“Well, Ingram,” said Squiffy Wiffy, “what do you make of it all?”
“I am amazed at the detail in the information provided to Mr Tompkins, here,” replied Ingram, “just like I am amazed at the lack of any information about The Big Whopper Gang, other than a few emails and occasional breathless messages left on our Customer Service Line.”
Tompkins smiled inwardly but just nodded his head as if absorbing Ingram’s words. By the sounds of it, Stalky Stark’s betrayal hadn’t been to the police, just to their East European enemies.
“Are you able to follow this person soon coming to our shores, Ingram?” asked Squiffy Wiffy appraising Ingram.
“Deputy-Commissioner, it will be an honour to tail this person and see who they meet.”
“Who will you need to help?”
“Well, I was thinking of taking Philpott-Taylor and Hughes-Jones, they’ve shown great promise so far.”
Tompkins slapped his knee – “Great choices, Corky and Welsh Taff would have been my ideal pals on such an adventure.”
“You’ve heard of them?” Ingram asked shaking his head in disbelief.
“They’re the new stars of Scotland Yard, everyone’s heard of them.”
“Well, no, Tomcat, they’ve been working undercover for the last four months, on a major case against home-grown terrorists,” replied Squiffy Wiffy. He held his hand up to reassure Tompkins before saying “It’s alright I know your contacts are almost limitless, so I am not surprised YOU know about them.”
“Well, yes, you’re right, I forget not everyone’s as well connected as my esteemed self, and sometimes when I say everyone, I mean me. It’s a fault I have and I know it’s wrong,” said Tompkins.
“Well, I am glad you approve of my choices,” said Ingram, “but I would like your advice on something, Mr Tompkins, as you are so well connected, what do you think the Big Whopper Gang will try and do? Will they leave this person alone, track him, or try and deport him?”
“Well, Ingram I know no one in this Big Whopper Gang of yours, so I can’t answer that, I’m sorry to say. One other thing,” at this point Topcat tapped the side of his nose, “I think you might find that the person you’re going to follow is a female of the species, so you’d better get that sorted out, afore ye go.”
“A woman?” said Squiffy Wiffy, “how dare they, the fiends, putting a poor lady through this trial, this ordeal.”
“I think you’re investigations will show her to be ruthless, I will also bet her name isn’t Ruth either – that was a Tomcat joke – but she is coming here of her own free will and believe you me, she is the top person in her organisation, no doubt about it.”
“She will go to Manchester first, so I presume she can travel there on her own,” said Ingram, “and the easiest way will be the train as hiring a car would leave a paper trail for us to follow.”
“Sounds plausible to me, Ingram,” said Tompkins, “but bish and bosh, I shouldn’t be here – I have a lunch appointment on the other side of town. I should scoot over there right away.”
“Oh, one final item, something strange occurred yesterday and I wonder if you know anything of the details, being so well connected and all that,” said Ingram, “someone left a written-off Jaguar, a red one such as the one you drive, in the middle of a showroom. A brand new Jaguar was then stolen, by person or persons unknown.”
“Well, Ingram, are you accusing me of being a car thief, just because you know I drive a similar car to one stolen yesterday by persons unknown?”
“No, he’s not,” said Squiffy Wiffy, “but it’s a coincidence we can’t ignore, Tomcat, so if you know anything or hear anything that might interest your friends at Scotland Yard, please contact me.”
“I will,” said Tompkins deciding to tone down his mock foray into anger, “and with that I will bid you adieu and good luck following our foreign friend, Inspector Ingram.”
Tompkins left the room, even shutting the door of the outer office without scaring Tiffany. He was on his way to see Miss Scarlett and hear how Stalky Stark met his end.