Nov 22, 2016
In episode 7, we meet King Dubious III in the last days of his reign, and join Keith McGreggor as he comes out of retirement to investigate The Bad Debtor.
Music: Creepy – Bensound.com.
Andrew: Here are some totally made up tales, brought to you by the magic of the internet. We begin with the Sealed Instructions.
Andrew & James (alternating words):
It was the night of the coronation of King Dubious the Third. His beautiful wife was waiting for him in their royal bedchamber while he finished up his duties. All the castle was asleep. Tomorrow, the festivities would last all day long. There would be dancing and music. Dignitaries would come and celebrate the beginning of his reign. Tonight, he was writing a list of instructions in case of his death. He sealed them into a box and placed the box in a special cupboard ensorcelled by the royal magician. "Have you finished, dear?" said his wife. "Yes," he replied, and they kissed.
Morning dawned, the castle bathed in glorious light, and people milling around, waiting for the events to begin. In the guardhouse, there was a small chance that something would go wrong. This was the job of Sergeant Major Keen, who would lift the drawbridge if an attack was imminent. He was an experienced man who knew his job. His assistant however was new, and required a considerable amount of attention. "Why are you not ready yet?" asked Sergeant Major Keen. "I'm still getting a tabard on," replied his young assistant, Jeffery. "That should have been done hours ago," said the Sergeant Major. "Here, let me," and so he helped Jeffery put his tabard on, and didn't keep an eye on the horizon.
Over to the West, there was a cloud of dust as a band of marauding bandits charged towards the castle on horseback. A vicious cry leapt from their mouths as they closed in rapidly. "Death to the people! Death to Dubious!" they cried, crossing the drawbridge into the keep, slaughtering all before them. Dubious heard a commotion outside, and pulled back the curtain to look down, and gasped. He pulled out his trusty sword and ran into the midst of the melee, and soon he faced his opponent, the leader of the band, General D. Hunter, the outlaw. "So," said the General, "we meet at last. Now, I have your castle at my whim. Soon I will have your throne." "Not so fast," said the king, and they fought.
I was but a young pigeon at the time, watching this from afar. It was a terrible sight. Thousands of men were slaughtered, and women were killed. Children died, animals too. It was terrible. After the battle had ended, only one man remained. It was the Sergeant Major, who had managed to defend his post using his trusty sword and considerable experience. Jeffery had, however, perished at the first hurdle. Keen became briefly king. However, the instructions in the envelope were for the eventuality of the former king on his death. In them, he had laid down a series of retaliatory steps that had to be taken if he was killed in battle. The heavy-hearted Keen enacted each to the letter, and destroyed all around. Now, there is nowhere in that country for any bird to land or eat its fill. The end.
Leave your prejudice behind when engaging in discourse with others.
Mary had a little problem. Her lamb was ill. She took him to the vet, and the vet said, "Yes. He has a disease called laryngitis." "Oh," said Mary. "That sounds terrible." "Yes," said the vet. "We'll have to remove his voice box." After the operation, Mary's lamb was right as rain, except he couldn't baa any more. Mary was distraught and ate him on her own[…or birthday, or plate].
Shaving foam will make you frothy, so rub it on your face daily.
Once upon a time, there was a rabbit. He lived in the middle of a royal wood with his friends, and they had joyous sex. One day, the most enormous fox appeared on the edge of the forest, and started sniffing for rabbits. The rabbits were afraid. "Never trust a fox," said the eldest. "Come to me," cried the fox. "Little rabbits, I've a special surprise for you." "Ooh," said some younger rabbits, and went, and saw, and got eaten by the fox. The moral is simple. Don't trust a fox.
Brush your hair with dynamite for that special look.
Gary went to his mother's house for dinner. She was cooking lasagna. He loved lasagna, and particularly his mother's. She got the recipe from her mother who had been chef to the king of Italy. This recipe was wanted in every kingdom of the world, but Gary's mother kept it to herself. He loved her, and grew fat on her pasta. The end.
Andrew: Now, The Bad Debtor, a Keith McGreggor mystery.
James and Andrew (alternating sentences):
Keith was a retired police officer. He'd spent twenty years or more working for the force, and much of that time had been taken up with petty crime, run-of-the-mill traffic violations, things like that. The occasional high-profile case with some national media interest had made him into somewhat of a local celebrity, but now that he was retired, he was happy to slip into quiet obscurity. These days, an exciting time was if he managed to catch a fish down by the canal. Fishing was a fantastic occupation. It was regimented. It required equipment. It got him out of the house. It was something to keep him busy in the long years of quiet solitude ahead.
One day, while waiting for the fish to bite, he was looking around as he often did, and noticed a man and a woman on the other side of the canal. Both smartly dressed, the young man in a dark suit, the woman in a light blouse and skirt and high heels, the man was passing the woman some kind of envelope. Keith wondered about this, his police instinct suggesting to him that no good was being done here. Why were these two professional-looking people down among the warehouses on the wrong side of the canal next to the railway track at lunch time? "Up to no good," he thought to himself, and resolved to find out.
Quickly and discreetly, he packed his equipment away, keeping half an eye on them, and looped round using the foot bridge that crossed the canal. Hurrying so as not to let them out of his sight, he trailed them back up into town, where the man went left onto the high street and disappeared into the bank. The woman he continued following as she went past the shops and out towards the high school. She paused at the gates of the school and tucked the envelope into her handbag.
He noticed as she did so that it wasn't the kind of handbag that you'd expect to see a schoolteacher carrying. It was an expensive designer one, and new-looking. Now that he came to look more closely, her clothes were higher-end than he'd expect, and she was wearing very expensive shoes as well. She hurried across the front yard of the school and into the staff room, where she greeted colleagues and started to make a cup of tea.
As the bell for the end of lunch rang, Keith returned home to think about this. How would a high school teacher afford such fancy things? He fired up his computer to see what he could find out about her online. After a couple of hours of research, he hit upon the fact that he had been looking for. She was, thanks to her postings on Facebook, he knew, heavily in debt to the bank, and he presumed that she must have been taking out a series of loans and extending them over time in order to fuel a lifestyle that she was ill-able to afford, a behaviour that he recognised all too often from his career of dealing with people who had unwittingly entered a life of crime. Who then was the man from the bank, and what was he paying her for?
The following day, he went into the bank in order to investigate getting a loan for, he said, some minor home improvements. He was interested to see would the young man be involved in the process, and if not, how did he fit in? First, the woman behind the counter helped him fill out the application form. He would, she pointed out, have to have an interview before being approved for the loan. "Would it be possible to have the interview today? It's just, I'm here now," he said. Checking the diary, she was able to put him into an appointment forty-five minutes later, time he spent doing the crossword.
"Do step this way," said a man in a smart pinstripe suit, and showed him into a dingy, windowless office of the kind that was deeply familiar to him from his life in the police force. But this man was not the young man he was looking for. Older, close to retirement age, he took Keith through the formal interview process that the bank required. "I wonder if I could have a glass of water," asked Keith. "My throat is rather parched from all this talking." "Of course," said the bank manager, pressing a small button recessed discreetly into his desk. "Phillip, could I have another cup of white coffee and a glass of water, please?"
Just as they were finishing up the interview, Phillip came through with the drinks. This was the young man that Keith had been looking for. Clearly he was a more junior member of staff, so how had he become connected with the woman? Perhaps, as he had done today, she had seen him when she came in to discuss her loan. He would have to follow the young man and keep him under close observation to find out what was going on between the two of them.
After his appointment at the bank, Keith left and crossed the road to a small café, where he found a table in the window and sat, nursing a series of cups of milky tea. At closing time, he observed the young man exiting the bank and furtively looking both ways before hurrying off down a side street. A lifetime working in law enforcement had taught Keith that when people knew that they were doing something suspicious or wrong, they often gave it away in the way that they walked. This man knew he was up to no good. But what exactly was it that he was up to?
Keith followed at a discreet distance as the young man also followed the road up towards the high school, but it was nearly 6 o'clock now, and surely the building would be locked up? Lingering at the gates as the young man walked across the car park, Keith noticed the young woman leaving by a side exit. She waved to him, and the young man came over. She let him in and closed the door furtively behind the both of them. Keith crossed the car park and checked. The door was locked, and he wouldn't be able to get in this way.
Quickly, he walked around the perimeter of the school until he came to the main entrance, where he knocked on the window. The janitor sitting behind the glass slid the pane across and popped his head out. "Oh, hello, Keith," said the janitor, who knew him from angling circles. "I'm not here in an official capacity," said Keith, "but I wonder if…" "I'll let you right in," said the janitor, who implicitly trusted Keith. "There's a side door that you can see from the car park. Where does that let into?" "Oh, that would go straight to the gymnasium," said the janitor. "Second on the left."
Keith hurried through the corridors and found his way into the empty gymnasium building. It was extraordinary the strange, eerie atmosphere of the twisty corridors of an empty school at night, and took him back to his own school days. Moving softly down the corridor, he listened at each door, trying to determine the location of the interlopers. He heard a muffled thump and hurried towards it, which brought him in the direction of the girl's locker room. Pausing again, he waited for the opportune time to make his move.
He pushed the door slightly and slowly ajar in a way that wouldn't draw attention to itself, a trick that he had learned as a young police officer, and that had served him well on many occasions. Voices came to him from deeper within the locker room, the man and the woman talking softly. "Is this what you're looking for?" he heard her say. "That's perfect," he heard in the man's voice, slightly excited and anxious at the same time. Keith pushed the door open, and the young couple froze. The young woman was rummaging through an open locker, while the man sat beside her, his face buried in a pair of panties. The woman let out a startled cry, and the large bunch of locker room keys that she'd been holding in her left hand fell to the floor with a crash.
"However did you figure it out?" asked the police chief some days later. "It was simple, really," said Keith. "Once I discovered about the debt, it was just a case of tracing the relationship between the two of them. She must have discovered him sniffing around the locker room at some point and recognised his perversion. When she went to the bank to have the terms of her loan extended and was refused, she saw him there, and had a quiet word with him. She would, in exchange for small sums of money on a regular basis, allow him access to the locker room out of hours. She has no future in education, and he is now in the hands of the court."
"How's the fishing?" asked the chief constable. "Never better," said Keith.
Andrew: I've been Andrew, and I'm here with James. These stories were recorded without advanced planning, and then lightly edited for the discerning listener. Join us next time for more totally made-up tales.