After showering, Tompkins headed back to the roof and the pigeon loft. His heart pounded with patriotic pride at seeing the birds back so soon. His pals would all attend the meeting. Tompkins saw a pure-white pigeon and almost stopped breathing – Filly had sent him a message on her personal bird – this would be important. He opened the casket and read: “What ho, Tomcat, will be back on Friday – some strange rumours here on the continent. Hope everything is well avec toi.”
Tompkins’s mighty chest swelled at the upbeat message from his dear wife. He loved her patriotism and gung-ho spirit. Tompkins looked at his watch and concluded there was time for a cocktail at The Glitz Bar before his visit to Aunt Jemima’s home. He trotted around to the bar and saw his friend Dry Bob Bentonshaw sitting at a table cradling a whisky and soda.
“Dry Bob, how are things hanging?”
“Well, Tomcat, that business with Dapper Dan has me worried, has the other side taken him?”
“Perhaps or he may be in Deauville for a few days of rest and relaxation, as he does when he’s feeling listless. He’ll be fine, I can sense it in my bones, sinews, ligaments, and muscles.”
“Hello, Tomcat,” said Spinky Mills sitting next to Dry Bob, but leaving room for Tuppy Tupton who was conversing nearby with another pal.
“Mr. Mills. Are we meeting later?” asked Tompkins.
“Yes, Tomcat, and Tuppy will be too. We can motor round there as a group.”
“I think I’d prefer to saunter around there on foot,” replied Tompkins, “because, I am wondering how the opposition are always one step ahead of us. I need to think things through. The walk will help. The alcohol will play a part too.”
“Well, Tomcat, here’s the question we need to have the answer to,” said Tupton, sitting at the table and placing his Alexander cocktail precisely in the centre of his personal dark-blue crystal coaster he kept behind the bar.
Tuppy continued: “The question we have to ask is – who are the opposition? Are they part of our organisation, are they sitting around this table now, for example?”
“Yes,” replied Tompkins, “that’s the question and no mistake. We can’t conduct a witch-hunt though, not now, because we must organise ourselves against whomever the opposition might be. Looking inwards and trying to find out whether everyone is a true and proper patriotic pal will be just what the opposition wants. We can’t afford to do that. We must act now. I have a plan for that.”
“What is the plan?” enquired Dry Bob.
“Well, Dry Bob, I could tell you. But, I owe it to our mutual friends to tell everyone at the same time. Wait for the meeting at Aunt Jemima’s.”
“Fair enough,” said Dry Bob signalling to the waiter he wanted another drink.
“Who last saw Dapper Dan?” asked Spinky.
“I believe it was Terry and Toppy, who dropped him at his Knightsbridge home early this morning,” replied Tompkins, “they then called on him for lunch and his butler said Dapper’s bed was in pristine condition.”
“Might it be a woman?” asked Tuppy.
“There’s a question,” said Tompkins, “and no mistake. Yes, it might well be. Was he seeing anyone?”
“Carol,” said Dry Bob.
“Wendy H,” said Tuppy.
“Sarah and her sister, Emily,” said Spinky.
“Oh, and whatsername, Esme,” said Tuppy.