Episode 8: Bloatmingle is outwitted yet again, and yet another cliff-hanger...
Previously on Bloatmingle of the Yard... Bloatmingle has just come face to face with his Moriarty, the evil Dr Peasmold. Not just Peasmold, but Tommy No-nose - who in those days was still equipped with a nasal extremity. Not for long, though, as Hercules Peasmold deftly removed said proboscis by means of a shooting stick. Rounding on Bloatmingle, Peasmold fired the question: "How on earth did you find me?"
‘I knew that only a truly sick and deviant mind could even conceive of a plan to poison lady’s corsets,’ Bloatmingle explained. ‘I therefore decided to profile our suspect and I deduced that I was looking for a man called Bill who raises chickens. Alternatively, we were looking for a man with a secret passion for bagpipe music and who wears rubber tips on his goat-chewed fingers. When you booked yourself into the Mayfair Hotel as Moll Dynmar, I knew who and where you were. “Moll” is the Catalan for “wharf”, “dyn marw” means “dead man” in Welsh. There are very few master criminals as proud of their Catalan-Welsh ancestry as you or who boast about their 37 inch inside leg. No 37 Dead Man’s Wharf seemed the obvious place to look.’
There was a sudden noise from the back of the room as PC Fittock appeared with Spiggot trailing behind him leading the kidnapped goats of Kidderminster which, if you cast your minds back, is where this whole complicated case had started.
‘You’ve been clever,’ said Peasmold, ‘but I’m afraid I have again outwitted you again. Haven’t I constable?’
‘That’s right,’ said PC Fittock turning his gun on Bloatmingle. ‘You were far too trusting to believe that I was really PC 214 Fittock, the son of PC 675 Fittock! I am actually PC 483 Humplock!’
‘Not PC 483 Humplock, the disgraced son of disgraced police constable Humplock whose number I don’t recall?’
‘No, he was my uncle. I’m the son of WPC 029 Mavis Humplock who you once cruelly humiliated in the station canteen by remarking on the size of her ankles.’
‘Curses!’ said Bloatmingle, surrendering his Webley by throwing it to the floor.
‘So, it looks like I triumph again,’ said Peasmold.
‘You have indeed,’ nodded Bloatmingle. ‘And all because I didn’t spot that the constable suffers from the same water on the ankles as his poor mother.’
‘I do not suffer from water on the ankles!’ cried PC Humplock lowering his gun to hitch up his trousers by half an inch.
‘No, you fool!’ cried Peasmold.
But it was too late. In the fraction of a second it took the PC to inspect his own ankles, Bloatmingle had acted. He dived forward, grabbed his Webley between his teeth whilst removing his pipe from one pocket and a pinch of tobacco from the other. Falling into a forward roll, he pulled the gun from his teeth, lit his pipe, inhaled a lungful of Beryl’s Old Shag which immediately calmed his nerves so he could fire off the single round towards the disappearing figure of Doctor Hercules Peasmold.
‘Should I chase him, sir?’ asked Spiggot who had eventually acted and was now sitting on PC Humplock’s satisfyingly plump and comfortable ankles.
‘No need,’ said Bloatmingle. ‘I took a chunk out of the good Doctor’s right ear and that will be enough to make him list slightly to the left. If my calculations are correct, he’ll run in a circle and will be back here within the hour.’
As they waited, Bloatmingle savoured the flavour of Beryl’s Old Shag and wondered how many times the blessed leaf had saved his life. He had counted into the low three hundreds by the time he eventually heard the sound of webbed feet approach.
‘Now,’ said Bloatmingle, coldly. ‘Before we take him in for questioning, I want some answers from the good Doctor and I’ve been wondering what else those goats might like to chew…’
Detective Inspector Bloatmingle had been in worse predicaments. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember any since his memory had been rendered momentarily useless, possibly due to the biting cold, equally possibly by his standing without his trousers on the edge of the Clifton Suspension Bridge with the nose of a single-barrel shotgun pointing at his groin.