"Cheese has always been good to me."
Jim Friteuse

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chapter 19: MEANWHILE . . .

Peter Perkins had seen and heard everything and he couldn’t believe his eyes or his ears. His Spinoza-Sense had told him that something was wrong, but Mr Smith had kept his evil intent so well hidden under a lead-lined veil of incompetence that he had been impossible to read. He had heard Mr Smith reveal himself to be Abdullah Fahad Achmed Al Mohammed bin Abdul Faisal Muhammed Fuad Abdullah Aziz Smith aka the super-villain Cheesefinger and he had seen the voluptuous Irene Smedley arrive and a man resembling Mr Smith (but with an Egyptian air about him) leading Jim, Miss Yip and Wulf Sternhammer out of the office at gunpoint.

He had to think fast. He reached into his pocket and found a Teichmuller Tracking Device from his old I-Think-Therefore-I-Am-Man days. The tracker was one of his own inventions and he’d named it after the German philosopher Gustav Teichmuller (1837 – 1888) because he’d found him difficult to follow. Perhaps, thought Peter, now was the time to bring I-Think-Therefore-I-Am-Man out of retirement. He ran to the end of the corridor and left the building through a side door. He skirted his way around the building, moving as quickly as his bulky frame would allow.

He was in luck – he had reached Irene Smedley’s car before Smith and the others had left the building. He bent down, reached behind the rear bumper and attached the tracker just as the factory door opposite him began to open.

He quickly dived behind a large bush on the other side of the road and listened.

“We must take care of them, Irene, my love,” said Smith kissing Mrs Smedley full on the lips. “They must never be seen again.”

“Don’t worry, darling. I think Derek is ready for a nice big meal. It’s been a while since he finished off Charles.”

“Yes, your stupid rich husband - all the time he thought that it was just you and that dog, where in actual fact it had always you and me!” Mr Smith burst into maniacal laughter.

“I know – ever since you contacted me from New Zealand we have been lovers. I never loved my husband – I only loved his money!”

“All right, all right!” said Miss Yip, angrily, “I think that’s enough back story and plot exposition to fill everyone in with your motives. Let’s get this over and done with, shall we!”

The three prisoners were bundled into the back of the car and when they were firmly secured there Irene Smedley sat down in the driver’s seat and started the engine. With his golden gun still trained on them, Mr Smith climbed into passenger side and slammed the door, just as the car roared away.
Peter Perkins emerged from his hiding place and ran full tilt to his office. He closed the door, pulled down the blinds and quickly changed out of his work clothes and into his once familiar brown jacket with patches on the elbows, brown corduroy trousers, striped shirt with a plain collar, spotted tie and comfortable shoes “This looks like a job for I-Think-Therefore-I-Am-Man!” he cried as he left the office.

From the corridor behind him he thought he heard the sigh of female voice saying, “I-Think-Therefore-I-Am-Man? But . . . how?”

Peter ran to his car and started the engine. He switched on the Teichmuller Tracking System and wondered what to do next. And then it suddenly came to him. “Claire! I must go and get Claire!”

Claire was busy typing up the menu for when Jim returned home for his dinner. She had taken all the cans out of the cupboard and they were sat on the side waiting to be opened with her trusty Brabantia. This was to be her first three-course meal in England and she wanted to make it special.

Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup
Fray Bentos Steak & Kidney Pie
Tinned Marrowfat Peas
Tinned Baby Carrots
Tinned New Potatoes with Butter
Bisto Gravy
Ambrosia Rice Pudding
Jar Cheese & Biscuits

The doorbell rang as she typed out the last word on the menu. “Whoever can that be?” she thought. “It’s too early for Jim to be home.”

She opened the door to find Peter Perkins standing in the doorway. “Oh, hello, Peter – what on earth are you doing here?”

“Claire!” Peter said urgently. “You have to come with me. Jim’s in a spot of bother.”

“But, I’m just preparing the dinner. I have so many cans to open I’ve been exercising my wrist, although I probably needn’t have seeing as I’ll be using my Brabantia to open them.”

Peter was momentarily distracted. “You have a Brabantia tin opener?” he said in amazement.

“Yes,” replied Claire. “Would you like to see it?”

“Errr,” began Peter, “err . . . no. No. We need to get going before something terrible happens to Jim.”

“What’s the matter? Someone’s not fed him some fresh food, have they? Fresh food always upsets his stomach, you know.”

“No, no, it’s nothing like that. Now, if you could get in the car, we have no time to lose.”

“Oh. Right,” said Claire, as she kicked off her slippers and slipped on the comfortable shoes that she had brought with her from New Zealand. “Let’s get going then.”

Peter switched on the Teichmuller Tracking Device and started the car. The Teichmuller spoke to them in a German accent.

“Go schtrate down to ze ent off ze rote and turn left, zen at ze rountabout turn right, it said.

“Wow,” said Claire, “that’s amazing. Have you ever thought of patenting it – you’d make a fortune. Anyway, what did it say?”

“Shutup!” said the Teichmuller, “I vill ask ze qvestions!”

“It needs a bit of refinement,” said Peter. “A couple of months ago I wanted to go to Leeds and it directed me all the way to Poland and told me to start the invasion. I was thinking of patenting it under the name of TeichNav, short for Teichmuller Navigation System, but after the Polish incident I think a better name for it would be TwatNav.”

Keep goink schrate down zis rote until you get to ze ent and zen turn right.
As they followed the instructions given to them by the Teichmuller, a car sped past them travelling in the opposite direction. Peter recognised the driver as being Mrs Irene Smedley.

“That’s them!” he cried. “That’s them who kidnapped Jim and Miss Yip and Wulf Sternhammer!”

“Where are they going?” asked Claire. “Shouldn’t you follow them?”

“No. No. We need to get to Jim. He may be in some danger by now, along with the woman I love.”

“Oh, that’s nice, rushing to save the woman you love. Who says romance is dead?”

You vill reach your destination in von mile,” said the Teichmuller.

As the car reached the brow of a hill Peter could see the cottage in the distance. “Please, please, let’s not be too late,” he mumbled to himself.




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