“Let’s try that,” said Daisy, “I have my boots on as I thought there’d be an adventure at some point – there usually is on your expeditions.”

        “Well done, Daisy. I have my red, white, and blue wellies in the boot and two torches, so that ought to suit us.”

        “Sounds perfect, do you need guiding?”

        “I know the way, though I might need another pair of eyes to find the turning in the village although the moon might be our ally. Look at it up there, casting a benevolent gaze on our journey. You get 40 winks – it’s about 35 country miles, so we should be there in 25 minutes or so.”

        “You have such an encyclopedic knowledge of the area.”

        “I’ve driven around here a lot – don’t worry I won’t be driving as quickly as normal.”

        “Will they be harming Spinky, do you think?”

        “Well, it wouldn’t be very sporting if they did, after all we just dump their brethren in Calais and Transylvania, for example. We don’t harm them – just relocate them. In fact, we don’t charge them for the journey at all. Damn civilised I think.”

        “I see,” said Daisy, “I’ll nap for a few minutes while you drive the car.”

        Tompkins speeded up. Now, he felt anxious about Spinky, anxious because he wasn’t sure whether Spinky knew about Stalky’s place and whether Spinky had been there before. And why had they chosen Stalky’s in the first place? Was it because they thought Stalky’s was a safe house for them, a place where they could hold Spinky?

        The thoughts span around inside Tompkins’s head like a caffeinated hampster until he was second guessing himself. He calmed down using techniques learned from the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. In return, His Holiness had perfected Tompkins’s exercise regime for biceps and triceps in three lessons.

        When Tompkins arrived at the village he trundled through at a sedate pace, allowing himself a good look around to see what other vehicles there were. One car caused him to wrinkle his brow – a dark-coloured estate car parked by the village pond facing the direction Tompkins had just come from. Someone was expecting him. There was one person in the car and the lights were off.

        Tompkins nudged Daisy as he turned the car round.

        “Daisy, how would you like to act as a distraction?”

        “In what way?” asked Daisy, blinking.

        “Well, that car back there by the pond has a man in it. I wonder whether you could use your wiles to entertain his attention for a few seconds, whilst I render him unconscious?”

        “I’m sure I could,” said Daisy, “I’ve had a few acting lessons, so I can come across as a flirt. But, please don’t be too far away.”

        “I won’t be, I’ll be behind the car. If you can get him out of the vehicle, that would be best.”

        “Right, here goes,” said Daisy, and got out of the Jaguar, closely followed by Tompkins. He watched as Daisy walked to the driver’s side door and knocked on the window. Tompkins calculated where the blind spot would be and tip-toed to the car. Whatever Daisy was saying or more likely doing was distracting the man. He got out of the car and followed Daisy towards the only house where a light was shining.

        Tompkins needed no second invitation. He grabbed the man and throttled him until he lost consciousness. Tompkins lifted the man over his shoulder. He took the keys out of the ignition and unlocked the boot. He dumped the man inside and removed all potential weapons – a jack and two large wrenches.