“They were,” said Tompkins, “which is why I asked you. I take it you had nothing to do with it and that you haven’t taught your technique to anyone else?”
“No, Tomcat, it was nothing to do with me and I haven’t shown anyone the ‘technique’, as you call it. It’s a question of lining them correctly, that’s all.”
“Right, well just checking, just asking the question,” replied Tompkins shrugging his muscular shoulders.
“Yes, but the thing is, I thought those two were on our side, so who’s doing that to our people? Someone is copying what we’re doing to them?”
“There’s doubt Spinky and Dapper Dan were on our side. Spinky was in Stalky’s house where you performed the deed on Stalky and Dapper Dan was by a chessboard on the beach in Lewis where the Lewis Chessmen were found. Two moves were played, and Dapper Dan was White, so I’m not sure what meaning that conveys.” Tompkins looked confused as he said this.
“Our next move will be made by a dead man, if we leave things as they are then no further people will disappear, but if we make the next move then further people will die – that’s the message. Dapper Dan was on our side, which is why they took him, plus the fact he had the chessboard with the Lewis Chessmen in his drawing room.”
Miss Scarlett leaned forward to touch Tompkins on the arm and continued.
“You know, Tomcat, I think I should find out what Dimitri knows and doesn’t know and then we can determine our next move and who makes it. I don’t believe the opposition will do anything until we make our move.”
Tompkins felt like saying something that had just occurred to him, but he decided not to.
“OK, Miss Scarlett, please see what you can find out. Don’t be too harsh on Dimitri, we might need him afterwards, depending on what you find out.”
“Right, let’s see what we can do, for Queen and country. I take it our friend is in the usual place and no one will watch?”
Tompkins nodded his head and smiled.
Miss Scarlett stood up, smoothed down her dress almost as though she was trying to make it adhere to all her curves, which were plentiful, and left the room. Toby and Daisy replaced her.
“Daisy, you can watch, if you still want to. I told Miss Scarlett no one would watch, so make yourself scarce afterwards as she might well look.”
“Will do, Tomcat,” said Daisy, “there are two doors out of the viewing room and I know which one to use to bypass her.”
“Good, well enjoy yourself, Daisy,” replied Tompkins.
“Daisy seems a little revitalised, don’t you think?” asked Toby after Daisy had gone.
“Yes, she does, I am not sure what she’s expecting to see and learn in the next hour or so, but it seems to have woken her up,” replied Tompkins flicking away a thread with idle disdain. Anyway, there’s something that’s bothering me now, Toby. Miss Scarlett didn’t dispatch Spinky and Dapper Dan, she has told me so and I believe her. How did the opposition even know that Stalky Stark was smothered for them to mimic Spinky and The Dapper One’s deaths so rapidly and so accurately?”
“Well there’s two answers – one is that someone in the Sussex Police or at The Met told them, the opposition, the cause of death. The second option is that Mrs. Stark came back and found Stalky before the police did. That way she could extract some of the evidence from his mouth, which she could then pass on to the opposition to use in their reprisals. The latter is my preferred solution as otherwise someone in the police would have to have met someone from the opposition and given them the evidence.”
“Yes, whereas Mrs. Stark is the opposition and gives them the evidence herself.”