Thursday, April 22, 2010

Does Your Chewingum Lose its Flavour

Despite not yet becoming the Internet sensation it deserves, the tale continues with a slightly longer entry today. You find yourself in line to pick up your copy of Part Six. Previously, I have suggested that those who have not already done so, should acquaint themselves with the innovatively named Part One followed, in the nature of radical nomenclature, by Part Two , Part Three, Part Four and Part Five. And yes, I am really sorry if any of you ignored my advice and visited Part Horse – I won’t include the link again.

Should you be rejoining the story, or do not have the inclination to read the previous parts, allow me to recap.

Inspector Jones is stubbornly investigating a case. Inspector Jones is still not sure what it is, but is sure that swimmer who drowned in the Thames was murdered and that this murder is linked to Horace Adkins, the renowned Barbers Shop Quartet Impresario. Unfortunately, Horace Adkins is also dead after his Georgian Mansion was blown up in the course of his suicide. However, Horace’s two employees, Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling and Dunker Phil are very much alive and where observed with Vera Anne Adkins and Violet Ann Adkins, two of Horace’s daughters, visiting the offices of London’s premier trial lawyers, Witherspoon, Lewes, Grambling, and Witherspoon.

He also believes that an old paperback discovered in an evidence bag on his desk is related to the case as the main character in the well-thumbed paperback appears to be none other than Horace Adkins.

On the plus side, he has discovered that he is married to Pippa Hucknell, the investigative journalist with a reputation amongst members of the force and they share a rather nice art deco house.

On the flipside, he also discovered his car is now a rather chirpy, lime green Datsun Cherry. Since the case has started, he has grown a moustache that has turned out ginger, bet against his own station in the upcoming police light entertainment championships, had run in with gangs of Buddhist monks and found he is quite fond of a pink Mark III Ford Zephyr. While Jones investigates why London life has become odd, his Superintendant believes he is investigating an international macramé racket and wants to know why Jones suspects the late, lamented Horace Adkins, of being involved.

Now read on...

Back at the station, Jones made a beeline for Sergeant Collins who was busy filing in the records office. Jones waited patiently as Collins catalogued a pile of Perry Como CDs.

“Hello again, Inspector.” Collins greeted Jones cheerfully. “What can I do for you today?”

“I wondered if I could have two extra tickets for the Light Entertainment Championships.”

The sergeant sucked in breath loudly, then went over to the door and closed it quietly. “I shouldn’t yer know? These are the last two, but as it’s you...”

The tickets were retrieved from a strongbox hidden behind a pile of old sheet music. Four crisp twenty pound notes changed hands. The sergeant offered the Inspector a cup of tea and the two chatted for a while over the state of the Wembley turf and whether Collins would need to change the routine to cater conditions.

The tea drunk, the Inspector headed up the stairs towards his desk. As soon as he entered the room, Smithy stopped him.

“The Superintendant wants to see you.” Smithy paused, looked around the room and added in a hushed whisper, “Immediately he said.”

Ignoring the summons, Jones went to his desk and checked through the small pile of new cases that had come in overnight. Two were reports of illicit macramé dealers lurking around tourist hotspots, one was a missing shipment of Columbian colouring pencils, another of a power blackout at a coleslaw plant and the remainder where reports of a feral pack of Girl Guides performing random handicrafts on the passing public in Hyde Park.

Jones picked up the folders with the reports of the feral Girl Guides and took them over to Tom Taylor who was preening his afro.

“Aw, Guv!” Tom whined as he saw the subject of the files. “Why me? Can’t one of the other guys deal with it?”

“You’ll be fine, Tom.” Jones reassured him. “Take a squad from uniform and just make sure that you take plenty of cleaning materials. Oh, and remember, whatever you do, don’t blow any whistles.”

Jones turned on his heel and ignored Tom’s sobs.

The superintendant’s office took up most of the top floor of the station. Jones took the elevator which announced each floor they passed and threw in random quotations from W.C. Fields for good measure.

The lift doors opened into the atrium of the Superintendant’s office. Avoiding the kittens playing with confiscated yarn and ducking to avoid a swooping bird of paradise, Jones left the lift.

“You can go straight in, Inspector.” The voice of the receptionist came from a thicket of aspidistra. “The Superintendant is expecting you.”

At the huge brass, double doors, Jones paused and instinctively went to tidy up his dress. Jones swore as he realised his blue suit trousers had become purple corduroy and the jacket was now leather and proudly proclaimed “Skiffle on Tour”.

“Language, Inspector!” The camouflaged receptionist admonished him as the huge brass doors swung open.

The Superintendant was at his grand piano in the far corner of the room, eyes closed, swaying in time to his expert rendition of a medley of Jimmy Young hits. Three athletes sat behind the counter of the cocktail bar, hand jiving furiously.

Positioning himself carefully on the Persian rug to avoid standing under the chandelier where several large macaws were squabbling over a bag of Nobby’s Nuts, Jones waited for the piano recital to finish. As he did so, a man in the green lycra bodysuit preferred by the State Security Services stepped out from behind the ornate Japanese lacquered screen.

“Ahhh, Inspector Jones” the Superintendant stopped playing and rose from the piano to polite applause from the athletes. “Please, don’t stand on ceremony, take a seat.”

The Inspector sat in one of the large G-Plan easy chairs. The Superintendant sat in the other.

“I’ve been reading your report.” The security man said, while prowling behind the Superintendant. “It is all very, very interesting.”

“Thank you, sir.”

The security services made Jones nervous. This one, with his numerous sponsors’ patches on his lycra suit singling him out to be particularly senior, made him even more so.

“You do realise that to the people of this country, the name of Horace Adkins is uttered with pride and no little respect” The security man paused and waited for Jones to nod. “Indeed, this is an election year and Prime Minister Cowell doesn’t want any bad publicity.”

“None whatsoever” the Superintendant butted in to stress the point. “The last thing we need is that busybody reporter, Pippa Hucknell broadcasting stories like she did this morning that link Horace Adkins to the Macramé Trade.”

Jones blushed slightly.

The security man pressed the tips of his fingers together and leaned forward in an impression of a praying mantis that drew involuntary gasps of admiration from the athletes.

“Indeed.” The security man looked at the Superintendant and extended his prowl to circumnavigate the water feature. “Fortunately we have been able to serve a gagging order to the troublesome Ms Hucknell.”

“So you are telling me to stop investigating the affairs of the late Horace Adkins?” Jones snapped at the two men.

“Late Horace Adkins?” the security man gave a cold laugh. “He is only presumed dead, Inspector. We have yet to recover a body and all this speculation over a state funeral is purely that – speculation.”

“But I am still to shutdown this investigation.” Jones thumped the arm of his chair causing the leg rest to fly out and a small cloud of dust to rise into the room.

“Oh no, on the contrary.” The security man smiled in a way to cause Jones to fear for control of his bladder. “We want you to continue and most of all we want to know why his daughters visited Witherspoon, Lewes, Grambling, and Witherspoon.

A gesture from the Superintendant indicated that the meeting was over. Jones rose from his chair and headed for the doors.

“One more thing, Inspector.” The security man spoke as Jones neared the doors. “If this goes wrong or anything happens that could embarrass Prime Minister Cowell, we will deny that this conversation ever took place.”

“These are strange times.” The superintendant butted in.

“Exactly!” the security man shot the Superintendant a fierce some stare. “If this thing blows up, to every Daily Mail reader you will be just another rogue cop who overstepped his stereotype. I hope you understand?”

He paused and gave another smile that made the Inspector’s bladder twitch. “Good Day, Inspector.”

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