The story of “A Couple of Tenors Short” continues with part eighteen. I still have lots of ideas bouncing around inside me – so it looks like I shall be continuing with this.
If you want to start this serial from the beginning you will have to make do with the original Part One, the updated version will be posted when I am sure that it matches up with my ideas for the plot.
Should you be rejoining the story, or do not have the inclination to read the previous parts, allow me to recap.
Inspector Glynn Jones is investigating the abduction of Archie McRamie, the theft of industrial generators, forged tickets for the Light Entertainment Championships, feral Girl Guides, the smuggling of illegal Macramé yarn, and a suspected murder of a ‘John Doe’ dragged from the Thames. His biggest obstacle to solving all the cases is that Jones believes he is going mad.
Since the case started, he has found himself married to Pippa Hucknell; found that he driving a rather chirpy, lime green Datsun Cherry that behaves like a puppy; suffered numerous random wardrobe malfunctions; keeps re-growing a ginger moustache; bet against his own station in the upcoming police light entertainment championships; had run in with gangs of Buddhist monks; had one of his team hospitalised by the feral Girl Guides and found the camp Sat-Nav unit in the pink Mark III Ford Zephyr is developing a personality and cannot be switched off.
Doctor Wilkins, the famous TV Pathologist has confirmed the unknown swimmer drowned in the Thames after taking a large high tea. The Fruit Fancies of his last meal are being linked to Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling. Darrius works for Horace Adkins, the beloved Barbers Shop Quartet impresario who is presumed dead after a massive explosion at his Georgian Mansion which the local police have suggested was suicide.
After finding a copy of ‘The Cat Crowed at a Little After Two-thirty’ by Archie McRamie in which the main character appears to be Horace Adkins, he decides to pay the author a visit only to find that both he and Smithy had been there before but cannot remember anything about it. Not only does he discover that McRamie has been abducted, but that all records relating to the case have vanished.
Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling and Dunker Phil, another of Adkins employees, were 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. Vera Adkins had gone there to instigate a defamation case, but her sister Violet arrived and talked her out of it.
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.
Now read on...
Jones started to busy himself in preparing dinner, taking the various ingredients and laying them out in neat rows. The security man watched him.
“I do so admire your appetite.” The security man stood behind Jones and peered at the various herbs and spices. “After such a hearty lunch, you can still face dinner. It must be your active lifestyle.”
“I have submitted the report.” Jones took a ginger root from the security man who was sniffing at it suspiciously.
“Yes, I have read it.” The security man stated as he wiped his hands on a towel. “I would describe it as succinct.”
Jones finely chopped an onion.
“It posed more questions than it answered, wouldn’t you say, Inspector?” The security man picked up Pippa’s copy of ‘The Cat Crowed at a Little After Two-thirty’ and thumbed it idly. “This is very good book you know. The research is excellent and superbly written. No wonder it was a best seller.”
“You’ve read it then?” Jones opened his mouth to continue, but decided instead to bite his tongue.
“I read it a couple of years ago when all the hype was at its height.” The security man replaced the book and prowled behind Jones. “Can I take it that you assume that it is this book that is the cause of the defamation case?”
Jones continued to prepare the marinade for the meat. “I don’t believe I mentioned the book in my report.”
“No, you didn’t, Inspector.” The security man reached past him, dipped a finger in the marinade, and tasted it causing his eyebrows to shoot up alarmingly. “Just like you didn’t feel the need to include anything about the subsequent phone call between Sir Andrew and Sir Terrence Cauldron.”
“I have nothing to suggest they are connected.” The knife in Jones’s hand flashed as he cut a beef steak into strips with gusto and put them in the marinade. “I wouldn’t want to mislead you in any way.”
“Indeed. And yet...” The security tapped a bony finger on the book.
Jones turned, leant back against the counter, slowly crossed his arms and stared at the security man. “Look, I’m just an ordinary copper. What do you expect from me?”
“An ordinary copper? I think not, Inspector.” He stared deep into Jones’s eyes. “You are a maverick at heart and I have every confidence in you to give me answers.”
“If you want answers, then first you will have to give me the question.” Jones spoke quietly while returning the security man’s stare.
“Ahhh, yes. The question.” The security man’s mouth imitated a smile. “You may not believe this, but we are on the same side and have more in common than you might think.”
“I’m not sure I believe that.” Jones said flatly.
“Never the less, I do, Inspector.” The security man clasped his hands together and balanced the tip of his nose on his two forefingers. “I pride myself on my memory. It is normally infallible. Yet, I find that recently it has developed gaps that I cannot logically explain. Yet, I find myself and people around me only too willing to accept these... errr... anomalies.”
A silence fell on the kitchen, which Jones was the first to break. “And...”
“I might be incorrect in my hypothesis, you understand.” The security man paused and suddenly turned to look out of the kitchen window. “But looking at the reports on your recent eccentric behaviour, I believe that you may be the only person I’ve met who is actually trying to make sense of it all.”
“Everybody else is out of step except for me.” Jones muttered under his breath.
“Exactly!” The security man span round to face Jones. “What was it your hero Sherlock Holmes said? When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
Jones gave a snort. “Except I haven’t eliminated anything.”
“Yet, Inspector, Anything yet!” The security smiled. “But I’m sure that you will. It could be that you are the only one who can.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Jones spluttered
“Oh dear.” The security man checked his watch. “Look at the time. Pippa will be arriving soon and I have imposed enough. I’m so glad that we had this off the record chat. If you need anything, just let me know.”
“But...” Jones started, but the security man strode off.
As the front door slammed shut, Jones swore under his breath.