Here comes the key party. “Halt, who goes there?” I call.
“The keys,” comes the reply.
“Whose keys?” I call back.
“The Queen’s keys,” was the reply.
“Forward friend,” I said. The party came forward and handed me the keys. I glanced at my watch – one hour till the deadline.
I and my friend had joined up with the Beefeaters a year previously and I felt really great as one. We had joined up as part of a big heist, the menbers of our gang are rough characters who have taken on the names of big timers such as Al Capone, Ronald Biggs, ‘Bugs’ Moran, Spike O’Donnel, but I have not changed my name and it stays as Joe Malone. The big heist? The Crown Jewels!
It is now five to twelve and I am watching the generating room for signs of a fire, which should have been started by an incendiary placed by Spike, disguised as a tourist. Yes! There’s some smoke dead on time too, I’ll give Al and Ronald a couple of minutes to get here. Right here they come through the door. Al, the ‘fireman’ and Ronald the ‘electrician’
One minute for the lights, right there they go. I hope Bugs is there. Oh yes, there he is. I’ve got the keys so I’d better go and join him. “Hiya Bugs, I’ve got the keys.”
“Right, open the door.”
This is the big moment when I put the key in the door and turn it, would the alarm go off or not? We heave a sigh of relief as the alarm does not go off.
“Right, get the bag, Bugs, from behind that dummy.” He gets it and gets out the reproductions of the crown, the orb and the sceptre. “Is the glass cutter there?” I ask.
“Yes, of course,” answers Bugs.
“Right, get cutting, we’ve got another five minutes to do everything in.”
It took one minute to cut the glass, forty-five seconds to exchange the crown, orb and sceptre and put them in the electricians bag.
We ran back into the courtyard after replacing the glass and locking the doors. I had hold of the electrician’s bag, and as I ran past the van, I stopped and opened the door and put then bag in, then ran to help with the fire and as Ronald saw me coming in, on went the lights and out he went to the van and drove away.
The following morning, Bugs and I went into the head Beefeaters’ office and complained. “We don’t want to stay in a building where there is an ever present danger of getting burnt alive, we only joined up because we thought there would not be any fires, so we want to leave!” I told him.
“Well I suppose I can’t make you stay, but you’re a couple of bright fellows and it would be a pity to lose you, but you may as well go if you really want to.” said the foreman.
“We do,” said Bugs.
So now we were free from one hindrance, and a couple of hours later we met the rest of the gang outside the gates.
“We’ve booked you tickets, do let’s get going.”
We sped off to London airport and boarded the ‘plane there.
Seven hours later we touched down, and hailed a taxi to the nearest hotel.
“Well lads, we’ve done it.”
The next week we read in the papers: ‘Crown Jewels stolen. Thieves get clean away’
“It took ’em long enough to find out, but they will never get us now,” said Ronald out loud, but we hadn’t reckoned on Charley Farley and Piggy Malone.
(c) M. Robert Gibson
First written 1975-09-17
Don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons.
Charley Farley and Piggy Malone were two fictional private detectives played by The Two Ronnies in the 1970s.