10 Forsythia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
April 19 1997
My Dear Ralph
Thank you for your enlivening letter pet. It is always of interest to receive an account of your activities over at Concrete Shacks! I am wondering if you have any further news regarding your commission as paid informant within the British All-White Party? I would be very careful if I was you. As you know, these ‘smiling suits at the front door’ espouse a political ideology which – at its worst – approaches that of outright Fascism. I know you would be paid to assess the degree to which local ‘cells’ would intend to dismantle the institutions of democracy/forcibly repatriate our non-white citizens, but sometimes high remuneration can come at significant personal cost. I will however say that – with your shaved head style of ‘hairdo’ and bicycle clip mode of transport – you may indeed become accepted as one of the flock!
My own activities have been considerably more pastoral. My chum Flamingo kindly invited to pay for luncheon at Short’s Arms the other day. She is recently back from a business trip visiting car manufacturing plants in the Far East and hinted at one or two items of ‘booty’ she had secured from the prestige establishments she has been staying in – and would be bringing along. We met up in the car park of said inn at around midday. I arrived first in the mud-bespattered Banger 0.9L but the impeccably turned out Flamingo rolled across the gravel shortly afterwards in her bottle green Triumph Spitfire Mark IV. This automobilie gleamed pet and, owing to sightings of the actual sun, she had the roll back hood down to reveal some tens of exciting-looking packages stashed on the back seat. We were thrilled to see one another! She hugged a bear-like woolly figure clad in a plaited blue hat and I hugged an elegantly-accoutred form draped in streaming pink scarves and glittery black leggings.
Greetings over, we traipsed into the inn and – ensconcing ourselves in a darkened corner – we examined her offerings. I ran my fingers over the nap of luxurious hand towels (marked with navy blue insignia), bars of rose-scented soap, and exquisitely marked bottles of spirits. The colours, scents, and textures were delectable dear – especially to one equipped with rough-looking towels and basic bars of simple soap back at Forsythia Grove! One last item was of especial interest and it was nestling in a small box of tissue paper. It was a ring and Flamingo declared that she had come across it under a bed at the Grand Palace Hotel.
“It looks as if it might be valuable,” I said. “Do you think anyone is missing it?”
“Oh no,” said my chum. “I think it is a large chunk of cubic Zirconium set in a silver band.” We looked at it dubiously.
“It could be on a list somewhere,” I said, looking straight at Flamingo, who was not looking at me.
“You live near a silversmiths don’t you?” she said. “Couldn’t you get it valued?”
“I could,” I said, “But it is rather close to home don’t you think?”
The long and the short of it pet, is that I dropped it off at the Marcus Emporium of Silverware, on my way back to Outer Hamlet, and requested an examination of said piece.
I am not altogether sure, dear, whether I should be getting involved in activities of this kind? After all – if a new government is indeed elected in the next few weeks – I may accept any offer to be Chair of the country’s ‘Internal Security Committee.’ And there is also the (tempting) prospect of being appointed to the position of Life Peer in the House of Lords. As Baroness Evangeline Tankful DCBE, I could hardly be associated with any form of shady goings-on, could I? I may even have to terminate my connection with yourself nephew!
Anyway, back home after a long – delaying – conversation with one of my acquaintances in Economy Fare, I discovered that I had a message on my telephone answer phone. It was a message I could unfortunately not decipher, owing to a fault on the line which manifested itself as a loud, crackling, snow storm through which almost nothing could be heard. However, I did think that I could pick up one phrase and that was: “And Interpol are looking for you . . .” Dear me pet. Whatever next! I could almost wish that dear Flamingo, Isadora Duncan-like, had been suffocated in one of those long scarves that stream out behind her in her Spitfire – and that this had happened before she reached Short’s Arms!
P.S. No further word from Interpol (so far). Perhaps this is because my telephone line has now gone completely dead, with not even yesterday’s snowy crackle to fill the air . . .