Professor Dorking’s Revenge


Lola just couldn’t decide what was appropriate garb for a lunatic asylum, and had spent hours going through her extensive wardrobe. Bright colours might excite the inmates and she laid a bet that Dr D’Spaire didn’t get out very much and was probably single, so she chose a deep red velvet dress with a plunging neck line and slipped her best sable on. She sprayed on a healthy dose of Midnight in Paris and checked her glossy scarlet lips in her compact mirror.

“Not bad,” she thought, “but it’s missing something.”

Out of Bingo’s many hat boxes she selected a lovely hat decorated with plumes of ostrich feathers and pinned it to her chignon. Then she made sure that her pearl handled pistol was fully loaded before slipping it into her clutch bag.

Bunty pulled on a clean sweater, washed her face in cold water and changed her socks.

Dr D’Spaire adjusted his bow tie in the mirror in anticipation of the visit. Miss Gefiltre had called earlier and he was very excited at the prospect of guests. He had brought out his best china and silver and had ordered lovely cakes from the village tea shop.

Meanwhile Max had made it out of Transylvestite dressed as a washerwoman, he had crossed many borders and eventually made his way to a private bank where he had secured funds. He changed out of his costume and into the best suit available from a French tailor. Booking himself into a five star hotel, he treated himself to the best meal he had eaten in some time with a bottle of rather good Claret.

There were tickets waiting at reception for him for the Chanel ferry crossing and train tickets to Yorkshire. In the envelope was a card signed by “A well wisher.”

He made his way to Calais with his newly acquired luggage and boarded the ferry the next day. Once on board in his cabin, he studied a map ans traced his journey to Basketcase Manor.

Bunty, Lola and Mr Dorking took the Daimler to Appen Asylum; as they had yet to acquire any new servants Lola took the wheel, much to Bunty’s discomfort as she had never bothered to take the new driving test.

They got off to a bumpy start as the ground had frozen, causing the car to skid, until the passed through the moors and onto the open road.

Mr Dorking settled down to sleep in the back, dreaming of the days at Miss Lovely’s Academy for Girls and Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls. He twitched every now and then, when he thought of life incarcerated in Appen Asylum and the bird sitting on “Lola’s” head.

The first Mr Dorking had managed to access the wiring in his cell and hoped to supply a surprise for his former pupils; it was their fault he had spent the last twenty years in an asylum, they had thwarted all his dreams of fame and he vowed to have his revenge.

“Lola, ” asked Bunty from the passenger seat, “did you manage to work out Bingo’s key words?”

“Yes I did, ” said Lola, who had gained vast experience with code breaking as a girl in the last war, “and they are not what Dr D’Spaire imagines that they are!”

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