Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

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Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:11

For the purposes of this story, Biggles lives at either 104 or 113 Mount St (the furthest left flats as you look at the plan: I’m not sure which way the numbering runs) http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey ... /pp326-329 . The bay windows are presumed to look onto the street, and the flat windows over Mount St Gardens. The Connaught Hotel is just about opposite. I’m presuming that everyone has two door keys: a common one to the street door and one that is individual to each flat.



It was a bright cold day, and the clock was striking thirteen. Biggles carefully replaced his teacup on his saucer and looked enquiringly at his hostess.
‘My husband didn’t like the hours being repeated in a day. He thought they should all be distinct so he got a clock maker to make all the clocks in the house run on military time. I’m surprised more people haven’t emulated his example. Yet another example of people being stuck in their ways and afraid of progress,’ explained Lady Marchbanks.

Biggles nodded thoughtfully and made sure he didn’t catch Algy’s eye. They were hearing a lot about her late husband, General Lord Marchbanks.

General Lord Marchbanks had held a number of idiosyncratic opinions, some of which were being expounded upon by his widow as examples of his genius. General Lord Marchbanks had also been generously endowed with wordly goods, and had successfully bullied a number of crafts people into creating working examples of his visions.

General Lord Marchbanks had been a true Son of the Empire and had travelled widely, sharing his innovations with both his subordinates and indigenous peoples in a firm and generous fashion.

Kenya had been marked by his desire to improve the oral health of those around him, and an ingenious device to be inserted in the mouths of two people and tugged between them to exercise and improve the circulation of the teeth, gums and tongue had been manufactured and incorporated into his troops’ daily drills.

By the time he was posted to Bechuanaland, his interest had spread to health in general, and he had developed a strict dietary regime for his men, based around porridge cooked with water and salt, and exercises to improve lung capacity. Various boards had been manufactured to be strapped to men that the General considered imperfect in their posture to improve their defects, but he had been re-posted before he could implement his patent device for lengthening the limbs of the men he considered to be disproportionate in build.

In Ceylon a study of temple carvings led him to the conclusion that the ancient priests had been in contact with an alien civilisation, and he devoted considerable energy to trying to discover which one. Various astronomical bodies were corresponded with, with increasing acrimony, but eventually, based on an imperfectly translated and understood account of the Seven Lost Cities, General Lord Marchbanks had settled on Atlantis.

Biggles and Algy sat rigidly upright in their seats, making sure their cups and saucers didn’t rattle, and wondered what they had got themselves into.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:12

Flush in their pockets after their recent round the world trip, Biggles and Algy had discussed how to invest their money prudently. They had decided that the purchase of a couple of flats in a good area was indicated, one to live in and one to let. Accordingly they had acquired two leaseholds and decided that they would like to live at the Mount St address. They liked the bustle, the proximity to shops and restaurants and the comfortable proportions of the rooms. They’d spent an educational day interviewing potential housekeepers and decided upon a plump middle aged woman whom they thought would be reliable and might do as they wanted, not as she wanted. They’d gone round shops and made lists of what furniture they would need, then gone home and written to Algy’s parents to see what they could have for free.

And so the decorators had been; furniture had been delivered; a routine worked out with Mrs Symes as to when she would deliver and clear breakfast, clean the rooms and perform her tasks; the lack of certain items had been discovered and remedied; the best local restaurant found, and so on. Biggles and Algy were settling in very nicely.

‘It’s funny,’ said Algy, one evening as they sat by their fire, ‘but we haven’t met any of the neighbours yet. We occasionally hear someone go down the stairs, and Mrs Symes sometimes mentions a name, but to the best of my knowledge, I’ve not clapped eyes upon one of them. We do have neighbours, do you think?’

Fate having been duly tempted, they met the first of their neighbours the next day. Algy was running lightly up the stairs when he turned the landing corner and came face to face with an imposing elderly lady. She raised a lorgnette and regarded Algy with disapproval. Algy apologised cheerfully and awaited the inevitable tirade on modern manners and the lack of consideration found in the younger generation. He was not disappointed.

‘A real old tyrant,’ he said cheerfully to Biggles later. ‘I quaked in my shoes. She made me feel like I was still in short trousers. Still, I don’t suppose she’ll bother us much.’

They were therefore surprised to receive, the next morning, a note from the old lady inviting them to tea the following week. She had difficult, spidery writing, but the missive seemed to suggest that its author wished to evaluate them in some way. Biggles was inclined to be indignant and refuse to go, but Algy thought they ought to attend. His experience of elderly female relatives had taught him that immediate polite compliance saved a lot of unpleasantness in the long run, and the old lady was sure to know some of his relatives and complain to them if he wasn’t sufficiently well mannered. He didn’t mind annoying his family if there was just cause, but on this occasion he felt that it would be easier to go to tea. He tried to explain elderly female relatives to Biggles, but with limited success.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:13

Lady Marchbanks had received them coldly and graciously. She had asked a number of impertinent questions about their backgrounds, identified Algy as a remote connection of her husband and the godson of a close friend’s brother (not actually a point in Algy’s favour), informed them that they ought to be married and raising families in a responsible manner instead of gadding about the world, then gone on to talk about her late husband, interspersed with complaints about the youth of today. At intervals a thin, young companion appeared, to bring fresh hot water for the teapot, to rearrange the cushions at Lady Marchbanks’ back and to perform all the activities that Lady Marchbanks couldn’t perform due to her having badly twisted her ankle a few days previously. Lady Marchbanks made a number of pithy comments about the difficulties of getting staff, which Biggles didn’t want to agree with, but which struck uncomfortably close to home after his recent experience of interviewing housekeepers.

Finally their ordeal was over. Awash with sweet scented tea (the General had always insisted that milk should be added to green tea) and very peculiar bran muffins that supposedly aided the digestion and induced regular habits – Algy was sure he could taste castor oil in them- they scampered back to their flat and gave way to the mirth that was consuming them.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:13

It was the next morning that Algy realised his best wristwatch was missing. At first he looked for it in a desultory way, then more carefully. Biggles was roped into the search, Algy’s dressing table was pulled out, the drawers removed and emptied. Mrs Symes, coming to do the rooms, was sent away and asked to come back later. Pockets were searched, the bathroom, then the living room, then, in desperation, Biggles’s room. There was no sign of the watch which Algy insisted had been left in his handkerchief drawer as normal after last being worn. There was also no sign of Biggles’s gold collar studs and the miniature of his great grandmother that he kept with them as he didn’t know what else to do with it.

Biggles lit a cigarette as he looked seriously at Algy.
‘Well, old boy, it looks like we’ve got a thief. We’d better have Mrs Symes in and see if she has anything to say.’

Mrs Symes showed no signs of guilt as she readily answered their questions. She couldn’t shed any light on Biggles’s studs and miniature: she’d never had any reason to look in his stud box. Captain Lacey’s watch she’d seen the previous Friday when she’d put away the clean clothes from the laundry which had included some handkerchiefs. She’d lifted the watch out, arranged the handkerchiefs evenly throughout the drawer and replaced the watch at the back on top of the handkerchiefs as Captain Lacey had kept it. She’d let no one into the flat since then: there had been no meter readers, no chimney sweeps, no visitors leaving messages.
‘Thank you Mrs Symes, that will be all.’ Biggles dismissed her and sat back in his chair.
‘Well,’ he asked Algy. ‘What do you think?’

Algy shrugged moodily. ‘If it’s not Mrs Symes, I don’t see who it could be? She certainly didn’t give me the impression of guilt, though.’

They discussed the theft late into the night without coming to any clear resolution. Most of their valuables and documents were already stored at the bank because of their lack of a fixed address over the last couple of years: the flat contained money for their personal expenditure and a few frequently needed items, like cuff links, so there was no reason for urgent action. They agreed to report their loss to the police in the morning and see if anything came of that.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:14

A subdued Mrs Symes, who looked as if she had slept very badly, served them their breakfast then left to answer a knock at their door.

‘Mr Evans, from upstairs, wishes to have a word with you, sir. He’s in all morning if now is not convenient.’

‘What about?’ asked Biggles, surprised.

‘He’d prefer not to say until he can speak to you personally.’

Biggles’s curiosity was aroused.

‘Tell him we’ll be up in half an hour, after we’ve had breakfast.’

Algy had taken advantage of Biggles’s distraction to snaffle the last piece of toast.
‘’Another neighbour,’ he said, raising his eyebrows as he applied marmalade liberally ‘I hope they don’t start getting too friendly.’
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:14

Mr and Mrs Evans had the third floor flat. They were a youngish couple and hideously embarrassed. It took Mr Evans a good deal of fussing and circumlocution before he got to the point, which was that certain small valuables had recently disappeared from their flat.
‘My dear chap, are you suggesting that we had anything to do with this?’ Biggles was not pleased.

Mr Evans fussed some more and suggested that it might be Biggles’s new housekeeper whose kitchen, pantry and sleeping quarters were next door to their flat.

‘Let’s get the geography and inhabitants of this place sorted out. How many people live on this stair?’ Biggles said quietly. ‘We’ve got what were originally two bachelor flats on the first floor that someone remodelled into one. Lady Marchbanks has the rooms above mine, at the front, who’s got the back flat?’

‘Oh, a semi-retired financier bloke that doesn’t often visit London, now. He lives in the wilds of Scotland or somewhere, and just keeps the flat as place to stay if has to transact any business. I think he’ll dispose of it soon and stay at his club instead he visits so infrequently now. Haven’t seen hide nor hair of him for months.’
‘You’ve got the third floor flat at the back: who has the front one?
‘This one’s one flat rather than two: bedroom, dressing room at the front, sitting room and spare room here at the back,’ explained Evans. ‘So you see, there aren’t many people who could have taken our things.’

Biggles thought.
‘The shop downstairs is completely self-contained: there’s no access from it to our staircase at all and they don’t have a key to our front door?’
Mr and Mrs Evans nodded in agreement.
Then there’s Algy and I, with our house keeper who is on the same floor as you, but next door, so to speak. She has to go down her back stairs to get access to the main stairs either on the second or first floor. Lady Marchbanks is over me: what staff does she have?’
‘A devoted ancient retainer, and a couple of women who come in for part of each day. They’ve all been with her for years. The ancient retainer’s kitchen is above the first floor’s kitchen, on the fourth floor, and the caretaker’s apartment is above us on the fourth floor. He’s a very respectable ex-serviceman who’s been here for a long time, too. That’s it staff-wise.’
‘Do you not have any staff?’ asked Algy.

Mrs Evans smiled at him. ‘No. We’re often away and it just isn’t worth it. I get someone in occasionally for a really good spring clean and do the light work myself.’

‘Do you have any idea when you lost your things?’ Biggles asked, a little abruptly. ‘I’m sorry I don’t know what was taken.’

‘Just trinkets, really.’ replied Mrs Evans. All the good stuff is kept at the bank, of course, and I rarely get it out because one just doesn’t wear that sort of thing anymore. A couple of gold bangles, a pair of small diamond earstuds, my favourite evening compact. What was on my dressing table. It was tea time and I’d only just returned to the flat, taken the bangles off to have a bath and they were gone when I returned to my room.’

‘Can you put a time on this,’ Biggles persisted. With some more fussing, the Evanses came up with a timetable for their comings and goings.

‘I’m going to have to think about this,’ Biggles announced. ‘I really can’t see how Mrs Symes could have done it at that time. If you want to call the police in, we’re perfectly willing to co-operate, but I don’t think my housekeeper’s responsible for your losses.’
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:15

Biggles was monosyllabic and restless for the rest of the day. He prowled outside on the street, carefully examining the facade of his building, then sat smoking in the gardens behind, looking at the rear view. He went into the shop beneath, and had a conversation with the girl behind the counter, and then the proprietress. He escaped without purchasing any ladies’ underwear, but it was a close run thing. He visited the cigar shop next door and had a similar discussion with the senior assistant.

Inside the building, Biggles ran up and down the staircase, timing himself. He visited Mrs Symes in her kitchen and examined the dumb waiter and lift arrangements. He went up another floor and braved the Faithful Retainer, then retreated down the back stairs until he could go up again on the other side to see the caretaker. He asked questions about concealed doorways, doorways no longer in use and supposedly bricked up, and keys. He then went and scowled at the fire, tapping his cigarette restlessly as he smoked and thought.

‘Mrs Evans seemed like a nice woman,’ suggested Algy, watching Biggles under his lashes.

‘Fur coat and no knickers,’ replied Biggles briefly.

Algy choked. ‘You’re going to have to explain that.’

‘Sorry,’ Biggles smiled. ‘It’s something someone I used to know used to say. All prosperous on the outside and no substance on the inside. Flat in Mayfair but no money for staff. Furniture wasn’t top notch and beginning to look a little worn. The dress she was wearing had been mended and her shoes re-dyed to match. His suit was a little flashy and cheap. I’d bet there were no jewels in the bank, just a few modern pieces of costume jewellery.’

‘Do you think they’re responsible for burglarising themselves, and have hit on our Mrs Symes as a scapegoat?’ Algy asked.

‘I’ve considered it, but the problem is, that we, also, have lost stuff, and have wondered if Mrs Symes is a thief. I think they’ve genuinely lost their things, but the timing of their loss seems to rule Mrs Symes out. I’ve been looking at it all day.’
‘Mrs Evans took her jewellery off and got into the bath just as Mrs Symes came down with our tea tray. She put the tea out on the table, mended the fire then did your room and mine whilst we had tea as she hadn’t been able to do them in the morning as we were turning them upside down looking for your watch. Mrs Evans had discovered her loss by the time Mrs Symes was finished.’

‘You’re right,’ said Algy slowly. ‘I’d forgotten that she didn’t follow her normal routine yesterday. So if she’s innocent of one theft, she’s probably innocent of the other.’

Biggles nodded. ‘But there doesn’t seem to be anyone else that could have done it. Everyone else has been here for donkey’s years.’

Come on,’ said Algy, ‘You’ve been brooding for long enough. Let’s go and do something completely different and see if the change shakes something loose. What do you fancy? Flicks? The Opera? A Revue at the Windmill?’

Biggles laughed and threw a cushion at Algy. ‘It would serve you right if I said the ballet. Where’s the paper? What’s on?’
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:15

Biggles was back to brooding over his mystery the next morning. Mrs Symes looked even more upset as she served them breakfast, hesitantly asking if their missing belongings had turned up before leaving the room.

‘It’s not fair,’ he said abruptly to Algy. ‘That perfectly nice woman is really suffering through being suspected of these thefts. We’ve got to do something.’

‘What?’ asked Algy, very reasonably.

‘What? It’s no use asking ‘what’. Use your brains. They’re at the end you don’t sit on, if you haven’t wanted them recently.’

‘Why keep a dog and bark yourself?’ answered Algy. ‘If you can’t come up with something, then what’s the point of me trying? You’ve got the brains and I’ve got all the important attributes.’

Their exchange of pleasantries was interrupted by Mrs Symes, announcing that a policeman was at the door and would like a word.
‘What now?’ asked Biggles rhetorically. ‘Alright, Mrs Symes, you’d better ask him to come in.’

The constable explained that a well known jewel thief had been nearly caught at the Connaught Hotel the previous night, and seemed to have disappeared into one of the houses nearby on Mount St. Witnesses of his flight were quite clear that he had turned into Mount St rather than across into the Street which led to Mount St Gardens, but had not got as far down Mount St as the other path into Mount St Gardens. Therefore inhabitants of these few buildings were being asked if they had seen anything of the man, or traces of his presence.

Biggles and Algy looked closely at the photograph of a remarkably young-looking man, quite small and thin.
‘No, I’m sorry officer, we’ve seen no trace of him. We were out last night and all the excitement must have happened then. If we come across any information, we will do our duty,’ Biggles informed the constable. ‘Have you seen or heard anything Mrs Symes?’

Mrs Symes also answered in the negative.

‘But for all that, the face is familiar,’ mused Biggles later. ‘I’m sure I’ve seen it recently, or one very like it.’

‘Lady Mountbanks’ companion,’ replied Algy. ‘She looks very like the photograph’.

Biggles stared at him open mouthed. ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings,’ he breathed. ‘Come on.’

Algy caught up with him at the street door. ‘I can see you’ve had a rush of blood to the head, but would you care to explain it to me?’

‘Work it out for yourself, or wait for me to explain it to the Police. Come on.’

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:16

Biggles gave his details in at the desk and shortly after was ushered in to see the Inspector in charge of the case. He briefly and succinctly outlined recent events in Mount St and the conclusions he’d drawn.

‘Posing as a female companion. Well I never!’ breathed the inspector. ‘We’ll send someone round now to have a look.’

‘Just remember that all the swag isn’t from the Connaught,’ grinned Biggles. ‘Algy here wants his wristwatch back, and I want my things and so, no doubt, does Mrs Evans upstairs.’
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 25 Jan 2015, 18:16

For the first, and he devoutly hoped the last, time in his life, Biggles was forced to hold a teaparty. Mrs Symes provided an excellent selection of sandwiches and cakes, all of which were roundly criticised by Lady Marchbanks and demolished enthusiastically by Algy and Mr Evans. Eventually enough pleasantries had been exchanged and Mr Evans demanded an explanation of what had happened. Biggles lit a cigarette, hastily extinguished it following expostulations from Lady Marchbanks, and began:
‘It was baffling at first, as the only likely person who could have carried out the thefts, couldn’t have done both, and I couldn’t believe that we had two different petty thieves in one day if you see what I mean. But there didn’t appear to be any other candidates, and no one could have got in from the outside: I went into that very carefully. When the constable came looking for the jewel thief, things seemed even more confused: a jewel thief disappearing into a building near us, had to be connected to our losses, it was too much of a coincidence otherwise, but everyone was vouched for as being honest and well known, with no change in their circumstances that might lead to a change in behaviour. ‘
‘And then Algy mentioned that Lady Marchbanks’ companion resembled the photograph of the thief and everything fell into place. This was someone new: Lady Marchbanks had mentioned the difficulty of getting staff when we’d met her, indicating that she had been looking for someone new although Mr Evans had said her staff had been with her for years. She needed a companion and extra help for a few weeks because she had badly wrenched her ankle. Being new here, Algy and I hadn’t realised the companion was new also, and Mr and Mrs Evans hadn’t seen her to know she existed.’
‘I’ve no idea how he got taken on at the Employment Agency: forged references of some sort I presume. If he hadn’t been unable to resist picking up trifles from within this house, he’d have got away with it. No one would have thought to connect a lady’s companion with a jewel thief. He bobbed down to pinch our stuff in between filling pots of hot water whilst we were taking tea with Lady Marchbanks. He would have gone past Mrs Symes’ kitchen on the way to his own and so known he was safe for a few minutes! Similarly, Mrs Evans’ bathroom is above Lady Marchbanks, so he could have heard the bath being run through the pipes and taken a chance.’

Lady Marchbanks rose to leave. ‘You’re a very clever young man,’ she said, in a way that left everyone clear as to the undesirability of this trait, and limped out of the room leaning heavily on her stick.

Mr and Mrs Evans made a few more admiring noises, then they, too, departed.

‘So now we’ve met the neighbours,’ mused Biggles as he finally got to smoke in his own flat. ‘I don’t think we’ll be having much to do with them. The Evanses are overcome with embarrassment at having accused our housekeeper of theft so I don’t think they’ll be trying to pursue a friendship’

Algy leant back contentedly in his seat and blew a smoke ring. ‘Lady Mountbank’s going to want absolutely nothing to do with us, you know, and she’s going to have to be reasonably nice about us. We’ve got her over a barrel. She will not want it getting out, that, for the last week, she’s been put to bed and dressed in the mornings by a young man of unquestionably poor character.’

He smiled. ‘I think we’re going to be very happy here.’



The End
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby SaintedAunt » 25 Jan 2015, 18:28

I have been following you as you posted, Kismet! A sort of cross-over between Biggles, Poirot and Sherlock Holmes :lol:

For one minute, I thought you were going to introduce a magpie ;) Jolly good effort :yay:
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Fairblue » 25 Jan 2015, 18:43

Kismet wrote: "Fur coat and no knickers"
:imao: This was a favourite saying of my mother's, Kismet.

This little domestic tale is lovely. I can just imagine how the boys had to steel themselves for the ordeal of 'doing the pretty'.
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Tracer » 25 Jan 2015, 19:40

And the last line is perfect :lol:
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Frederique » 25 Jan 2015, 22:00

SaintedAunt wrote: A sort of cross-over between Biggles, Poirot and Sherlock Holmes :lol:
Yes! :mrgreen: I think your writing is so witty, Kismet. Thank you for your story, and for the Challenge. :thanks: :pilot2:

Kismet wrote:‘It’s not fair,’ he said abruptly to Algy. ‘That perfectly nice woman is really suffering through being suspected of these thefts. We’ve got to do something.’

‘What?’ asked Algy, very reasonably.
:love: Very reasonable indeed.

Kismet wrote:Lady Marchbanks rose to leave. ‘You’re a very clever young man,’ she said, in a way that left everyone clear as to the undesirability of this trait
:lol: :lol:
"Where the dickens did you spring from?" he inquired.
"Oh, I was just hanging around, you know, in case I was wanted," returned Algy lightly.

Biggles Defies the Swastika
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby tiffinata » 26 Jan 2015, 00:05

So many good lines-

A Revue at the Windmill
naughty boys. :lol:

‘Fur coat and no knickers,’ replied Biggles briefly.
been a long time since I heard that one. :D

‘What? It’s no use asking ‘what’. Use your brains. They’re at the end you don’t sit on, if you haven’t wanted them recently.’
‘Why keep a dog and bark yourself?’ answered Algy. ‘If you can’t come up with something, then what’s the point of me trying? You’ve got the brains and I’ve got all the important attributes.’
:laughspit: I'm so going to borrow that 'use your brains' line.
'....you cannot flout Nature with impunity. Treat Nature with respect, and she will tolerate you, even encourage you; but treat her with contempt, and your days are numbered.' Hits the Trail
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 26 Jan 2015, 02:58

"Fur coat & no knickers".... :lol: :claphappy: :laughspit: I learn something new every day!
And this: "He tried to explain elderly female relatives to Biggles, but with limited success."

Oh dear, great tale Kismet....think I need a lie down now, light headed from too much laughing, lol.
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Spitfire666 » 26 Jan 2015, 11:36

Well done, Kismet, and grateful thanks for another highly enjoyable Challenge :!:

When I was a kid in the East End, "fur coat and no knickers" meant a woman who fancied herself and was such a manhunter she left off knickers to save time :lol:
If there's one thing certain in this uncertain world it is that Algy won't go home without us.

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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby kylie_koyote » 26 Jan 2015, 12:20

Splendid, absolutely splendid! I saved this to read over breakfast this morning and was not disappointed!
:claphappy: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 26 Jan 2015, 13:13

Spitfire666 wrote:
When I was a kid in the East End, "fur coat and no knickers" meant a woman who fancied herself and was such a manhunter she left off knickers to save time :lol:



That's interesting, S666. I can see how the phrase could be used to convey that meaning, but it's not the one I'm familiar with. Fascinating how phrases are used to suggest different things in different parts of the country.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Fairblue » 26 Jan 2015, 13:26

My mother used the phrase about a lady who lived in our street. She used to say "She's all fur and no knickers. No better than she ought to be." :?
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Kismet » 26 Jan 2015, 13:43

Fairblue wrote:My mother used the phrase about a lady who lived in our street. She used to say "She's all fur and no knickers. No better than she ought to be." :?



Oh FB! My Grandmother always used to add 'No better than she ought to be' too! She had a special look of disapproval that went with the phrase.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Tracer » 26 Jan 2015, 14:42

What my friend's Mum used to call 'cat's bum mouth' :lol:
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
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Re: Biggles Meets the Neighbours by Kismet

Postby Fairblue » 26 Jan 2015, 17:30

Tracer wrote:What my friend's Mum used to call 'cat's bum mouth' :lol:

Exactly!
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
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