Saturday, 21 July 2012

A lady must defend herself . . . (part two)

Perfect Retirement Housing Complex
Inner Hamlet

To continue with my story pet . . .

Just as the door came crashing in and there were further whumps of gunfire - I think the shooter must have got tangled up in Sebastian's full length, plush-velvet, curtain - Gelert, Tugger and I dashed up three full flights of stairs to the attics.  (It is certainly very lucky dear, that we have all been exercising off the biscuits, so to speak, in recent weeks.)  I must say that, having arrived up there, with the sound of pounding footfalls on the landing beneath, I was momentarily non-plussed over our next move.  I obviously couldn't heave Tugger 3m up in the air and out on to the roof through the skylight; he wears at least as much as the average size walrus.  And even had I got them both up there, how could we have shinned down the drainpipe?  So, with moments to spare, I shoved both animals into the nearest attic, shouted 'Basket!' and locked them in.  I then leaped on to an antique chest, opened the roof hatch, and was through.  I have, in the past, wished that dear Sebastian would get the roof seen to; there have been any number of near misses with masonry tumbling from the Rococo turrets on to the path beneath.  However, on this occasion, I was relieved to see a loose block littering the roof flashing, and I heaved it on top of the hatch.
I was more than aware though dear, that the physical build of the assassin ensconced directly beneath the skylight, resembled that of the character who plays Jaws in the James Bond movies.  You remember him pet?  The one with the giant set of steel teeth.  It seemed to me that I had but minutes to reconnoitre the acreage of roof which comprises the apex of Steamy Towers, before he emerged.  And I was just peering over the edge of said roof - whilst conveniently concealed behind a tall chimney - when there was a crash and said predator toppled over the stone block holding down the hatch.  I swung round, half-kneeling, and sighted the target along the muzzle of my Beretta.  'Pouff!' went the gun.  It always amazes me the way a 9mm bullet can penetrate a subject in such an elegant, almost genteel, way.  And, without, I must say, any fillips of blood being ejected on to the clothing of the deceased individual.  And he was deceased dear.  I have kept up my practice on the shooting range at Inner Hamlet, never, of course, revealing my true identity to the local practitioners of the incendiary arts.  One can never tell when it will be necessary to shrug off an alias and spring into action!  And I do feel a certain chill recur in my eyes on such occasions.  Anyway, I flipped open my phone and communicated to the local force the need for urgent attendance at the Towers.  And it was urgent because I thought I could detect the sound of shouting welling up through the open skylight.
The drainpipe, when I found one, had a nest of some description sticking out of its open top end and, upon further inspection, seemed only vestigially attached to the wall.  Making a note to have a word with Sebastian about this matter (should I ever see him again) I clasped the black paintwork with both hands, knees and ankles and began my slide down the 20m or so to the ground.  You will not be surprised when I tell you pet, that it took about 10 seconds for the bolt-work to slide out of its insertion points and for the whole ensemble to sway some distance out from the wall.  This type of things does make me cross; what does it take for someone to go round every so often and check the joints?  Luckily, Sebastian has the same, rather lax, attitude to trees growing in close proximity to the foundations - and has a substantial Beech tree in situ at this point.  And so I was able to slide across on to a strong-looking limb growing out from the main trunk.  Whilst so engaged dear, I had ample opportunity to note a quantity of fungal fruiting bodies protruding from the bark.  Ganoderma I think pet.  Ganoderma applanatum.  I wonder if Sebastian realizes that such fungi are strongly associated with decay and that his tree might snap in two during the next strong wind to blow about the premises?  I must put that on my list!
Anyway, having - eventually - made my descent, I saw that the police had managed to surround the criminal element and that they were being loaded into the back of a large black van.  Sebastian was also on the scene (looking slightly rumpled I thought) and in the process of being re-united with a, rather excited, Gelert and Tugger.  I did think it was a little ungrateful of him to demand why I had left them in the attic - while I escaped to the safety of the roof!  There is certainly no pleasing some people pet and I think I may have to leave my list of improvements to a later date!
Aunt Agatha

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