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poppy

Continue the Story Game

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started to stream down her face and she coughed with a hack that would make a consumptive proud.

'Good heavens,' she gasped, 'whatever have you got in these.'

'Terribly sorry, Mrs F, it's what we better class of detectives smoke. We're made of stern stuff, not for the likes of a delicate little body like you. It clean slipped my mind.'

Trixie gave him a look and mouthed 'Bull*&^%!' Not only did the Gauloises nearly knock him out flat, but anything less like a delicate little body, she'd never seen.

Mrs Fotheringale simpered and patted his arm, 'Call me Fantasia, do! I do hope you find my dear Wilmot, I'm sure you'd be such good friends.'

Trixie and Bertie decided to go check out the ...

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Arthur Lager establishment.

It was 3pm.

Bertie held up a large colur photograph to Tez Ruinous, landlord of over 25 years.

"That's a foice oi ave never seen moit" , he declared in an unsympathetic way.

"Let me have a gander", said Mick O'Callaghan, 34 , from Dublin.

"Now lemme t'ink..I t'ink I spottted him wid some woman drinking outside 2 days ago. Wait and I......

Edited by itsmeagain

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'll have anudder drink, help me ta remember loike. Come and join me, won't you now? Make moine a double.'

Bertie ordered the drinks, muttering under his breath. Mike downed his drink in one and then took another look at the photo.

'No sorry, it's being mistaken, I was,' and he stumbled out and down the street.

Bertie and Trixie were staring morosely into their lemonades when a woman sashayed into the pub. She was dressed in a tight purple mini-skirt and orange top, with matching shocking pink lipstick. Trixie winced.

'There's that same pong again!' whispered Bertie.

'You mean those disgusting Gauloises of yours?'

'No! the pong on that letter of Wilmot's!'

They both turned to stare at the woman.

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'Are you Vicky?' asked Trixie,'since we know Mr Wilmot Fotheringale used to frequent these

particular parts. '

'I am Vicky.Never have I seen that photo.

The guy I spend my time wiv is coming in now, locking up his Mercedes.

I never did.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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none of them fings they sez I did!'

'Please take a look at the photo again, his mother is beside herself with worry!'

''is muvver is an ol' interferring cow!' then realising what she'd just said, she clapped her hand over her mouth.

In walked a middle-aged gentleman, his ...

Edited by poppy

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whiskers trimmed in a handlebar style. His green eyes spoke of intrigue, amusement..an assumed identity perhaps as well?

Checking the photo Trixie noted a pronounced Adam's apple neatly showing on the hairy, cowboy hat wearing man parading gaily across the pub floor.

'We are seeking Wilmot Fotheringale' said Trixie , attempting to.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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sound casual and friendly.

'Oh yes?' replied Wilmot. 'What would that be about?'

'Umm....stamps actually, we hear he's an expert on the subject and has a very fine collection.'

'Are you looking to buy?'

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'No and ...are you Wilmot?', asked Bertie, suddenly feeling as though he was indeed a super sleuth.

'Yes..who's wondering?', said Wilmot, acting as though he was a very important person all of a sudden.

Trixie opined that in fact it was his 'doting mother' who was missing him. Can he return home to her soon?

'No ...I am striking out all on my own currently.

There is a real lack of suitable living at mother's abode and I am a man who is actively resigned to having to put up with mother but only on an occasional basis.

It would not faze me were we to meet at Costa coffee each Wednesday after my drama class..I play Hamlet in John Mardi Gras' famous adaptation...do you....

Edited by itsmeagain

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know...perhaps you're ...familiar with the great John Mardi Gras? Brilliant chap, inspired, simply inspired.' And he threw his head and arm back in a melodramatic fashion. 'That's where I met darling Victoria,here. She is my Ophelia.'

Bertie could only gape. Anyone less like Ophelia he couldn't imagine.

'You can tell mother from me ...

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and please do quote me...my bed is made..and with my dearest Ophelia Vicky...will I always lie therein.'

At that, Vicky blew a kiss to Wilmot, who actually

did look like a particular Shakespeare character...now what was that film of Great Expectations about again? And who starred therein?, wondered Trixie, in a fairly morose type of way. 'I wish you would ring mum. After all she is desperate for company', opined Trixie .

'Me too' thought Bertie. Instead he said

'Well isn't this just champion? A delightful Ophelia meets a missing gent from London.I

Edited by itsmeagain

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feel as if I'm in the middle of a fairy tale!'

Trixie doubted, by the look of Vicky, that this was a story that would end happily ever after, but their work here was done. They could report back to Mother Fotheringale that her beloved Wilmot had been found in the clutches, no ... she better change that to arms ... of the coquettish Victoria, alive and seemingly ...

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unharmed.

Back at the office, Annabelle told them they had done well. But still they had to face Mrs Fotheringale and tell her Wilmy was refusing to return.

Annabelle gave them a bar of Galaxy chocolate to placate her with.

'She will be happy at the expense we....

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have gone to.'

Trixie snorted, 'Oh yes,' she thought, 'nothing had been spared, a couple of lemonades for them and a chocolate bar for Mrs F. You could just see the generosity spilling over when you looked at the car she'd acquired for Bertie and her.'

It was a ...

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cold grey day in London, typical high summer.

'So he's not returning. Well to thank you I got you both a bit of a treat ..do you like Galaxy? Here, two each... delicious with a nice cup of char. I will put on the kettle.'

A silence ensued. Trixie broke it with 'Mrs Fantasia we present you with a Galaxy bar....we hope you like it...best chocolate in Camden that'.

They all sat sipping tea from china cups, and got on the topic of.....

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Wilmot when he was a baby. Mrs F dragged out all his baby albums, dusted them down and proceeded to bore them silly with a detailed timeline, starting from his lengthy, difficult birth and taking in first steps, first tooth, when he became potty trained, the first time he said philately clearly ....after which Bertie and Trixie's eyes glazed over and their minds wandered elsewhere.

As soon as they could, they made their excuses, but were pleased to hear that Mrs F was taking in a boarder, a fellow stamp collector friend of Wilmot's, a lovely boy, she said. 'He does embroidery too, we've got so much in common.'

Bertie gave a ferocious kick to one of the three wheels of the Reliant Robin that Annabelle had seen fit to provide a pair of accomplished detectives with and they ...

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rallied miserably forth to meet Annabelle

back at the office.

Annabelle told them.their next assignment was to go and infiltrate a gang of local football hooligans known as Swillwall boys.

This assignment necessitated a great degree of macho bravado and ......

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convincing disguise. 'Annabelle, how the heck do you expect us to insinuate ourselves into the company of a pack of delinquents driving a flamin' Reliable Robin??? It'll only take one of them to lean on it casually and we'll be as beached as a disorientated whale. They'll die laughing!'

Annabelle sighed, 'Can either of you drive a motorbike?'

'I can!' exclaimed ...

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'That was during my bleach blonde Billy Idol phase,' looking rather abashed. 

Annabelle looked at him with new respect, 'You're a bit of a dark horse, aren't you Bertie?'

'Or more an albino one,' giggled Trixie.

'What bike did you ride?'

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'A Honda JCX 465....top of the range. In Japan it was voted best bike 1998 by the Tokyo Bike Fancier's club. Here I've got an article for you.'

He pulled from his rucksack a yellowing

Edited by itsmeagain

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dog-eared copy of Biker Boys Own Dribble and Drool and pointed it out to her.

Annabelle said, 'That was all very well in it's time, but they've well and truly superseded it now. I favour the Yamaha YZF range myself. It's got all the bells and whistles ...carbon fibre, fuel injected, 1000 cc of pure torque.

Bertie and Trixie's jaws dropped. 'You don't ...

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say!! My great uncle Chris , 3 times removed from my mum's side, owned 2' said Bertie in a self assured way. 'Annabelle..do you want to come round for tea next Monday...Parma ham salad, tuna bake..talk bikes? I would do anything to please you...'

He stopped. The embarrassment in the room reached fever pitch.

Please say yes you stern beauty, thought a sweating Bertie.

Edited by itsmeagain

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Annabelle cleared her throat, 'Ahem, let's keep things professional now, shall we? I like to keep a proper employer/employee detachment at all times, prevents the over-stepping of marks etc. Now, getting back to business please, as I said, the Swillwall gang have been creating havoc down Mudshoot Cross way. The seem hell-bent on turning every football game in which the team they support, Mudshoot United, plays, into a complete fiasco and an excuse to beat the living daylights out of all and sundry.'

Bertie felt a mixture of ... 

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sadness and shame.

He listened as Annabelle told the two intrepid amateur detectives that they will both need to infiltrate the Swillwall boys. 'Gus 'Disgusting'Despicable lives at 54 Lemonface Close. Go there disguised as fans of Mudshoot United and offer some scarves on the cheap.I want him hooked by the 2 of you by the end of this week. '

Trixie asked if Mudshoot are the type of footballers with an oval ball?

Annabelle said no that's rugby, a sport not worth even.....

Edited by itsmeagain

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thinking about, unless of course they're playing the All Blacks ( :giggle2: ) Trixie and Bertie trudged off in the Reliant Robin, which insisted on defying it's name by requiring jump starting every time.  They carried a portable battery booster and jump starter unit in the back, such a cumbersome piece of equipment, the poor vehicle nearly did a wheelstand with all the weight. They tracked down some cheap Mudshoot United scarves in a shabby little backstreet shop and did a deal on a bulk lot. They were a peculiar mix of mustard yellow, shocking pink, purple and atomic tangerine.

'Enough to make anyone violent,' muttered Bertie as he ...

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