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Thursday 24 October 2019

The Undertaking

     “Here Fred” Mrs. Blakely said looking out of the front window
    “What’s up, I’m finishing my breakfast, I’ll be late for work.”
    “I didn’t know that Mr. Harris had gone and died.”
    “What are you talking about, I saw him only last night.”
    “Yes I know, but there’s a hearse parked outside his house, there’s two undertakers sat inside it.”
    “Well there would be if it’s a hearse.”
    Mrs. Blakely being something of a curious nature kept watching through the net curtains.
    “This is the house then” said the first Undertaker.
    “This is the address written on this piece of paper, 21 Crawford Avenue” the second undertaker replied “You have the key?”
    “In my overcoat pocket”
    Both opened their doors and stepping out of the hearse put their Top Hats on. The one went to the front door, and taking a key out of his overcoat pocket put the key in the lock of the front door. The other undertaker went round to the back of the hearse and opened the rear door and pulled the oak coffin out. The first undertaker having opened the front door returned to the hearse and helped his colleague carry the coffin across the pavement and into the house, as observed by Mrs. Blakely from over the road.
    Once inside the house the undertakers closed the front door. Mr. Harris was in the kitchen, the door closed, busy making his breakfast, bacon, two eggs, baked beans and fried bread. On the opposite side of the door one undertaker quietly removed the lid of the coffin which had been laid on the floor in the hallway, whilst the other produced a curious looking gun from his overcoat pocket. The kitchen door was fortunate enough to have a keyhole, against which the undertaker placed the curious gun and pressed the trigger. This released a cloud of nerve gas into the room on the other side of the door. In the kitchen the man paused in making his breakfast. Suddenly the room began to spin, dropping the spatula he put a hand to the worktop to steady himself just before he passed out falling backwards to the floor.
    The two undertakers gave it a few moments for the nerve gas to dissipate before they entered the room. One checked the man lying unconscious on the kitchen floor, the other turned the oven off and helped himself to the bacon, eggs, and fried bread in the frying pan.
   “Coffee on the table, you know what Number 2 always says, waste not want not.”
    Breakfast over, the undertakers carried the body into the hallway and placed it in the coffin, replacing the lid they carried it out into the street and put in into the back of the hearse. While one undertaker locked the back of the hearse, the other returned to the front door and closed it, remembering to lock it.
    “They’ve just brought the coffin out of the house.”
    “Who have?”
    “The two undertakers” said Mrs. Blakely who had been watching the street through the net curtains all the time “funny how they let themselves in though.”
    “I expect they had a key” said her husband “blimey, look at the time, I’m going to be late!”
    “Whoever heard of the undertakers having a key to someone’s house?”
    “I’ll see you tonight” he said kissing his wife on the cheek.
    “It just didn’t look right that’s all.”
    “She’s still there” said the first undertaker.
    “I know, a right curtain twitcher!” said the second trying not to look across the road.
   Mr Blakely passed by on the opposite side if the road, and removed his hat.
    “What do we do about it?”
    “Nothing, we’ve got to get this chap to the coast by late afternoon. Just get in and drive away nonchalantly.”
    “Mrs. Blakely watched the two undertakers get into the hearse, and the hearse pull away from the kerb and drive away, unbeknown what she had been witness to.
    It was two days later when two men from Special Branch called and stood questioning Mrs. Blakely on the doorstep. They told her that the man at number 21 had failed to turn up for work for two days running, and asked if she had seen Mister Harris recently?
    “I think it must have been the two undertakers” she said.
    “Undertakers madam?” said the detective inspector.
    “Two days ago, in the morning, two undertakers went to number 21. I thought it funny at the time, because my husband, mister Blakely had only seen him the night before, as large as life he was. Anyway I thought it funny at the time when they let themselves in.”
    “They had a key to number 21?” asked the sergeant.
    “Must have done, no-one let them in, yes they definitely let themselves in.”
   “Can we come in Mrs…..?”
   “Blakely, Mrs Blakely, perhaps you and your sergeant would like some tea, I’ll put the kettle on.”

    “Well you two made a fine mess of that”
    “I’m sorry Number 2” 256 said.
    “And so you should be. A right pair of undertakers you are!”
    “We couldn’t help it if that nosy old woman couldn’t keep her nose out!”
    “As undertakers you are supposed to operate without being noticed. No-one should look twice at two undertakers going about their lawful occasions.”
    “Not that they were very lawful!”
    “The woman wasn’t to know that was she. You must have drawn attention to yourselves in some way.”
    “We didn’t, we went about our business with the greatest care and decorum.
    “This is your next assignment, you’ll find the man we want at this address” No.2 said handing the 1st Top Hat official a slip of paper “and whatever you do, don’t draw attention to yourselves!”
   A green yellow nosed Lotus 7 pulls up outside No.1 Buckingham Place, a black hearse turns into the road, the driver of the Lotus 7 gets out and goes into the house. The hearse stops behind the Lotus, and the two undertakers get out, one goes to the rear of the hearse, the other goes to the front door and let’s himself in with a key. Then the two undertakers carry a coffin into the house. At the door to the study one undertaker takes a curious gun from his pocket and putting it to the keyhole pulls the trigger injecting nerve gas into the study. The man had collected his passport and airline ticket from his desk, two suitcases, and the travel brochures. He suddenly felt strange, he pulled on the cord of the blinds which fell down blocking out the window, as the man fell back onto a couch unconscious! The two undertakers waited for the nerve agent to disperse before going into the study, the body placed in the coffin was carried out of the house and put into the back of the hearse. The two undertakers got back into the hearse and drove off, and without drawing attention to themselves, no fuss, no bother…….but what about the Lotus?

Be seeing you

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