Firstly, I must give my sincere thanks to both my readers who most kindly offered me an invisibility cloak after my night of clandestine shenanigans. I finally got back to my hedge at a little before dawn and tried to find the iron, but I’m buggered if I know where I’ve put it. The upshot is, the rozzers called, I didn’t need the iron, and due to my warty ugliness, they think they are looking for a man. Off the hook.
Other breaking news in Trebollocks is that the break-in and disappearance of the letter has caused uproar among lots of important, jowly men at the College. The sisterhood (pictured below) has increased it’s efforts and is now planning disruption and sabotage. You can clearly see the vengeance in Ivy Fowlpest’s face (far left). The sisterhood want a quiet, subtle attack. Aunt Vom, bizarrely, has been made operations leader….
Then came the call. I was informed, by a muffled anonymous voice, over the yogurt pot telephone, that I am to be outside the Clown’s Pocket at 9pm on Thursday night, and to wear something inconspicuous. I raced back to my valise, and fished out a gown of hessian with something stiff stuck to it, and my shoes made of underpants in case I need to run about. I added a cloak of fake weasel and a cowpat beret.
At 9, I found a group of women in the same costume, sitting outside on a bench (not Aunt Bench), drinking pints of Nun’s Chough. I recognised a few of the leaders, and saw Aunt Vom at the back, mooning at a passing motor car. Ivy Fowlpest hushed the rabble to silence, and we gathered around. This was the plan. Under the guise of weak-willed and silly women, we are to break into the College library again, and steal it’s most coveted and precious item – The Library Trolley.
Gasps flew about the table. The prestige attached to the Library Trolley is without rival. Those entrusted with being it’s custodian, are not only interviewed deeply, but on appointment become a total jobs worth and wheel it around as a way of claiming importance. This would need careful coordination. Aunt Vom is to take out the guards, with some Chinese Throwing Stars that she keeps under her skirts. Ivy Fowlpest will hit them with a pan (if they’re still alive) just in case. We then steal the keys, get in, and remove the Library Trolley under the cover of darkness.
This all sounded splendid, but a few of the sisters needed clarification on several points, which resulted in a two hour discussion. A woman called Urticaria rode roughshod over the conversation, leading around to her suspected pregnancy. She was angry that the doctor wouldn’t prescribe her a toad to wee on for a conclusive result. Another, named Flan, ranted about her divorce proceedings, and the way her husband blames her for setting light to him while he slept. By the time we left, Aunt Vom had had eleven pints and thrown a stool at a man frowning at her, and a woman only known as ‘Squits’ had exactly that. I must admit, I was five sheets to the wind myself, and openly weed in a shrub container in the pub garden. It was only a hebe, and they’re a fairly hardy species.
We arrived at the Library, and all went according to plan, eight armed guards taken out on sight, no hit with the pan needed. Urticaria cut the keys free with a sabre and we were facing the entrance: The Library. There was a huge sign saying ‘Women Forbidden’. Instead of using the keys, Aunt Vom had an illuminating notion and kicked the door in. Our little shoes scuffled across the highly polished floor and we found the Library Trolley. (In case any of you are wondering why I keep writing Library Trolley, and put it in first letter capitals, it is because it’s terribly important and people frown about it and keep a clipboard on it at all times. Reverence and mirth…)
We wheeled the Library Trolley two feet, then realised it squeaked dreadfully. We had to get out before the alarm was raised. A thick mist had descended as the evening made way for night, and the chill set in. Footsteps and torch beams arrived at the far end of the building, so we set of, squeaking across the floor. Squits couldn’t walk fast as she was drunk and reciting lumps of The Lady Vanishes (the Angela Lansbury version, of course). We reached the porch and realised she was a dead weight, none of us could carry her, but we couldn’t leave her behind either.
Vom hoisted her onto the trolley (and hit her with the pan, just in case) and we made a run for it. Unfortunately, at some speed, we hit a pothole halfway down Clunge Hill. Aunt Vom fell, we all let go, and watched Squits and the Library Trolley disappear down the hill into the fog, leaving only her fading wail behind her. Then a crash.
You can’t see her, but I feel the plaintive note she left is echoed by the fog amid the trees. Squits was arrested, so was Aunt Vom. Urticaria fled the scene, and Ivy Fowlpest decided to have a conniption fit, resulting in arrest. This was made worse by the fact that she’d stolen a book from the library – ‘Rare, Infectious and Amusing Diseases Through The Ages – a photographic guide. She will receive 19 years at least. If she’s good, for the last two she serves she might be hung up the right way. To be honest, it shouldn’t distort her current appearance.
I witnessed one of the party’s arrest, a woman I didn’t know but I instantly knew it was her voice on the yogurt pot phone. Every time she was asked a question, she clutched a dead squirrel to her mouth. I like a mystery solved.
I’m still hiding. Today’s papers are full of the damage made by a ‘Woman on Flying Library Trolley (probably read book) Causes Mayhem’. Squits has to face a panel of people who will bollock her for hours over the Library Trolley hitting a level crossing at the same time as the 01:35 from East Bumstead and a motor car driven by a man with a stuffed toucan in the back. It goes on to say there’s a warrant out for a man seen with the women, wearing a women’s finery (?!), and weeing on a hebe in a pot. I need to think of my family honour at this time, be brave and do the right thing. So at this point, I’ve packed the toads, the bats are hanging of the airer, and I’m doing what is delicately called ‘a runner’. The witches in Gloucestershire owe me one, so I’m fleeing. Pip pip, and I shall write again from my new surroundings. Thank Gods for the Gloucestershire Massive.