Traveling through England
With David and Laurie
NOT was sitting around his little nest one day when a telegram arrived. The telegram informed him that his Uncle Cecil was dead - Murdered in London. Not was aghast and immediately flew to London to fine out more.
His first stop was at the shop his uncle ran with a partner, as had his grandfather. Stopping off, he found the shop closed, and all the goods inside sold off. "Hmm, it looks like his partner took the death as an opportunity to close up shop. I must find him - I am willing to be he had a hand in Uncle Cecil's demise.
But where to find this 'Pinker'? Well, the first step of course would be to try the phone book and see if he's in there.
A quick search of the London phone book found no listings for a Pinker. "Naturally, I must do this the hard way," thought NOT. I need to find some professional help.
While out thinking, he came across Buckingham Castle. There standing ramrod straight was one of the palace guards. NOT bet that the guard would know who to talk to and solve this mystery.
"Excuse me, could you help me? I'm trying to find someone to help me find the murderer of my Uncle," he asked. But the guard said nothing. He didn't acknowledge him at all. NOT asked again and received the same stony response. Even when he flew up and tried to speak to the guard beak-to-face, the guard was not forthcoming.
"How Rude. I guess I'll have to go somewhere else."
It's too bad NOT had neglected reading any guides to London, or else he would have known that this was a fruitless attempt since the Palace Guards are known for not being responsive.
The next person in uniform was more responsive. The Beefeater could talk and suggested that NOT just keep his eyes out for clues as he wandered London. Being closer to the ground would allow NOT to catch some clues that others might miss. So off NOT went to see if he could find the murderer on his own, but he had a real desire for some Gin. He didn't know why.
He looked along the River.
|He checked out the local animals to see if they knew anything. The lion
thought he could help NOT.
"Come on up here and I'll whisper what I know to you," said the Lion.
NOT flew up there but when he was near the lion's mouth, listening, the Lion lunged forward and tried to EAT NOT Duck! Only because the Lion's breath was ghastly, and he didn't want to fly too close to the mouth was NOT saved from being killed like his Uncle. He quickly flew away from there.
Bah! This is not working! There's nothing to see here.
So he tried taking to the air to see what he could find. But then the fog, notorious in London, rolled in and blocked all his view. "Maybe if I try one of these large busses, I can see something." Through the open door he flapped and asked the tour guide if he had any thoughts on where to find the murderous Pinker.
"Quick! I need to find a murderer!" he declared to the guide.
"That's nice," replied the guide, "How do you know he'll be at Stonehenge?"
"Stonehenge!" quacked NOT. "I don't know where he is."
"Well, maybe you'll find a clue. You're on a bus going to Stonehenge. Maybe you'll find your clues there."
Now NOT liked to read, and he realized that having a busload of passengers would allow him the start to question them in his best Hercule Poirot style, trying to find the murderer. So for the entire trip he started to question passengers, but to no avail. Even at the site he tried to find new clues.
|At one point, he came among a couple of people from America who seemed suspicious, but they were too friendly to NOT for him to think they could harm his Uncle Cecil.|
|He rode back to London dejectedly. Back to the
streets went NOT. He was about at the end of his rope, and he stopped to lean on one of
the nearby statues, when suddenly, it MOVED. The statue had come ALIVE! NOT
squacked in alarm.
"Shhhh." admonished the statue. "You look like a duck I knew named Cecil. You here in London looking into his murder?"
"Yes!" quacked NOT. "Can you help me?"
The statue barely moved but pointed to indicated a building across the square. Try that building over there. There's a trap door a few feet above the ground. Fly though that and you may find answers you seek."
"Thank you!" exclaimed NOT, but the living statue had already turned a stone ear to the little Duck.
Quickly NOT flapped in through the door the strange statue indicated. The room was dark, and he landed on a ledge to let his eyes adjust to the darkness.
Suddenly the room was bathed in a bright light and blinking, he looked around. He saw the nice American couple from Stonehenge there, and each was holding an axe above him. And just before the axes fell, the last thing he saw was a recipe on the wall, showing perfectly prepared Duck L'Orange.
Update: NOT also got to visit the monument commemorating the London Great Fire
Yup. NOT climbed all the stairs. (Well with some help). Though he was in a bit of danger due to vertigo!
Luckily, there was a Bobby around to help save him. NOT was confused though when he found out the Bobby's name was Clive.
This Bobby was into handcuffs though. NOT had better watch out!
Photos courtesy of David Backman
Last Updated December 1998