After a minute, Tompkins slowed – “We’re not that far away now, Daisy, I will just switch off the headlights, so they can’t see us coming.”

        “What’s the plan, Tomcat?”

        “Bish and bosh, Daisy, that’s a fine question and no mistake. We will just stop around the corner and approach on foot. It will be about 100 yards to Stalky’s place.”

        “Sounds gripping, doesn’t it? Are we going to rescue Spinky?”

        “Well, if we can, we should, I will just pull in here behind these trees. There should be a path towards the house we can follow.”

        After they’d alighted, Tompkins put on his patriotic Wellingtons and grabbed the torches. He handed one to Daisy.

        “Put the torch in your pocket, Daisy, it might come in useful.”

        Tompkins placed something in his own pocket, and then locked the car with his key as the remote control might have alerted the enemy to their presence. He pointed towards some conifer trees a few yards away.

        “The house is behind those trees, Daisy, so let’s move up to them and then peer through the branches to see what we can spy. I am hoping the opposition are looking the other way.”

        “Will they have dogs, do you think, Tomcat?” asked Daisy.

        “They might, but I have my brought my trusty truncheon, given by the Commissioner of the Met no less, with its extra-long handle as a way of defending us. I suggest you pick up a dirty big stick and a stone, just in case.”

        “Good idea, Tomcat, this is something we didn’t do during our orienteering training at school in the wilds of Wales.”

        “Life’s a continual lesson, Daisy, and when you stop learning you are toast,” replied Tompkins loping over the uneven ground like a giraffe on the savannah. He moved so quickly that Daisy had to run at full speed just to keep in touch with him.

        When they reached the trees. Tompkins crouched down and peered towards the house.

        “Well, Daisy, I see no lights and no vehicle. Is the indicator still showing Spinky as here?”

        Daisy put down her stick and stone. She opened her laptop behind the widest tree and looked at the screen. The light was still flashing. She enlarged the size of the map and saw that the indicator was almost certainly inside the house. She reported this fact to Tompkins.

        “My first reaction to that is ‘it’s a trap’ – but I can’t see anyone in the house. We need a motion sensor really, to evaluate the situation.”

        “Well, Tomcat, I have a thermal heat sensor app on this laptop. I tricked the app into thinking it was on a tablet device, so it should work. The only problem is that I have to point the camera at the building and if someone is watching they will see the flash.”

        “Right, I am sure our East European chums would love that, Daisy, if they’re there and looking this way.”

        “We have to do something, because we can’t stay here until daybreak, Tomcat.”

        “You’re right, so on balance I think we should continue with extreme caution. Keep your laptop / tablet thingie out of the way until we’re close to the rhododendron bush over there and then point it at the house.”

        “Right, that sounds good, oh what was that? I thought I saw a four-legged creature coming from the front of the house.” Daisy tucked the laptop under her arm and picked up the stick and stone.