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poppy

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glancing at the car, it was dark on an October Friday, and actually a car that had headlamps on for what, 40 minutes? , was an odd , weird affair.

Frank cautiously approached the car.

He peered in.

"Yes?" asked Trixie imperiously, causing a surge of excitement in Bertie. Our Bertie definitely knew which sex deserves to be in charge. To impress her , he said "Actually pal we.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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were just having a bit of a park up, know what I mean?' and he winked conspiritorially.

'Don' care wat yer parked up fer, me ol' cocker, sign sez P15. That there appertains to minutes loike, not hours. Yer betta 'op it before I call the coppers!'

'We better go,' whispered Trixie, but 40 minutes of parking, engine off, lights on full,  had had the inevitable result of ...

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making the car judder and sputter like a member of parliament trying to tell the truth...with anxious, jerky movements, the car lurched forward, and eventually crept out of the street.

Fully convinced now that he is getting nowhere chatting Trixie up, Bertie goes on the offensive.

"Good Christ now he knows we've been there they will get us next time. All due to you hitting my back. Why in God's name would anyone want to assault me?"

Trixie.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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said it was incredibly tempting, she wondered it didn't happen more often. She was starting to get rather huffy with him, if he wasn't trying to chat her up in a most obvious manner, he was making stupid mistakes. Like leaving the car lights on.  All she could say was  Annabelle's car must have an extraordinary battery and they were very lucky to escape unscathed from Frank Flash! 

'We better go and  ...

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see Annabelle. I will leave it to you to report on how and why our cover was blown.

You are quite stupid", said Trixie, trying to avoid.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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the temptation to poke out her tongue.

Annabelle was busy in her office, desk piled high with papers when they knocked.

'Come!' she called imperiously. 'Wait!'

Trixie and Bertie stood to attention like naughty children, Bertie concentrating on an abstract art work on the wall titled 'Still Life With Celery and Aubergine.' He started to feel ...

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he'd put up with too! Trixie proving to be such a disappointment in the romance department, hours spent stuck in a car reeking of tomato sauce, having to fork out a small fortune on upholstery cleaning costs.  And now the waspish Annabelle about to haul them over the coals! He was feeling very disgruntled.

'Well now, ' said Annabelle, eyeing them up and down, 'surprisingly, it seems like you two have made a bit of a breakthrough in the Bing Sling case. Apparently, ...

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"Bling Swing not Bing Sling", declared Trixie, knowing she was treading dangerously.

"Aaah yes Bling Swing...so good was your detective work that he's now been done for the Namby Poo clothes shop heist. PC Jack Daw says......

Edited by itsmeagain

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they've been trying to crack the ring for years now. There's a reward of $5000 goes with it, I'll split it 50/50. Half for me, the other half for you two.  Will go a little way to cover my massive overheads. Now that you've solved this one, how do you think you'll go doing another job together?'

Trixie and Bertie looked at each other and both said at the same time, ...

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"I think we get on well together."

At which point Ms Chiffon knew that she had two reliable staff at her disposal.

"Thanks to you both. Let's all toddle off home now shall we...it's for the best all round methinks."

In the car park Trixie remembered the funny bloke

David Gallstone.

"My God we better go there tomorrow and get him to clean up her car."

As they spoke they spotted Annabelle looking at the seats in her very same car.

"Oh...my...God..."

Edited by itsmeagain

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run Trixie ....run!!' And grabbing her hand he dragged her off down the road, Annabelle's shouts ringing in their ears. 'What've you done to my car?? You wait!! This is coming out of your bonus you know!' She slammed the door and stormed off home on foot.

Trixie and Bertie retired to the local, The Strangled Goose, for a restorative ale, whilst unbeknowst to them, Gallstone's Mobile Gussy-Up Car Grooming Service did their thing on Ms Chiffon's pride and joy.

Next morning ...

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the car looked brand new.

Trixie phoned through to Mr Gallstone.

"OK yeah Trixie, you see my employee Mick Muddlecombe, went with a special remit to sort Annabelle Chiffon's car last night."

"How much do we owe you?", asked Trixie.

"Not a penny. Annabelle knows some secrets..errrr sorry knows me too..see.. very..well..and I will assist her any particular way I can.Bye."

Trixie was dumbfounded.

"I think Annabelle and Gallstone have been....

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naughty little rascals. Make a note of it, Bertie.'

Bertie extricated a notebook from the depths of his trenchcoat pocket, bought because he thought that's what the best kind of detectives wore, licked his pencil and wrote ...

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"Annabelle and Gallstone have been very remiss in their behaviour."

Methodically he put his pencil deep in the trenchcoat pocket, scanned the street of dilapidated red brick houses and an empty pub, and drew out a Gauloises, ready rolled and ready to smoke.

Trixie was ....

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not impressed. 'You'd better not smoke that stinking thing round me!' Too late, Bertie had litten up. Never having smoked tobacco in his life, let alone a filterless, potent, acrid Gauloise, Bertie coughed and choked, turning a particularly bilious shade of green. Trixie thumped him between the shoulder blades, causing the cigarette to shoot from his mouth and tear a good layer of skin off his lips in doing so. Bertie decided to leave the Gauloises out of his detective ensemble from now on. Perhaps a ...

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monocle and a tobacco pipe, pouch etc, would be more becoming.

He knew Rebus had a tendency to over consume alcohol but the novels made him a great detective.

Annabelle greeted them both that morning as they entered the office."Hi. We are definitely A team material here. For your next.....

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mission, should you choose to accept it, (Annabelle rather fancied herself as a Mission Impossible operative) is to investigate the disappearance of Wilmot Fotheringale, 42,  philatelist and dealer. He has disappeared from his mother's home, where he resides, and hasn't been seen or heard from for three days. His doting mother is beside herself, Wilmot is always kept under very strict supervision in case he meets 'wanton women' and goes off the rails. I suggest you ...

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proceed with trepidation and caution. Bertie you are in charge. You will no doubt have lots of experience with wanton and worldly women. Can you try to....

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keep all revolting messes OFF my upholstery this time. I've ordered a work vehicle for you and it's arriving this afternoon, but in the meantime no eating, drinking or doing ANYTHING that might besmirch my interior!'

Bertie wasn't really concentrating on what she was saying so this comment went over his head. He was trying to assume the look he imagined a man experienced with wanton women would have. But instead of looking worldly and licentious he behaved like a turkey with a dislocated neck.

'Have you eaten something nasty?' asked Trixie, giving him a thump on the back.

'Would you stop doing that!!' snapped Bertie, 'you know what happened last time!'

So, squabbling crossly, they went off to interview the redoubtable Mrs Fotheringale.  

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"Well our Wilmot now he's a good lad. All this crime and sex and stuff he kind of shies away from it all you know."

She dunked a digestive into the milky tea she had poured."Will you accept another bisciuit my dears ?", she asked amiably.

"Where do you think he's gone..is he a football man ? Does he travel abroad?", asked Trixie, careful to......

Edited by itsmeagain

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avoid sitting on one of the many cats sleeping on the overstuffed chairs and sofas.  Bertie found it hard to concentrate on what Fantasia Fotheringale was saying, the room was cram-packed full of knicknacks and doodaddies in dire need of dusting and the air was redolent with the overriding smell of cat. Fantasia had been christened Fanny, but had adopted the more theatrical name after watching the Walt Disney film of the same name as a child. She often imagined she was a ballet dancer, twirling to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, which due to her bulk put the ornaments at severe risk, whisked up the dust and upset the cats.

'Uh hum,' Bertie dragged himself back to the present, 'so where was Wilmot last seen?'

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'Errr he was right here, 5pm yesterday.

Reading a book on the history of the Croatian mail

delivery service. I found a piece of paper in his room on which Vicky Moore writes..

' for goodness' sake put your plan into action. You're 42 don't let ....'

'Can I see the letter?',asked Bertie.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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Mrs Fotheringale passed the note over to him between finger and thumb, a look of distaste on her face.

'Cor, what's that pong??' asked Bertie.

Trixie took a sniff and said, 'Britney Spears, Fantasy.  I'm more of a Yves St Laurent girl, me.'

Bertie continued reading, trying to breathe through his mouth, he could feel his allergic rhinitis coming on.

'... don't let that controlling old freak of a mother of yours ruin our chance of happiness, darling.  Meet me at the usual place. Bring you know what.'

'Have you any idea where the usual place might be, Mrs F?'

She snivelled and dabbed at her eyes with her hanky.

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'Its a smelly old pub they meet at..Arthur Lager it's called, on Sewage Poke Rd.

Number 46.

After a few drinks there they go to her abode...but I dunno where it is'.

Bertie drew out a Gauloise. Thanking him, Fantasia lit it and inhaled, the tears ....

Edited by itsmeagain

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