08 May 2007
It was a good half an hour or so before the police, led in earnest by Inspector Albert Spunkleford, finally arrived on the scene. Two of the officers immediately set about untying Romanov from the chair upon which we had imprisoned him, while Spunkleford hastened over to Botter, who was busily tending to my wounded arm.
“Good evening, gents,” he said cheerily, clearly pleased as punch to be doing some proper police work for a change.
“Spunkleford.” I replied, in a terse and rather curt manner, designed to remind Spunkleford that not only was he not in my good books at present, but he was not even a footnote in the glossary at the back of my good books.
“Um…uh…good…good work,” Spunkleford stammered, clearly sensing my growing resentment. “Really…really first class job.”
I narrowed my eyes. “You thought me to be a criminal, Spunkleford. ” I said calmly.
“Well…uh…you…we…I…I…” the detective blabbered.
I allowed the Inspector to work himself up into quite a lather, before my heart softened and my anger faded. Spunkleford was not a bad man by any means, just a bad judge of character. And a terrible dresser.
“Do not concern yourself any further, Spunkleford,” I said, brightly. “We shall not let a little thing like a misdirected accusation of murder come between us. Although, you should be grateful that I am currently rather too weak to set about your face with a heavy, blunt object, as much as I would like to.”
Spunkleford seemed relieved, and broke out in a grin.
“Good man!” he cried, slapping me heartily on the back, causing me to wince slightly. “We’re all on the same side, are we not? Now, fill me in on the detail of this most fascinating of cases, you old dog!”
I relayed the story of Romanov’s ludicrous scheme as we left the Russian embassy and headed to a parked carriage outside. Spunkleford was fascinated, a fact that he imparted by exclaiming, “Fascinating!” at the end of each and every ruddy sentence. As I concluded my report, Romanov himself was led out of the building by two burly policemen.
“You have not seen the last of me, Likely,” the Russian said. “I will make you pay for what you have done to me. I will get you, Likely. I will get you…to DEATH!”
These words may have been more chilling had they not been delivered in an incredibly comic falsetto, caused by the introduction of my lordly knee to Romanov’s testicles earlier. Instead, the threat was rendered undeniably humourous, and I laughed heartily. Romanov failed to see the funny side, and continued squeaking further threats as he was led off to an awaiting police wagon.
“All’s well that end’s well, eh Likely?” said Spunkleford.
“Quite, Inspector, quite…” I began, but then I noticed another of the accursed ‘Wanted’ posters on a wall nearby, and my face furrowed into a frown.
“Botter, if you could…” I said, motioning towards the offending article.
“Right away, milord,” Botter said. He struggled free from the grip of The Bear, who had become rather attached to my man-servant in the most literal of ways, and obligingly tore the poster off of the wall. He handed it to me, then grudgingly returned to the awaiting embrace of his new admirer.
“Ah, yes…about that poster…um, naturally we will be printing a full retraction in tomorrow’s newspaper…” Spunkleford said, growing more flustered as he observed my cloudy demeanour. I rolled the poster up into a neat, tight cylinder, then smiled at the Inspector.
“Spunkleford, my dear fellow,” I beamed. “Please, bend over. I wish to…lodge a complaint…”
- Lord Likely.