As my husband seemed to have left me in charge of a bunch of nitwits, I determined to commit to paper my own thoughts on this bizarre affair. Should Johnny elect to include my contribution when he records this adventure for posterity (or self-aggrandisement, whichever seems most apposite) , I suspect he will in any case don his Editor’s Hat and bring his own ‘manly’ personality to bear on my feminine scribblings. Nonetheless, I feel duty-bound to press my own account upon him in due course. If he chooses to ignore it, he will do so at his own peril!
Standing on the station platform, I watched the so-called Ghost Train thunder past just now, its flickering projector throwing an effective display of lights and so forth across the windows of the waiting room. Arthur and Dickie had urged me not to come out here on my own, but I was unable to resist viewing the spectacle for myself.
What I had not expected to see was my own dear husband and Mister Gobshite Holmes also aboard the vehicle. Lord only knows what the pair of them are up to! I shall be utterly vexed if anything happens to Johnny, for it will surely be the fault of that smarty-pants detective yet again.
(Note to Johnny – please edit out all derogatory references to Holmes – I shouldn’t wish to annoy the Great Cheese any more than usual).
After the train passed, Arthur’s face appeared in the doorway.
“Wouldn’t stand there if I were you, Mary – you might be taken for a prostitute.”
I ignored his remark and tugged his lapel, gently prising him out onto the platform. “And what say you to this strange affair, Arthur?”
He gazed at me, his dark eyes fixed on my bosom. “All sounds a big titty, I mean, a bit fishy to me.” He patted my arm. “Best leave it to our detective friend, eh?”
I sniffed. “I hadn’t taken you for a coward, Arthur.” I glanced sideways at him and was gratified to observe his face flush scarlet.
“Oh, what a cheek! I’ll have you know I fought in the Crimean War. Got a row of forty medals on me chest, big chest.”
“Yes. I’ve heard that song.”
His mouth opened, then closed. “You have, eh?” He waggled his head and grinned sheepishly. “Just my little joke, you know? Got to ‘ave a larf, ain’t yer?”
“So you’re a coward?”
“No, course not.”
“Excellent. Then I suggest you seize your lanky friend and the three of us take a walk down to the bridge.” I fluttered my eyelashes causing him to leap backwards (my wonky eye sometimes has that effect on men).
Arthur seemed about to argue, but instead he merely shrugged and nodded in agreement.
A few minutes later, Dickie, Arthur and myself were heading down the track. The smoke from the ‘train’ still hung in the air, obscuring our view of the bridge. However, a few yards further on, we were able to discern the outline of the vehicle my husband and Holmesy had hitched a lift on, though I couldn’t make out any human shapes.
“I do hope there won’t be any fisticuffs, “muttered Dickie, frowning.
“Oh, behave,” said Arthur. “Not a coward, are you?”
I glared at him and he had the good grace to blush.
“Anyway,” he went on, “we’ve got Mary to protect us.” He giggled and I gave him a playful dig in the ribs.
A we approached the bridge, Dickie pushed Arthur in front of him. “You won’t let them hurt me, will you?”
“I’m not going in front – you go in front,” and the pair of them started pushing and shoving each other.
I stopped and looked at them. “For goodness sake, it’s only a bunch of Nazis.”
Dickie’s face turned pale. “Nazis?”
Arthur laughed and waved a hand in the air. “It’s alright, Dick, she’s just ‘aving a larf.”
“I wasn’t actually,” I said. “They are Nazis.”
“You’re bloody joking?” he squealed.
“I’m bloody not,” said I. “I heard Holmes say so.”
He sighed loudly. “Fine. Kill me now.” And he pulled his jacked open, baring his chest.
“Don’t be silly,” I said. “All we’re going to do is have a look and see what’s going on.”
“Oh,” said Arthur. “That’s alright then. For a minute I thought we might be in trouble.”
“You are ink trouble, mine friend.”
“Blimey, Mary,” laughed Arthur. “You sounded just like a German spy, then!”
“She did too,” nodded Dickie, grinning.
“I don’t do impressions, boys,” I said, turning to look for the source of the voice.
A dark shape emerged from the bushes at the side of the track. A man in a long black leather greatcoat, stepped towards us, his rifle pointed at my head.
“So, ve meet at last, Mr Holmes?”
“Who’s he talking to,” whispered Dickie.
“Not I,” said Arthur. They both looked at me.
The newcomer laughed derisively. “Hah, do not trying to fool me, Mr Holmes. You are vell known for your talent in ze department of disguise, I sink.”
“Oh, for fu – ”
“Mary!” Arthur’s mouth dropped open. “Language, please!”
“Stop zis silliness and take off your disguise.” The man with the gun shook his weapon at me.
“Oh dear,” I said, “I do believe the poor fool is serious.” I couldn’t help give in to a gentle titter.
The stranger’s face went purple. “Do not joke vis me, Holmes. Take off your disguise zis minute!” And with that, he stepped forward and grabbed my left breast. Now, while I am not averse to having my left breast fondled, I do generally draw the line when Nazis are involved. My fist made contact with the man’s face in less than a second and as I watched him fall unconscious to the ground, I congratulated myself on my recent decision to take a short course in hand-to-hand combat.
“Bloody hell,” said Arthur.
“Language,” said I, crouching down to take off the Nazi’s coat.
“I say, Mary,” said Dickie, “you’re not going to engage in sexual intercourse, are you?”
I paused and gazed up at him. “If I were, Richard, I doubt I should be doing it in front of you.”
“No, of course not.”
“Now, help me get his clothes off…”