The Great Pitstop Pandemonium - Part 2
“Cavey!! What are you doing here?”
Dee Dee embraced the small, hirsute man who was standing in the tent, holding a large wooden club in his hands.
“Oogga Booga Cavey need find Dee Dee,” he eventually said as he was let free. “Oogga Booga girls had to be saved from boom.”
“What, someone attacked the girls,” Dee Dee said as she looked at him. “What happened - are they all right?”
“Oogga Booga they fine - ate bomb. Taste like spicy chicken - have same effect too.”
Dee Dee had to suppress a laugh as she stroked his head. “Thanks Cavey - I always know we can depend on you.” He blushed before saying “oogga booga - Dee Dee in danger too. Taffy say bad man coming for her.”
His words made Dee Dee frown. “Bad men - what...” Her words were interrupted by the sound of shouting outside, and as she looked out of the tent she saw the smoke bomb exploding, the black plumes enveloping the car.
“Come on, Cavey,” she shouted as she ran out. The small man smiled as he called out “Captain... CAAAVVVEEEMMANNNNN!!” and flew into the air, his club in front of him as he tore through the roof of the tent and took to the sky.
As Dee Dee ran towards the car, the smoke was beginning to clear, and she le tout a sigh of relief as she saw Penny standing there, waving her arms in front of her eyes.
“What the heck was that,” she said to Dee Dee as she came over and held Penny in her arms. “Are you all right?” she said as she looked into her boss’ face.
“I’m fine,” Penny coughed, “but where’s Velma? She was right here with me!”
Velma was struggling in the grip of the two massively built men as she was carried across the lawn of Pitstop Place, out of sight of everyone else. She had been pulled out of the smoke, and thick white rope wrapped round her body, almost mummifying her as it pulled her red velvet outfit against her body. A thick white scarf had been pulled into her mouth, forcing her lips apart as she bit down on it with her teeth.
“Whrrrutkngmm,” she called out to the two men. They were wearing mustard coloured roll necked sweaters with tweed jackets over them, dark trousers and cloth caps, and looked as if they could be identical twins. Velma was sure she had seen someone like them before, but for the life of her she could not figure out where. Not that it was important right then - she was been kidnapped, and these two goons were not talking to her, or offering any explanations.
As she tried to look ahead, she saw that she was been carried towards an old wooden building down by the river. She recognised it from some of the pictures in the house as an old sawmill - a little incongruous in the area, but it was apparently built as a reminder of the early days of the Pitstop fortune.
The two men ran towards the building, the man in front pushing the door to the building open as they said “We got her boss.” They stood Velma up as she stared at the man standing before her, dressed in a double breasted suit with a large fedora over his head and a purple eye mask.
“Welcome, Miss... You idiots, you grabbed the wrong girl!”
“Mmgnggggg - whhtthppndnddd?”
Daphne slowly opened her eyes and raised her head, the room moving in psychedelic swirls as she tried to focus. Her head was thumping, and her mouth felt as if it had spent a week licking the side of the La Brea Tar Pits. As she tried to move her tongue, she slowly realised that it was been held down on the floor of her mouth, something pressing it down as she felt an all too familiar pulling on the skin of her face.
She stared at what she thought was the wall, willing her eyes to focus on it as the patterns slowly settled into a particularly garish red paper. Looking down, she saw the rough brown rope over her white sleeves, holding her arms firmly down to the wooden armrests of the chair she was sitting in.
“Great,” she thought to herself as she tried to flex her arms, “Danger Prone Daphne strikes again! Wonder who is responsible this time?” She looked down as she tried to extend her feet, only to realise that whoever had captured her had securely fixed them to the crossbeam of her chair.
“Grrtt....” she grumbled as she looked round the room. She was sat in the centre, and by the looks of things there was no other furniture. She also thought she was in the Manor, given the fact she could hear the sounds of people talking outside, but it was not a room she recognised. That did not bother her so much - it was a big house, after all - but the way she was bound suggested someone had planned this for some time.
Daphne heard a door opening behind her, and she tried to turn her head, screaming “HLPMMMMMM” as loudly as she could. There was no response, but she could hear heavy footsteps getting closer, and she started to wonder just who it was.
The thick scarf been tied over her eyes was a complete surprise, as was the yank on her skin as whatever was covering her mouth was pulled off and the stuffing removed from her mouth. A strange metallic voice said “Drink” as she felt a straw been placed against her lips, and As Daphne sucked she was relieved to feel cold, clean water going into her mouth.
“Thank you,” she said as the straw was eventually taken away, “who are you and why have you tied me up like this?”
Daphne felt a gloved hand stroking her cheek as the voice answered “You are very precious to me, Miss Blake, and a vital part of my plans. I regret the inconvenience, but I must ask you to remain where you are for a short while. Once I have completed my plans, you will be free to go. The blindfold is to ensure you cannot see me or recognise me.”
“Which explains the modified voice,” Daphne said out loud, before realising that some of Velma must be rubbing off on her. “So what is this? Kidnapping? Robbery? Old Man Johnson break loose again?”
“Very funny, Miss Blake,” the voice replied, “but I regret I need to make sure you cannot raise the alarm for a while. I will return shortly.”
“Hey hang on you cnammmggmfmdmdg,” Daphne called out a she felt a thick cloth been pulled into her mouth, and secured around her mouth. She listened to the sound of the footsteps retreating, before starting to thrash her head around.
“Did you hear anybody, Penny?”
Penny looked at Dee Dee and slowly shook her head. “No - nobody. The smoke was too thick, and when it cleared the first thing I saw was you - and what in heaven’s name is that?”
She looked into the sky to see a small, hairy figure plummet downwards, hitting the ground in front of her with tremendous force. “Oh, Cavey!” Dee Dee said as she stepped forward and helped the figure to stand up.
“Oogga Booga power failure,” he grunted as he looked up at the pink clad woman in front of you. “Hello pretty lady - me Captain Caveman.”
“He’s funny,” Penny said as he lifted the club in his hand up, the top opening to allow a little bird to jump out with a bouquet of flowers. “Oogga booga for you,” he said with a small smile.
“Cavey, we need your help,” Dee Dee said. “A friend of ours has gone missing - she’s about five foot eight, red hair, and wearing an old red velvet dress. Can you take to the sky and see if you can find her?”
“Oogga Booga sure thing,” he grunted. “You’d better step back,” Dee Dee said as she took Penny’s arm, while the man called out “Captain... CCAAAAVVEEMMAAANNNNN” and swung his club into the air, his body following soon after.
“I’ve heard you talk about him, but to see him face to face...”
“Once seen never forgotten,” Dee Dee said as she saw Peter come out of the house. “Hey - what’s going on out here?”
“Oh, smoke bombs, disappearing friends, just the usual stuff - why, what’s happened to you?”
“Well, I seem to have misplaced Daphne - she’s not the one who is missing is she?”
Penny and Dee Dee stared at Peter, as he looked at them and said “What?”
“Thdddcceeee?” Velma’s eyes widened as she saw the bespectacled man in front of her.
“I see my reputation precedes me,” he laughed as the two brutes held Velma in front of him. “You are obviously not the delightful Miss Pitstop, but I see no need to waste the most brilliant trap I had prepared for her. Tie her to the log, boys!”
“Nnnnnnnnn,” Velma screamed as the two men picked her up as if she was a duster, and laid her on a large wooden log that sat on the conveyor belt. As more rope was used to tie her firmly onto the rough wood, she turned her head and looked at the master criminal as he rubbed his hands and cackled.
“I regret this, I truly do, but you cannot be allowed to let the delightful Miss Pitstop know that I am here yet. Observe, if you will, the large grain of sack that is suspended from the ceiling. As you will see, it is hanging above a large bowl, which is standing next to the conveyor belt.
“In a moment, I will make a hole in the bottom of the sack, which will cause the grain to fall. That will attract the attention of the twenty starving gerbils which you see in the cage next to you. When they see the grain, they will run through the open door of the cage and unto the treadmill, in a mad attempt to get to the food, although the leashes will prevent that.
“Their running will provide the power to run this dynamo, which will in turn apply pressure to the switch on the wall by means of the ingenious lever arrangement. When that switch is pressed, it will start both the blade to spin and the conveyor belt you are on to move, sending you to an appointment with the mother of all splitting headaches. MMWMWWWWAAHAHAAAAAAA!”
As he was giving this explanation, Velma was following his line of sight, and had come to an eminently sensible conclusion which she wished to share with him.
“So kind of you to say so, my dear,” the masked man said as he plunged a knife into the sack, and a slow trickle of grain began to fall into the bowl. “Enjoy the sight of your life ticking away,” he said with a bow. “Come on boys - we need to prepare a new trap and find the real Miss Pitstop.”
The three men left the building, as Velma watched the ravenous rodents start to run towards the falling grain, and the conveyor belt start to turn...
As Daphne struggle din the chair, she stifled a gasp of excitement as she felt her wrists slipping under the rope on her left arm. She calmed herself down, and started to rub her arm to and fro, loosening with each pass the ropes that held her arm firmly in place. How long she did this for she was not sure, but eventually she managed to get her arm loose and shook it to her side, before she pulled the scarf off her eyes and blinked at the person she saw before her.
Velma struggled against the ropes holding her down to the log as the conveyor belt slowly started to move her towards the blade, the metal starting to spin as it slowly picked up speed. She looked frantically to one side, watching the gerbils running towards the grain, and then raised her eyes to the heavens.
“If there’s a god up there,” she thought to herself, “then do something about this - please!”
As she looked down to the spinning metal, she became dimly aware of a rushing sound in the air, and what sounded like a hoarse, deep voice calling “cffffmnnnnn.” Looking to the far side of the building, Velma heard the sound getting louder, and then instinctively closed her eyes as the wall disintegrated into a mass of wooden splinters and dust.
“Oogga booga - you friend of Dee Dee?”
She opened her eyes to see - well, a walking hairball holding a club that was looking at her with big blue eyes. “Ysssss - gtmmttghr” Velma called out as the log started to approach the spinning blade.
“Oogga Booga - okeydokey,” he said a she picked up Velma and the log and pointed his club into the sky, calling out his name as they shot through the ceiling. “Wsshshttttt!!!!” Velma called out as she saw the old sawmill collapse under her, and then felt the wind rushing into her face as she was gently lowered to the ground.
Reaching up to her mouth and pulling the cloth away from her mouth, Daphne stared at the man standing before her. Well, she assumed he was a man, but he seemed to suffering from some form of dwarfism as he said “You all right, toots?”
He spoke with a thick Brooklyn accent, and was wearing a smart pinstripe suit over a crisp white shirt, a gold tiepin keeping the silk length securely in place.
“I... I’m fine,” Daphne finally said, “but I would appreciate some help in getting out of this.”
“No problem,” he said as he walked forward and opened a flick knife. Daphne gasped for a moment, before she watched him cutting away the rest of the ropes holding her in place.
“The name’s Clyde,” he finally said as Daphne stood up. “My family and Penelope’s go back a long, long way. I was employed by her to take some photographs of the event when I saw you had disappeared, so I came looking for you.”
“Clyde... You’re not a descendant of one of the Anthill Mob, are you?”
“My great great uncle, since you ask so nicely. Anyway, what’s a nice girl like you doing trussed up in a chair like that?”
“Long story - we need to find Penny, and fast!”
“What do you mean, they’ve gone missing?”
“I mean they’ve gone missing - both Velma and Daphne. Where did you last see her?”
Dee Dee was looking at Peter when she heard a rough cough behind her. “Me find friend,” she heard Captain Caveman say, and as she turned round she saw Velma standing there, brushing the splinters from her hair as the strands of rope fell off her body.
“Velma,” Penny said as she hugged her friend, “What happened to you?”
“Not what - who. You’re not going to believe this, but I was snatched by the Hooded Claw.”
The three of them looked at her, before Peter started to snigger. “The... The Hooded Claw? But he’s dead, dead for decades, and we don’t have anything to do with the Sneakly family now. I mean, you’ll be telling me next that he used the old sawmill as a death trap.”
“Actually,” Velma said as she stared at Peter, “he did - and it’s not there anymore.” Captain Caveman looked sheepish as he whispered “Sorry...”
“I’m sorry,” Peter said “but I refuse to believe it. What could he possibly be after?”
“The Star of Alamein.”
Now it was Velma’s turn to stare at Dee Dee. “I’ve heard of that - but I thought it had been stolen in Marrakesh a couple of months ago.”
“It was - someone very skilled was hired to retrieve it and send it down a well established chain to a safe place. That jewel has a lot of history behind it, and the owner wanted to make sure it was where it could never be traced before she was able to retrieve it. I was the last person in the chain, and it’s secured somewhere around here.”
“The real owner - who’s that?”
“That would be me.”
The quartet turned to see a slim, olive skinned girl standing there, dressed in a light pink crop top, silk bolero jacket and matching pants, her long black hair hanging down her back in a pigtail. Behind her stood a man mountain, his arms folded as he watched over her with an almost paternal eye.
“I am Nida Bin Turhan,” the girl said, “and this is my bodyguard, Hassan. Do I have the honour of addressing Miss Penelope Pitstop and Miss Dee Dee Sykes?”
“I don’t suppose by any chance you saw who took me?”
Daphne and Clyde were heading towards the front of the house as she spoke, looking from side to side the whole time.
“’fraid not, Daphne. All I saw was this cloaked guy walking out of the room, and then when I came in there you were, freeing your wrist. I waited until you had finished, and would have said something but you took that blindfold off.”
“Is that the camera you’ve been using,” Daphne said as she looked at the digital device hanging round Clyde’s neck. He nodded before saying “Want to have a look at the photos?” He handed the camera to her and watched as she quickly flicked through the shots, stopping and staring at one in particular.
“I think so - but we need to find the others.” As the pair walked out of the front door, they saw Penny, Velma and Dee Dee talking with three strangers to Daphne.
“Daphne,” Penny said as she ran over and hugged her friend, “What happened to you?”
“Long story - what happened to you, Velma?”
“Small case of a Hooded Claw - you?”
“Crazed kidnapper, I think. Want to introduce me to your friends?”
“In a minute - Clyde, when did you get here?”
“Been here all morning, Penelope,” the smaller man said. “Looks like I missed some fun. Who’s the tall broad - she saw me earlier.”
“Oh, Dee Dee, this is Clyde Wheelwright, an old family friend. Clyde, this is Dee Dee Sykes - security. You’ve met Daphne - this is Velma Dinkley, her friend, Captain Caveman and Miss Nida bin Turhan and - friend.”
Daphne looked at the small woman, who was staring at her brooch.
“The Star of Alamein - it arrived safely?”
“It did,” Dee Dee said, “but someone has been following the trail to here - someone who has decided to impersonate an old friend of Penelope’s.”
“Friend is putting it too politely,” Penny said. “Whoever it is is trying to scare me by pretending to be the family fiend. But I swear, we have nothing to do with the Sneakly family.”
Looking round, Daphne said “Hey - is Peter here?”
“He was a moment ago,” Dee Dee said as she too looked round, “but I guess he’s gone off somewhere. Why?”
“Oh, no reason - look, something bad is going down here, and we want to help. Penny, you and Nida go inside and stay there until we get a chance to find out what’s going on. Velma, you and I are going to go and have a look at the place you were held hostage - see if there are any clues there. Clyde, you and the others stay here and keep an eye on things.”
“Sure thing toots - but who’s going to keep an eye on you?”
“We’ll manage for now,” Daphne said as she removed her brooch and handed it to Dee Dee. “You’d better keep that safe here,” she said as she and Velma headed off through the people to the lake.
“We’d better go inside,” Penny said as she headed for the doorway, followed by Dee Dee, Nida and her man, as Clyde and Captain Caveman looked at each other.
“What are you looking at,” Clyde said with a snarl.
“Oogga Booga little man good friend?”
“To Penny - always. Why?”
“Oogga Booga me to Dee Dee - we help each other?” He extended a bare arm from the hair over his body and waited as Clyde shook his hand.
“All right - what do you think we should do?”
Captain Caveman waved at him as he walked towards the stalls. “Oogga Booga mingle and see what we find,” he said quietly as they walked into the crowds.
“He really did a number on this, didn’t he,” Daphne said as she and Velma look at the smoking ruins of what had been the sawmill.
“I get the feeling he’s like a force of nature - you let him loose and get out of the way,” Velma said as she picked over a broken plank. “Hang on a minute - Daphne, have a look at this.”
Daphne lowered herself down, her skirt flowing out under eh as she looked at the trail of breadcrumbs. “I don’t get it,” she finally said, “what has this to do with your snatching?”
“Only this,” Velma said with a smile, “These aren’t breadcrumbs, but gerbil food. Those idiots must have had a leak in the sack.”
“I still don’t get that - a bunch of gerbils to drive a dynamo? It’s like something out of...”
“An old movie serial 0 I know,” Velma said as the friends walked towards a boathouse by the lake. “Well, we always say follow the trail, and here we are, following the trail.”
“Do you think we should call the boys?”
“What, and have them take all the credit? Nah, come on.” Daphne walked quickly towards the boathouse, opening the door and walking in.
“That’s funny,” Velma said as she looked outside, “There’s at least four sets of footprints out here, and one of them is much fresher. Daphs, what can you see in there?”
Velma looked at the open door, and slowly pushed it into the darkened boathouse. “Daphne?” she said again as she walked in, before blackness descended on her as something hit the back of her head.
“This way, your highness,” Dee Dee said as she opened a door to the dining room, standing to one side as Nida and Penny walked in.
“Where Nida goes, I go,” the tall man said as she looked at Dee Dee.
“And where Penny goes, I go,” Dee Dee replied, as she allowed the man to enter first. As she came in, she saw him staring round the empty room, and then looked to the open bay windows. Running to them, she saw both Penny and Nida been carried away by two men - two men dressed in jackets and roll necked sweaters...
As Velma slowly opened her eyes, she realised very quickly that she was not exactly in Kansas anymore. Nor, for that matter, was she in the boathouse as she heard the soft lap of water against wood. She tried moving her arms, only to realise with a growing sense of inevitability that she was unable to move them at all.
“Hgdddd, ntgggn,” she heard herself say, which was a surprise as she had wanted to say “Oh god, not again.” She moved her lips, feeling the cotton that they seemed to be resting on again as well as pressing down on her tongue, and came to the conclusion that she had been gagged with cloth. From the feel of her fingers, she figured that her arms were been held together with some sort of rough hemp.
“Open your eyes, Velma - might as well see what’s going on,” she thought to herself, and with some effort she forced her eyelids apart, to be greeted by the sight of a wide eyed Daphne staring back at her from the other side of the boat they were sitting in.
“Tssnnffrfnmssuvgtmnnttt,” she mumbled through the thick white scarf that had been forced between her teeth, her eyes looking at her friend. Daphne’s arms had been lashed to her side, while her wrists were tied tightly together in front of her. Velma followed the line of the rope as it went to the bottom of the boat, through an iron ring fixed to the bottom and then back up to where it was tied around her own wrists. As her eyes followed the rope, she saw the rope also tied round her ankles, half hidden by the skirt she was wearing.
“Whthppnd,” Velma said as she looked at Daphne. The redhead hunched her shoulders, but as she pulled accidentally on the rope she saw to her horror a small trickle of water appear round the wood that the ring was attached to.
“WHHDDDDDTSDDD -HLLPPPPPP!” both Daphne and Velma screamed as they looked frantically round, the boat bobbing lazily in the centre of the lake with no one in sight, and the water starting to slowly, slowly bubble up as their movements worked the plug looser....
“I am so sorry to keep you hanging around, ladies.”
Penny stared at the man standing in front of her, as she swung slowly from side to side. She was hanging from a hook in the ceiling, the rope that had been used to bind her gloved hands together looped over it and keeping her arms elevated above her head. Next to her was Nida, who was staring at the man with pure hatred.
“You,” she said in a voice that showed why she was a princess, “I should have taken care of you when I had the chance.” Her jacket was lying on the floor behind her, the rope cutting into the bare skin of her arms as she swung round.
“Ah, but then I would never have had the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with the wonderful Pitstop family. We have a lot of history between our families, you and I.”
“I don’t believe it,” Penny finally said, “There really is another Hooded Claw running round?”
“At your service, my dear Miss Pitstop,” the man said as he took off his oversized Fedora and made a deep bow, his short brown hair visible over the purple eye mask. “Finally, I get my revenge as well as the Star of Alamein - a most precious item, your highness, and most foolish of you to send it this way.”
“It had to be kept out of your hands,” Nida said as she spat at the Claw, “and I will ensure you never get your hands on it.” As he replaced his hat, Penny tried to pull her legs up, only to realise the futility of it as her ankles were tightly bound and fastened to an iron ring set into the ground.
The two captives had been brought by the muscle men to a van that had been parked discretely in the grounds around Pitstop Manor, before they had been secured in place. Now Penny and Nida looked at each other, as the man who clearly was the Hooded Claw cackled gleefully.
“If you will observe,” he finally said, “at the other side of the van is a substantial quantity of dynamite, with a fuse running to the centre of the floor of the van. If you now glance up, you will see that large magnifying glass has been fixed to the roof, directly above the end of the fuse. In a few moments, I will pull the roof back from the top of the van, and the afternoon sun will shine down, allowing the glass to concentrate the rays on the fuse and light it. You get the chance to get a suntan and watch your last seconds tick away - unless, of course,” he said as he looked at Nida and Penny, “You tell me where the Star is.”
Penny looked at Nida, and then the two men, then at the Claw, before coming to a similar conclusion to that Velma had reached some hours before. As she was in a position to speak, however, she gave it full voice.
“You’re a loony!”
“I do not understand this word ‘Loony’, but you are most certainly not of sound mind,” Nida said as she stared into his masked eyes.
“Details, details, sticks and stones,” he said as he put on an opera cloak. “If you will not tell me, then I must go and search for myself. Goodbye, ladies - it has been a pleasure. Boys, ensure their last moments are silent, and then pull the roof back.”
“What do yummmfmfmff,” Penny said as one of the man mountains pushed a cloth into her mouth, and then covered it with grey tape, the second one affording the same to Nida. They stared on mutely as they turned a handle, retracting the roof of the van, and then left them there as the sun started to shine down through the space and onto the lens....
“You asked for us, doll?”
Clyde and Captain Caveman walked into the front room, where Dee Dee and Hassan were standing with a worried expression on their faces.
“Boys, Penny and Nida have been snatched,” she said as soon as they arrived, “by two big burly men.”
“Wearing turtle neck sweaters and tweed jackets?”
Dee Dee stared at the diminutive man as he replied. “Yeah, exactly right - do you know them?”
“Know of them - they’re a couple of strong arms for hire, work for the highest wage, that sort of thing. Had a couple of brushes with them a few years back, but I thought they were in the pen.”
“Well, they are not, little man,” Hassan said as he slammed his fist down on the table, “and they have my princess. Hassan does not take kindly to been fooled this way - and he wishes to find them.”
“Oogga Booga you want Cavey to fly over, see if he can see them?”
“If you would, Cavey that would be...” They group looked up as the door opened and two women walked in.
“Taffy! Brenda! Thank god you’re both all right.”
“Thank Cavey Wavey here,” Taffy said as she hugged her old friend. “Listen, did the package arrive safely?”
“It arrived safely - but Daphne is wearing it right now.”
“Daphne? Daphne Blake? Is she here - and more to the point, is that dreamy hunk Fred Jones with her?”
“Calm down Taffy - she and Velma are here on their own, but they seem to have disappeared as well. If I tell you where they went, can you go and see if you can find them? Cavey, you take off and see if you can find Penny and Nida.”
He snapped a salute, waved his club, screamed “Captain...CAAAVEEEEMMAAAANNNNN” and took off, taking the French doors with him as he crashed out of the building.
“He always do that?” Clyde said, watching as all three of the Teen Angels nodded.
“A man of hidden talents,” Hassan said as he smiled and nodded. “What can we do in the meantime?”
“Taffy, Brenda, here’s where you go. You two, come with me - I think we need to find Peter Pitstop and ask him a few questions...”
Velma looked over at Daphne, her toes splashing in the water as it slowly seeped into the boat, and tried to make herself as understood as possible.
“Hwrrwgttngtftsss,” she mumbled as she looked around the lake, the waters calm and peaceful. Daphne shook her head from side to side as she tried to wriggle her hands free, praying that she would somehow manage to free herself without causing the leak to grow in speed. As she did so, she tried to remember what had happened previously.
She had gone into the boat house, while Velma had been looking round the ground outside. It had been dim, but not dark, with the open doors, but even then she had not seen who it was who had grabbed her and pulled the burlap sack over her head before binding her. She had been pushed into a boat, that much she remembered, and then she had heard the thud as someone - Velma, obviously - had been put in with her.
After that it was a blur - she had been secured, and she presumed Velma had a swell, before they had been towed out into the centre of the lake. The sack had been pulled off from behind her, and then the gag applied, but she had seen a glimpse of a tall man with broad shoulders heading off in a small power boat before they had been left alone. Something about the man had seemed familiar, but she could not quite place what it was as...
To her horror, she realised that the water was now flowing faster into the boat, and Velma actually seemed to be trying to pull the cork out.
“Whhtttuurrddnnggg,” she called out as Velma tugged as hard as she could, causing the plug to finally come out of the bottom of the boat and the water to start flowing in....
Dee Dee looked up into the sky as she looked at the tiny speck floating in the air. “Any sign of them yet, Cavey?”
The speck seemed to look down and shake, as it suddenly turned and flew off in a different direction.
“Hey - I heard you were looking for me?”
She turned suddenly as she heard Peter behind her, glancing down at the sawdust on his boots and trying to avoid his smile.
“Where on earth have you been - Penny has been kidnapped with a guest, Daphne and Velma have gone missing, and the whole place seems to be going to heck in a hand basket. Where have you been?”
“I went for a walk - look, I need to go and get changed. I have to catch a late flight.” As he walked off, Dee Dee looked at him, her eyes narrowing as she turned.
“Want me to follow him, toots?”
She nodded and watched as Clyde went in the same direction as Peter, keeping a safe distance behind.
Penny screamed through her tape gag as she saw smoke starting to rise from the end of the fuse, and a red glow slowly start to form in the cord. She twisted her body round like mad, Nida joining her as the sun’s rays seemed to be about to start the fuse that would end all things.
As the cord suddenly sparked and started to fizzle, a black cloud passed fleetingly overhead - a cloud that started to race down as the cord burned quickly towards the dynamite....
In his room, Peter took the small cloth out of his pocket and looked at the glittering jewel inside. “It could have been so different, Daphne,” he said as he pushed it into a pair of socks, and started to pack his case, not noticing the pair of eyes that was watching him.
“PHWWWWORRRRR!!!” Daphne opened her mouth, taking great gulps of air as she and Velma finally managed to break the surface f the lake. “Next time, tell me the only way to get free was to pull the plug and help each other!”
“Hey I tried to - thick cloth in my mouth,” Velma replied as they both shook the cords from their wrists. “at any rate, at least we broke free - but these clothes are getting heavier. What we need now is a boat.”
“Zowie - we made it just in time,” she heard a voice say, and turning round she saw Brenda and Taffy approaching in a power boat.
“Need a lift,” Brenda said as they helped the two soaked women into the boat. “Thanks,” Daphne said, “I don’t know what would have happened if...”
Her words were cut off by a massive explosion on the grounds of the Manor.