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by Johnny Glover
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Episode 80 - "The Day Charlie Bates' Dog Had A Fit" (May 19th 1998 3.15)

the skatersYaxley Farcett was sitting at the bar of The Skaters Run talking to Fred Ricketts. The bar was still full of afternoon drinkers enjoying the drama of the FA Cup Final, being played out on a large TV in the corner of the lounge. Rickett's drained the rest of his whisky and indicated to Johnny Swift that he needed a refill. Yaxley Farcett wondered at the goings on in this small Fenland village that he had been sent to. Having just heard that Rickett's dog had been poisoned in the night he began to realise that Reg Dixon's death and the proposed power station were inextricably linked. Rickett's didn't appear to have too much knowledge of Graham Trent's real involvement. He certainly wasn't aware that Trent was co-owner of Thompson's Wood. He suspected that were he aware of that he would be at the man's throat right now. Yaxley knew now that Dixon and Anne Worthington really had kept their cards close to their chests and had been trying to persuade Trent and Cedric Morgan to see the error of their ways. It had obviously been the wrong move. There was more at stake here than village pride. Yaxley's attention was diverted by a small altercation going on in front of him between Dave Stumpsfield and Eddie Eastman. Eastman was holding a small collection of five-pound notes and was pointing a pencil at the policeman. 'I know I'm bloody well right' he said forcibly 'You've got a quid on Arsenal to score first, fifty pee on Shearer to score for Newcastle and three pound fifty on a draw after ninety minutes. That's'.... he paused licked his pencil and scribbled some calculations on a notebook...'That's two quid at 9 to 2, three pound at evens and a fiver at 2 to 1. So, it's a tenner if yew get the lot right. Which yew won't'. Stumpsfield frowned. 'That can't be right. I make it about forty-three quid. I reckon you're guessing. Seems a bit strange how it comes to a round tenner' Stumpsfield narrowed his eyes as if something had just occurred to him. 'Thas funny. I remember my wife saying the other day how every week the milk bill were either four-pound or six pound- whatever she'd had off yew. You're a rum bugger to be doing a book on the football yew are !' Eastman grinned and replied, 'I've never had any complaints afore'. Stumpsfield laughed, 'That's only 'cos none of the buggers round here can count either'

As Stumpsfield finished having a chuckle at the expense of his old friend and muttering something about 'swings & roundabouts', Yaxley tapped him on the shoulder and whispered to him that he wanted a word. The two men took their pints over to the far corner of the pub and sat down. Stumpsfield took a sip of his pint and said 'What's bothering you Farcett ?' without once taking his eyes off the football. Yaxley filled in Stumpsfield on his experiences that morning from the time he had left Ealham Police station and gone to Hurst Farm. Stumpy took his eyes off the TV for the first time and said 'You've done well lad. I suspected something was going on but I never got any details like that afore. Probably 'cos I'm too local. Too close to everyone. Anne would never have opened up like that with me'. He paused and then added with a faint hint of criticism, '...an I wouldn't have gone into Reg's house like that and hacked into his computer'. Yaxley noted the parental tone of the last remark and dryly replied, 'That's because you don't know how to though, isn't it ?' Stumpsfield smiled and nodded. Yaxley went to the bar and got another couple of pints and had a quick word with Fiona, who had been chatting to Fred while he had been in the corner with Stumpsfield. Fiona had tears in her eyes as she related the story of how Fred had discovered his old dog Bella that morning in the throes of a fit, with froth spewing from her mouth, in acute pain. Whatever poison had been used on the dog, it wasn't one that a vet would have prescribed. As Fiona began to weep, Fred finished the account of the story, now crying openly himself. 'She were so much pain Farcett...I had to finish it myself. I had to take my gun to her'. Fiona put an arm round the old man's shoulder and gave him a hug. The dog had been Fred's companion for almost twenty years since he had taken her as a pup from old Charlie Bates down at Hadlode Fen. Graham Trent, who had until now not given any indication that he was listening, turned to face the trio in the corner and barked, 'What's all the fuss about ? It was only a dog !'

The prologue - Episode One -  Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 -  Episode 5 - Episode 6 - Episode 7 -  Episode 8 -  Episode 9 - Episode 10 - Episode 11- Episode 12 - Episode 13 - Episode 14 - Episode 15 - Episode 16 - Episode 17 - Episode 18 - Episode 19 - Episode 20 - Episode 21 - Episode 22 -  Episode 23 - Episode 24 -  Episode 25 - Episode 26 -  Episode 27 - Episode 28 - Episode 29 - Episode 30 - Episode 31 - Episode 32 - Episode 33 - Episode 34 - Episode 35 - Episode 36 - Episode 37 - Episode 38 - Episode 39 - Episode 40 - Episode 41 - Episode 42 - Episode 43 - Episode 44 - Episode 45 - Episode 46 - Episode 47 -  Episode 48 - Episode 49 - Episode 50 - Episode 51 - Episode 52 - Episode 53 - Episode 54 - Episode 55 - Episode 56 - Episode 57 -  Episode 58 - Episode 59 - Episode 60 - Episode 61 - Episode 62 - Episode 63 - Episode 64 - Episode 65 - Episode 66 - Episode 67 - Episode 68 - Episode 69 -  Episode 70 -  Episode 71 - Episode 72 -  Episode 73 -  Episode 74 -  Episode 75 - Episode 76 -  Episode 77 - Episode 78 - Episode 79 - Episode 81 - Cast List - 'Did you see the wrist watch in Ben Hur' ?- The Colly Continuity Page.

Comments to drove@ely.org.uk

Hugh, exiled fenman from King's Lynn says "Hev you ever thought about running a bus trip to see where "collie" is made like they do for Last Of the Summer Wine, Emmerdale, Corrie and the like. Could be a laugh!!!!!"

Who Dunnit? Your suggestions Please.

Mike Northfield says "Oi reckons that there was one of those there freaky weather thingies that frew that there pitch fork 'ard enough t' stab 'im and cause serious illness such as death thats wot i fink......." - So Mike reckons the freak fen blow caused poor Reg's death.

DG says "I did you this time!!!!!!! Shame I hadn't pushed you harder in 1966!!!!!! Shame Nursy Broadhead saved you?????????????????" - after he sent this message they locked him up again!

MG says "I reckon it were suicide. You see, Reg was quite obviously a bit iron hoof or POOF as we call 'em, and in them there days, well it wer'nt propper wus it?

James Brown says "I suspect a fallen pitchfork from one of the overhead helicopters ferrying a local farmer to the office of KLFM for one of their match reports on a Lynn home game."

World Leader reckons "I think that Monica woman did it. Damn girl never could keep her mouth shut. And she was always letting things drop". Yours World Leader