Still smarting that I have failed to knock a televised three way thing from the headlines and thus failing to become an overnight Internet sensation, I salve my wounded ego and bring you Part Seven of the Horace Adkins saga. My previous advice still holds true. 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, Part Five and Part Six . Due to the fickle nature of fame, I find myself forced to once again distance myself from Part Horse.
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 linked to Horace Adkins, the renowned Barbers Shop Quartet Impresario. Inspector Jones is still not sure what it is, but is sure that swimmer who drowned in the Thames was murdered. Unfortunately, Horace Adkins is presumed dead after his Georgian Mansion was blown up in the course of his suicide. 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.
Jones has had a meeting with his Superintendant and a man from the State Security Services who are very interested in finding out why this visit took place, but have told the Inspector that he will be disowned if his investigation results in adverse public opinion.
One piece of evidence he has is an old paperback written by Archie McRamie in which the main character appears to be none other than Horace Adkins.
Apart from that, the Inspector is sure that the world is turning odd. He suddenly finds himself married to Pippa Hucknell, the investigative journalist whose stories are upsetting his Superintendant. He discovered his car is now a rather chirpy, lime green Datsun Cherry. Since the case has started, he has suffered numerous random wardrobe malfunctions, 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, forced to deal with feral Girl Guides and found he is quite fond of a pink Mark III Ford Zephyr.
Now read on...
As Jones left the office, the receptionist reached out from her hiding place and thrust a card in the Inspectors hand.
“Thank you for your visit” her muffled voice came from the undergrowth. “Your views are important to us, please complete the feedback card and you could win tickets to the Police Light Entertainment Championships”
Thrusting the card into his pocket, Jones stepped into the list which provided him with handy tips for composting while it counted down the floors towards his office.
Walking slowly back to the office, he pondered the meeting with the Superintendant, shook his head. A small piglet chose an inopportune moment to venture out from behind the filing cabinets. Jones aimed a kick at it, but missed. The miniature porcine ran back to the filing cabinets with a high pitched squeal.
At his desk, Jones picked up a pen and wrote the name Horace Adkins in the middle of a blank piece of paper. He drew a fluffy cloud around it, and then added the name Darrius Kipling which he outlined with a spiky cloud. After adding John Doe, he paused and stroked his ginger moustache before outlining it with a coffin shape.
Turning to his computer, he typed in the name Archie McRamie and scribbled down the address that popped up.
“SMITHY!” he yelled across the office. “Fire up the Zephyr, we are going to answer one of modern literatures greatest questions.”
Jones added the name Archie McRamie to his doodle and outlined it with a picture of a book. He started to get out of his chair, paused and in very small letters in a bottom corner, he wrote “Witherspoon, Lewes, Grambling, and Witherspoon” and next to that “Vera Anne Adkins & Violet Ann Adkins” which he decorated with an ornate question mark.
As the two policemen entered the car park, the Datsun Cherry chirruped and flashed its indicators. When Jones walked on past towards the Zephyr, the chirrup died away and the glow in the indicators faded mournfully. As Jones climbed into the Zephyr, the Datsun gave a disconsolate “preeeeep?”
“Did you see that?” Jones asked Smithy. “Don’t you think it odd that a car behaves like that?”
Smithy shrugged. “It’s Japanese isn’t it, Guv? Mighty clever these Japanese.”
The Ford Zephyr growled aggressively as Smithy cut into the slow moving city traffic.
“Well, there was no need for that, was there?” the camp voice of the Sat-Nav admonished Smithy. “Keep going all the way along here and turn right at that delightful hat shop by the lights.”
“This isn’t normal, Smithy.” Jones slammed his down on the deep crimson leather of the bench seat of the Zephyr.
“Sorry, Guv” Smithy responded. “The traffic is bad as a lot of roads are closed ready for the London Egg and Spoon Race.”
Inspector withdrew into a sullen silence that was only punctuated by the voice of the Sat-Nav giving Smithy directions or scolding him for driving indiscretions.
“Guv!” Smithy shook the inspectors arm. “We’re being followed!”
Looking over his shoulder, he recognised the expensive Mercedes and Pippa at the wheel.
“OK, Smithy.” The Inspector growled. “Lose them!”
“Ooooo, what fun!” The Sat-Nav interjected. “Mind that Llama cart!”
There was a squeal of tyres as the Zephyr accelerated past the Llama cart, cut between two buses, mounted the pavement and then roared away. Three youths in boaters dropped their waxwork of Sammy Davies Jnr in Siamese dress and aimed obscene gestures at the rear of the Zephyr.
“i’ve come over all peculiar.” The Sat-Nav panted. “You turn left at the all night haberdashers, love.”
Jones watched the rear window and when the Mercedes failed to come into sight, he apologised under his breath to Pippa.
The house of Archie McRamie was in a quiet, tree lined street in North London. As the Zephyr drew up to the large metal gates, the swung open noiselessly.
Leaving the Zephyr, the two policemen admired the neoclassical mansion.
“Does this look familiar to you?” Smithy asked
Jones nodded as the pair climbed the five white marble steps to the door. Jones pushed the doorbell. Deep inside the mansion, there was the tolling of a bell.
The door was opened by a butler in full regalia.
“Why Inspector Jones!” the butler greeted the pair warmly as his bow tie twirled manically. “How wonderful to see you again. Please come in.”