26 Aug


POLICEWOMAN photo: Betty Boop Policewoman IMG_7926.png12.

“Well, that was a turn-up for the books!” declared Blinky Curmudgeon when they were back at 221C. It was already late morning and a groaning in Royston’s stomach suggested it might be almost time to break for lunch. But Blinky continued. “Who would have thought it: that loupe we treasured so much no more than a cheap piece of souvenir tat!” he muttered.
“I had my suspicions…” murmured Angelina. “But when I did my research…”
“Where did you do that?” demanded Royston.
“A few contacts from my days in uniform … and on the Internet,” sighed Angelina. “Oh, I know the web is full of dis-information and downright lies, but I had to start somewhere, and what with my proper job…”
“Proper job?” interrupted Blinky, “what proper job? Isn’t this your proper job? How can a seventy year-old woman with a bad back and fallen arches hold down two high pressure jobs at the same time?”
Angelina groaned and shook her head. “Tell him, Royston,” she whispered.
“Tell him what?” demanded Blinky. “I hope you haven’t been keeping secrets from me! After all, I am your employer and one word from me will put you in the dole queue!”
Royston coughed. “She’s not seventy, sir,” he said quietly, “she’s not even almost seventy. She’s not sixty or fifty or forty … I’m not sure how old she is, but she makes love like a twenty year-old!”
“That’s nice,” purred Angelina, “very generous and has earned you quite a few brownie points. Twenty year-old. I like it!”
“Not seventy!” exploded Blinky. “You mean, she lied on her application? You mean I thought I had a competent secretary when all I’ve got is a slip of a lass with no sense? And makes love? What do you know about the way she makes love?”
“I’m the same secretary as I was when you thought I had one foot in the grave,” retorted Angelina, “and if you want to know why I’ve confused you about my age let me say it’s all your fault!”
“What is? Lies? My fault that you tell downright filthy lies?” bawled Blinky.
“It certainly is. Sir.” She was adamant. He could hear it in her voice. It was like a texture in the atmosphere in the room, an inflexible, almost caustic texture.
“And how do you work that out?” he demanded.
“Do you recall, sir, before that pistol exploded in your face?” she reminded him. “Do you remember that lady police constable with what you referred to as interesting boobs and eye-catching legs, the one who wore a skirt you used to like to allow your hands drift up?”
“I did no such thing!” boomed Curmudgeon. “I never would! It’s disgusting!”
She nodded, though he couldn’t see. “It is, sir,” she replied, “and the lady who most knows how disgusting it is must surely be the lady assaulted in that way, and that lady, sir, was me!”
There was a silence during which an observer might have counted up to ten nice and slowly.
“You were a policewoman?” asked Curmudgeon, his voice strangled as if an unseen foe had tied something made of barbed wire round his neck, and was pulling on both ends. “You were that policewoman? You were that pretty little sex kitten with the come-to-bed eyes and a gorgeous bottom? You’re not a seventy year-old harridan with wrinkles and sagging breasts? Oh, lordy me, why have you made such a fool of me?”
“Mr Curmudgeon,” she replied, “the shape and texture of my eyes were both surely in your own mind in much the same way as your groping fingers were up my skirt when you thought nobody was looking! You might have got a clue how I felt about it from the way I slapped you away! And if anyone’s made a fool of you it’s you yourself! I never told you my age and left it up to you to draw your own conclusions when I was encouraged to apply for the job as your secretary. The County Force look upon you as their responsibility and needed to put someone they could trust in your office, and it was they who chose me. That was behind your back, of course. You see, they knew that I blame myself for the accident that robbed you of your sight, barging into the firing range like I did when maybe I should have waited before interrupting you… but it’s all in the past and I don’t think I was really to blame.” It had been a long speech, and she sighed as she sat down.
“Well, well, well…” muttered Royston. “Up your skirt, eh?” His stomach rumbled audibly as he spoke, and he scraped one foot on the floor in the hope the sound would cover it up. It didn’t.
“Amongst other places,” she replied, but she grinned at him and rubbed her own stomach as if to suggest she understood..
“It must have been a misunderstanding…” began Blinky, who was oblivious to anything else. “I would never behave in such a reprehensible way…”
“Wouldn’t you?” she asked, tellingly.
“Sod it, maybe once in a blue moon!” he blustered. “But I don’t do it now! You’ve got to admit that much! I haven’t laid a hand on you since you joined me here at 221C! This is another time, another place – and I’m another man, for goodness’ sake!”
“Because you think I’m past it…” murmured Angelina. “In your head, seventy’s past it… you wait until I tell my Auntie Josephine… she’ll likely want to show you a thing or two!”
“Miss Parr’s no way past it,” sighed Royston without thinking, and the young woman kicked his shin, though with what amounted to gentle force.
“The case!” rasped Curmudgeon. “We must pay due attention to the case, because it’s not solved, not by any means!”
“I doubt we’re up against the Mafia, though,” muttered Royston, “it’s a simple case of pick-pocketing if you ask me and not a gang of desperadoes after a priceless treasure.”
“Pick-pocketing is a crime,” said Angelina, “and pick-pockets probably graduate to armed robbery given half a chance.”
“True, too true,” muttered Blinky, “so we must do something about it. We must get Tiny’s loupe back and show the scumbags that we won’t stand for that kind of criminal nonsense!”
“Then it’ll mean another trip to Brainache Castle…” sighed Royston. “I found it … not so pleasant an environment for a sensitive soul like Miss Parr to have to breathe the noxious air of dead bones and … you know what I mean.” He was waffling, and knew it.
“Bones or no bones, I need to recover what was stolen from me,” interjected Blinky. “And if you two are in my employ you can come with me. You see, you may not have noticed but I’m a little short-sighted.” He turned to Angelina, “that’s probably why I mistook your skirt for something … else,” he added, lamely.
“That’s a novel excuse,” she replied, glibly, “seeing as at the time you had 20/20 vision!”
“What are we doing, then?” asked Royston, “I’m getting peckish already and that fish and chip shop we went to, Angelina, was a bit of all right!”
“We’re going back to Brainache!” decided Inspector Curmudgeon. “We’ll get a bite to eat and then we’ll be off! And we won’t return until that loupe is safely back in my pocket!”
“About time too,” sighed Royston, and his stomach emitted another rattle, like distant thunder.
© Peter Rogerson 26.08.14



  1. pambrittain August 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Secret’s out of the skirt (I mean bag).

    • Peter Rogerson August 27, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      I’m thinking of drawing this to a close any time now. New things beckon!!! I’m contemplating a few one-off tales, the sort I used to do before I got ensnared by serialisation.

      • pambrittain August 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

        Ohhh, good. Anything you write has my attention. I’ll be looking for those two nasty words.

  2. Peter Rogerson August 28, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    And you must remember there are other things to do … life to live, a wife to worship, that sort of thing…

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