“They will be kept in hospital, Tomcat,” said Filly, “they were in a bad way when you flattened them all.”

        “Yes, I know, but they shouldn’t have tried to kidnap you, Filly,” replied Tompkins, “that was the mistake they made. Plus pointing that gun at me, I didn’t like that at all.”

        “Well, I’d gathered that,” replied Filly.

        “Tomcat,” said Smithers, looking at his screen and speaking in a rather serious tone that wasn’t lost on the other people present, “it seems Daisy has been taken. Webster has been round to her flat and there’s no one in and she’s not at Aunt Jemima’s. It looks as though she’s been abducted.”

        Tompkins slapped his right fist into the palm of his left hand causing everyone round the table to wince at the sound.

        “Damnation,” he said, “how can that have happened? Why weren’t Connie, Webster, and Miles looking out for her? At least one of them should have been with her at all times.”

        “Not always, Clifford, that’s a silly notion, how can you be with someone all the time,” said Filly, “she’d feel as though she had a bodyguard, I know I would do.”

        “Yes, my love, you’re right, when I said those names, I wondered whether we could even trust them.” Tompkins creased his brow – even two days ago, he would have thought Eastern Europeans had taken Daisy Henshaw. Now, his thoughts were only that she’d been taken by people Tompkins knew personally and that hurt him.

        “We do have more news from Scotland, Tomcat,” said Ralphie looking at his laptop, “we have found the ferry record for the evening before last from Ullapool to Stornoway and there was a car containing three men. There was a Mr. Smith, a Mr. Jones, and a Mr. Hall travelling in an Aston Martin.”

        “Mr. Hall, that would be the Dapper One, presumably dead to the world. Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones, well how imaginative is that? What was the registration on that Aston?”