Thursday, January 13, 2011

Carstairs and Topper: The Mystery of the Missing Port

He's a fine chap about town; his partner is his rather spiffing top hat. Together they fight crime!

"I say! What happened to the port?"

"I passed it to Smithers a moment ago. What the devil did you do with it?"

"I only had the one glass. I've been waiting forever for it."

Shocking, thought Hubert Carstairs. The port going missing in broad daylight from the gift wrapping room of the Rascals' Club? Whatever next! Clearly this would have to be resolved before the scandal spread.

"Gentlemen!" he called, standing up, "And you Duff-Johnson. The mystery of the missing port must be solved. And I am the man to do it."

"You Carstairs?" said Winstanley. "How do you expect to do that?"

"Not alone, I assure you. My faithful companion Topper will assist." With that Carstairs produced his spiffing new top hat.

"You're... surely not going to wear that inside," said Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. "The port going missing is one thing, but wearing a hat indoors... well, that would be very rum indeed."

"Not to worry Brigadier," said Carstairs. "Only a bounder, a cad, a lady, Duff-Johnson or some combination of those categories would even consider wearing a hat anywhere other than outdoors. I have a subtler trap in mind." So saying, he placed the top hat on the bookcase by the door. Then he rang the bell for service.

Johnson the footman appeared. "Sir?" he murmured.

"We seem to be out of port Johnson. Could you send down the whisky?"

"Sir," murmured Johnson, as he vanished.

"Well done Carstairs! Problem solved! Whisky and soda all round!" The other gentlemen showed their appreciation by hoisting Carstairs on their shoulders and marching him around the room.

"No you fools! Put me down! This is only the start of the plan. Now watch the door."

As they watched the door opened, and a dark clad figure holding a tray of decanters entered. Then Topper toppled onto his head. Swifter than the eye, Carstairs took the tray and placed it on the spirits sideboard. "Now let us see who we have!"

With Topper out of the way the figure was revealed to be... Nestor the butler. A wave of gasps spread across the room.

"Nestor!" said Smithers "How could you? And where is the port?"

"Port sir? But Johnson said the Whisky was required," said Nestor with considerable aplomb.

"I can locate the port," said Carstairs, "with a little help from Topper." And lifting his faithful companion he revealed the port decanter. "I declare it snifter time! Carry on Nestor."

Yes the butler did it. I suspect this may be the result of every Carstairs and Topper enquiry.
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