“Shall I tell the chaps?” asked Berty.
“Absolutely,” replied Tompkins, slapping Berty on the back and almost knocking him through the wall into the garden, such was the power of the friendly gesture, “but when I have tootled off to the country for the rest of the afternoon.”
“Hello Tomcat,” said Colonel Mustard, “do you know MI6 still hasn’t picked up on my name.”
“What, how ridiculous they are,” replied Tompkins, “perhaps they play Monopoly and Snakes and Ladders over there.”
“Ya, you’re right, as usual,” replied Mustard, “and the Reverend Green’s the same in the C of E. He’s in the running to be Archbishop of York, apparently, so perhaps he might have to disappear suddenly, to South America, on missionary work, and decline their offer, because someone in the press is bound to notice.”
“Yes, it’s the Rev Green, with the archbishopric, in York – but if there’s no murders, he should be OK.”
“Ya, and of course Miss Scarlett is too busy to be here, too many clients to entertain in her bedroom, spilling the beans about their various operations.”
“Oh, don’t mention her, she wore me out one afternoon a few years ago, before I met Filly of course, but she was incredible.” Tompkins blew out his cheeks.
“Tomcat,” said Noddy, “how goes the fight?”
“Splendidly,” replied Tompkins, “we are winning and the enemies of our country are being put to flight.”
“Flights sound expensive, unless they’re going with Easy Air or whatever their name is.”
Tompkins gave out a stentorian laugh that caused the pigeons to vacate the roof of the house in panic.
“Boffo sense of humour, as usual, Noddy, no they’re not flying they’re being chauffeured by me good spouse, as we speak,” continued Tompkins, tapping the side of his nose conspiratorially, “she’s taking them on a mystery tour back to their own country.”
“How do we make sure they don’t come back?”
“We have a cunning ruse, we take away their passports and any visas they may have, so they can’t return to Old Blighty without a mighty effort on their part.”
“Tomcat,” said the Reverend Green, “how the blazes are you?”
“I am fair to middling,” replied Tompkins, “had a prang yesterday in the motor, but obtained another in the nick of time, so I could meet you all here today. How’s the wife and kids, Rev?”
“Try not to talk about them too much,” replied Rev Green, “especially North of the Trent, where it could become contentious, but they’re fine as they are.”
“Do you keep them under lock and key?”
“Oh no, nothing so barbaric, they live in the holiday home in the Dordogne, when they’re not in Monte Carlo playing the tables or in Acapulco staying with the mother-in-law.”
“Splendid idea, a moving target’s harder to hit.”
“Tomcat, how the devil are you?” asked Teddy Smethurst-Pugh.
“Teddy, I am fine, you know, Teddy, I will send you a pigeon – we will need your expertise soon to sort out a problem we have with a visiting dignitary from The Dark Side, who will arrive at a port in the near future.”
“Needs to be processed, does he?” replied Teddy.
“He should be taken care of and his contacts followed and their contacts noted down for our information.”
“Goes deep, does it Tomcat?” asked Noddy.
“Looks like it,” replied Tompkins gravely, “but this could be the final chapter in our fight against the foe until the next lot come along.”
“You mean, there will be others, Tomcat?”
“Invariably, just remember before the Poles came over here, fixing everything, there were the Indians and Bangladeshis, bringing us our national cuisine of choice in most cases, there’s always some race who wants to come here and upset things for us.”
“Right, yes, I suppose so, I see what you mean, the Jews during the Commonwealth of Olly Cromwell, the Normans, the Vikings, Norwegians, Danes, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Romans, Celts, The Druids.”
“Right, all of them, I mean The Mongols were heading this way too, but they didn’t quite make it, did they?” Tompkins nodded his head as he spoke the words.
“No, but they were quite close, until they had to go back to elect The Great Khan, I believe.”
“The cheek! They thought our benefits were better.”
“Absolutely,” replied Noddy, “anyway, best of luck with the rest of the trip this afternoon, and I look forward to your pigeon, telling us what you need.”
“Splendid news, anyway, I should be off on me travels,” replied Tompkins. “Cheerio, everyone,” he boomed, “I’m going down to Sussex to see the defenders of our faith down there, so it was great to talk with you all and I look forward to seeing you at The Savoy Grill or The Glitz Bar one evening.”
“Cheerio, Tomcat,” chorused the assembled throng.
Tompkins left the room and hurled himself down the garden path before jumping over the gate and landing next to his motor.
He looked across the road and thought he spied a familiar face, a face he’d seen recently, in an Aston Martin DB9 on the corner.
“What’s that blighter doing here?” he said to himself under his breath, “how on earth did he know I was here?” Tompkins decided not to let on he had noticed anything, so he plunged to the pavement and pretended to tie his shoelaces, even though he was still wearing his slippers.
“Where’s my shoes?” he said out loud, looking in the front of the car, before finding them in the glove compartment.
“There must be a tracking device on my motor,” said Tompkins to himself, “and I know who put it there. Right, I have to find the gadget that Speedy Bee gave me for such occasions.”
Tompkins looked in the boot, found his bag of “personal effects”, and speeded off to the motorway services to find a suitable place to scan his vehicle. First though, he had to warn the chaps inside to exit via the backdoor and to use the secret stash of bicycles. He remembered the codes and the number of coos he had to emit for each.
“Coo, coo, coo,” cooed Tompkins.
Hearing nothing he continued – “Coo,coo, cooo…” however these coos were interrupted by a voice:
“Pigeons, take this…” followed by a discharge from a shotgun, which blew a section out of the yew hedge.
“Stop shooting,” shouted Tompkins, “I am giving a pigeon message in pigeonese.”
“Oh right, sorry about that,” said the voice. Tompkins heard the front door open and then a voice said, “Can you repeat that first bit, we missed that bit.”
“I will start again from the beginning,” said Tompkins, trying not to let his frustrations show too much, “and don’t shoot at any time. Coo, coo, coo,”
“That’s three coos,” said the voice.
“Coo, coo, coo,” continued Tompkins.
“Three more coos,” said the voice.
“Coo, coo, coo, coo,” cooed Tompkins.