Monday, June 29, 2009

A Tolka Murder Mystery by Christie Agatha

Chapter Seven – McBiscuit sets a trap

With a legal zeal that would have had the late Ollie Byrne drooling in admiration, Shelbourne’s solicitors quickly secured the release of goalkeeper Dean Delaney, arguing that the police had not a shred of evidence to link the giant goalkeeper to the double murder.
The move did not go down well with DI McBiscuit, who was now back to square one. Broodingly, he handed the stone to his constable who immediately threw it onto square nine and hopped and scotched up to that number with whoops of delight.
“Constable, I want you to conduct door to door enquiries of every road in the neighbourhood,” said McBiscuit decisively. “And don’t just ask the doors – ask the people behind them too. Somebody must have seen something.”
“Right away, sir,” replied the constable. “Can I go for the ten now, sir?”
While the constable was away, McBiscuit leaned back in his chair and chewed his pencil thoughtfully. When this didn’t work, he leaned back in his pencil and chewed his chair. He closed his eyes to concentrate his thoughts and promptly fell asleep.
“Nothing to report, sir,” said the constable, entering the office several hours later. “Not one hall door saw anything. You had any luck, sir?”
“I have been using the little grey cells,” replied the DI enigmatically.
“You mean, the ones we keep our suspects in, sir?”
“No, you fool. The grey cells of the mind. I think in order to catch our murderer, we have to set a little trap.”
“Not allowed to do that anymore, sir. The animal rights people won’t allow it. They say it’s inhumane.”
“But we’re the police,” said McBiscuit. “We’re allowed to do anything we like, aren’t we?”
McBiscuit had his way and at the next Shelbourne home game, which happened to be against a team called Crumlin United, a posse of crack undercover police officers mingled unobtrusively with the home supporters in the two stands. A discerning eye might have noticed their police helmets bulging beneath their red and white bobble hats and the smell of eau-de-Bridewell aftershave was quite overpowering for some but any suspicion they aroused was immediately dispelled by their loud comments that the team should keep the ball on the ground and that Bisto would probably get a hat-trick.
McBiscuit walked around the two sides of the pitch, a posse of armed police in his wake. Occasionally he talked into his sleeve and seemed quite surprised when his sleeve answered back. When the teams came out onto the pitch, he ostentatiously turned to face the crowd, his shrewd eyes scanning the faces before him for any trace of panic, his nose alert to the smell of fear, the hairs on his chin bristling like antennae.
The first half came and went, as first halves often do. “When are we going to spring the trap, sir?” asked the constable, practising beating people with his truncheon.
“We’ll leave the stew simmering for a while longer,” replied McBiscuit briskly, licking the wooden spoon and adding a handful of chives.
As the second half began, McBiscuit’s razor sharp instincts could feel the nervousness in the crowd begin to grow until it became a NERVOUSNESS. He smiled, yet it was a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, mainly because he couldn’t get his lips up that far. “Just a while longer,” he muttered to himself. “Don’t leave it too long,” advised his sleeve.
Halfway through the second half, McBiscuit decided the time was ripe. He pointed an accusatory finger at his earlobe, the pre-arranged signal to the PA announcer, and informed his sleeve to keep a watch out for anybody leaving the ground in a hurry.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” intoned the PA, during the next break in play. “A bloodstained knife has been found in the ground. Will the owner please pick it up from in front of the new stand?”
A hush went through the ground. McBiscuit’s head swivelled right and left. Curiously his body stayed where it was. A man rose in the new stand; a family started to come down the steps in Section A; a whole gang of oul’ fellers started trooping out of Section D muttering about Ben Hannigan.
McBiscuit’s sleeve breathlessly reported that at least a hundred people were heading towards the exit and wanted to know what to do. His head swam, first the crawl, then flipping over and doing the backstroke.
“Constable!” he yelled. “What is happening? Are they all in it together?”
“They’re in it right enough, sir,” replied the constable. “Crumlin have just scored.”

Taking it on the chin

When you lose a game that’s easier to win,
When the underdogs wipe off your foolish grin,
You wish that you possessed a thicker skin,
But have to take it staunchly on the chin.

Undone by one small lapse in discipline
That sees the ball despairingly roll in.
As, all around, detractors make a din,
There’s naught to do but take it on the chin.

The final whistle puts you in a spin,
The yan is ripped asunder from the yin.
You think you might become a Capuchin.
No hiding place – just take it on the chin.

The doubts about reality begin,
The line ‘twixt black and white grows pencil thin,
The punishment, it seems, outweighs the sin –
Sometimes its hard to take it on the chin.

The gutter ball has sailed past every pin
And dreams of gold have turned too rusty tin
By one false bounce that ricocheted off shin.
What else to do but take it on the chin?

Betting slips despatched unto the bin
And, serving you another shot of gin,
The barman asks you for your next of kin.
But no.
You simply take it on the chin.

A Tolka Murder Mystery by Christie Agatha

Chapter Six – McBiscuit makes an arrest

DI McBiscuit’s cunning plan to have his constable infiltrate Shelbourne Football Club disguised as Neil Dubble, a recent signing from St. Albans, seemed to be bearing, not only fruit, but some vegetables and dairy products too.
McBiscuit had been afraid that the constable, the possessor of two size thirteen left feet, might not have pulled it off as a semi-professional footballer, but he slotted into the back four quite nicely and even made the sub’s bench on a couple of occasions.
Inside the dressing room, the constable kept his ear to the ground until people told him to get up. He would pretend to be tying his bootlace when other people were talking on the phone. Sometimes, for a bit of variation, he would pretend to be talking on the phone when other people were tying their bootlaces.
“I want you to watch everyone like a hawk,” McBiscuit had instructed him and the constable took him at his word, sitting on the lampshade for hours with a mouse between his toes.
Naturally, talk of the two murders at the club was rife with many of the players speculating as to the murderer’s identity. For some reason, goalkeeper Dean Delaney had been singled out as the most likely suspect, after Mark O’Brien had commented on his “big strangling hands.”
During training one morning, the constable suddenly clutched his calf muscle in apparent agony and limped off painfully in the direction of the dressing rooms.
“Brilliant ruse,” thought McBiscuit, watching from Section E through a pair of binoculars. “That boy’s going to go far.”
Once inside the dressing room, the constable’s limp miraculously disappeared and he felt under the bench for Dean Delaney’s kit bag. Hurriedly, he pulled open the zip, took one look at the contents and closed it up again.
“I think you’d better come and have a look at this, sir,” he said through the tiny microphone strapped to his left nipple. “And bring some back up.”
Seconds later, seventeen combat vehicles burst through the Tolka Park gates, discharging almost two hundred highly-trained marines onto the playing surface. As the players made a run for the tunnel, the sky grew black with paratroopers descending from unseen aircraft and an aircraft carrier positioned itself behind the Riverside Stand to cut off any means of escape.
“Would you mind opening your kitbag, sir?” McBiscuit asked the tall goalkeeper in the comparative quiet of the dressing room. There was a quiet menace in his eyes and a definite sense of threat in his left ear.
Dean Delaney bit his lip nervously. Then he chewed his nose. Suddenly, and with a sense of defiance, he strode over to his kit bag, yanked open the zip and stood back.
Like a cat circling a trapped mouse, McBiscuit slowly meandered over to the kit bag, thrust his hand inside and pulled out a potted geranium. There were loud gasps of astonishment from all present and even from some who weren’t.
“It’s a plant, I tell you!” the goalkeeper yelled. He tried to make a run for it but Daisy Hedderman slid in recklessly and sent him flying. The constable whipped out some thread and a needle and meticulously sewed the keeper’s arms behind his back.
“You’ve stitched me up good and proper,” snarled the net minder savagely.
“Take him away,” said McBiscuit, almost purring. Then he lifted up his leg and licked himself gratifyingly.
“I don’t get it sir,” said the constable afterwards over a large blackcurrant on the rocks. “What was his motive?”
“What’s a motive?” asked McBiscuit cautiously.
“The reason why he did it, sir. You need to prove he had a motive.”
“I do?” said McBiscuit blankly. “When did that rule come in? Surely the geranium is all the proof we need?”
“Don’t think so, sir. How exactly does the geranium prove his guilt anyway?”
“Oh, I suppose we need to prove his guilt now?” shot back the DI. “Take my word; he’s as guilty as hell. But just to be on the safe side, you’d better get back inside the dressing room and see if you can get me the proof.”
“Sorry, sir. Can’t do that, sir,” said the constable. “The manager’s after transferring me to Bray Wanderers.”