Sheikh, rattle and roll

Gangee declined to comment and said he would return in a week with his aunt. he told Dr D”Spaire that she was not expected to live long and nodded to him.

“I understand completely” replied the Doctor thrusting the bundle of notes Gangee had given him into his top pocket.

Gangee stepped back into the Rolls and returned to the manor.

Bunty had assembled the rope and the silk scarves but was at a loss for the canary so she took one of the ducks that were grazing on the lawn. it complained loudly and was a very tight squeeze in the bird-cage.

“Bunty lose the duck!” threatened Lola

Bunty sighed, it had been difficult getting the duck in the cage and it kept pecking at her as she tried to open the little door.

“Since when were ducks known for their ability to deduct poison gas?”

“Well it’s a bird!” snapped Bunty “Ow, stop it or I’ll gas you myself”

The duck jumped out of the cage and waddled off quacking in a very bad-tempered way.

They approached the folly again and with the aid of some strong torches they managed to weave their way past the artefacts that spanned centuries and continents

“here is where we were before,” whispered Lola and carefully examined the gap in the cave wall. They heard footsteps coming behind them, Lola and Bunty switched off their torches and waited to see who it was.

A small beam of light danced in the tunnel and the footsteps became louder. To Bunty it didn’t sound like Gangee’s quiet and measured steps more like the click of the steel toe caps of a cowboy boot.

As the light was close to revealing them they switched on their torches and bounded out to scare the intruder.

“Argh, turn it off!” said Professor Wood

They turned their torches away and grabbed the professor. He looked terrified

“What are you doing here? you should be back at the manor” said Lola hissing in his ear.

“I thought you could do with some help, I know every inch of these tunnels. They follow the same pattern as those we found at Ricketts.”

“And why is that?” said Bunty intrigued.

“Your Uncle Bingo, he constructed this – it was a good place to hide these things. He paid for all my expeditions to discover ancient sites and bring back artefacts.”

“Yes Wood’s and what was he doing storing them here what was the plan for them, hmm.”

“I don’t know, he paid me for them and I never asked, I thought he was going to sell them to private buyers”

“So how did you end up in the asylum?” said Bunty she looked at him now, not the man he was alas and she thought why did I go all swoony over him. Both she and Lola had nearly come to blows over him one afternoon when they had first seen him in the dappled evening light at Ricketts. He was handsome then. To look at him now though, the skin all sallow and the once manly chest had a saggy look. She let out an audible sigh and Lola stared at her.

“Get a grip Bunty” she hissed

“Well that was the result of an altercation, I found out what he was doing here by accident and I suppose he felt threatened, so our usual business arrangement became more complicated.”

There was a noise in the tunnel, a shuffling sound; they all froze and Bunty spotted in the gloom the unmistakable shape of a dorkings badger.

“it’s all right” she said “just an old friend”

The badger was not alone, bringing up the rear was the duck, it was coughing.


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