Watching The Detectives (Bring Out Your Dead series - Part 18)
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Continued from Episode 17 - The Ferry Godmother?
The story so far (you can read from the start at 'Board Stiff!'): Josiah and Archibald, our two Undertakers, are on a mission to Spain to collect the mortal remains of Sir Lewisham Carnock. Unable to return by air (having been deemed to be terrorists, an unfortunate misunderstanding of course) they are now committed to catching the Santander to Portsmouth ferry, accompanied by Chantelle Lace, who is determined to keep an eye on her 'sugar daddy', Frankie Knight, who, unbeknown to Josiah and Archibald, is the actual occupant of the coffin. Got all that? Now read on:
The arrival of Messrs. Stone and Wood’s car had not gone unnoticed on the coastal highway, just as D.I. Wood had intended.
“Oh no!” Josiah muttered and attempted, without success, to vanish behind a menu.
“Is there a problem?” Chantelle asked, sweetly, giving a shy little wave to the two new arrivals across the street.
“Heyup, Mr. O., you know who those two are, don’t you?” Archibald asked, excitedly.
“I am aware of them, thank you Archibald. Please try to refrain from drawing their attention.” Josiah sunk further down in his seat.
“It’s them two from off the ‘plane. The policemen.” Archibald explained to Chantelle, “They had us turfed off in Paris”
Chantelle looked suitably puzzled. Inwardly, the mention of a police presence had caused her a degree of alarm.
“Turfed off the ‘plane?”
“My colleague has a somewhat colourful turn of phrase” Joshua explained from his hiding place behind the menu, “we did make the acquaintance of the two gentlemen over there on a previous occasion and they are, as he rightly states, British police officers” Joshua felt that summed up the facts without going into unnecessary details.
“We saw ‘em before, when they thought I’d…” Archibald helpfully began, threatening to undo all of Joshua’s good work.
“Well, well, well!” D.I. Wood beamed amiably at the group at the table, “fancy seeing you two here. Aren’t you going to introduce me, gentlemen?” He nodded toward Chantelle.
Joshua abandoned the menu, smiled weakly at D.I. Wood and unfolded himself from his seat.
“My apologies, Inspector, may I introduce Miss Chantelle Lace. Miss Lace, this is Detective Inspector Wood and his colleague, Detective Sergeant Stone”
After handshakes and pleasantries, the two detectives dragged chairs up to the table, ordered drinks and joined the company. D.I. Wood made sure he was sitting directly opposite Chantelle, the better to enjoy her remarkably fine features. D.S. Stone found himself positioned between Chantelle and Archibald. Avoiding Archibald’s wayward limbs meant that he kept brushing against Chantelle’s legs, resulting in a flutter of eyelashes and a coy smile that sent the butterflies hurtling around in the pit of his stomach.
“So, what brings you chaps to this neck of the woods?” D.I. Wood asked, conversationally.
“Our client, Sir Lewisham Carnock” Joshua explained, “his remains have, for some inexplicable reason, been detained here and we have been charged with returning them to the U.K.”
“Only they won’t let us on a flight, on account of us being terrorists an’ all” Archibald added, happily “So we’re going on a boat, with Miss Lace”
“My colleague overstates the case, a little” Joshua hurriedly interjected. “He is correct in that we are, currently, unable to procure a flight to return to the U.K., following the unfortunate misunderstanding on our outbound journey.”
“Yeah, it was a bit of a laugh that, wasn’t it?” D.I. Wood chuckled. “You’re going with them then, Miss Lace?”
“That’s right, officer.” Chantelle nodded, “I’d intended to make the trip back to the U.K. anyway, and I just hate flying, so I thought I might tag along. I speak Spanish fluently, so I’m hopeful I can help Mr. Oakshott to negotiate any difficulties getting his, erm, cargo on board”
“Very public spirited of you, miss.” D.I. Wood beamed at her, “I don’t suppose you might know where we could find the policeman who’s supposed to be manning that post, would you?”
“I’m so sorry, I have no idea. I called there myself earlier, which is how I met these two gentlemen, and there was no sign of life then” Chantelle explained.
“What was your business at the police post then, Miss Lace?” D.I. Wood fixed her with a stare that she was only too happy to match and return.
“Oh, just a handbag I’ve mislaid. I hoped someone might have handed it in”
“I don’t suppose you noticed if there was anyone detained in there, did you? I couldn’t see anyone when I looked.”
“I’m afraid not, Inspector. I couldn’t make anyone hear, so I popped in to the undertakers’ next door to see if they knew where the policeman might be, and that’s when I bumped into these two gentlemen”
“Fancy! Small world, eh Mr. Oakshott?”
“It is indeed, Inspector.” Josiah agreed, glumly.
“Well, we mustn’t keep you. Things to do, places to be. Come along, Sergeant, we must be getting along” D.I. Wood abruptly bounced out of his seat, leaving D.S. Stone to hurriedly finish his drink.
As they walked back to their car, D.I. Wood kept glancing back at the table they had just left.
“Problem, sir?” D.S. Stone asked.
“It stinks, if you ask me. The whole thing does. I’m getting on the blower to the boss back in Blighty, we need to spend a bit more time on this”
“Why, what’s up?”
“What’s up? Didn’t you recognise the delectable Chantelle? She’s only Frankie Knight’s missus!”
“What, the one who stitched him up on social media?”
“Yep, that’s the one, and she drew our attention to it as well. Without her, we’d never have known he was out here.” D.I. Wood eased himself into the driver’s seat and started the engine, gunning the accelerator a few times for good measure, “So, it’s more than a bit funny that he’s gone missing and who should we find in the vicinity but her and those two off the ‘plane. Like I say, this stinks and I want to know what they’re all up to.”
Josiah watched the departing policemen with nearly as much suspicion as they were observing him and his party. As the detectives revved their car and headed back down the coast road from whence they had come, he turned to Chantelle and Archibald and observed,
"I know it is unkind of me, but I'm really not at ease in my mind about those two gentlemen"
"How do you mean, Mr. O?" Archibald asked whilst attempting to blow the froth from his cappuccino.
"Well, doesn't it seem strange to you, Archibald, that, wherever we are, they are too?" Josiah mused.
"Ooh! You mean you think they're Spocks?" Archibald asked, excitedly.
Chantelle looked to Josiah for some insight.
"I'm rather afraid that conversation with Archibald bears some of the hallmarks of a séance." Josiah explained, "The meaning may become clear, but there is no guarantee" Turning to Archibald, he said, "Spocks?"
"Yeah, you know, MFI and that sort of thing"
There was a silence as Josiah and Chantelle digested this latest nugget.
"Spocks? MFI?" Josiah murmured, "Oh, you mean spooks, MI5! You are of the opinion that they might be members of the intelligence community?"
"They would be the only ones around here that are" Chantelle muttered into her Cuba Libre.
"Yeah, spies and such. What do you think, Mr. O?"
"I would doubt that. But I must own to a feeling of unease about their persistent presence"
"You said that you knew them from the U.K.?" Chantelle enquired.
"Yeah, they nicked me for…" Archibald began.
"We had occasion to help them with their inquiries on a particular matter" Josiah hurriedly regained control of the conversation.
"Oh well, they've gone now" Chantelle said, brightly, "and I must too. I need to pop home and throw a few things in a bag"
"Of course, dear lady" Josiah rose to his feet, "I must say again how indebted we are to you for your invaluable help in this matter. If there is anything we can do to be of assistance…?"
"Funnily enough" Chantelle started to gather her things together, "I was going to ask if one of you would be kind enough to accompany me home? I know it's something of an imposition, but it would be such a help to me. I need to shut the villa up securely you see"
"I would deem it an honour, Miss Lace" Josiah began.
"Actually, I was going to suggest that Archibald might be my companion. I'm sure you have enough to do, Mr. Oakshott, in relation to finalising the documentation and so on?"
Archibald stood rooted to the spot, his cappuccino entirely forgotten. Josiah was flustered but recovered his composure quickly.
"You are entirely correct, Miss Lace, I should ensure that all is well before we take possession of Sir Lewisham's mortal remains. I am sure Archibald will be more than equal to the task, won't you, Archibald?"
"Hmmpffll" Archibald spluttered whilst turning quietly puce.
Now read on with Part 19
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I have a horrible feeling
I have a horrible feeling things are going from bad to worse, I hope nothing happens to Archibald if they are going to split up, I don't think Archibald could survive on his own.
Looking forward to finding out more.
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The enjoyable romp continues!
The enjoyable romp continues! Congratulaltions, this is our Pick of the Day -- Please do share on Facebook and Twitter
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Congratulations Phil - you're
Congratulations Phil - you're gathering quite a following - very well deserved too!
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