The adventures of Piglock Homes and his sidekick Doctor Bearson.
Hustle it was as the little cross-country train was already tooting its whistle. Homes, who had the speed of an athlete when he chose to exert himself, shot over the bridge with Bearson and Yore puffing in his wake.
“You would think,” Yore grumbled, “that a serving officer of the law would be able to outpace a normally sedentary pig.”
Bearson didn’t bother to answer – being not built for physical exercise he had no breath left for debating police donkeys.
On the platform the train awaited, and if it were possible for a contrivance of wood and steel to appear impatient one would have said that the little train seemed to be waiting for them with barely concealed annoyance.
Homes had a carriage door open and the two confederates all but fell into the train.
“I say, you two,” Homes was in self-congratulatory mood. “I thought we were supposed to be hustling. It’s a good job one of us isn’t too fat to run.”
He barely evaded the heavy clout Bearson aimed at his porcine snout.
“If you are going to be like that I’m sorry I held the train for you.”
Bearson, who was feeling thoroughly disgruntled, glowered. “Well I don’t suppose you would have bothered of it wasn’t for the fact I have your ticket in my pocket.”
Homes chortled. “Good deduction old chum. But never you fret, I have your interests at heart.” He showed his sharp, yellow teeth in a gin before carrying on. “Yonder is an emporium where one may purchase a cream tea, or, should one be about to embark, a hamper containing scones, country butter, strawberry jam, and clotted cream.”
Bearson’s mouth watered.
“It’s an awful shame we hadn’t enough time to obtain such a thing.”
Yore sat up.
“I could make them hold the train,” he said determinedly.
“No need, old chap.” Homes was expansive. “If I’m not very much mistaken here comes our hamper.”
Indeed, two stout gentlemen in stripy aprons were cantering along the platform, bearing between them a large and obviously heavy wicker hamper.”
“Cream tea for Piglock Homes,” the fattest of the two cried in stentorian tones.
Homes threw the carriage door wide and hung out at a precarious angle.
“Over here,” he cried and the hamper was brought to the door.
After pushing it through the aperture the men held out their large, red hands. Homes put a shilling in each and the men saluted politely.
The guard came along and slammed the door and the train pulled busily out of the station.
Bearson and Yore picked up the hamper and followed Homes’ scuttling little figure. They found an empty compartment and Bearson opened the hamper.
He groaned. “Look at this.”
Yore elbowed him aside and stared at the Lucillan repast.
“I suppose,” he said in an awed voice, “this means we have to forgive Homes for being such an annoying little piggy.”
Bearson didn’t deign to reply, being too busy slathering a sultana scone with strawberry jam and thick yellow cream.
He passed it to Homes, who had settled in one corner of the carriage. Homes sunk his teeth into the sweet treat.
Yore, who had sunk into his Ulster like a grey phantasm of depression, blinked slowly. “I have a premonition of disaster,” he enunciated.
Bearson made a rude noise with his lips and passed the inspector a scone oozing cream.
“Stop premonitionising,” he advised, “it’s injurious to the digestion.”
Piglock Homes and his sidekick Doctor Bearson will continue their investigation into The Affair of the Dartymuir Dog next week…