Previously on Bloatmingle of the Yard...
Bloatmingle and Spiggot have braved a hair-raising car journey in a Police Humber with a small end knock. The knocking theme continues as they trick a henchman by means of an ultra-secret one, and gain entry to No.37 Dead Man's Wharf - the even-more secret hideout of... Dr Hercules Peasemold!
Doctor Hercules Peasemold had changed since the last time they’d met. Long gone was the once proud stance of the ex-Royal Navy frogman with a passion for wearing lady’s stockings over his webbed toes. Now bent double with aggressive piles and a syphilitic hump, Peasemold looked every one of his twenty seven years. His hair had thinned but only over his ears, leaving an island of landlocked sand upon the tanned globe of his head. Yet it was Peasemold’s ears that held Bloatmingle’s eyes the longest. He still remembered the time when he’d almost captured the absconding Peasemold by grabbing his ears as the Doctor leapt for the last carriage of the departing Flying Scotsman. In their place he now wore wooden replicas fashioned from walnut which he obviously had French polished by an expert, thereby making them particularly alert to the tread of Detective Inspector leather.
‘Bloatmingle!’ he gasped before the Inspector had barely stepped a foot into the room.
‘Doctor Peasemold!’ said Bloatmingle, his Webley already raised. ‘Or should I say Baron Happy Von Trott or Count Burt Finchhandles or even Bretta Parsnips, the Uxbridge clairvoyant and baby snatcher! I’ve been looking for you for a very long time.’ There was a sudden noise from the corner of the room and Bloatmingle fired a single shot into the priceless Egyptian sarcophagus recently missing from the British Museum. The bullet ricocheted once and took out the Pharaoh’s beard. ‘And you can come out too, Tommy No-Nose. Your game is also up!’
The thin man stood, his arms raised and his nose glistened with sweat.
‘It was most cunning of you to pretend that you had no nose,’ said Bloatmingle. ‘But you made a telling mistake when the station master at Tenbury Wells recalled you ordering a ticket to Nuneaton. No man truly lacking nostrils would dare pronounce Nuneaton, let alone travel there!’
‘Damn your passion for the George Eliot Heritage Museum!’ cried Peasemold, pointing a goat chewed finger at his accomplice. ‘I knew it would be our ruin!’
Bloatmingle waved his gun, never having read Middlemarch nor, for that matter, having visited Nuneaton. In fact, he now believed he had even less reason to visit Nuneaton than he’d previously suspected. It sounded a terribly dull place.
No-Nose sobbed loudly. ‘You never did understand Dorothea Brooke!’ he accused. ‘You were too busy allowing those disgusting goats to chew your fingers!’
There was a sudden shot and the end of Peasemold’s cane smoked black as No-Nose grabbed the place where, despite his name, he once had a nose and where, apposite to his name, he now had none.
‘Okay, lower the cane,’ said Bloatmingle. ‘You can add shooting off a man’s nose to your list of heinous and occasionally hilarious crimes.’‘How on earth did you find me?’ asked Peasemold.