Previously on Bloatmingle of the Yard...
A loud scream has awoken Bloatmingle from his reverie about romantic moments on board the Gubbins family barge. His preliminary investigation revealed that it was caused by misaligned grommet sponges allied to the brakes aboard a hansom cab being dropped into hot water. Or something technical like that. However, he was awake by now... and about to enter... SCOTLAND YARD!!! The Poisoned Corset Murders beckon...
Barely had he entered his office and taken off his police-issue gaberdine mac when there was a knock at the open door. "S'cuse me, sir" said an unfashionably overweight constable with the countenance and complexion of a baked potato, "Chief Super says I'm to report to you, sir. Sumfink abaht h'assisting you with the Poised Corset Merger, or sumfink, sir."
Bloatmingle eyed the man with barely disguised contempt and a sudden pang of hunger. He liked baked potatoes.
He gripped his unlit pipe between his unlit teeth and frowned, "And you are ... ?" he asked.
"Constable Spiggot, sir." said Constable Spiggot, with unerring accuracy, displaying his excellent memory for names.
Bloatmingle sighed, strode to his filing cabinet and withdrew a bulging manilla flavoured folder. "Very well, Spiggot," he said, "Take a seat and I shall fill you in on the details."
"Right you are, Detective h'Inspector Bloatmingle, sir."
Bloatmingle winced, "Do you have to talk in that silly accent? It's rather annoying."
"My h'apologies, sir." said a chastened Spiggot, "It's something of an h'affectation, but it helps to h'establish me as a character. I shall try keeping it to a minimum, sir."
The two men sat at a tea stained walnut-whip reproduction desk where Bloatmingle opened the folder and spread out a huge dossier on the Poisoned Corset Murders. A weak watery light from the street illuminated his chiselled features. "H'incidentally, sir," said Spiggot, "Did they ever catch the chisel murderer?"
Bloatmingle looked up at his erstwhile subordinate and thought, "Erstwhile subordinate". It had a nice courtroom ring to it. He made a mental note and remembered also that the Chisel Murder investigation had taken place whilst PC Spiggot had been on the Police Driving Course. Bloatmingle shuddered as he recalled the report, involving as it did details of pedestrian casualties, two wrecked Humbers and a bent Belisha Beacon.
"No" said Bloatmingle, "He's still out there. Gave us the slip round the back of Henstooth's Wardrobe Works."
The Inspector rubbed his chin, reached for his pipe and with his free hand, pointed to the dossier in front of him. "What does that say, Spiggot?"
"It's a comma, sir."
Bloatmingle sighed. "The whole sentence Spiggot, the whole sentence."
Spiggot cleared his throat and traced the letters with a fat finger. "Officers pursued the intruder who made off with a large box known to contain ladies foundation garments. The intruder, believed to be a man..."
"HA!" exclaimed Inspector Bloatmingle. "Don't you see, Spiggot?"
"Erm, no sir" said Spiggot.
"Oh come on Spiggot. What did our only witness in the Chisel Murders case say she saw silhouetted against the curtains of number 27 Cramp St?"
"Well sir, as I remember, she said she saw a man with..."
"HA!" shouted Bloatmingle. Spiggot jumped. "A MAN! In both cases, its a MAN, Spiggot!" cried Bloatmingle and reached for the telephone.