Showdown at the Den

Slasher McGoogs“…Je ne regrette rien

Ni le bien qu’on m’a fait

Ni le mal tout ça m’est bien égal

Non, Rien de rien

Non, Je ne regrette rien

Car ma vie, car mes joies Aujourd’hui, ça commence avec toi~oi!!!”

Sam the pianist was practising Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien with The Kittens of Chaos before the evening’s performance and like Piaf they intended to announce their dedication of the song to the Hunky French Foreign Legion.   Following the final rasping, gargled stanza the Kittens were all coughing and retching uncontrollably.

Our quartet was having a breakfast of buttered croissants and kipper fish cakes in the front bar of the den, sat at a round marble topped table in the gentle morning light of a bay window.

“Aunty Stella’s been in touch,” reported Ferdy, “There’s still no sign of Googleberry, but he’s not turned up in any of the local vets’ so everyone is optimistic.”   They all jumped and spun round at the sound of a distant bump, as if a Chris-Craft Cadet had just come alongside the ladder that hung down to the water from out the back.   Two shade-like white cats clambered over the balcony and entered through the French windows.   They were wearing steampunk brass and leather goggles with deep purple lenses and identical broad lapelled white leather, ankle length coats.   They were followed over the balustrade by Slasher McGoogs.

At this most unfortunate of moments a figure chose to emerge from the gents dressed in a dark trilby and a stiff buff trench coat with an ominous bulge under the left armpit.   Les deux Chats Souterrains instantly legged it back over the balcony rail and into their boat.   Nearby sirens could be heard and the throaty gunning of the triple Packard 12M engines that would power the River Police Fast Pursuit craft waiting in the next-door boatyard creek.

Slasher launched himself forward, barging through the customers, toppling tables and rushed out through the street door cat-flap.

“Don’t lose him!” shouted Boz – and the four of them dashed out into the morning chill of Narrow Street, just in time to see Slasher lift the cover off a manhole and drop into its depths.


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