Drummond turned to Officer Cornell and spoke in a whisper, " We'll catch this culprit, Cornell...you mark my words". Officer Cornell nodded and
noticed how Drummond's hairy eyebrows met in the middle. Drummond stretched his full frame and nearly touched the low ceiling with his hands, "Come
on, let's check out the canteen" he hissed.
Cornell fell in behind Drummond, It was nearly lunchtime and he was hungry. A wry smile alighted on Officer Cornell lips as he realised that this was
indeed a rare event, he had never known two major players in a paperback novel to eat at such a crucial part of the story.
Unknown to Cornell, Drummond's mind was pondering this same subject, He had used the station's toilet twice and knew that it had been written into
the story, he had even broken wind and quietly smiled to himself as he listened to the steady clack of the typewriter as the author described the
As the doors of the canteen swung open, Drummond looked back to the young policeman, " I'm buying, what would you like?" Cornell was surprised, he
had first met Detective Drummond in the story 'The Velvet Pouch' and even though they had not eaten or drank throughout the novel, afterwards, at
the farewell gig, Drummond had been a right tight ass. Cornell coughed and mumbled that he would like Tofu. Drummond's famous eyebrows flicked up,
"what's Tofu?" he sneered, Officer Cornell flushed, " I don't know sir" he said, " I overheard it said in Delia Smith's Guide to Career
The queue for service was quite long, the word had got out that the author had lost the plot and all the cast for this novel and, it seemed, a few
from other books, had sneaked into the canteen to exploit the situation.
There were two cowboys from an old Max Brand paperback, their colour was slightly yellowing and Cornell noticed that the both looked like the cowboy
from The Village People. " This will take friggin' ages" Drummond remarked, His thick arms were folded and the tweed jacket stretched under the
tension from Drummonds bulk.
" Your quite buff for your age sir" Cornell said, the words slipping out as a lull in the queue noise came, causing several people to look around.
"Er.. I work out", Drummond stuttered and turned back into the queue, eyeing the parrot on the shoulder of the person in front of him.
At last, they both neared the counter and Cornell could see the kitchen staff hurriedly bring food from the pots and pans behind them.
Drummond turned around to look at Cornell, " Look, Cornell, You might be an 'uphill gardener', but don't think for one minute that you'll get the
chance to ream Drummond of the Yard", Drummond's face was a mask, steely eyes and a jaw of granite. Cornell's eyes stayed aimed at the floor, he
knew Josie Wales behind him had heard that, and felt his heart sag.
After a while, A portly woman asked Drummond and Cornell what they would like to eat, she was the double of Victoria Wood, and Cornell wondered about
her magician husband and whether he he still did guest shots on Countdown.
" I'll have the hotpot, and do you have any Tofu?" Drummond inquired. The Vic Wood look-a-like looked at Cornell and sneered, her eyes darted back
to Drummond's. " who wants Tofu?" she whispered, the swishing sound of her nylon uniform making Cornell's knees tremble. Drummond's thick thumb
aimed at Cornell, " Nancy here" he snorted, and a ripple of laughter came from behind Cornell.
Cornell blushed, a rage, that he'd never felt before, started to volcano from his soul. He reached for his truncheon, a look of hatred spread across
his face, and held the gnarled club above his head. " Everybody listen to me" Cornell bellowed, " I am not a Woofta!" his gaze moved slowly about
the room, challenging anyone to argue.
There were two beefy oil rig rednecks eating noisily in the corner near the window, one of them looked at Cornell balefully and said, " Where'd you
want that puttin'?", his red rimmed eyes glancing at the night stick.
Cornell's anger burst it's dam and he charged the table where the riggers were sat, his hand firmly gripping the English Oak shaft. " You take that
back, redneck" Cornell hissed, the words burning the air in front of him. The rig worker got up, he stood six feet seven and his bulk told of beer
and burgers. Joe Hard, who worked from a magazine serial in a monthly OPEC brochure, placed his strong, dirty hands on his waist and said "I can
assure you girlie, I'm not takin' anything from you!"
This remark brought peals of laughter from the rest of the canteen residents, and Cornell stopped his charge and his raged slipped away like a thief
in the night. Tears welled in his eyes and his shoulders dropped, He stood alone in the middle of the canteen, as people giggled, pointed and nudged
Drummond had watched Cornell's ordeal with curiosity, he had often wondered whether the young 'Bobby' had mettle. He knew now. Detective Drummond
stepped forward, " Hey, oilman, you face one copper, then you face 'em all" he snarled. Joe Hard was back to slurping his soup and swapping French
jokes with his companion, his attention was on the thick vegetables that floated in his bowl, so when this further challenge was barked at him, it was
a few seconds before Joe realised what was happening.
Again, He stood up, his vest was slick with oil, sweat and soup. " Who are you? his girlfriend?" he chided, Drummond charged him and with lightening
speed, crashed with Joe Hard as a street barrier, through the window, kicking and gouging in the glass, the blood and the soup.
" What the hell is happening here?" the author shouted, he could see the two figures sliding about in some sort of gunk on his desk, "Sort your
business out in the story, not here". The two shapes stopped fighting and looked up into the face of their creator, " Sorry sir, Drummond said,
We're having a problem with gay tolerance" and looked accusingly at Joe.
The oilman picked up his hard hat that slowly spun on the desk and placed it on his crew cut head. " Sir, I've eaten all over the world, ye know,
I've ate with chinks, ragheads, camel jockeys and God knows what else, but I'm not eating with ass bandits!"
The author frowned, he clasped his fingers together and mulled over the problem. "Bring out the person who's caused this dilemma" he said, his eyes
glancing at the hole in the side of his typewriter.
A little while later, the casts from all the stories that author had written, stood on the leather covered desk and marvelled at their creator. Alone,
at the front of this group stood Cornell, scared and feeling that the world had given up on him. " Is this the man who caused you anguish?" the
author asked, his tobacco laden breath blowing the hair of the characters below him. As a single entity, the crowd roared " Yeah!" and Joe Hard
called " He's had his back door kicked in!" which caused the mob to crease up with guffaws of laughter and Cornell's shoulders drooped even
Above, the author turned away to the window, the remark made him smirk and he felt that if he was to be the judge here, he thought that he should at
least, look serious. The author felt like Pilate, it would make no difference to him if the crowd strung this chap up, but if they did, he would have
to condone the decision, the act of control was imperitive.
" Drummond....step forward" the author said, and the renown detective walked out of the crowd and looked up at his creator. " Yes sir?" he asked,
the muscles on his neck twitched with tension.
" How do you feel about having an 'Eddie Izzard' on your team?" the author whispered, the crowd gasped and looked towards Drummond. " Sir, I've
served at the Yard for twelve years now, and I've seen many things", Drummond glanced back at the crowd and realised they were becoming his
audience. "I don't think it would be appropriate to have gays in the force".
Cornell, his head down and his frame showing that he'd given up on this kangaroo court shuffled close to the resting arm of the author. "Sir, rub me
out, would you?" Cornell cooed, he tugged gently on the cuff of his creator.
With a tornado-like speed, the author swept his arm away from Cornell, causing the young policeman to be thrown, spent tissue-like, towards the
wastebasket below. " Gerrrofff, ye puff!" the author rasped and stepped back from the desk, knocking the chair behind him over.
The officer fell badly and a strange snap could be heard as his body hit the crumpled paper inside the bin. Cornell's neck was broken and part of the
lattice work of the wastebasket was damaged.
The room was quiet, and some of crowd shuffled their feet and glanced about with a guilty look on their faces. Drummond eyed his creator who sat
staring at the waste basket.
After a while, the author came to a decision, he asked for his characters to quietly go back into the typewriter and he also asked them to say a
little prayer. The author placed some scotchtape over the hole in the side of the typewriter, and set a fresh sheet of paper into the machine.
A slow single clack of the keys started, like single gunshots and then as the author got into his stride, he began to write the tale.