Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Wot Oh Old Boy! The search begins.





As everyone got into their pairs as allocated by Sir Ivor a thought struck my mind. Just as well it didn't strike me anywhere else.

"One moment please," I said, "or ... as Monsieur Carro would say ... un moment s'il vous plaƮt!"

"What now?" growled Sir Ivor Status.

"A few moments ago you all came to my room thinking it was Hair-Cool Carro's room. Am I correct?"

They all nodded in silence.

"But, beforehand, you all knew that Monsieur Carro was already missing from his room which is in the opposite side of the house. Correct?"

They all nodded again.

"So why did you come looking for him in my room?" I asked with determination and a modicum of aplomb.

"To be honest, old boy ..." hesitated Sir Ivor, "it is because we all felt you had something to do with his disappearance, and the disappearance of Miss Maple Syrup."

"Yes ..." re-affirmed Etan Roadkill, the cook, with his clothes still covered in blood, " 'till tink yo moor dar 'em . Yo feet sure tells eet all!"

"You really should come with subtitles," I said, "I still don't understand what you say but I got the gist of your accusations!"

"No one is accusing any one ... yet," declared Sir Ivor, "both Carro and Maple Syrup were last seen in the library last night before we all retired to bed. You young fellow, (pointing at me), left first. I was rather exhausted and went to our room with my lady wife Eva. So, who was next to leave the library and when?"

"The staff were all in their quarters by 11 pm, Sir," declared Hugo Snob the butler.

"I left just after midnight with Walter Dumnote. We walked together to our rooms, didn't we?" Varicose Vain asked Walter who nodded in agreement.

"That leaves my sister Claudia still in the library with Carro and Miss Maple!" said Sir Ivor.

"Yes ... I left a few minutes later and stayed in my room all night!" confessed Claudia Armoff.

I knew she was lying, because at 12:37 pm (or is it am when it is past midnight - whatever!); at that time Claudia was knocking at my bedroom door hoping to be let in by Carro; having mistaken my room for his. I chose not to challenge her ... for now.

"Let's start our search in the library then," I said, "there may well be a turnstile bookcase there leading to a secret passage somewhere!" 

They all followed me to the library which was next door to the dining room where we were. Some chose to sit down and have a cup of coffee. Others picked books from the shelves and started reading them. Walter Dumnote was picking up each chair in turn and looking underneath them.

"What are you doing?" I asked, "they are hardly going to be hiding under the chairs!"

"I was checking whether they are Victorian or Georgian antiques," he said, "I saw a set just like them at the supermarket last week!"

"And why do you have a suppository in your ear?" I whispered so as not to embarrass him.

"Oh dear ..." he said, "I wonder where I put my hearing aid! I'd better go and check."

I decided to widen the search for the missing detective and Miss Maple. I left the library followed by Claudia Armoff who had been paired with me in the search team.

"Let's go to the boathouse by the lake," she said, "I used to play there when I was a kid living in this house. It will be fun, I assure you!"

I hesitated a bit, and asked her to lead the way. As we walked through the gardens on our way to the boathouse it occured to me that her skirt was really rather too short, as Varicose Vain had pointed out earlier.

I decided to concentrate on the matter in hand and I ventured to ask her, "You did not go to your room and stayed there all night, as you said. You came to my room and knocked at my door. Why did you lie?"

She smiled cheekily, "I wanted to show Monsieur Carro my tattoo. It is a lion rampant. It's somewhere very private and I might show it to you later!"

I waited until my mind took a few minutes to focus and then I asked, "A lion?"

"Yes," she replied, "I am a lion whisperer, remember?"

"How unusual," I said, "what made you become a lion tamer?"

"A lion whisperer," she repeated, "not a lion tamer. There's a great difference. A lion tamer uses a whip and a chair in a circus and makes the lions perform tricks. That's cruel. A lion whisperer is like a horse whisperer. We listen to the animal's feelings and get to know their individuality and needs!"

"I see," I mumbled, "how did you train to do this?"

"When I grew up I stopped living in this house and moved abroad. My brother, Sir Ivor, stayed here to manage the estate. In my travels I met a horse whisperer as it happens. He was older than me, in his sixties, and his ambition was to communicate with other animals. We went together to Africa and tried to use his horse whispering techniques with other animals. We started with goats, then cattle, and slowly progressed to elephants and giraffes. We had to use a ladder for them. The problem is that by the time my tutor got up the ladder the giraffe had moved away and the ladder fell to the ground with him on it. He broke several bones trying to whisper to giraffes. He then tried to whisper to zebras, but he got laryngitis and they could not hear him. You could say he was a little hoarse. This attracted a lot of hyenas who thought he was laughing at them. But he wasn't!"

"That's quite a story." I said to encourage her to continue.

"On one occasion we stayed in the jungle for a while amongst the indigenous people," she said, "one village had six male witches!"

"Warlocks ..."

"No, it's true, I tell you!" she convinced me.

"Did your friend ever manage to whisper to lions?" I asked.

"Oh no, he practiced a lot on dead ones before moving on to a live creature. It was deaf and killed him!" she said tearfully.

We continued walking through the gardens in silence until we reached the boathouse. It was not what I expected. I thought it would be a wooden shed by the lake where people moor their boat. This was a stone built feature secured by a door and with luxurious furniture inside.

She was surprised that the door was un-locked and open. We entered the boathouse which was empty.

There, by the beautiful leather sofa, next to the fireplace, was Monsieur Carro's walking stick. On the table was a backgammon set with a game which had already been started.

I quickly counted the white and black discs used in the game. One disc was missing.



  1. Lion whisperer...interesting.

    1. Yes Christine. It's like a horse whisperer but with a bigger mane!

      God bless.

  2. "Why ...a suppository in your ear?" Priceless!
    Actually, being a lion/giraffe/zebra whisperer sounds fascinating. ( ... except it's prompted me to begin channeling Rex Harrison from Dr. Doolittle!)

    1. I am so glad I made you smile, Mevely. I must admit, I had to stop and laugh at the suppository joke.

      As for whispering to wild animals, it is difficult doing it with a tall ladder in hand. The giraffes don't stand still long enough for the whisperer to climb up to their ears.

      God bless.

  3. A lion and giraffe whisperer how interesting. Where will it lead, I can't imagine but I'm hooked. Imagination working full force here! :)

    1. Sometimes Bill, ideas come to mind from nowhere. I could be driving, on the bus, walking the dog or whatever, and I suddenly "see" the next post being written in words rather than pictures in my head. I often have to stop to write them down quickly before I forget them. (Obviously not when driving. The cars behind me get annoyed at this). (Come to think of it - so does the dog, who lifts his leg against mine in revenge!)

      God bless.

  4. The plot thickens! Love it, Victor.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying this story, Martha. Another episode here soon.

      God bless.

  5. I've got to go back and catch up. Miss one or two little episodes and you are completely lost!

    1. Yes please, Lulu. Read the last few episodes. And return here soon. Another episode shortly.

      Glad you're enjoying this, my friend.

      God bless.



God bless you.