Then we all tuck in to our porridge, which is REALLY salty, not like at home, and I’m not liking it much, but you got to be polite. Conversation is replaced by munching for a while and then Boz pipes up:
“I’ve got an idea. It’s the Tamworth Ranters’ Gala coming up soon, and that’s always good for a laugh. Lets all meet there and after the fun we can have a conference. If you sir…” he addresses The Gilnockie, “ …bring some of your chaps and this pirate king along, we’ll get Larry to join us and we can thrash out a deal.”
“Sounds good to me,” says The Gilnockie of Gilnockie, “Will there be booze?”
“Good Burton ale,” says Ginsbergbear, puffing quietly on his Peterson briar.
“But no weapons,” chips in Barrymore, “and that includes bagpipes.”
“What about Les Chats Souterrains?” asks Ferdy, “No one’s mentioned them yet.”
That’s when I become aware of a whirry buzzing noise from outside.
“Last time I heard a sound like that we were running for our lives in Castleton,” says I.
“Oh no,” groans Boz. And we all rush up onto the battlements in time to see the metallic Frisbee glinting pink and mauve in the setting sunlight.
“Is that a real flying saucer?” shouts The Gilnockie.
“Les Chats Souterrains’ foo-fighter,” says Ferdy, “We really don’t need this right now.”
It’s got revolving, flashing lights and flies straight over the croquet lawn level with the battlements, and it is so close we can see the pilot’s face, all white and demented in dark goggles. The flying saucer whizzes right past us, cranks its death ray round and targets The Airship of State. And it doesn’t do the dirigible any good at all. There are a series of explosions and a sort of crumpling metal greeouch noise and our airship transport collapses in on itself in flames.
“Bugger.” Says Slasher McGoogs, looking pointedly at Boz, “Someone’s going to get that stopped out of his pocket money.”
“If they’ve scorched my Roller,” screams The Gilnockie, “I’m going to get really cross.”
The foo fighter is just beginning to train its death ray onto the upper floors of Gilnockie Tower when a stream of bullets is pinging off it’s hull. Out of the majestic, orange disc of the sun races a little crimson Rata, and it will be opening up with its cannons any moment. The saucer recoils and then hurtles off towards the east at an incredible speed, enthusiastically pursued by Polly, shooting as she goes. But there’s more…
“Hens’ teeth!” exclaims Slasher McGoogs as he peers over the parapet and his Mauser Red9 materialises in his right paw.