EPISODE ONE HERE
EPISODE TWO HERE
EPISODE THREE HERE
EPISODE FOUR HERE
EPISODE FIVE HERE
EPISODE SIX HERE
EPISODE SEVEN HERE
EPISODE EIGHT HERE
EPISODE NINE HERE
EPISODE TEN HERE
EPISODE ELEVEN HERE
The following morning we were summoned to go to the library. Obviously, Sir Ivor Status has something more to announce, I thought. As ever, I was the last one to arrive. Every one else was already there, including all the staff.
Sir Ivor asked us all to sit down and said that he had an important announcement to make; but first he wanted to introduce someone to us.
He opened the door and in came Hair-Cool Carro and Miss Maple Syrup.
"Ahhh!" cried Lady Eva Status-Too standing up, "we thought you were dead. Where have you been?"
"Bonjour mes amis," said Carro, "eet eez good to see you all again, n'est ce pas?"
"Are you all right, my friend," asked Varicose Vain, "we were all worried about you; and Miss Maple too of course!"
"Mes dames et monsieurs, et mademoiselles, I think we leave it to Sir Ivor to do ze explanations.
C'est très important je pense!" replied Carro sitting down next to Miss Maple.
"Thank you old boy," continued Sir Ivor, "please feel free to join in at any time, and you too Miss Maple!
"Let me start by saying that this has all been a pre-planned experiment devised by Hair-Cool Carro, Miss Maple and myself. No one else was involved; not even my dear wife ... sorry darling ... (to Lady Eva).
"We were discussing some time ago what would happen if a group of people were faced with a crisis from which there was no escape.
"I thought that they would start suspecting each other, and maybe at some stage some of them would even become violent.
"Hair-Cool here, said that someone would most probably emerge as a leader and perhaps either take control or work alone, or with someone else very closely."
"Mais ... certainement mes amis! C'est vrai chaque fois," said Carro.
"Whilst Miss Maple," continued Sir Ivor, "believed in the inherent goodness within humanity and that people would perhaps get closer to each other and care for each other."
Miss Maple smiled.
"So we decided to place bets on what would happen," said Sir Ivor, "we decided to invite a group of people; that's all of you, including my dedicated and loyal staff who also knew nothing about this.
"Once you were all here, we would instigate a crisis. What better than the disappearance of Carro and Miss Maple?
"Then we would make sure no one leaves. Thankfully the storm two nights ago helped us with that.
"And we'd watch how you would all behave! Jolly good ruse, don't you think? What?"
"That was very mean and evil," protested Varicose Vain, "we were out of our minds with fear and thought we would all be killed!"
"Which is exactly what I predicted, so I win the bet I suppose!" laughed Sir Ivor.
"Un moment, s'il vous plaît," interrupted Hair-Cool, "I am told that the young gentleman here, (pointing at me), tried to work with others to investigate our disappearance. Est ce bien? Proving both moi, Hair-Cool Carro, and Mademoiselle Maple to be correct in our assessment of leadership and inherent goodness!"
Miss Maple smiled again and said nothing.
(Have you noticed that she never says anything in this story? I guess she lost the script and does not want to admit it).
"But where were Carro and Miss Maple all this time?" asked Walter Dumnote dropping his monocle.
"The first evening they were here, they were the last ones to leave the library after you all retired to your rooms," explained Sir Ivor, "they simply drove to town in Miss Maple's car and stayed in a pre-booked hotel until now!"
"I thought the bridge was swept away by the storm!" asked Varicose Vain.
"Not so ..." chuckled Sir Ivor, "we were lucky to have the storm that night. The bridge is intact. I just told you it no longer existed and banked on the fact that no one would walk the six or so miles from here to the bridge to find out. I told Otter Gas, our chauffeur, that the bridge was down and asked him to lock my Rolls in the garage!"
"And whose body is in the freezer?" Varicose challenged our host.
They all gasped in unison. (I thought we were in the library; but apparently we were in unison! So they all must have left the library to go to unison to gasp and then return to the library).
"Body? What Body?" asked Sir Ivor.
"If I may be permitted to explain, Sir," said the butler Hugo Snob, "Miss Matilda's small poodle Fifi died a few days ago and as I was unable to phone the vet, Etan Roadkill and I placed the body in the freezer!"
"How terrible !!!" gasped Lady Eva, "he must have been very cold in there!"
"Freezing actually ..." mumbled Etan Roadkill, and for the first time everyone understood him.
"And were you planning on serving it as boeuf bourguignon?" laughed Sir Ivor.
"No Sir," replied the butler having missed the joke, "we were waiting for the phones to be fixed so we could phone the vet!"
"Oh ... there's nothing wrong with the phones," said Sir Ivor with a chuckle, "I just disconnect the main incoming cable the first night to ensure no one phoned for help or the police!"
There followed a few moments of silence until everyone read this story again to ensure there were no other loose ends to be explained.
"You haven't said much!" remarked Sir Ivor looking at me.
"Did you slip the threatening note under my door?" I asked.
"Of course I did," he laughed, "I wanted to rattle you a bit. And I put the walking stick and backgammon set in the boat house. I knew Claudia would go to her favourite place eventually. Oh ... and I also put the backgammon disc in the mausoleum and in Carro's room. Worked a treat. Brought the two of you together! What? Old boy!"
Claudia looked at me and smiled.
"And now, let me invite you all to a great party here tonight!" said Sir Ivor, "our lovely staff are invited too! I have organised a catering firm to make all the arrangements and there will be a band playing so we can dance the night way."
And what a night that was!
Sir Ivor offered to pay me what he had promised for me to write his memoirs, even though there were no plans to write a book about him at all.
Oh ... and I did see the lion rampant tattoo!
I would like to thank all my regular and new readers for their support and encouragement in writing this series of posts. It all started as a humourous post in Episode 1. Little did I know at the time that it would develop into a series of 12 posts and a story in itself. But your comments and e-mails kept me going. Thank you for this.
There is a possibility that these 12 posts will be published as a story in a new paperback book. More information in this Blog in due course.
Thanx and God bless you always.