Tuff-Muffin Mutton Dressed as Lamb


Lola had past experience of staying at Ricketts and this time had come prepared; she brought antacids for the inevitable Tuff-Muffin Mutton Balti special, plenty of garlic and holy water and a well stocked arsenal of guns and ammo. She had also brought an extensive wardrobe as she had constant flash backs to the time when she had to borrow Bunty’s circus tent of a flannelette nighty.

Bunty sat in her favourite chair and pondered Bingo’s motives; he had revealed himself, before his death to be quite a blighter and she did not trust that he had meant any of the clan, or Lola, well when he had drafted the final version of his will. She had not known that he had a residence in the Yorkshire Moors. There was not even a Yorkshire branch of the Tuff-Muffins, who had clearly been on the side of Lancashire in the War of the Roses. There had to be a connection somehow, but what was it? Bunty sucked on her pipe stem.

“Well, ” she thought, “at least it will make an exciting case for our Investigation Agency, even if we are not getting paid.”

She remembered fondly the note books they kept at school when she was spying on her sisters for the nation. They were in a trunk still in the attic. Then she had an epiphany! Why don’t I write our cases down as stories, like the Humdinger mysteries! They had not been selling too well of late; maybe lady detectives were the future.

Gangee announced that dinner was served, banging his gong rather too loudly. Lola came floating down stairs in a chiffon gown.

“Oh were we dressing for dinner?” asked Bunty.

“Well some of us were.” sneered Lola. “We need to do something about your attire if clients are going to take us seriously. I think we need to attempt another make over.”

“Oh Lord!” thought Bunty, who could remember the last disastrous attempt.

“Let’s talk after dinner!”she said.

Dinner was the usual steaming heaps of Indian food, Lola chased hers around the plate disdainfully, but did manage some popadoms and a bit of yoghurt. Bunty tucked in gratefully; a bit of decent English curry was a relief after eating all that foreign muck abroad!

After dinner they repaired into the lounge and discussed the mysterious Yorkshire connection.

“Was Bingo’s regiment ever based there?” asked Lola.

“No.” said Bunty firmly. “I’ve explored the history of the Chester Historicals thoroughly and they never set foot there, and there’s no discernible family connection. It may just have been a hideaway for him where he was not known and could indulge his fancy without the T-M’s or the church finding out about it. Did you know that Bingo trained to be a psychiatrist before he became a clergyman?”

“A head shrinker? Why he was more in need of one than anyone I’ve ever come across!” said Lola “Unlesss…”

“What is it Lola?” asked Bunty.

“Remember that new Headmistress we got at school after Miss Honeycake? The one with the cheap hair? She was barking!” said Lola.

“Miss Lovely!” cried Bunty. “She did die horribly didn’t she?”

“Eaten by the piranhas in the school moat!” said Lola. “Those were the days.”

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