Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
. .
Ginger & Shadow. ..Embrace the Pun.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics .. ..Books for Sale . Online Store..
The Cartoonists ..In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . .Number 9


Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

March 9, 2012

An Inspector Blancmange Mystery

Part 2

We went to the laboratory of the world's leading expert on blackmail, Sir Charles Augustus Barium-Enema.

"Curious" he said, peering at the letter through his magnifying glass. "I've been blackmailing people for years and have never come upon such a document. However, the syntax suggests the writer is an American."

"I say!" I said.

"Or wishes us to think so." Said Blancmange. His mind was always two steps ahead of everyone else, often four. "Clearly the letter is serious. The writer has an agenda beyond personal gain."

"That would be my guess", said Barium-Enema, "How did he obtain the damning evidence, I wonder?"

"He must have gotten them from the houn woman with whom I was having the affair. No one else would have access to the tintypes!"

"So that's where we must begin! Where can we find her, Your Highness?"

"I last saw her in Bohemia. That's a small town in Mississippi. She said she wanted to travel to exotic lands."

"I shall make inquiries", said Blancmange. His network of informants, touts, spies and other sources was wide indeed. We bade farewell to Barium-Enema and headed to the telegraph office.

"I've wired an old friend in America. I once saved his life in Sumatra, but that's a story for another day. In the meantime, is anyone feeling peckish? We can ponder this over lunch."

"I am!" I cried.

We retired to the Ponce and Pillock for black pudding and spotted dick. Blancmange showed little interest in his food, however, preferring to stare out the window.

"You must try this toad-in-the-hole, Blancmange! It's the best outside of Tintwistle!"

Blancmange seemed not to hear. He suddenly rose up and said "Now, gentlemen! We shall have our answer!"

The boy from the telegraph office came over to our table. Blancmange took the telegram and tipped the boy a Cornish pasty.

"My friend with the Bohemia Constabulary says that the being in question was found dead in an okra patch a fortnight ago. I'm very sorry, You Highness."

"It was a passing fancy. And what of the tintypes? Were they found?"

"He couldn't be sure, but a mysterious package was shipped to England a week before the body was found. It was addressed to a box in Dorking, about 25 miles south of London!"

We boarded the Dorking Express and went the post office where the package was sent.

"I remember that parcel!" said the clerk, a wizened old man with a green eyeshade, "The person who picked it up was most distinctive."

"How so?" I asked.

"He was a portly fellow, wearing a hooded cape and veil."

"A veil?" asked Blancmange, "Didn't that strike you as odd?

"Quite, sir, but with all the deformity going about these days, as well as disfigurement, smallpox scarring, ulcerous tumors, oozing sores, neurofibromatosis"

"We get the point. Did you see which way he went?"

"Toward the train station across the street."

"Thank you my good man, you've been more than helpful!" Blancmange tossed him a singing hinny that he'd bought from the muffin shop next door.

"Come, gentlemen! We must return to London!"

The next day, after a breakfast of hog's pudding and rashers we set out to Cheapside. We picked up the Crown Prince at his hotel, the Broodmare, not a usual stopping place for royalty. It seemed his story about the fenugreek crisis was plausible.

We parked the hansom across the street from the offices of Bottomfeed, Pustule and Waxlips.

"What are you expecting to see?" asked the Crown Prince, "Do you think the blackmailer will try to contact my solicitors again?"

"Not quite, Your Highness" with that Blancmange's voice trailed off. Suddenly he leapt from the cab and seized a man in a hooded cloak who emerged from the building. Pulling down the hood we could see that it was none other than Wedgewood Bottomfeed!

"I say!" I said.

"The blackmailer is none other than your own solicitor!"

"But why?" cried the prince, "He's handsomely paid!"

"I care not for your money!" Bottomfeed sneered. "I've hated the monarchy since your father had an affair with my mother! Yes, I'm of royal blood but have been denied my rightful place because I'm a bastard!"

"Worse, a lawyer!" I offered.

"It's too late! The tintypes are on their way to the Times-Standard-Observer!"

"I'm ruined!" cried the prince.

Blancmange was nonplussed. "I think not, Your Highness! Last night I entered Bottomfeed's office disguised as a charwoman and took the liberty of switching the parcel he had secreted in the davenport with some harmless holiday snaps."

"Blast you!" shrieked Bottomfeed, lunging at Blancmange. Blancmange neatly sidestepped and pushed him in front of a speeding tram.

"Well, gentlemen, I think that puts an end to this sordid business!"

With that, we retired to the Poxed Trollop for a fine repast of black pudding and plum duff.






FastCounter by bCentral


Brian's column is available for your publication.
Call us at

Or e-mail Brian directly


Check Out Brian's 2 New Books
About the Boston Bruins!



©2012 Brian Codagnone
All rights reserved. Redistribution in whole or in part prohibited.

100 Cummings Center, Suite 246-F
Beverly, MA, 01915



Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
. .
Ginger & Shadow. ..Embrace the Pun.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics .. ..Books for Sale . Online Store..
The Cartoonists ..In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . .Number 9