Monday, December 31, 2007

Murder to Order: Twelve

"You again," Mr. Rake approached the Green Man cautiously. "What do you want?"

"When I brought you here," the Green Man's eyes narrowed, "it was to protect Ms. Madison. "You see, when I tortured the last bad guy to death, he gave me a name. Aurelian Caine, the mystery millionaire. He is the man behind this."

"But Caine isn't a criminal," Rake shook his head. "He's been involved in high finance for at least forty years."

"In which time," the Green Man replied, "he has been involved in dozens of wars and rumours of wars. Angola, Sierra Leone, anywhere where a quick buck might be made from death and destruction. Now I find that he is running a murder shop."

"Was it really necessary to put Lynette's life in danger just to achieve this?" Rake followed the Green Man, as he slipped behind a tapestry."

"If I could have done it any other way, I would," the Green Man smiled grimly. "Caine has done much evil. It must end now."

The two followed closely behind the Green Man, as he descended a hidden staircase, down into what seemed to be the bowels of the earth. It looked like a secret bunker.

"The lair of high finance," the Green Man declared. "This is where the vermin I hunt lives."

"You hunt?" a soft voice echoed down the corridors. "No, Green Man. It is I who have been hunting you. And there is no better way to hunt than by using a decoy."

The corridor behind and ahead of them filled with armed men, and the voice on the speakers laughed wickedly.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Season's Greetings

On behalf of everyone at The Vengeance of the Green Man, the Green Man and Ms. Madison would like to wish everyone

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And have no fear, they will be back dealing out their very own brand of deadly vengeance to the evildoers of the world, but for those of you at home, peace, goodwill to all men.

(Of course, f you are an evildoer, the Green Man would like to remind you that your doom will come. Watch the post.)

Christmas Message

 Our media correspondent, better known as Lady Sylvia Vaughan, notoriously vain socialite, recently broke into Broadcasting House, London. There she acquired a DVD carrying the Queen's Christmas speech. Have no fear, though, Green Man fans, the luscious Lady Sylvia has not become an anarchist, but was removing a DVD belonging to that mastermind of menace, that Napoleon of naughtiness, the Grey Tabby. His charming and evil accomplice, Purr-Girl, had switched the Queen's Christmas Message with a message from the felonious feline himself. And here it is:
 "Greetings, citizens of Great Britain. You are doubtless wondering who I am and what this is. I am the Grey Tabby, and this is my Christmas message to the nation that scorns my favours. Next year will see my revenge being accomplished. You have been lucky so far, protected as you are by that consummate crime-fighter, the Green Man, and his lady accomplices. But you will not always be so fortunate. Even now, I am gathering a new force of criminals to oppose you - even as this country weakens herself. America will not save you this time - for she cannot save you from the terror within !"
 After which the Meowing matermind laughed wickedly,  and added that Monty Bristow had replaced the hymn-sheets at King's with new ones which included 'When Shepherds Washed their Socks by Night' and 'We Three Kings of Hamilton Square,' the latter reading:
`We Three kings of Hamilton Square
Selling undies at tuppence a pair,
They're fantastic, no elastic -
Hold onto your underwear.'
 And lastly, 'a very happy Christmas to all of you at home!'

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Murder to Order: Eleven

Ms. Madison and M. Rake waited until dawn, with no further incidents. The appearance of the Green Man, however, had convinced Ms. Madison that the end of the tale was near. Pausing to change, she followed Mr. Rake out into the grounds. Of the elegant Lady Sylvia there was no sign.

The house itself, a mock castle was unusually tasteful for a villain's lair, and she hoped that it wasn't going to be destroyed. She checked her handbag and was glad to find that it still contained the pocket pistol she liked to pretend she didn't rely on. And, when Mr. Rake put out his hand, she took it.

"We'll get to the bottom of this, Lynette," he assured her. "I take it you know who the villain is?"

"Well, I've only seen him from a distance," she was forced to admit, "but I know what his racket is. He runs an assassination agency. I was working in a call centre for it."

"Assassination bureaux have call centres?" Mr. Rake was suitably incredulous. "Lynette, you didn't take orders to kill, did you?"

"Of course I did," the blonde freely confessed. "But I always passed the details to the Green Man straight away."

"Hence the sudden and worrying rise in attrition among known hitmen." Mr. Rake shook his head. "Your father was saying only the other day..."

"You spoke to my father!" Ms. Madison looked put out, "what were you doing, Mike?"

"Strange as it may seem, Lynette," he sighed, "I was looking for you. I do worry about you, you know. After all, I do happen to be madly in love with you. He just let it slip in idle conversation."

"And, when Lady Sylvia spoke to you, you decided to come here." Ms. Madison shook her head. "This is dangerous, Mike. These people are killers."
"Well, you're here, aren't you?" he looked offended.
"But the Green Man arranged for me to be here," Ms. Madison shook her head again. "Who arranged for you to be here, Mike? Just you?"
"No," a voice from the shadows caused the pair to start. There, a grim expression on his face, was the Green Man.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Murder to Order: Ten

Ms. Madison ran to Mr. Rake and embraced him stifling a sob. She pressed her cheek to his, clinging to him.

"Mike!"she exclaimed, "how..."

"Did I find you?" Mr. Rake chuckled softly. "My dear, I do worry about you, and when you vanished that day at the Savoy I started looking for you. When the Vaughan girl said you'd be at this place, I drove up here at once."

"Sylvia..." the blonde sighed, "and she didn't tell me! Typical of her. She's much too much like the Green Man when it comes to levelling with me."

"So the Green Man's behind all this." Mr. Rake shook his head. "I suppose I should have known this wasn't just you sulking. I suppose you know the cost of a funeral's rising every day. If you get yourself killed, your father won;t be able to bury you on a policeman's salary."

"But you could." Ms. Madison smiled. "Besides, the Green Man told me the job came with a complete burial package. Now, let me kiss you."

The young man duly obliged. Ms. Madison kept hold of him when their lips parted. He looked down at his love and shook his head.

"You do love me," he told her firmly. "Now, how can we get this over so that I can take you to meet my family?"

"We find just why the Green Man's had me come here and get caught," Ms. Madison told him, still holding his arm. "I wish I knew more than that, but I just don't. Still, the bad guys here are dealt with, so we need to go somewhere else." She led him out into another cavernous hall.

Mr. Rake sighed again, as they moved through the darkened mansion. A shot from upstairs told Ms. Madison that Lady Sylvia had found something. Mr. Rake started, only for a smile from his lady to persuade him to ignore it.

He moved to a window, opening the curtains to look out on the lawns, to see if there were any men outside.

Ms. Madison looked with him and gasped.
There, standing, looking out over the landscape, was the Green Man.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Murder to Order: Nine

Ms. Madison reached for the gun by her bed. Drawing the sheets up around her, she waited for the intruder. The blonde's heart was in her mouth, as the door slowly opened.

She laughed with relief as Lady Sylvia slipped through the door, dressed in an attractive black nightie. The brunette slipped the door shut and sat down on the end of Ms. Madison's bed.

"Did Ambrose tell you what he heard?" she hissed urgently - and why was your door locked?"

"Ask your brother," Ms. Madison sighed deeply. "They know who I am. I've been rumbled, and I don't think the Green Man saw this coming."

"How long have you been with him?" Lady Sylvia laughed. "You know him far too well. The Green Man knows things even we don't know."

The Blonde shook her head, smiling. She rose from the bed, putting on her coat over her night-things. Lady Sylvia did the same, producing her gun from a pocket in her nightie.

"I'll take this floor," she told Ms. Madison, "you take the ground floor. We need to make a sweep of this place. We have to find and take out the goons."

The girls split up as Lady Sylvia had suggested, each armed and very dangerous. Ms. Madison added a silencer to her gun, before descending the stairs slowly. She saw a movement in the shadows, as light gleamed on a gun. The man cocked his weapon, but Ms. Madison dropped him with a single shot.

She moved on, towards the entrance. A man walked out of the shadows suddenly, and Ms. Madison punched the man in the stomach. She brought a knee up into the man's face and knocked him out with a blow to the back of the neck. He was tied up and hidden behind a sofa.

Ms. Madison headed to the entrance, meaning to make sure that the escape route was secure. She met no more thugs until she reached the entrance hall, where a huge man loomed out of the shadows in from of her. She fired, but was unable to turn to get the man who seized her wrists from behind. The blonde screamed, letting off another shot. Her wrists were squeezed until she dropped the weapon.
"You've done too much, girl," the men laughed mockingly. "Now you go to the boss. He'll..."
The man said no more, as his grasp on Ms. Madison loosened. He crumpled to the ground, senseless. Ms. Madison turned to see what had happened.
"Nice to see you, Lynette," Mr. Rake smiled.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday Supplement: The Return.

Sir Richard Arcos writes: Before my recent retirement, I was a minister in America for about thirty years, at a Church in California. I occasionally still get letters from people I met there, such as Daniel Trevelyan, the grandson of an old friend, who is now a Pastor in Carolina. He recently took an extended break in order to visit family, during which time he left his assistant, a man called Eric Strange, in charge. Apart from the odd e-mail from Mr. Strange (and some of them were very odd. Apparently Mr. Strange was 'changing the way we do worship.'

Well, Mr. Trevelyan returned from what he vulgarly refers to as a 'vacation' last week, and attended the chuch service as an ordinary member.

The loud musuc that was being played on guitars and drums could be heard from a couple of streets away. Entering the church, Pastor Trevelyan found a team of immodestly dressed 'dedicated dancers' cavorting around the platform. a couple of girls in tiny outfits were passing out drinks and laughing. Some more people were shouting, and the smell of insence hung heavy in the air.

Mr. Strange, dressed in purple, scarlet and gold robes, stepped out into the church wearing a turban. He raised his hands and declared: 'It's good for us to be here!' The people shouted and yelled some more, after doing some more dancing. A couple in front of him started petting worryingly.

After which the preacher announced that they were going to have an extended time of worship. The people shouted loudly, and the pastor pointed to the pulpit doors.
And moments later a golden calf was carried out into the sunlight and the wretched assistant pastor announced 'behold your god!'
Needless to say, Mr. Strange is now looking for another church and the people are still tasting powedered gold.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Murder to Order: Eight

Ms. Madison looked at the gallant Lord in dumb amazement. It was all she could do to keep her jaw from dropping.

"How..." she breathed, " could you know?"

"You're not the only person with strange sources and contacts, Lynette," Lord Ambrose told her. "And I have very keen ears. Have you noticed, Lynette, that this is not an awards evening. You are the only employee of the organisation here - the only junior one, anyway."

"What's the plan, then?" Ms. Madison spoke softly.

"Act as if you suspect nothing." Lord Ambrose's voice was soft and reassuring. "You can do nothing alone, and if you let them know, then they will act. Perhaps before your friend the Green Man can intervene..."

Ms. Madison nodded in sober agreement, before she was called over by a man in a white dinner jacket.

"You are the girl from the Call Centre, aren't you?" He spoke with a smile, a hint of mockery in his voice.

"Maybe so," the blonde shook her head. "I was inited here as some sort of award. It's really nice, since I've been there for such a short time. Would you like to dance?"

And that was all she could say. The man agreed, and the two moved onto the floor, Ms. Madison's arms about him. She waited a while before speaking again.

"How many other girls like me are there?" she asked curiously. "Here, I mean, I've talked to a ouple of people, but they turned out to be really posh..."

"I saw," the man smiled, "Lord Ambrose and his sister, Lady Sylvia. The boss wants some class added to this little gathering. Lord Ambrose is fantastically rich. He's also unmarried - did you know that?"

Ms. Madison pretended she hadn't. She shook her head and tried to look impressed.

"I've got my own boyfriend," she laughed. "And I don't fancy being a gold-digger, even with a man like Lord Ambrose. When do I get to see the boss?"

"Not yet," he told her, leading her to a door. "Right now, you will go to bed. I'll let them know you had a headache."

The gun in his hand persuaded Ms. Madison not to argue. As she ascended the stairs, a liveried footman took over the duty.

The blonde retired to bed full of foreboding, and it was only with extreme difficulty that she was able to get to sleep.

It must have been long after midnight when she awoke again, and the cause of this was the sound of a key in the lock.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Murder to Order: Seven

The evening reception glittered. Ms. Madison was well aware of two things. One was that her gown, supplied for the purpose, looked very plain and twdry next to the finery of others, something that the mischeivous Lady Sylvia seemed to find a great joke. The other was that the gathering looked a great deal too wealthy to be an awards dinner. She could spot at least three Lords, as well as a Member of Parliament and the Governor of a small British colony.

Her host stood out a mile, tall and still blond, in his late fifties, he greeted everyone with a hearty smile and a wave of the hand. Lady Sylvia spent a lot of time speaking with him, and Ms. Madison could not help but wonder what was going on.

"My sister seems tobe having the time of her life." A voice close to Ms. Madison caused her to start.

"You're jumpy right now, Lynette," Lord Ambrose Vaughan put a hand on her arm.

"Lord Ambrose!" Ms. Madison looked up into the handsome face of the young peer. Dark haired like his sister, Lord Ambrose was rumoured to be fantastically wealthy. His already great wealth had been augmented by numerous inheritances as well as successful speculation in the business world. The scar on his left cheek was the legacy of an attack on him by a business rival - some said it was a duelling scar. "What are you doing here?"

"Well, I was invited," the young peer grinned. "Sylv tagged along as my guest - my being without a significant other right now."

"You've always been that way!" Ms. Madison laughed. "And Mike 'ld probably blow his top if I pretended to be it!"

"Then he ought to ask you to marry him," the peer replied.
"He does," Ms. Madison told him. "On a weekly basis."
"Then you ought to accept one of these days." Lord Ambrose shook his head. "No-one can wait for ever Lynette. And if it's that mystery boss of yours that's keeping you from him, then you ought to know that he's seeing someone else, that cat-girl."
"I know." Ms. Madison smiled cutely. "It's not that I'm carrying a torch, I just don't want to settle down just yet."
"You know a great many things, Lynette," Lord Ambrose laughed. "Still," his voice dropped to a whisper, "there are things you don't know - like the fact that he suspects." The peer pointed to the boss.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Murder to Order: Six

Ms. Madison looked out of the window of the huge Rolls-Royce, as it purred through the English countryside, glad to see something like a humane landscape again. She loved London, but after the weeks working in a call centre, she needed to see green trees again, to feel the wind in her hair. She smiled. Even if she was walking knowingly into the lions' den, it looked like it was going to be a nice den. Besides, the Green Man had to be at hand.

The big car turned into a massive drive, past gothic gatelodges, as big as chapels. That made Ms. Madison feel a lot better. This was a proper adventure at last!

The house was a huge pretend castle, and ravens rose from the highest tower, as Ms. Madison stepped out of the car, feet scrunching on the gravel drive. She looked up at the place and admired it.
"Welcome," a liveried footman approached her, bowing. "And you are?"

"Lynette Madison," the blonde smiled. "One of the girls from the office."
"Oh." The footman looked disappointed and walked away from her. Ms. Madison felt absolutely crushed.

"Smile!" A cheerful, cultured female voice behind her caused Ms. Madison to jump. "I've always wanted a snap of an office drudge!"
Turning, Ms. Madison started again. There, sitting on a white picket fence, was the familiar figure of Lady Sylvia Vaughan. She smiled as if butter would not melt in her mouth.
"Sylv!" the blonde's eyes widened. "What..."
"I've been on holiday," Lady Sylvia smiled. "The Green Man lets me have six weeks off whenever I need it, and I was a bit tired, so I went off to Turkey for a few weeks with a couple of pals. I wanted to invite you, but the Green Man said he might need you."
"I'll have to take it up with him." Ms. Madison shook her head. "Still, you're a sight for sore eyes. What do we do now?"
"Wait," Lady Sylvia smiled.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Murder to Order: Five

The boss' office looked out over the shining lights of the city. With a wrench of the heart, Ms. Madison wished she was out there with the nightlife, but it was not to be. She sighed and resigned herself to thoughts of being an office drudge until further notice.

"Good evening, Lynette," the speaker was a large man, seated behind an impressive walnut desk. "I am Mr. Kenshole, manager of this department. I don't think we've met."

"No." The blonde nodded, "I was appointed through an agency."

"Well," he smiled, "you don't act like most agency staff, Lynette. "you're far too efficent. In fact, the manging director's noticed. You've been invited to an awards weekend at his country house in County Durham. It's this weekend. I know it's a bit short notice, but..."

"I don't have any other commitments," she smiled, and hoped Mr. Rake wouldn't mind. "And it is a big thing, after all."
"I knew you'd see things the right way." He nodded in a fatherly manner. "After all, you are a smart girl, Lynette. Your manger says so, and she's a harsh judge of people. You could go far in this company..."
He grinned at her wolfishly, and Ms. Madison reflected that, however far she went, she was not going anywhere near his bed in a million years.
"I'll pack up after work," she nodded, "will anyone I know be there?"
"I shall." The answer did not fill the blonde with confidence.