The police van pulled up round the side of Toby Ron’s house to be greeted by a small reception committee. William the goat was standing shakily by the door to the kitchen and had just been joined by Toby Ron Ken O’Bee and Duke. WPC Evans turned the engine off and gave Toby a brief nod as she let the animals out the back of the van.
Foxy Loxy and Turkey Lurkey were looking sprightly as ever. Weasel, on the other hand, was clutching the side of his head with one paw.
“What happened to him?” asked Evans.
“Hit his head against the side of the van when we took that corner on two wheels.” Foxy explained.
Evans looked at Weasel. “Why didn’t you strap yourself in?”
Weasel looked up moodily. “I figured you’d just brake suddenly and give me whiplash anyway.”
Shaking her head in disbelief, WPC Evans locked the back of the van and got back in the front.
“Cheerio, then!” Turkey Lurkey called after her. “Don’t get your pinkies caught in a blender.”
“See you guys,” she chuckled. “Good luck.”
With that, Evans started the engine and backed the van back down the drive. The three animals approached the welcoming party.
“And how can I help the Special Animal Detectives this morning?” asked Toby Ron. Foxy Loxy took a step forward, his police badge dangling visibly from around his neck. “We’ve making enquiries about the nearby bomb-blast yestermorn.”
Toby Ron shrugged. “I’ve already told the regular police what little I know. And that wasn’t much, I’m afraid.”
Foxy’s gaze drifted over to William, whose legs were still shaking. “We have reason to believe that one of your young goats may have had some involvement in events. We found tracks.”
William’s heart sank. This was what he feared. In his limited experience, ‘involvement in events’ was not a good thing.”
“Really?” asked Toby Ron. He also turned his gaze to the young goat. “William?”
“I haven’t been anywhere near the site of the bomb,” William told them. “Honest!”
This was true, as far as he knew. He was still in a panic over Billy’s disappearance and anxious to keep the conversation away from his brother. He was not very successful.
“I was under the impression that you had two young goats.” Foxy told Toby.
William’s paranoia latched onto the word ‘had’. Did the police know something about Billy? What had happened to him?
“That’s right,” confirmed Toby. “Their mother’s watching over the other one.”
Was that a hint of melancholy that William detected in his owner’s voice?
“Can I speak to him?” asked Foxy.
Toby shrugged. “If you really want to.” He shook his head sombrely. “I don’t think you’ll get much out of him, though. He kicked the bucket at breakfast. It was an awful mess. He’s been pushing up daisies in the northern paddock ever since.”