Bunty’s pince nez shattered as Lola screamed, she was rather reluctant to throw in her rather good hand at the Poker game but if her friend was in trouble then she had little choice.
“One day, ” she thought whimsically, “we will just sit around doing nothing in particular, there will be no vampires, or creatures, no fiendish plots.”
She gained Lola’s cabin just as there was a loud splash from the balcony and Lola and Max fell overboard and were carried away by the obliging school of Porpoises.
“Drat!” cried Bunty, “I can’t swim! Who on earth is that white haired man with her, surely he’s not her type.”
Professor Hawking appeared right on cue.
“May I assist?” he asked.
“Yes!” cried Bunty, “I mean, I don’t know can you swim? My friend has been abducted by a man and a school of Porpoises and I don’t know where they are going!”
“Well, for a start, a Porpoise is a mammal so it’s not a school..” he said.
“Shut up you stupid man!” cried Bunty, “Oh I know; to the life boat!”
Lola had been given knock out drops and had her wrists and ankles tied so was oblivious to her plight and also securely attached to her porpoise. Max, on the other hand, who had not factored for the friendly mammals was having a dreadful time of it as he slid about their slippery backs as the leapt in and out of the water.
Bunty was untying the life boat when the guard of the crate was discovered unconscious and the alarm was raised. The crate had been believed to be the property of the Home Office, which was the real reason why Monsieur Puree was on board.
He leapt to Bunty’s aid at once, but couldn’t find her in her cabin so after thirty minutes, after he had used his detecting skills, he eventually found Bunty who was wrestling with a particularly tough sheep shank.
“Loosen up you bugger!” she cried.
“Pardon Madame?” asked Puree.
“It’s Mademoiselle!” she snapped, “I wasn’t talking to you, I was trying to loosen this knot, so if you can’t help then bugger off!”
“Au contraire,” he replied, I spent my youth in the Belgian navy, and I am an expert on knots!”
In seconds he had undone the knots and had freed the life boat.
“I take it that you can row Mademoiselle Bunty?” he asked.
“Yes I jolly well can! Although Lola and I did manage to sink the school boat and drown the rowing mistress who was then replaced by a doughty sea captain who wasn’t afraid of the school crocodiles or piranhas.” she mused fondly.
“Alors! What manner of school was it?” asked the great detective.
“Well first of all it was run by very strict nuns, and when they were all arrested and deported it was run by Miss Lovely who was a bit wet and died a lot, then ooh Miss Honeycake was head at some point, but I can’t remember when because of the camp in the Urals and all the brain washing and swapping and things, then for a horrible time it went secondary modern and the food was dreadful, and after that I expect there was something totally different and then, we might have gone to finishing off school but it’s all a bit murky and we haven’t got to the bottom of it yet, which is why it’s really important that I rescue Lola, again!”