Joe Malone, Part Sixty-One

Ch 61 – Taken for a ride.

Lord Marmon-Herrington Bixby’s suits were too small for me. Just a shade to tight around waist and shoulders. But he had some jackets that were a bit bigger. A flowery shirt made by The Graham Norton Silk Company, fitted quite well. But I decided against. Found a thin stripe, blue and white shirt. Navy tie. The sleeves were too short. But that wouldn’t notice under a jacket.

He had a dark black blazer that just fitted. A little tight, but not too bad. And my own, blood spotted, dark trousers would have to do. Lord Bixby might have lost some weight in recent years. But not gained any height.

Bill Quango MP, Going Postal
Artwork by Colin, © 2020

His trousers were too small by an ankle swinging amount. Mine matched the blazer colour anyway. Socks and pants were a good enough fit. Marks and Spencer’s. Bixby obviously not sold on the urgent need for Calvin Klein, designer underwear. Now fully cleaned and attired, and with fifteen minutes to spare, I sought out Lady Bixby.

She was in the other guest bedroom for some reason. Doing her make-up. Sat at a dressing table. She was doing her lashes and only looked at me in the mirror.
“You look better. Much smarter,” she told me.
“Thanks, “I said back. “You like great too. I’d wear that particular ensemble for the BBC. It will help more than you realise when they go to air.”

Bill Quango MP, Going Postal
Artwork by Colin, © 2020

She was sat on the stool in only her underwear. Bra and tights. Vanessa wasn’t someone who was very concerned about nakedness. I wondered if her parents had been naturalists. Or, perhaps it was her having always been, drop dead gorgeous.
Must give a person a different perspective knowing they are the most beautiful of them all.

She eyed me in the mirror. “I don’t think so, Joe. Not without first shaving my legs.
I’d look like that hairy academic. The flabby breasted one who gets naked for Brexit.
I admire her sentiments. But she should shed a few pounds for Brexit, too. And buy a Ladyshave.
She saw my choice of tie. “Bixby wore that when he got his commission in the army.”

“He was in the military?” I was amazed. Though stranger life changes had happened to well known people before. For instance, dripping wet, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, had been a tank commander during the Normandy invasion.
Vanessa continued explaining. “Oh, he wasn’t in the British forces. He was given an honorary Adjutant title in the Bundesweher. In recognition for services to Germany.
You know. Because of his work.”

“His work for..?..Who?…Hitler?”

“..No..Idiot. His work for Remain. For Merkel.”

“Did he get the Knights Cross, too?”

Without noticing the irony she simply replied, “Hmmm..Yes..I think so. Some sort of medal, anyway. He has quite a few European ones. There was a presentation and everything.”

“How lovely. You must be very proud of the Stabshauptmann.”

She stopped shaping her eyebrows and looked at me again in the reflection of the mirror.

“Are you going to tell me what this great scheme of yours is, Joe? Or are you just going to be beastly to everyone until the police come to arrest us?”

“A little of both.”

“Well,” she said, putting down pencil and picking up lipstick, “Sit down. And let’s hear it.”

“Don’t you want Marmon to hear it? He’s going to have to do it.”

“I’ll tell him afterwards. It’s much better when it comes from me. I can get him to understand. He won’t do anything you ask, unless I tell him too.”

“OK.” I sat on the edge of the bed. Another silver bedspread. Felt as thick as a Canadian snow coat.

“We are going to claim Lord Bixby was mugged. A London street robber attacked him and left him unconscious.”

“You think some detective will buy that?” She licked her lips. Carried on applying.

“No. Not initially. But street crime is at stratospheric levels. It’s hard to discount something that is so common. Even Piers Morgan was mugged recently. And he has all those close protection people around him all day. To stop the public lynching him.
And even he was taken. Went for a piss. Came back without his cash and phone and clothes. I think they threw the clothes into the river. That sort of thing happens all the time. It’s a daily occurrence. Even in Remain Zones, one and two.”

“Uh, Huh. Go on.”

“Marmon gets attacked. He can’t recall if he fought back or not. But he does recall getting hit. Knocked down. He says he fell down some steps. Into a doorway. Out of sight. It’s important he disappears out of sight. So no CCTV.
The mugger then recognises Bixby. Says, ‘Hey. I know you. You’re that Remoaner.
Lixby wassisname! You traitor!” Something like that. And that’s when he pushes Bixby through a doorway. Down some stairs. Into a basement somewhere. He messes him around. Takes all his stuff. All of it. Gives him a slap and then, ties him up. To a radiator or something. Terry Waite style. Leaves him there. For being a panty-waist, snowflake ReJoiner, traitor.”

“Is that a credible reason, Joe?”

“For beating him up? As Milliband might say, Hell Yeth! I know Puffins that would have tarred and feathered him, if they’d ever caught him alone. Those are the reasonable ones. The hardcore would drag him behind a ride-on lawnmower. Their partners strimming his buttocks with a Flymo. Until he became a part of the landscape.”

She sighed, “I didn’t mean if your bloodthirsty, Leaver, fantasies were credible. I meant him being tied up and then left behind by a street criminal. Is that credible?”

“Well. Needs embellishment. But, the concept of the lie is sound.
We have to remove the points of doubt. The difficulty of proof. The absence of witnesses. So. Let’s take witnesses first.
It was a street thug. Some Community Rapper. Fresh from the Any Questions panel, wants an expensive Fit_Byte 3000. Sees the Good Lord, walking down the street.
Decides he wants his stuff.
Bixby was set for diner on the evening of the 10th. He hasn’t been seen by anyone since. So we have him attacked and taken at that time.
It’s very likely some punk with a need to shake down some rich white folks, would hang out in the vicinity of the Reform Club. There are one or two refurbishments going on in the area. I guess there is. I mean, it’s London. So there always is something being built somewhere. Some disused or partially restored building is all we need to point too. Bixby was taken. And put in there. And there he stays. He’s hurt. He’s sick. And he’s trapped. That’s why no one sees him. He’s locked in a building.”

“All right. Sounds unlikely. But do go on.” The words came out mumbled. She was still doing her lips.

“Bixby eventually frees himself. He gets out of the building. But he has taken a knock to the head. He doesn’t know who he is or where he is.
He can’t call anyone. He has no phone. He doesn’t know any numbers. He has no smart watch to auto send him home. He doesn’t remember who he is or where he lives. He’s a man walking the streets alone.”

Vanessa interrupted. “Why doesn’t he go to the police? The moment he’s free? Why not to the Reform Club? He stays there sometimes. He can go there for all the help he would need. Henshaw, the concierge. He would have assisted him for certain. There must be dozens of people in there who know Bixby well.”

She had asked a good question. A very good question. I wish I had as good an answer.

“Because of his amnesia. He doesn’t remember. And this regressed Alzheimer, also means that he doesn’t know, that he doesn’t know? You get it? He is just in that half here, half in the past, state.
Now, ordinarily, this would never be believable. But you said Bixby has these conditions. Has actual, what was it?.. Confusion? Is genuinely ill with a condition?
The Medi-Doc gives him full health. He’s A1. But he clearly isn’t.”

“The Medi-Doc can’t test his mental functions,” she explained. “He needs specialists for that.”

“And he has actually seen them? These specialists? I’ve seen Lord Bixby on the Vid’Screen quite recently and he seemed just fine. So I’m hoping you haven’t been keeping whatever his illness is a secret just between yourselves.”

“No. No. Not at all. He’s been to several consultants. Royal London. Nightingale.
The O2 Corona Clinic. He’s had extensive mental health treatment.” She looked resigned to some eventuality. Kay would be remarking on the sadness in her eyes.
She took the lipstick away from her lips as she spoke.

“He’s had the tests. Over a year ago now. They came back positive. He barely managed to score a Richard Burgon level on his actions and consequences and logical sequencing….” She looked down into her lap.
“He has JoBs,” she said finally. “Its been confirmed. He has JoBs.”

I’d thought as much. Tough break for him. There was no cure.
Lord Bixby had James O’Brien Syndrome. The ReJoiner’s curse.

It explained an awful lot. Why someone like Bixby could be so manipulated into such a plot as he was now in. How an intelligent and educated, and above all, protected member of the top of society, could be so easily manipulated by a character like Sir Alan Stuart.

James O’Brien Syndrome. It used to be called Brexit Derangement Syndrome. BDS.
And many of the most ReJoinery suffered from it. Campbell. Femi. Soubry. Grieve.
But, for some, the symptoms worsened until they lost all connection with reality.

James, the first to give his name to the worse disease, was found completely naked in a Paddington Bedsit.
He had been there, all alone, for a couple of weeks. Not answering his smart calls.
Total Corona Self-Isolation type thing.
He was eventually discovered making hundreds of little, model, Eiffel Towers. Out of mashed potato and green beans. A crazy, Close Encounters, style obsession had gripped his mind.
He was making that iconic sculpture of France’s premier landmark, in all shapes and sizes. Large ones and small. Every windowsill had a collection. Every shelf of a bookcase. Bedside table. Kitchen surfaces. There was one huge model that filled the entire shower.
O’Brien hadn’t washed. Shaved. Hadn’t even flushed his toilet or changed his clothes. Had only eaten a little of the food he was shaping into those replica landmarks, from his fingers.
He cooked. Mashed. Shaped and sculpted. Incessantly.

The food had begun rotting. His landlord was called as neighbours thought him a dead and decomposing corpse. Which he might as well have been. Brexit had driven him insane.

He was reportedly, still locked up to this day. Though at first he still broadcast his morning LBC radio show for quite a while. And no one noticed the difference.
Until the incessant sobbing drove listeners to call the station seeking help for the poor man. He was the first of many, more or less severe cases. A significant number of the most strident of the Liberal-ReJoiners were now spiralling. Becoming more ‘JoBBy.’ To the point where they went the ‘Full Brazil.’ Left reality to live in their own fantasy world where François Hollande was still asked for his opinions. Tony Blair was running for European President. And no one had ever heard of UKIP.

“I’m sorry,” I said. Just because that’s what you say about someone who has a terminal illness. There was a silence. But we didn’t have the luxury of time to be compassionate.“What stage is he?” I asked her. As gently as I could express the words.

“He’s stage two.” That’s not so bad, I thought. She continued. “Not Adonis or Grayling crazy. A long way from being Terry Christian, dysfunctional. He isn’t handing over any account numbers to George Investments or anything. At least…Not yet.” Her voice cracked a little at the end. She knew as well as anyone that JoBs, was an irreversible process.
Once diagnosed, and passed stage one, even a total shock unplugging from celebrity-social-media-life, couldn’t prevent the eventual committal to an institution.
For their own welfare. One celebrity actress had had her breasts tattooed completely with the EU flag. And had ordered her own tattoo machine. Began needling the Treaty of Rome, in full, across her body. Every centimetre of skin was to contain a provisional sub clause on the Common Agricultural Policy.
The ink poisoning had killed her.

In some ways, they were better off in a sanatorium. Making rainbow pictures.
Drafting wrecking amendments to fantasy House of Commons Bills. In a Parliament that existed only in their own heads.
Spending their days clapping their plastic plates for EU solidarity on a Thursday night. And writing opinion pieces for The Guardian. That were still surprisingly well received by the readers of that newspaper.

“So, yes, Joe. You were right. He does have a serious and well documented underlying health condition. That would help explain much of his behaviour.”

I was glad we were back on track. Vanessa searched the top of the table. Found a hairbrush and begun to shape. She didn’t appear too bad, emotionally. She had said she had had a while to get used it.

“It works for us,” I told her. “Explains his absence. Why he was slow to report himself. Why he didn’t notice any of the public Vid’Screens with his face on. Twenty four hours later, he turns up here. Just made his way back, from his fragmented memory. And you get him to immediately telephone the BBC. To get the real story out.”

She was still brushing. Long strokes of her hair. I sometimes wondered if they knew just how stimulating that was.

“Why didn’t I tell him to go to the police?” she asked me. “Why didn’t I inform the police. Or immediately contact Chief Inspector Flittock, who just left? Why did I lie to him?” She put the hairbrush away. Stood up from the dressing table. Went to a wardrobe and took out a dark grey business suit with a short skirt. A white blouse and a long strap bag. This must be her work wear dressing room. She had different dressing rooms for different occasions. The space people have when they have lots of cash and no kids, eh?

“I’ll tell you downstairs. I’m starving?” I told her. Wanting to give myself some more time to think it through. Time that was rapidly running out. We were forty minutes from the BBC. Not long now. “Is there any food in this house?”

“Of course,” she said. “I should have offered you something. Help yourself. Bread is in a drawer in the centre unit. Jams in one of the cupboards. Muesli too. Bix likes dates. So there’s lots of dates and pomegranate. Brunch bars. Some salmon, I think.
I’ll fix you a coffee when I come down. The machine can be a bit temperamental. Its Italian. And has an Italian’s work ethic. It only really functions properly in the afternoon. Unless you know how. I’ll hurry Marmon up too.”

I left her and picked up a now wide awake Sir Alan from his position on the landing floor. We made our way downstairs. He must have sensed my feelings towards him, as he didn’t speak. Which was very wise of him.

I sat at the breakfast bar. A fine china mug of strong smelling coffee next to me.
Vanessa had poured it from a machine that was built into the kitchen wall. She simply asked what I had requested. “Colombian deep dark.” It poured it straight away. There were no buttons on the thing anywhere. All voice activated.

It was like Star Trek. I could get used to this, being wealthy life. It seemed very comfortable. Vanessa handed me a bowl of cereal and put a jug of milk beside me.
The jug and bowl were in the same pattern as the coffee mug, I suspected there was a matching sugar bowl too, somewhere. Though having sugar on display in these ‘Obesity-Crisis’ times would be a terrible faux-pas. Much less acceptable than having a bowl of Cocaine on the table.

I poured some milk from the jug. It was very yellow. Vanessa saw my stare and explained, “It’s Yak’s milk. I get it fresh from a shop in The Village.”
She saw my suspicious sniff of the jug and hurriedly added, with slight middle class dismay at having embarrassed a tradesman, “I hope that’s all right?”

“It’s fine. It’s just, I prefer Llama milk,” I said.

The worried frown dissipated and she instantly brightened, saying “Oh, I have plenty of that..I’ll get some..”

“I was only joking,” I informed her. “Yak’s milk is fine.”

“I see..” She straightened down the flanks of her jacket. Embarrassed again. For herself this time. She had changed into the business suit. Skirt short enough to show a serious, yet still sexy, amount of workplace approved leg. She moved to the end of the bar. Where I had sat the now conscious, Sir Alan Stuart, on a stool. His hands were still tied behind his back by the curtain cord. He had to concentrate to make sure he didn’t overbalance and fall off. Which was why I had sat him there. Giving him something to occupy his big brain.

“Would you like some coffee?” She asked him.
“Very much,” he answered.

From the corner of my vision I watched her. She went and poured him a mug. Put it in front of him. “Would you be a dear, and untie my hands? I can’t drink it with them tied, you see. Makes it somewhat difficult.” He smiled at her. Big, friendly smile.
She smiled back at her own foolishness in not realising he couldn’t drink with his hands behind his back. “Of course,” she said. And moved behind him.
“Vanessa,” I called to her, not looking up from my cereal. It was some Swedish brand. AxA Cranberry and Pumpkin seed Granola. It was good. I waited until I felt her look at me, then said, “Try not to be so very gullible.” I stared up into her surprised, uncomprehending eyes.

“If you untie him, he will crack your skull for you.” She turned her head to him. Not quite believing that he would. “Put a straw in the cup. He can drink through that,” I instructed her. She moved away from him. Searched a drawer. Found a pack.
‘Seashell Reef Straws. 1000% bio.’ Eco-living in all things at the Bixby home.

At least they practised what they preached. Many of The Elite, did not. Like that Chief Government Scientist, doctor, bloke. Boinking his big thighed mistress during the CovAids scare.

That was a bad one. The disease that caused kidney failure. Transmitted by any kind of sexual contact. One BBC comedian had quipped that, ‘Only Leavers would survive the virus. As they were all Wankers.’

“I wasn’t going to do anything of the sort,” Sir Alan informed me. I told him to shut up or I’d put a gag on him.

Lord Bixby came into the kitchen. He’d got changed into the clothes his wife had told him too. He looked good. Looked much more like the Lord Bixby of the airwaves. The people’s ReJoiner. Looked authoritative. That would be a help.
Vanessa was right to have made us wait. To look our best. It would help.

Bill Quango MP, Going Postal
Artwork by Colin, © 2020

The sun was beginning to come up. The garden that had just been a black reflection in the glass, was now becoming visible in the pre-dawn.

“I made the call, like you said, Malone. To The BBC. They didn’t believe I was really me. Needed some proof. Fortunately they were able to get in touch with the Newsnight producer. The one I know. Ooma Queen. She used to be a Labour MP.

For .. Where was it, now? One of those London boroughs. Tooting, was it?” He frowned and put a hand to his brow. “I can’t remember.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I told him. “What did you say to her? Did she recognise you?”

“Oh..Erm.. Yes I think she did… Video-phone, wasn’t it. She knew I was me. I mean..I was ..who..I said ..I ..think..I..” He trailed off.

This wasn’t good. We needed him able to recount the story without omission or deviation. Otherwise he might blab anything. Made up or not.

“What did she say to you? Is she coming in? Going to meet you?”

“I..I..Yes..Yes..I think she said..” He half sat on a bar stool. Took a pill bottle from his jacket pocket. Swallowed one from it. Then looked down at the counter and said no more.

Vanessa went across and put a mug of something in front of him. Put an arm around his shoulder. She looked at me. Putting a finger to her lips to tell me to be quiet.

“Seems your hope has floundered, Joe,” Sir Alan said in a quiet voice, from his place beside me. “Look. Why don’t you forget this stupid idea of going to the Beeb, eh? They won’t help you anyway. You don’t seriously believe the broadcast arm of ReJoin would aid Leave in any way, do you? They won’t run anything that discredits their EU agenda. I know Ooma Queen. She’s one of us. One of ReJoin. How do you think she got the job in the first place? She had to pass the vetting and interview process for BBC management. Which consists of, ‘|Have you ever been a Labour MP? Say Yes! Tick. Have you ever considered leaving the European Union? Say No.
Tick. Two ticks, and you’re in. Two hundred grand and all the trips to New York you can ponce out of BBC America. She won’t assist you. You’d be better off letting me do all the talking. Why don’t you get me a phone? I can make this work, for everyone.”

I slid of my stool. Stretched my arms out to my sides. One just knocked the shoulder of Stuart. Making him wobble on his chair.

“Come on,” I told them all. “Let’s go.

Vanessa looked up from where she was administering to Bixby. “You said you’d tell me the rest of the details? How we were going to explain not going to the Police.
Once Marmon turned up back here.”

“It’s getting too late now. Flittock will be back. We don’t want to be here when he comes. We’ll take your car, Vanessa.” I pointed to Marmon. Told Vanessa to bring him along.

“He’s not telling you, because he doesn’t know, ‘Nessa. Hasn’t a bloody clue. Tell him to let me speak for you all, eh?”

I gripped Sir Alan’s shoulder and gently shoved him so he too slipped of his stool. I lightly pushed him, so he walked in front of me. “You drive,“I said to Vanessa. I hadn’t driven since I had left The Department. I only Droned. Driving was strictly for the rich.

“Joe, listen to me. This idea of appearing on the BBC. It will mean Vanessa and Marmon end up in prison. You know it will. Marmon can’t spin that story you fed him. Look at him. He just isn’t capable. But I could tell them a tale they would swallow completely. Making people believe my words is what I do. It is my whole life. I’m in the Spindustry.”

We went into a utility room. A door there led to the integral garage. Inside were a selection of cars. I prodded Sir Alan and followed him through the door.

“Joe. Listen. Please. The BBC. They don’t want a Pro-Leave tale. Where ReJoiners are the baddies. They won’t be able to comprehend such a thing. They won’t be able too. They have never had too. They want a story where ReJoiners are the goodies and everyone hates the Tories. Let me give them that story, Joe. They will believe it.
Coming from me, they will. Marmon can’t do it. Vanessa can’t. YOU can’t. I can!”
Sir Alan implored Vanessa. “’Nessa. Make him see sense. I wouldn’t get myself into a situation I couldn’t control. I can do this. Tell him Vanessa. Tell him to work with me.”
Vanessa’s fancy white Mercedes was there. We would use that. Bixby’s Audi Q7 there too. A few tarpaulins covering other car shaped items, too. The Audi, as a hatchback, was no use for what I had in mind. But the Slate grey, Aston Martin DB-6 beside it, would be perfect. I was surprised such eco-warriors as the Bixby’s would have a gas guzzler like this old car. Then I noticed the Volante-Biomass MKII chrome scripted legend on the wing. So, this was the MKII. With the much more useful four extra inches, rear passenger headroom. And the bioethanol engine. Prince, now King, Charles had been given one of these for his twenty first birthday. This was probably it. As these were about as rare as people who admitted to ever voting for Gordon Brown.

Bill Quango MP, Going Postal
Artwork by Colin, © 2020

Vanessa opened the Mercedes’ door. Then walked over and stood beside myself and Sir Alan. Looked at us both. Before saying, “Alan is probably right, Joe. Marmon doesn’t appear to be recovering enough. This stress. It’s too much for him. For all of us. Alan is the professional. Why not let him speak for us? He’s the most to lose if he doesn’t make it work.”

“That’s right,” Stuart said. “I’ll explain what I have in mind on the way there. It’s a version of all the ideas we have all had so far. But with a rather cunning twist.”
“Open the Aston,” I said to her. She looked at her car. Wondering why I had changed my mind on which vehicle to take. She fetched a set of keys from the utility room. The DB wouldn’t have any modern convenience or security electronics. She unlocked the door with the old fashioned key.

Bill Quango MP, Going Postal
Artwork by Colin, © 2020

“Open the boot,” I instructed her. She looked at me perplexed. But went around to the rear and unlocked the rear boot. I nudged Sir Alan over to the back of the car.
“Get in,” I pointed to the boot of the car. He did nothing. Genuinely surprised at the request. So I pulled the pistol from the jacket pocket and explained it to him.

“I don’t want to leave you where you can get away. I want to lock you up. But the Bixby’s don’t appear to have a room without any glass I can leave you tied up in. So get in here.”

He stared at the barrel of the gun that was pointing at his leg. I motioned it for him to move. “I..I can’t..”

“Hurry up,” I informed him. “If you don’t, I’ll just have to shoot your knees off so you can’t get away.

Vanessa gasped. She hadn’t been expecting this return to the dark threat of violence.
Stuart swung one of his long legs in. He foundered, as his hands were still tied behind his back. I gave him another shove and he fell into the boot. The DB6 had a very large luggage capacity. And the spare wheel was kept in a recess well below the thickly carpeted trunk floor. But he was a big man. His bulk barely able to fit within the space. It would be very uncomfortable for him. Poor lamb. I slammed the boot hood shut. Hearing it lock with a satisfyingly old fashioned thud.

“Joe! For God’s sake!” Vanessa cried.

“Malone! He won’t be able to breathe,”Lord Bixby complained. He had recovered a little again. She was right. It comes and goes. Good days and bad.

I looked around the enormous garage. It was very neat. Very well kept. There were labelled drawers on a mechanics workstation. Labelled plastic boxes of tools and equipment. Spare parts and items that weren’t essential to be in the household. I pulled on a drawer marked ‘Screwdrivers’. I couldn’t get a hold. My fingers wouldn’t grip the handle. This arm was finished. I swapped the gun over to my other hand.
Managed to force the drawer and selected a heavy duty, 14mm flat-head screwdriver.

“Joe! You can’t leave him there,” she repeated.

“Sure I can,” I said. “Here! Take this.” I handed her the Beretta 92. So I could use the screwdriver. I went back across to the DB. Raised the tool high.

“Oh No!” Bixby yelled in alarm. “Not Bessie! Don’t hurt Bessie! No..NO!..Shoot him ‘Nessa!”

I’d inadvertently discovered Lord Bixby’s other passion. Aside from the European Union. Classic cars. Old Bix was a petrol-head. Who could have guessed?

“You’re insured,” I declared. And brought the screwdriver down hard piercing the metal. Wrenching it out, it grated as I twisted and brought it down again in a powerful arc. There was a scream from inside the boot space. And a wail from Lord Bixby. Three more times I punctured air holes into the body work.

My arm was really hurting again now. I put it into my pocket to keep it from moving. As I turned away from the Aston, Vanessa was in front of me. She had the P92 pointed at me. It’s a pretty average sized handgun, the Beretta 92. It looked like a Desert Eagle in her diminutive hands.

She looked so unsure of her herself. She had been so cool and composed when I’d first met her. Now she looked like a fawn in the poacher’s spotlight. She didn’t say anything. Just stood, frozen. Trembling arms. “Shoot him Vanessa!” commanded Lord Bixby, but in a soft voice, close to tears with emotion.

I decided to settle the issue. Walked up to her. Dropped the screwdriver. Took the pistol from her grip. She released it willingly. Glad she hadn’t had to do anything with it. Though from the low moaning coming from Lord Bixby, he’d have happily fired the clip into my stomach, for the damage I’d done to his beloved vehicle.

“We don’t need this,” I threw the pistol so it landed on a tarpaulin covering something in the far corner. From the additional moan Lord Bixby let out, I guessed it was another Vintage vehicle. “Put him in the back of your car. And let’s go. Finally.
Let’s just go. Finish this thing.”

She manoeuvred the almost weeping Lord Bixby into the back of her Mercedes. I settled into the front passenger side. The seats were as ridiculously comfortable as I remembered them being. Luxury leather. Or leather substitute, knowing her animal rights credentials.

I swivelled to look over my shoulder. “Marmon. I’m going to brief you again. We are going to the BBC now. I’m going to explain some things to you. That you need to let your friend Ooma Queen know. Are you listening?” All I heard was a faint few words. Sounded a bit like, ‘Bessie, my love.’

“Let’s just leave “I said to her.

Vanessa pulled down the hem of her skirt that hid risen when she had sat in the driving seat. Pressed a button on the stalk and the engine started. At the same time the garage door began rolling upwards. We were finally on our way. To the final showdown.

© Bill Quango MP 2020 – Capitalists @ Work

The Goodnight Vienna Audio file