The Jewels of the Crown


Dinner was quite a tame affair apart from the fact that Roger and his friends decided to dress for dinner which involved raiding Bingo’s Diva collection, much to Lola’s annoyance.

“He looks nothing like Merle Oberon’s Cathy with that moustache!” she hissed at Bunty,

“And Bette Davis was never that big in the hips in Jezebel!”

Bunty still could not quite account for Lola’s obsessiveness over the costumes, she kept on muttering over and over;

“He left them to me!”

After Dinner Lola dismissed the guests claiming that she and Bunty had business to discuss and reminded them to leave the costumes where they found them, before she flounced off into Bingo’s former study, slamming the door behind them.

“Ooh isn’t she BOLD!” shrieked Roger before doing a very good imitation of Lola’s flounce up the stairs.

Lola poured them both a brandy each and lit her cigarette, her hands shaking.

Bunty waited for her to settle down in one of the red velvet upholstered chairs favoured by Bingo in the decor of this room which he called A Study in Scarlet, being fond of a mystery.

“What is it Lola?” asked Bunty sternly.

“Everything!” she shouted, “Those costumes were left to me for a reason for a start!”

“Oh here we go again!” thought Bunty.

“You don’t understand. When I was exiled from Schloss Schlepping, the crown jewels of Transylvestite left with me. When I was living with the order of witches they were stolen by the Chester Historicals. Those gowns are too heavy Bunty; the reason why they hang so well is that their seams are weighted with the crown jewels wrested from their settings. That’s why Roger and his gang want them-they are not a theatrical troupe but a gang of international jewel thieves in league with Mrs Housekeeper!”  said Lola.

“Lola, you are drunk!” declared Bunty.

“No I’m not, I’ve been pouring my drinks into the umbrella stand all night and I’m stone cold sober!” said Lola proudly.

“But how do you know this?” asked Bunty suspiciously

“Hereward told me. We managed a moment alone. He only escaped to protect me; as a confidant of Bingo, he knew what was in the will.” she said tearfully.

“Lola, you know that you have a weakness for homicidal blighters, he could be lying.” said Bunty kindly.

“Yes, ” said Lola, “but whilst you were cavorting with that lot I snuck into the study and opened the safe. Do you remember learning safe cracking from awful old Mr Feral? Well, I’ve been practising for years and I’m a dab hand. This is what I found!” she declared waving a leather bound book.”It’s the diary of Bingo, and it’s all in here! By the way, the police are now on their way.”

There came a heavy knock on the door, which was opened by Mrs Housekeeper who was listening at the door but had no time to make her escape or warn her accomplices.

“Why if it isn’t Mrs Housekeeper the Southport poisoner-we’ve been after you for years!” came the deep voice from the door.

He stepped inside, deftly cuffing Mrs Housekeeper and removed his hat.

“Inspector Plodding of the Yard!” he announced to the astonished ladies.

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