An Early Childhood Chapter 11 Part 7

Continued from Chapter 11 Part 6.


            “Melanie!” I heard Colonel Tiptoft’s voice from the hall, and I leapt up, grabbed what clothes I had discarded and left the living room, creeping quickly up the stairs and diving into what had earlier that day been Constable Combover’s bedroom, where those two bodies had been hanging, but it had now been converted into Colonel Sir Edward “Goldenballs” Tiptoft’s study. I crept into the wardrobe therein and listened carefully to the voices in the room next door. Tiptoft was in conversation with his daughter. He then came into the study, where I was hiding. I could see him through a crack in the wardrobe doors. Tiptoft struck a match, lighting both a lamp and his pipe.

            Something came crashing through the window with a smash, scaring both myself and Tiptoft out of our wits. I let a muffled roar out of me with the fright, but it went unnoticed, thanks be to God, because Tiptoft also got a shock and let a roar out of himself which covered up my roar up nicely. It was a man who had smashed through the window, a fully grown and mature man! The man stepped out of the shadows and into the light.

            “Shadraff!” Tiptoft said, “What the hell are you doing here? You’ll have us both killed, you facking idiot! We’ll be hanged or shot or somefing!” Tiptoft stepped forward to greet his accomplice.

            Mícheál Ó Seadhaghadh had been a wanted criminal in Ireland for twenty years, gone uncaught and getting away with murther and graverobbing and all sorts for the last two decades! His crimes included murder, grave-robbing, murder, necrophilia, rape, murder, robbery, murder and peeing in the chalice in the local church and murder.

            He was so evil, indeed, that he had his name anglicised to give it a more forbidding edge. He had even been responsible for the crucerfixion of my brother Lefty!

            So Michael Shadraff stood before Tiptoft while I hid in the wardrobe. I wondered how these two men could possibly know each other.

            “I’ve come for my share of the money, Tiptoft,” the gruff, scruffy fugitive explained, “You never gave it to me after we mugged and murdered that monk. I believe you owe me thirty pieces of silver.”
            A felicitous payment, I thought to myself from my hiding place, a felicitous payment for a man who had turned his back on his nation’s struggle for independence.
            “Yes, yes,” Tiptoft bustled over to a drawer in his desk, opened it and pulled out a purse. “They never did find Brother Christian Fucker’s body, did they?”
            He threw the money into Shadraff’s greedy hands and the criminal caught it deftly.
            “How’s your daughter?” Shadraff asked, and he laughed a spine-chilling bloody laugh that shook the insides of me own bloody bowels.
            “My daughter’s well-being is none of your concern,” Tiptoft said, protectively.
            “It is if I make it,” Shadraff said, leeringly. "And you owe me even more money - or would you prefer an equity swap of a different kind?"
            Tiptoft looked at Shadraff, whose eyes had become slits.
            "You'll get paid when I get paid," Tiptoft protested, his anger seething. "Unless you want to foreclose on our agreement?"
            "A chapter eleven foreclosure?" Shadraff asked.
            "What is that, exactly?" Tiptoft spat.
            Shadraff chuckled again eagerly, a sparkle of evil in his eyes.
            "It's meta and postmodern!" he cackled.
            Tiptoft shook his head in despair.  
            “I don't know how you can live with yourself. Now,” the Colonel continued, “Get out of here before we’re seen together. If we are, I’m a dead man.”
            “Yeah, well, there’s a pair of us in it,” Shadraff clambered out the window and disappeared, like a black cat into the night.
            Melanie came into the study, obviously fearful that Tiptoft had caught me.
            “Were you speaking with somebody, father?” she asked Tiptoft.
            “No, Button,” came the reply, “There isn’t a soul here apart from myself.”
            “Come downstairs and I’ll make you a nice sandwich,” she sez, and the pair of them scooted off downstairs and I made good my escape through the self same smashed window from which Shadraff had made his hasty exit.
            It was now night time, of course, and when my feet hit the street I pulled up my collar as the bitter-cold air was setting in on me.
            “Cold, isn’t it?”
            I spun around to see Fletch, Constable Combover’s brother-in-law whom I had been consoling in O’Halloran’s Brotherly Manor bar earlier that day.
            “What are you doing here at this time of night?” I demanded to know angrily, “Didn’t you know there’s a curfew?”
            Fletch smiled. He saw that my anger was more out of the fright he’d given me than his own breach of the national curfew.
            “I couldn’t sleep,” he replied, “I was out for a walk when I spotted you here.”
            I started moving away.
            “There’s a whole bunch of men in a ditch over there if you want to join us.”
            “A whole bunch? Lucky boy! Did you discover anything interesting about the murders?” Fletch asked.
            I stopped in my tracks and I turned to face him.
            “Colonel Sir Edward Tiptoft is colluding with Michael Shadraff.”
            “Michael Shadraff the notorious Irish criminal?” Fletch said, “Why would they be involved with each other?”
            “I don’t know,” I sez out of me. “But I fully intend to find out.”
  And with that confusing wonderment, Chapter 11 foreclosure did indeed take place. 

Chapter 12 will start here.