I handed him his dressing gown (even though we were an “open” house, I didn’t want the maid seeing him in all his morning glory…) and a bowl of cereal, and sat him down at the table.”Why is this?”
“A-ha, lad!” he exclaimed, toppling backwards off of his chair and flinging cornflakes everywhere. “Lord Hellthwaite has set us a challenge!”
“Yes, in the shape of a bet!”
“Wonderful.” The last bet that these two had made had ended with Hellthwaite riding upon one of the stone lions at Trafalgar Square, naked except for a bowler hat. “I’ll get the bribe money out now, shall I?”
“Oh no,” he grinned, plonking himself on a chair. “This is a good one… we’re on a search to find his daughter!”
Lord Hellthwaite was a man born into money, but he had doubled his family fortunes with a shrewd property deal in the early 60s.
His daughter, Mary, was born at the end of the 70s (for a while, Lord and Lady Hellthwaite had dabbled with punk fashion… a disaster that ended up with safety-pin sin their condom drawer. Don’t ask!), and had, for want of a better word, wasted her life.
She was, I guess, what you’d call an “IT” girl… you know the type; always attending parties, getting drunk and doing very little else except spending the family fortune.
Well, I’d heard recently that she’d hooked-up with some musician wannabe, and this hadn’t gone down too well with her father.
“What the hell do you think you are doing, woman?!” was, I think, the phrase he most used when the two conversed.
Anyway, after one-too-many arguments, young Mary had stuck two-fingers up at her father and the establishment, and had fled the family home.
This was, of course, an embarrassment to the Hellthwaite name, and so… we were roped in to find her thanks to Deadfast and a bottle of Tequilla.
“Get your things, lad, we’ve work to do!” he yelled, and leapt out of his seat and ran off to his room. I heard him shout over his shoulder; “Get on the phone and find her for me!”
So, I spent the most part of last night making frantic phonecalls to the few contacts I have.
It turns out, according to the editor of a top-shelf magazine, that she was seen boarding a plane to New York.
A few minutes later, I had booked us a flight and a hotel.
That’s why I’m sitting here typing this in the departures lounge of Heathrow airport.
Deadfast, for his part, is downstairs in the hotel bar, playing the piano and trying to get some rich socialite to buy him a drink. I don’t think it’s working; I’ve recieved two text messages already, both of which said “Walter, it’s your round”.
For the record, I’ve never seen him buy a drink, and I’ve known him for ten years.
I’m off downstairs now; I’ve arranged a meeting with a friend of Mary. Hopefully, he’ll push us in the right direction.
I’ll fill you all in later on.
“How is this a bet?” you ask?
Well, it turns out that Deadfast somehow managed to persuade Lord Hellthwaite to give him a holiday home in Hawaii if we find his daughter.
The Lord has more property than he knows what to do with, so I don’t think he’ll miss one.
And, for his part, if he loses, Deadfast must walk naked down New Oxford Street in nothing but a bow tie.
I think it’s a private school thing.
I find it best not to ask.
- The Adventures of Deadfast (and Walter) (loschimpos.wordpress.com)