“So, that explains why we weren’t chased by the police, we might have helped them for once,” said Tompkins, “is there any more info from Aunt Jemima’s place?”

        “Well, it seems like Daisy went out for a walk to clear her head and didn’t come back, but she might have gone to her own flat, so apparently Webster is looking for her now and will let us know what he finds.”

        “Daisy?” said Tompkins, “why would they go after Daisy for lord’s sake. She wouldn’t hurt a soul.”

        “An easy target, perhaps?” suggested Smithers      

        “Who are ‘they’ though, Tomcat?” asked Ralphie, “who are our opponents in this caper? It’s not who we thought it was.”

        “The nail has never been hit on the head with any more accuracy than by that statement,” said Tompkins, pointing at Ralphie with appreciation, “to continue with that analogy, I have been hitting the nail on the sharp end all along, talk about getting the wrong end of the stick, I have been hitting the wrong end of the nail and blunting it. Our opponents are not from Eastern Europe, they are from within our own ranks – they’re our friends who are using us for their own nefarious purposes. They’re hoping we would retaliate by offing some poor Slavs, who would justifiably get upset, there’d be trouble, we’d be in prison, there’d be racial tension and our friends would have succeeded in their aims without lifting a finger, other than smothering Stalky, Dapper Dan, and Spinky, some or all of whom may have been on their side anyway.”

        “No, you’re joking,” said Smithers, “Dapper Dan? Are you sure?”

        “I said ‘may’, Smithers, I doubt we’ll be able to prove things 100%. Only the Dapper One will know the truth and he’s taken that secret to the grave.”

        “Anyway, I think we should go inside,” said Filly, “we shouldn’t stay here, it’s getting chilly now the sun’s going down.” She headed inside followed by the four men.

        In the kitchen, Smithers put the kettle on and started coffee percolating. The others sat around the kitchen table and discussed the various options they could think of for resolving the situation to their benefit.

        “Tomcat, who do you think our opponents are – who is trying to get us to act in a way that meets their ends?” asked Ralphie.

        Tomcat opened the file given to him by Dexter at Spinky’s place and gave his opinion.

“Well, Ralphie old boy, I have names of people you know such as Dr. Black, Rev Green, Colonel Mustard, Toby, people you might not know such as Jeff, James, and Jim the younger, and then people I don’t know such as Mr. Steeple. The last-named visit Dapper Dan just before he disappeared, so he and Rev Green are the prime suspects, but the elephant in the ointment, the fly in the room is that there’s a police informer. Miss Scarlett, who is on our side, real name Ethel Warburton – so not all the Cluedo characters are against us – extracted a description from a Russian tourist called Dimitri – whom we suspected of being our opponent – wrongly – of a man who was ear-wigging on me and the chaps at The Glitz Bar. That description fits one person I just mentioned, so it’s possible he’s the informant, because I think I saw him watching me arrive and leave from Spinky’s place. Or he could be part of our opposition.”

        “Would the police tell us who the informant was?” asked Alex.

        “Not directly, but perhaps indirectly,” suggested Smithers, “I’ll see if I can access their database of informers and try to find a suitable candidate for London and a possible alias.”

        “Sounds a jolly good idea,” boomed Tompkins feeling energised for the first time in a few hours, “let’s find out about these people and obtain information on their plans. Could you access the police report on the arrest of Mrs. Esther Stark and her three goons? That would also be useful. I wonder whether the police will release them or keep them in custody.”