“Where’s Spiffy Wiffy?” asked Tompkins looking down his nose at Ingram.
“He’s sitting in the vehicle – he doesn’t do the raids – he drives the getaway car.”
“Shame,” replied Tompkins, “so did you find any trouble makers, Inspector Ingram, any bolshie whipper-snappers in the place or is it only we Archers you’ve found?” “You look like the descriptions of the gang provided to me,” replied Ingram, rubbing his hands together.
“What utter tosh,” replied Spinky Mills, “all we’re interested in is flying arrows through the air to hit our intended targets, be it a member of our family or a cow’s backside.”
“So, you’re not intending to deport any unemployed immigrants, who have lawfully come to this country, by placing them on minibuses and sending them via the Channel Tunnel to France?”
“Do you need an export license for that?” asked Tompkins picking up Ingram and placing him in the room. Tomcat Tompkins had the strength of three strong men or five weaklings, depending on your point of view.
“No licenses required, if you do it illegally,” replied Ingram straightening his clothes. He looked around at the 14 members of The Archers group, most of whom were affecting cupid-like poses and aiming their imaginary arrows at paintings on the wall.
“And how does this Whopper Gang get these people past the customs and excise people who are manning our ports and harbours with such great vigilance?” asked Tompkins aiming an imaginary arrow out of the window.
“We haven’t worked that out yet,” replied Ingram, “there must be some collusion going on we’re not aware of.”
“Shame about that,” said Wet Bob, “you don’t think they’re being taken on a cross-channel ferry or one of those hover things, rather than on a train?”
“No, it’s via the Channel Tunnel, because the French authorities are suddenly aware of ten drugged people in a small area, all of whom are wearing Guy Fawkes’ masks such as those seen in the film V for Vendetta.”
“Sounds like those Whopper Boys are Protestants, Ingram, my lad, there’s a clue for you and free of charge,” said Tompkins, doing fifty one-handed press-ups as he was getting bored with proceedings.
“Does your group ever meet outside, where there’s plenty of room to shoot arrows at targets over the requisite distances?” asked Ingram.
“Well, what a damn fine idea that is, Inspector, and no mistake,” replied Dry Bob Bentonshaw, “it would save on the damage to the interior decor of Papa’s house in Surrey and the small estate shed we use on the grouse moor in Northumberland.”
“Perhaps we should try shooting pheasants with our bows,” said Ginger Brenton-Smith, “that would improve our aim.”
“You’re more likely to shoot peasants than pheasants, Ginger” replied Tompkins.
“True, I was never good at spelling,” replied Brenton-Smith, winking at the Inspector.
“I am glad to have been of some use to your esteemed group, Mr Tompkins,” said Ingram, colouring at the lack of respect he felt was being shown towards him “now if you don’t mind I would like to look around the rest of the club.”
Tompkins stepped aside and allowed the Inspector by – “We’re only using this room, Inspector, so we’ll be quiet as you and your people search the rest of the club looking for those nefarious Whopper Boys, who put foreigners in minibuses and deport them to the Land of the Frog.”
“Thank you, Mr Tompkins, I will appreciate your further collaboration when we meet again.”
“Look forward to it, I’ll go and have a word with Spiffy Wiffy, your boss, while you’re nosing around the nether regions of the place,” replied Tompkins.
Ingram smiled and headed up the red-carpeted stairs to the top floor of the building, his short legs taking the stairs one at a time.
Tompkins put a finger to his lips and indicated The Archers should head down the stairs in an orderly fashion and leave via the side entrance.
As the last man, Ginger, was walking by him, Tompkins whispered in his ear “Tell the lads I will be sending out a pigeon with the instructions for the next meeting. It seems like our communications are compromised, so I’m not taking any chances.”
Ginger nodded his head and smiled as he jogged down the stairs leaving Tompkins alone in the doorway. Tompkins made a note to send his best pigeon, Henrietta, to Ginger, who would then send his pigeon, Matilda, to Wet Bob and it continued like this until Dry Bob sent his pigeon, Thatcher, back to Tompkins to complete the circle of communication. They would then return the pigeons to each other at the next meeting, which was a useful subterfuge should anyone wonder what they were meeting about.