“Bish and bosh,” said Tompkins, “no wonder he was always yawning, I am surprised he ever had any time for the cause.”
“The cause was his number 1 priority,” said Dry Bob, “The Dapper One was always quick to reassure me about that fact.”
“Good to hear,” said Spinky, “my heart is pounding with patriotic pride.”
Tomcat smiled at the utterance.
He then asked – “Can we contact these women and see whether they know where Dry Bob is?”
“I can,” said Spinky, “I have their numbers. I will do that right now.”
Spinky Mills vacated his seat and headed for the phone at reception to make the calls.
“I like how he said his heart was pounding with patriotic pride, that made me proud,” said Tompkins.
“Yes, it was a good utterance,” said Tuppy, “it sounds like something you’d say, Tomcat.”
“Yes, it did, didn’t it,” replied Tomcat and a brief shudder caused him to think.
“What’s the matter?” asked Dry Bob, “you look as though someone walked over your grave.”
“It was nothing. I thought for half-a-second Spinky Mills had been copying my way of speaking and I was wondering why. How long have you known him for, Dry Bob?”
“Since school, Tomcat,” replied Dry Bob, “he’s one of us, in his opinion Thatcher was a Liberal.”
“Woof,” said Tompkins with vigour, “that sounds right, although she did good things for us.”
“She did,” replied Tuppy, “but Spinky is on our side, no doubt there.”
“Good to hear, anyway how’s your mater doing?”
“She’s evicted all the estate workers. She increased their rent by 250% and they couldn’t pay, so she told them to leave and they refused. Mater spent a lot of money on lawyers, bailiffs, dogs with sharp teeth, and police overtime before the blighters left. Their argument was that they had a grandfather clause in their rental agreements as they and their families had been working on the estate for over 200 years. Eventually, the troublemakers were served the eviction notice and forced to leave.”
“Peasants,” said Dry Bob, “always causing trouble.”
“I can’t abide squatters,” agreed Tompkins, “living in someone else’s property without their permission. That’s so damnable.”
“Were they from Eastern Europe?” asked Dry Bob.
“No, they’d been living there for centuries, but that doesn’t mean they can stay forever on their own terms, does it? It’s mater’s place.”
“The East Europeans probably inspired their Bolshie attitude,” said Tuppy, “I’ve only just realised that, you know. Could Stalin 2.0’s henchmen be involved, Tomcat?”
“I wouldn’t put anything past those rotters, trying to undermine our democratic processes, where landowners may throw anyone off their land they damn well want to throw off. The Charter of the Forest can go to blazes, that’s what I say.”
“Hear, hear,” said Tuppy.
“I wonder where Spinky’s got to?” asked Dry Bob after a further five minutes of conversation.
“He had 5 women to phone,” said Tompkins, “perhaps he’s been asking too many questions? You can check on him, Dry Bob, if you’re worried.”
“I think I will, I was expecting him to be back by now.” Dry Bob headed off towards the reception desk leaving Tomcat and Tuppy at the table.
“Have you heard from Filly, Tomcat?”
“I have, that magnificent example of English womanhood will be back on home soil on Friday, having made another safe delivery of our foreign friends.”
“She’s brave, Filly, driving over there on her own with all those drugged foreigners.”
“She is brave, you’re right Tuppy, but she gets on with things, grips events in both hands and hangs on, she doesn’t let go, plus she shares the driving.”
“Dry Bob is waving to us, Tomcat, I think he might have news for us. Perhaps Spinky has found something out from one of those gals he was phoning?”
“Well, woof, woof, let’s see what Spinky has found out, shall we?” said Tompkins, draining his cocktail before striding off and leaving Tuppy in his wake.
As Tompkins approached Dry Bob Bentonshaw he noticed that Dry Bob was looking as anxious as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking-chairs occupied by hyperactive children.
“Dry Bob, what news from our pal, Spinky? Is he still on the phone?” barked Tompkins.
“Er, no, Tomcat, that’s the problem, Spinky was never on the phone. The receptionist said he was about to dial the first number when an attractive female distracted him, and they left together. The receptionist hadn’t seen the lady before. She was blonde he believes, but she was wearing a hat that obscured her face.”
“She was, and Spinky Mills has gone the way of Dapper Dan, by the look of it,” said Tompkins smacking his right fist into his left hand with a slapping sound that caused the receptionist to jump.