Thursday, May 16, 2013

Misplaced Baroness - Ep 4

Episode Four - "Breakfast With The Rozzers"
by Camille LaGuire

The bath was wondrous.  She soaked away the fuzz and confusion until the steaming water turned cold.  Her poor abused feet felt much better, though the scratches on her skin from that tumble down the embankment stung a bit.  A few bruises, but only small ones.  No major damage.

It wasn't until she was seated in her boudoir, clad in lounging pajamas and a pair of very soft slippers, scarfing down a pile of toast and pastries like a starved puma (if pumas ate toast and pastries), that her mind began to function properly.

"Lister!" she said.  "You are right.  We should call the police.  Oh! Is that the rest of my breakfast?"

Though she had eaten sufficient bread to feed a small village, she looked with great eagerness on the tray which Lister had just brought in.  It was piled with sausages, bacon, ham, an omelette, grilled tomatoes and a lovely large dish of creamed kippers.

"I've already called them," said Lister.

"Mmmffh?" said Plink, her mouth already full of kippers.

"The police, your ladyship," said Lister.  "I know it was against your orders, but the aunts called.  I might have put off Lady Hortense, but your Aunt Amelia was in a dreadful state and I couldn't help but reveal that you are safe and sound. Then, since the cat was out of the bag, I considered your fear that the villains would find out that you were alive and well, so I thought it would be best to ring up the police right away so they could protect you."


"They are waiting downstairs in the morning room."

"Well, call them up!" said Plink. "My feet have had enough traveling today.  And someone tried to squish me with a train, Lister.  We should not delay the pursuit of the malefactors."

She then attacked her sausages, as Lister went out with a look of disapproval.  It was fond disapproval, though, for if Lister really disapproved, she'd never have taken the  position. She knew Plink from early childhood.

Soon she heard the exceptionally heavy tread of the law on the stair, so heavy that when the door opened, she half expected to see a police horse enter the room. Instead it was no less than four policemen, three in plain clothes, and one uniformed constable.

They filed in, all correct and grave, and the one in the lead, who looked more like a politician than a policeman, bowed.

"Your ladyship," he said.  "I am Chief Superintendent Darling. This is Detective Inspector Pfaffle, and Detective Sergeant MacGreevey."

The constable apparently had no name.

Plink waved a sausage in greeting and said, "Thank you for coming so quickly, gentlemen.  Can you tell me what happened last night?"

The superintendent paused in surprise.

"We're here to ask that of you, your ladyship."

"I haven't any idea," said Plink. "I was largely unconscious, and now I'm eating sausages.  So why don't you start.  I'm sure you have gathered some information?"

The superintendent turned to the inspector. The inspector turned to the sergeant.  The sergeant did not turn the the constable but instead raised his chin and recited a report.  Plink had, apparently, declared she was running off with Antonio, stolen Lady Blinkersley's cloak, driven her car into a ditch, caught a train, lost a shoe on said train, and was never seen again.

"It's nonsense," said Plink, as he finished his report and she finished her sausage.  "All except the bit about Antonio, which was a joke.  I did not leave the party or drive anywhere or get on a train. I was drugged into unconsciousness."

"And how are you sure of that, your ladyship?" asked the superintendent.

"Because I was perfectly conscious and having a wonderful time, and then suddenly I was lying on a train track, wrapped in a strange robe, with a train bearing down on me."  She briefly related her escape, and return home, complete with her impression of the Grim Reaper's Attack Goose.

The police were not impressed.

"So you never saw your ... assailants," said the superintendent in a tone which dripped with doubt.

"No," said Plink.  "I was, as I said, unconscious."

"What is the last thing you remember before you woke up on the tracks?"

"We had just finished playing charades and I called for a cocktail, and then... nothing."

"That is, unfortunately, a common effect of cocktails."

"Not just one," said Plink.

"Oh, just one can have a powerful effect on a genteel young lady," said the superintendent, knowingly.

"Not on me," said Plink.  "And regardless, I don't drink so quickly or heavily that I can go from cold sober to unconscious in an instant.  And it offends me that you assume that I do."

There was a moment of silence.  The superintendent clearly didn't like being corrected by a slip of a girl, but he was a gentleman and had to be aware that she ranked him.

The silence was finally broken by the inspector, a fluffy little round man with a curly mustache.

"But the fall!" he said.  "It can all be explained by the fall from the train. She hit her head, and that caused amnesia.  No need to explain it with drink. You see?"

The superintendent sat back and looked mollified.  "Of course," he said.  "That would explain a lady's loss of memory..."

"Yes," said Plink.  "That would explain it quite nicely, except for the fact that I don't have a bump on my head."

She raised both hands to her head and poked and prodded at her scalp to illustrate.

"Not a scratch on the noggin," she said.  "As a matter of fact, I don't have any injuries that would be compatible with falling off the back of a train, even a stationary one."

It was at this point that the sergeant, who had been silently scowling behind the inspector spoke up.

"Of course not," he said.  "That's because you didn't fall.  You jumped!"

Stay Tuned For Episode 5 - "MacGreevey's Theory

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