‘Lawks oh lordy Mrs Carruthers, the vicar has been murdered most foully, his poor head stoved right in with the altar candlestick. And, and—’
‘Out with it girl, what else?’
‘He was not wearing trousers. Oh the shock of seeing those knees. Oh and him a man of the cloth, oh,oh my poor heart.’
'Calm down Lilly. Woggles make Lilly a cup of sweet tea and you and I will investigate this latest murder most foul.'
In the warm spring of 1936, so began yet another challenging mystery, a mystery so mysterious it would challenge even a superb sleuthing mind such as my own. My trusted confidant and sleuthing sidekick Georgina Woggles, a pleasant if rather unworldly girl would accompany me as we began our investigation into“The case of the trouserless bludgeoned vicar”
Piddle Trenthide is a pretty village that straddles the banks of the River Piddle in rural Dorset. It is an unremarkable place, with thatched cottages a church and Public House, the Poachers Arms. It is unremarkable certainly, except for one strange and terrible fact, it has the highest murder rate in the country. A serial killer stalks this village, this village where I have lived my whole life. Where I met married and finally buried my late beloved husband Cedric, raised and buried my two terrier dogs Wilf and Pickles and grow my show winning tea roses
I think it was the shock of finding the bludgeoned body of the librarian Miss Cox, foully murdered, her body left under a pile of books, her stays and draws removed, that set off the seizure that ultimately killed him. And as I buried my beloved Cedric I made a promise that I would find the murderer and bring him or her to justice. That was two years ago and since then there had been eleven other murders, each victim bludgeoned and each with their lower garments removed. Now the bludgeoned vicar Reverend Timothy Nibbs, makes it thirteen.
‘Hmm I think we are missing something Woggles, some vital clue we are overlooking.’
Woggles has a lisp, but usually I can understand what she means.
‘The culprit is strong and obviously fond of bludgeoning and removing the lower garments of their victim’
'Yeth, wery fond of butheging’
'Can you think of anyone, who is capable of such foul deeds?'
'Aah, Jim Borrocks the blacksmith. Why do you suspect him Woggles, do you think he is capable of such scoundrelly actions?'
'Yeth heeth’s dick head.’
‘Sick in the head, yes there was that incident when he bludgeoned the old Major and removed his regimental trousers. But when he was caught in the act he said it was a joke and old Major Hemmington Whip-Basset said he didn’t want to press charges, actually I think he quite enjoyed it. Woggles you may have cracked the case. Of course, he also has that knee fetish too, it’s all falling into place.’
Once Woggles and I had made the breakthrough, the police arrested the Blacksmith Jim Borrocks and charged him with thirteen murders, and life in Piddle Trenthide soon returned to tranquil normality. But I am sure that before much longer a new and baffling case will present itself and I and my trusty sidekick Georgina Woggles will be called upon once again to save the day.
Six months later Jim Borrocks, was taken to Pentonville prison and hanged by the neck until he was dead. A very satisfying conclusion.