Saturday 31 October 2020


 Throughout the early hours the phone lines around Limehouse were alive as information trickled in and plans were changed.  Watchers were in place at all ports and airfields in the vicinity tasked with spotting and stopping the Colonel and his party.

        Wun Lo found himself a good observation spot in a small storage shed at the small airfield at Heston, just a few miles from London. He had made contact with two Tong members employed as cargo handlers and the three watched for signs of Colonel Coleman, his servant, a girl of about 25, and possibly four others.

As the first streaks of Dawn lit the airfield he raised his binoculars and scanned the buildings opposite.
Two men could be seen in conversation by one of the hangers and some early passengers could be made out waiting in small groups.
But nothing to raise his suspicions.

A small group appeared between two of the buildings, he studied them carefully.

Two men came into view further along. Possibles.
They would bear watching.

As the light strengthened, more people could be seen moving about and gathering in small groups, so far nothing to raise his suspicions.

The aircraft by the nearest hangar was obviously being prepared for departure, final pre-flight checks were being carried out.

Wun-Lo scanned the passengers, Was that young lady in red the missing Clara Loft?

Then from around the corner he spotted them, an obviously military man, his butler and a young girl.

Quickly he signalled Chang and instructed him to stop the party. Warning him to take no actions that would alert the Authorities. He would telephone Si-Lo and alert him to the facts.

Chang set off to sabotage the flight, approaching the ground crew carrying out the final visual inspection.

The pilot was still deep in conversation with a gentleman by the hangar doors, hopefully he would remain distracted whilst Chang did his work.

Meanwhile the Colonel and his party were making their way to the aircraft. Other travellers stood chatting

As the Colonel and his party approached the hangar no one was paying attention to Chang and he quickly got closer to the aircraft.

His hand went into the cover of the Starboard  engine and emerged a few moments later covered in oil.

               On the other side of the airfield Wun-Lo had finished his phone call, and was waiting for the reinforcements promised by Si-Lo.

Information ha d reached Si-Lo earlier as to the identity of  'Cuddles'
Apparently a war hero of some note, Captain Cuddlesworth and his two wingmen, Berty and Auburn ran a small operation from Heston airfield.   Steps were taken to abduct the flyer and discover what was known.   All available Tong members were occupied and he was forced to call on Maleficient and his group of thugs.  He did dislike them, no sense of social mores and subtlety was beyond their comprehension, but needs must.

The group was even now parked on the airfield perimeter road, finalising their plans.

The band of heroes had all arrived at the aircraft and were busy climbing into their seats.

Lord Fisher had briefed Cuddles on what he had learned and would remain behind to learn more.

Chang moved around behind the aircraft, his work not yet finished.
Picking up a spanner from the floor he approached the tailplane.

                                  The engines started, 'Cuddles scanned the instruments. Oil pressure a little high, not seriously so but he would keep a careful eye on it.
Releasing the brakes, he moved forward.

And stopped, Ailerons were very stiff, he climbed out to check.

Behind the hanger the Malificent seven were approaching.

`````whilst Cuddles and the ground crew looked over the aircraft, the thugs were creeping closer.

Cuddles and Lord Fisher spotted the problem and removed the rogue spanner, freeing the controls.

The thugs were creeping ever closer, they could hear the engine ticking over, a quick rush and they could seize the pilot.

As they rushed forward, the engine note deepened as the aircraft began to move off down the taxiway.

Just a few seconds too late they could only watch as the aircraft began its takeoff.

Spotting Wun and Chang they moved forward to confer.

Learning that Lord Fisher was still there, it was decided to capture him instead.
Under interrogation he would be certain to tell all.

His Lordship stood writing in his notebook.
1. Check newspaper archives for any references or information on the six rulers.
2. Contact 'The Leprechaun' in Dublin, if anyone knew more it would be him.
Most people had at least heard of Raffles, the gentleman thief, but few even suspected the existence of an Irish master of the art.

He had no chance to continue, an Oriental approached. His hand in his pocket  obviously holding a revolver

His fist shot out and his would be assailant fell to the ground,   hearing footsteps behind, his lordship spun round,  another Oriental.
A nearby group of vicars could only watch as the two rapidly overpowered the one.

And bundled him away to a waiting van.

They were still standing in shock and amazement when a young voice spoke.

' Excuse me Reverends, could you please tell me precisely what just happened here'

There will be more, 
What, has yet to be determined. The story has taken control.

Will Changs sabotage mean the end for our heroes?
Will Lord Fisher escape?
What is that young man up to?.
Who was that Masked Man?

Does anybody care?

Monday 26 October 2020

The Rule of Six

Continued from previous post.

         Our heroes had barely reached the wharf before Chao Li, the young boy, had wriggled free from his bonds and was untying his grandfather the watchman.
 A phone call was made to Slo-Li, owner of the Oriental Trading company,informing him of what had happened. 

     Slo-Li made a series of calls to members of the Nineteen Dragons, Ying,and Blue Dragon Tongs. A watch was to be kept on all harbours and airports in the area for the prisoner and her rescuers. 
Meanwhile investigations were set in motion to discover the identities of The Colonel,His Lordship and 'Cuddles'.
     He hesitated briefly before making the call to his superior. 
Dr Wu would not be pleased. 

 By mutual consent little was said by our heroes on their brief trip upriver. The Colonel was not the only one with suspicions of the youth and his companions. The young boy and the captain had slightly more to say,but the Sterling Brothers remained virtually silent. 

 When they reached the Colonels' club and they were settled with drinks,it was a different matter. 

    Captain Cuddlesworth left first saying that he had to fly first thing in the morning with a shipment to one of the Greek islands. If they decided to travel to Cairo he would happily fly them.

    Clara was the next to head for her bed, she had little information to add to the general knowledge. Mention of El Masoudhi and 'The Scrolls of Sven' being about all she had overheard. 

      The rest of the party remained long into the night going over their options.
 Lord Fisher was able to fill them in on the background to the Oriental Trading Company and the rumours of a modern incarnation of old Chinese cult of The Six Rulers, believed to be an association of six powerful men around the world who sought to control the world. 

 It was agreed that a party would fly out to Cairo to follow what little clues they had, whilst Lord Fisher remained in London to find out more. 

 To be continued.......

Thursday 15 October 2020

The Witching Hour

 Midnight of the 21st. Wharf Street. Limehouse.

StJohn C Fisher stood in a dark corner watching The Oriental Trading Warehouse.
All was quiet. The footsteps of a patrolling policemen echoed in the silence.

Hearing them Fisher stepped deeper into the shadows, and a young lady, obviously waiting for a friend, gave up and turned for home.

As the last strokes of Midnight from St Geralds sounded a voice at his shoulder made him start and reach for his revolver.
"Good Evening your Lordship" said Greaves "Anything happened?"
"A lorry left, just as I arrived about eight o clock since then all has been far too quiet"
"OK your Lordship, The Colonel is at his club, meeting up with some people, if you would please phone him from the box by the docks, then wait and lead him here, I will take a quiet look around"

Whilst Lord Fisher did as requested, Greaves crossed the road and examined the gates.
The main double gates were secured by a hefty padlock but the Judas gate was a different matter, and a few seconds later the lock clicked open. Greaves paused for a second listening for any sign of alarm from within, before gently easing the gate open and peering in.

                The central courtyard was empty and well lit by the moonlight, to left and right were covered bays filled with stacks of crates, most tarpaulin covered. Ahead lay a loading bay with the body of the warehouse beyond, to the left of this shone a single light, obviously the watchman, a matching room to the right lay in darkness.

Somewhere in darkness the Professor Loft woke from his drugged sleep and gazed around him.
He appeared to be in a room about six foot square, but with no obvious door.
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Skirting to the left, Greaves briefly examined the crate piles, covered with dust and cobwebs they had obviously not been touched recently. He climbed quietly onto the loading bay and sensing movement from the watchman crept towards the darkened store room.

From outside came the measured tread of the local bobby, checking doors as he came closer.

The Colonel and his party managed to avoid his eye and approached the warehouse.

Professor Loft meanwhile was examining his cell. I appeared to be the inside of a packing crate.

Inside, Greaves was looking carefully for any clues, he was playing cat and mouse with the watchman, who was obviously suspicious of something.

The Colonels party arrived at the warehouse gate and gave the arranged signal.

The constable, suspicious of the sound of an owl hooting, moved towards the sound, when from the distance came another sound.
A police whistle, someone was in trouble and he set off at a run.

The intruders, hearing the sounds huddled anxiously by the gates.

Relieved that the footsteps were receding, the intruders entered the yard.

The policeman, racing past was briefly aware of a Police box standing on the corner.
"Don,t remember seeing that before." he thought 

Inside the warehouse, the watchman  aware that something was awry moved to check upstairs.

Greaves seized his chance and attacked the watchman from behind, the old man went down, and was quickly tied.

Leaving the watchman relatively comfortable in his office Greaves noticed a Bill of Lading on the desk.
Bearing todays date, it was for two large crates to be sent to Dr El Mahmoudhi at Shepherds Hotel, Cairo.        It seemed significant.

Unbeknown to anyone Clara had managed to remove her gag and was trying to untie her hands.
She made no noise. in case someone was around.

The rest of the party were searching the warehouse without success.
Nothing was found downstairs , so half crept upstairs to check the offices and storerooms on the mezzanine.

First room; nothing,

 second the same.

Third empty.

The Colonel checked the fourth, 

it was fortunate that it was him, anyone Clara had not recognised would have received an unpleasant reception. She had untied her legs and raised the chair high above her head waiting for whoever was approaching to open the door.

There was no sign of the Professor, so time to leave.

As they were approaching the gate  a small shape darted from the shadows, racing to escape.
Roger Cuddlesworth was the nearest and quickly caught the young boy, who was tied and left with his grandfather the watchman.

        "Well done Cuddles" bellowed the Colonel, forgetting the need for quiet. Fortunately there was no one near to hear.

They left quietly and returned to the dockside to head back to The Club.

The sound of a lorry, approaching sent them into the shadows. It parked and the sound of bottles clinking as a barge was being unloaded came to their ears.

The smugglers were bad news and the party turned away.

A voice from the darkness stopped them in their tracks.

Help was at hand.

The Colonel was suspicious.

Why did this youth and his companions keep appearing he wondered ?

[Note: Two extra Pics added, some whitespace removed - tidders 17/10]