“Do you promise you won’t tell anyone?”
An anxious Mumsie looked up into the flushed face of Boris’ butler, Snetterton. The face she had, for the last ten minutes, been kissing quite indecently.
“Never a soul, my lady,” replied Snetterton, with uncharacteristic vigour. “But… don’t you think the Prime Minister has a right to know?”
Mumsie’s brow crinkled and she sighed, gently releasing herself from the intense embrace of her amour. Snetterton just about managed to veil his disappointment with an expression of most earnest concern.
“No, you’re right,” said Mumsie. “I think we must tell her. I must tell her.”
The previously blistering atmosphere in the pantry had turned a little tepid. Snetterton was most dissatisfied. He had spent the best part of the day trying to track her down and he didn’t want to waste time now. After much searching, he finally came across her in the kitchen. She was basting a raw chicken in butter and it seemed only natural when, coyly announcing that she needed some stuffing, he followed her into the pantry in search of the same. And of course, being a butler, he was an absolute authority on stuffing birds.
After Snetterton had closed the door behind them, a sequence of torrid events unfolded with such practiced aplomb that one would almost think that they had played out many times before. This break in proceedings had occurred at quite an inconvenient moment as far as Snetterton was concerned.
“Yes, but… we don’t need to tell her right this minute, do we? Besides, she isn’t here.”
“Where is she?” asked Mumsie. Snetterton cursed himself for opening up a line of conversation that took him yet further away from his passionate destination.
“Shopping, I think. It doesn’t matter. She’s fine. And as for us…” he stroked Mumsie’s cheek with a sweep of his finger. “Well, we have the pantry all to ourselves.”
Mumsie considered all her options and decided that this was probably a good one. Barley able to contain his desire, Snetterton snatched her once again into his arms.
“Hang on,” said Mumsie, tilting her head to one side. “Can you hear that?”
“Hear what?” Snetterton was beyond irritated.
But Mumsie was right.
There were voices coming from the kitchen.
“…There’s an awful lot of old balderdash proffered about crime scenes, you know, old boy. These Intelligence Agency chaps are going about it all wrong.” The pompous tone and Oxford lilt were unmistakeable. “I’m King, so I should know. I’ve been reading these cracking books by a fellow named Agatha Christie. He’s bloody brilliant, I tell you. Get’s everything solved and ship-shape in a few hundred pages. Have you seen the bloody reports being churned out by the Wing Commander’s men? Utter piffle! Arse-breakingly bad piffle at that.”
“Surely you know… I mean, Agatha Christie…” The nasal whine could only be duster salesman and ineffectual spy Nigel Farage.
“Quiet, you. Because you see, in these books the police always do things per libro and I tell you – it never ends well for them. It’s always the cunning odd-ball and their plucky side-kick that solve the crime.”
“Hang on,” said Nigel. “Which am I? The cunning odd-ball or the plucky side-kick?”
“Oh good point,” there was a considered silence from Boris. “Being King, the role of side-kick seems rather under par, doesn’t it. And although I am in favour of ‘cunning’, I think I would like it more if I had ‘plucky’ as well.”
“I’ll be the oddball side-kick, then” grumbled Nigel, resigned to his fate. “Although ‘cunning plucky’ sounds bloody obscene to me, for some reason.”
“All the more reason I should adopt it as my cognomen!” Boris guffawed and slapped a thigh. “No, but seriously. Your lord and master has the brains to balls to match any of Christie’s great detectives. Not so much Miss Marple on the balls front, actually. In fact, I can’t really speak for the balls, but the brains are bursting forth, I tell you!”
Nigel very much needed a drink.
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ve spotted our first clue! Look over there!” Boris thrust a fat finger in the direction of the uncooked chicken, left forlornly on the sideboard, waiting to be stuffed. “See? I bet Tom’s men didn’t spot that. That chicken has been abandoned at some haste – I think we have disturbed a pivotal event!”
“Cooking chicken is rarely a pivotal event, Boris.” Nigel shook his head and began looking in cupboards. “And I don’t think it features heavily in the vicious murders of war criminals, either. Look, I’ve found some sherry.”
“Oh good,” said Boris. “Bring it hence. Now, then – this is the kitchen – the crime scene! So we have to search it for clues. Also maybe for some crisps. I say we start with the pantry…”