It's been a long time, I shunna left you
Without a dope beat to step to, step to, step to....
Allow me to bring you up to speed:
"We were surrounded on three sides by shattering gun fire. It seemed to me as though the cottage walls would soon come down around us, reduced to little less than a furious, infecting dust that would cloud our vision and make escape through the holler of the bullets nigh on impossible. I saw our only option in the west-facing window. If we were lucky, the fall wouldn't kill us, and we would land with most bones intact. I whispered to Maddox.
"'Maddy, there are two ways out of here. Either we leap from that window holding our genitalia, hoping for the best, or we wait for them to break down our meagre defences and we leave in the cold, suspended animation of death,' - imminent danger always made me feel far more luxuriously poetic than real life had ever afforded. 'Are you with me, my dear, dear friend?'
"Maddox took my cold hand in his smooth, elderly one. 'Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. If only you'd realised sooner.'
"Of course, Maddox wasn't talking about our escape route. His mission had always been to lead me here, to this cottage, to this siege, to this death. Maddox, that quiet, kind old boy, was a phony. A ruddy spy. What a fool I'd been.
"Well, what else could I do? Before he had chance to pull his pistol, I was gliding through the sweet French air, down, down toward the gravel below. I landed, though not awkwardly, in a plume of yellowish dust. I paused for a moment, ensuring I wasn't dead or scattered in bits, before scrambling to my feet at pace, making for the thick shadows of the surrounding orchard."
So that's why I haven't updated for a while, to those of you (one person) who complained about my lack of blog. I hope you're satisfied.
Moving on. I'm back up to full time hours at work now, much to the dismay of my ailing stomach, for which I still have no diagnosis. This does mean, however, that I've been catching pretty much my usual bus home every day and can therefore give you the latest update on the Mr Whitehairblackbeard story. Yay!
For the last three days, The Castrato has ridden my bus. He has now removed the moustache he was sporting whence last I gazed upon him, and now instead has a small purple bruise above his right eyebrow. The mark of a man holding an innocent man with contrasting beard and hair combo hostage? 'Tis so far the evidence would suggest, further strengthened by this days discovery...
The Castrato lives relatively close to me, in fact disembarking the bus just two stops before I do myself. My prolonged absence from work has left me greedy for clues in this ongoing case and today my hunger was partially satisfied. As The Castrato intoned his dulcet, "Thanks, mate" to the bus driver as he left the carriage, I happened to glance out of the window to my right. There, lying in the field where a gaggle of Shetland ponies usually take their fill, was...A BLACK SHOE.
Those of you who have followed my reports as the mystery has unfolded will know how significant this discovery is, especially the vicinity in which the sighting was made - just metres from The Castrato's layer. And this time I was able to photograph the shoe as evidence - see Photograph 1, below.
As you can see, it's a typical black shoe, appealing to all.
But here's the really exciting news(!): While I was rummaging through my camera I found a photograph I took of Mr Whitehairblackbeard! Please study it carefully. If you've seen him, you MUST contact me as soon as possible. I'm currently collating my data to take to the police. I think you probably understand how embarrassing for me it would be if I were to make allegations against The Castrato that were entirely unfounded. Please, any information could be invaluable.
Thank you for your time.