“Fascinating insight,” came the reply, “what became of her, the grocer’s daughter from Arles?”
“Oh, nothing much, became Mayor of Lyons, Minister of the Interior under Sarkozy, and then Minister of Finance under Hollande, although she’s rumoured to have spent a lot of time under Hollande, ministering to his sexual predilections. Nothing ever happened between us because she was stolen away by a Hungarian count, of all things.”
“Anyway, Tomcat, did you want a lift to your Archery meeting?”
“No thanks, Spiffy Wiffy, I am almost there, so I thank you for the conversation, but bish and bosh, perhaps next time you could travel in something with more class, that looks like a hearse, y’know.”
“It is a hearse,” replied the Deputy-Commissioner, “we’re going undercover to catch this Big Whopper gang, who are persecuting unemployed immigrants in the belief they’re dragging the country down.”
“What a terrible name for a gang,” said Tompkins, vaulting over a 5-foot high fence as though it was a bonsai hedge, “do they eat junk food all the time? Watch out for the cyclist.”
“Oh what, oh yes. Thank you. Just missed them. I think. Oh, perhaps not – still they should have been wearing a helmet.”
Tompkins nodded in agreement as he jumped over three dustbins.
“Anyway, where was I?,” continued Spiffy Wiffy, “oh yes, I think the whopper in question refers to a lie, though I can’t be sure which lie, as there are so many around these days.”
“Well, good luck with that, old chum, I’m only concerned about my archery these days, trying to score more bullseyes, y’know, with my trusty little bow and arrow.”
“You’re trying to be cupid, Tomcat, which doesn’t suit you, anyway, I will see you soon, we’re just going to The Meeting House up here on the left, that’s where the gang’s meeting this evening.”
“What a coincidence, that’s where my Archery Club meeting is, well I hope you catch ‘em.”
With that, Tompkins ran in front of the hearse to give himself time. He bounded up the front steps with limitless energy. Tompkins had to get to his pals before the police did, so he charged up the staircase three at a time, like a gazelle being chased by a cheetah. He stood in the doorway of their meeting room, almost wearing the frame like a wooden overcoat.