“Slightly,” said Ingram, “it seems she suffocated him whilst holding his head against her, so he couldn’t move.”

“What a way to pop your clogs,” replied Tompkins, thinking Miss Scarlett had lost none of her artfulness, “when did this happen, do you reckon?”

“This morning at around half-past midnight,” replied Ingram, “the police in Sussex arrived at the house just as the cleaner was raising the alarm. They wanted to talk to Mr Stark on another matter relating to his au pair, who we both saw rather a lot of last night.”

“Meaning?”

“The woman at the house by the coast last night, the woman with her legs wide apart, turned out to be Stark’s au pair. It appears your friend Stalky had been having sex with her, but we don’t believe the au pair killed Stalky as the timing isn’t correct.”

“No it doesn’t seem so, Constable Ingram, so could Stalky have killed the au pair, do you reckon?”

“Good question, Tomcat,” said Squiffy Wiffy.

Ingram smiled before answering – “We don’t believe so, because the local police were called to Stark’s house last night. Someone had told them they’d seen Stark’s au pair dangling from a tree, but he denied all knowledge of this and said he’d not seen her all day. They had a look around the house but saw no sign of her although her bed was in a mess.”

“Oh Stalky, what were you doing?” wondered Tompkins out loud. He then had a thought regarding something he should be seen to be asking – “where were his family whilst all this was going on?”

“They were up in London seeing their family and so they didn’t know of his demise until a few minutes ago.”

“I see, well, this rather overshadows what I came to see you about, Squiffy Wiffy. I believe a Russian agitator, codename Stalin 2.0, will arrive in this country in 2 days time, to visit his sympathisers in Manchester, Leicester, and Boston. I think you should send PC Ingram here to Harwich, where this person will arrive, my sources tell me, and then follow him or her to see who their friends are. The added incentive will be that The Big Whopper Gang or whatever their name is will follow this person too as it would be a huge coup for them if they could deport this individual.”

“That’s a great idea, Tomcat,” said Squiffy Wiffy, “what do you say, Detective Inspector?”

“I’d like to know where Mr Tompkins gets his information, his data, his sureness of everything,” replied Ingram.

“Well, I am well connected, people know where I live, and feel they can share information with me.” He took out an envelope from his Savile Row jacket, which was so well made no one would have known an envelope lurked inside, and handed it to Ingram.

Ingram opened the envelope. He spread the contents on the desk. All the information was there – the arrival, the itinerary, the speaking engagements, the departure.

“And all this just arrived through your letterbox one morning, did it?” asked Ingram.

“It did, PC Ingram, I’ve no idea what time as I don’t get up in the mornings, other than today. It could have been 6am, 9am, 11am, I’ve no idea and to be frank it doesn’t matter. This could be vital information to preserve the future of our beautiful country, this royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi-paradise, this fortress built by Nature for herself, against infection and the hand of war, this happy breed of men, this little world, this precious stone set in a silver sea, which serves it in the office of a wall,  or as a moat defensive to a house, against the envy of less happier lands, this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

“Very impressive, that’s Richard II, isn’t it?” asked Squiffy Wiffy.

“It is,” replied Topcat, “I played the King in the school production, y’know.”

“Why am I not surprised?” said Ingram looking at the papers and wondering how on earth one person gained access to all this top-secret information. This data had come from MI5, MI6, the Foreign Office, and from overseas. Friends in high places didn’t even come close to describing the level of Tompkins’s contacts.