“Yes, wardrobe dissected wonderfully, thank you.” Ethel smoothed down her skirt and felt a little embarrassed.
“Well, it’s good to talk about these things,” said Tompkins patting Ethel delicately on her shoulder, so that she didn’t jump too much, “do you know where this potential informer resides?”
“I know, Tomcat, so I will pick up his trail once I have my disguise in place.”
“Well, Ethel, Miss Scarlett, don’t let me detain you any further, and do let me know how you get on, especially if you follow this person to Scotland Yard.”
“Will do, Tomcat, and thank you for showing me you trust me,” replied Ethel as she picked up her bag. She gave Tompkins a peck on the cheek and headed out of Aunt Jemima’s. Tompkins smiled and then went to read the description of the suspected informer. This triggered a recollection that this was the figure he’d seen when he’d entered and exited Spinky’s place.
Someone was taking their informant role rather seriously and Tompkins thought he knew who this was. Miss Scarlett, or Ethel as he must call her, would soon confirm the informant’s role. Tompkins sighed. Who could he trust, truly trust, in his gang of pals?
Tompkins had a sudden realisation he should find Filly straightaway. He had to make sure she was alright. She was due back in Newhaven in two hours and Tompkins resolved to be there for her.
“Webster, Daisy, and anyone else who’s listening, I will meet Filly from the Dieppe ferry in two hours.” His voice boomed around the building. As he approached the front door, Webster came up to him.
“Tomcat, what do you want us to do with Dimitri?” he asked.
“Let him go and he can return to his family in Russia.”
“But he says he quite likes it here – he’s hoping that the nice lady will come back and act like a cowgirl again, at least that’s how he’s phrasing it.”
“Does he now? Well, tell him his Wild West days are over and that he should sling his hook, before we start charging him board and lodgings, which will be quite substantial in this part of London.”
“Right, I will tell him he’s free to leave in the next 10 minutes, but after that he’s on the meter,” replied Webster.
“Yes, I must go, where’s Daisy by the way?”
“She’s writing down some of the things she learned from watching Miss Scarlett. I think it’s had quite an effect on her, you know.”
“Well, be sure she writes down the fact that Miss Scarlett had nothing to do with the death of Stalky Stark. Miss Scarlett, or Ethel Warburton, to use her real name, is not all she’s cracked up to be! Anyway, I must be off.”
“Make sure you’re not followed, Tomcat,” said Webster.
“Will do,” replied Tompkins and closed the door behind him with considerable verve. Before emerging too far into the street, he had a good look around, but saw no one watching him or the house he’d just come out of.
Tompkins sneaked down the street, but then thought more about it and ran back to his house instead. He doubted few people could keep up with him and it would be more obvious if they tried to do so. He arrived home and looked around to see whether anyone was out of breath behind him, but no one was. Tompkins entered and threw some items in a bag before leaving again. He started up the Jaguar and raced around to the local garage where he filled up with petrol. He reversed behind the building, out of sight from passers-by, and moved the tracking device detector over his entire car. Once again, he found three of the devices, one under the front bumper, one on the driver’s side door, and one under the back bumper.
“I resent this,” he said to himself, “I mean this tells me that they think I am likely to lose my front and rear bumper sections on any given journey, so they still must place a device on the driver’s door just to make sure they can track me. That’s just not fair. I am not that bad a driver.”