saturday, 17 September 2022

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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