“Is it some kind of artwork, a conceptual artist perhaps, who’s trying to make a name for themselves?” asked Toppy.
“Is she a real woman or one of those mannequins who’s been bent into a certain position?” asked Dapper Dan.
“Would you like a second opinion, Inspector, I am a GP so perhaps I could help?” said Terry.
Ingram held up his hands and cleared away some of the smoke before replying – “Thank you, for your help, gentlemen, it is a real woman, and we don’t need a second opinion, thank you Dr Terry, as for concept art, I don’t believe it is as the woman died from hanging, and recently too judging from the state of her – rigor mortis has not yet set in. The ambulance is on its way.”
“Speaking of rigor mortis, I remember a chap called Roger Mortis, who used to shag and half-kill his victims,” said Toppy, to no one in particular.
“Yes, ‘Roger by name and Roger by nature, woof’, that was his catchphrase,” said Dapper Dan.
“Anyway, Ingram, it’s about time the chaps were heading off back to town, for a well-earned night’s rest, is there any reason to detain them any longer?” said Tompkins.
“I don’t believe there’s any reason to keep them here, so you are all free to go,” replied Ingram, “I see no necessity to come back into the house, so you might as well lock it up.”
“Right, we’ll do that” replied Tompkins edging towards Ingram and forcing him to leave the room. The alternative was to be slowly trampled by Tompkins’s size 16 feet that were heading his way.
Ingram vacated the premises, not even casting a glance at the ‘concept art’ in the front garden, which was being covered in a tarpaulin by the local constabulary.
Tompkins watched Ingram leave and turned to his brothers in arms huddled around him.
“Well, chaps, is it me or is that man more dangerous than the Russkies and East Europeans?”
“He’s tenacious,” said Dapper Dan, “which gives me an idea.”
“And what’s that?” asked Tompkins casting an enquiring eyebrow in Dan’s direction.
“Well, we can use old Ingram to do some of our chasing, give him some information about the arrival of our friend from the East and see whether Ingram can’t tail him, which will save us the trouble. We could head over to Deauville for a few days and relax.”
“That’s a belting idea,” said Toppy, “but how do we get the information to the man, without him realising he’s doing our dirty work?”
“Well, bish and bosh,” replied Tompkins, “let me deal with that aspect of the blueprint – I’ll tell his boss some cock-and-bull story and he’ll put Ingram on the trail.”
“That’s a great idea as usual from my Tomcat friend, the single man Power Station,” said Dapper Dan, blowing a smoke ring.
“Just comes naturally,” said Tompkins shrugging his shoulders in a modest way, “anyway I should be on my way, I must be back in town by 10pm – I have to see Dr Black at The Glitz Bar about the people Stalin 2.0 will visit on his trip over here. Once I know, I can tell Spiffy Wiffy where Ingram will need to go.”
“Will you be sending us a pigeon, Tomcat, about our next meeting?” asked Terry.
“Absolutely, pigeons by tea time tomorrow,” replied Tompkins.
“There is one thing, Tomcat,” said Toppy Rogers-Hewitt, “you mentioned Stalky earlier in relation to the dead au pair. Do you think he might have compromised our situation, our group in any way?”
“Great point, Toppy, we should find out shouldn’t we?” Tompkins thought for a second and then clicked his fingers. “I have it – in our ranks as some of you know, is a certain Miss Scarlett, who is adept at several things. I’ll ask her to apply for the vacant au pair position at Stalky’s place. She will approach Stalky and find out what he gives away during sex. If he says anything at all out of line, she will suffocate him in a fit of passion.”
“A fit of passion?” said Dapper Dan, “that sounds an interesting way to go.”
“Yes, she is adept at that,” said Terry, “it lends a new meaning to the words ‘muffled sound’”.
“Woof,” said Toppy.
Tompkins’s stentorian laugh rang around the landscape. With that, he bounded out of the house with a cheery wave and ran to his car. He gave it a careful examination for tracking devices before reversing along the road at 100mph. He performed the same careful manouevre past the mud and proceeded to London in a forwards direction, avoiding all the telegraph poles along the road.