Herlock Shomes at it Again.
CHARACTERS: – Same as last week
INTHA PINK, a pioneer, while passing the Cloth Hall, Typers, the scene of a dinner given to commemorate the 73rd year of office of the mayor of that town falls into a crump-hole, where he is left soliloquising. In the meantime, whilst a merry throng is making it’s way along the Denin Road towards Typers, HONORIA, the fair but anaemic daughter of the shell-fish merchant of Hooge, whilst passing by the Culvert, catches sight of the lifeless form of BILL BANKS, and forthwith fall into the Bellewarde Bec, the waters of which flow on. This incident is noticed by SHOLMES and DR FLOTSAM who were passng by the Culvert at the time, they both thereupon fall into the Bec, the waters of which continue to flow on.
THE MYSTERY OF THE CLOSED GATE
We now return to our friend Intha Pink, who having soliloquised for exactly 13 minutes without once pausing to take breath or repeating himself, decides to extricate himself from the crump-hole into which he had so inadvertently fallen. While thus engaged, the silvery chimes of the clock on the Cathedral spire burst forth into song announcing the magic hour of zero p.m.
“Bother!” ejaculated Pink in true pioneer fashion, “At a quarter past zero I promised to meet Lizzie at Fell Hire Corner. I must indeed get a move on, otherwise she will be wroth.”
With that he picked up his hammer and his mail from out of the crump-hole, and proceeded at a rapid pace to the corner of the Square, where, after having his boots polished and some of the mud brushed from off his clothes by Bertie, the boss-eyed boot boy, he went off at the double along the road leading to the Denin Gate. He had not proceeded very far when perforce his pace had to slacken on account of the density of the merry crowd advancing in the opposite directions in close column of humps. All bent on spending a merry evening at the Cloth Hall. But Pink’s mission was not a gay one, neither was he in a merry mood: a deep plot was hatching in the Pioneer’s fertile brain in which, let it be whispered, lovely Lizzie was to play a not unimportant part. On reaching Trueside Corner he entered the little shop kept by Sandy Sam, the suspected spy and sandbag merchant.
“Evening Sam,” said Pink.
“What, you, Intha!” – replied the old man – “What’s in the air?”
“Whizzbangs and air-crumps mostly, tonight” answered the other – “but I’m in a hurry, I want a good sand-bag.”
This article, having been produced and approved of, Intha paid the bill with a worthless cheque on Fox’s, and placing his hammer and nail in the sand bag and slinging the latter over his shoulder again, took to the road; such was his hurry that, generally observant as he was, he did not notice the shadowy figure of old Sam following in his wake. When within fifty yards of the Denin Gate the suspected spy took his S.O.S. signal from out of his pocket, unwrapped same, and jurled it into the air, this being almost immediately answered by the gatekeeper’s dug-out, where Tim Squealer, the sand bag merchant’s foster son resided. Intha, still intent on his night’s work, hurried on until he reached the Gate, where he fell over a cunningly concealed trip wire, at the same instant a soft, buzzing sound was heard, increasing in volume and ending in a loud crash! – The Pioneer was trapped!! – THE DENIN GATE HAD CLOSED!!!
(To be Continued.)
N.B. Next week: – An entirely new set of characters, and another thrilling instalment.