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by Johnny Glover
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Episode 84 - "Beers and Spears" (May 19th 1998 4.00pm)

morgan'Drinks all round' proclaimed Cedric Morgan from the bar of The Skaters Run as the referee blew his whistle to announce the second half of the FA Cup Final. Luckily for Morgan, most of the inhabitants of the pub had just refilled, so it was only Johnny Swift, Fred Ricketts, Yaxley Farcett and his daughter, Fiona, that had taken him up on his generous offer. Yaxley Farcett had just been introduced to the MP and he was closely observing the man's behaviour. It was noticeable how Morgan had not even acknowledged the presence of Graham Trent who was once more, transfixed by the football. The referees whistle had acted like a trigger for a hypnotic state.

'Ah...the eighties' sighed Morgan, 'Glorious days those. I used to travel up to London as a District Councillor, learning the ways of the most democratic country in the world. I was great friends with Cranston Burchill in those days. I think he's gone back to acting now'. Yaxley frowned, 'Cranston Burchill', he'd never heard of him. 'What's he been in ?' he asked. Morgan waved his arms in thespian kind of way and replied, 'He began in theatre, but since then he has appeared in Silent Witness, Cracker, Inspector Morse and Jonathon Creek'. Now, this was Farcett's territory...He'd seen all those programmes and never once heard of Cranston Burchill. 'What parts did he play ?' enquired Farcett.'Well...my old friend Cranston has a particular skill he discovered when he fell in a river as a child. He can hold his breath for up to eight minutes. He is in great demand whenever a dead body is required. Imagine the end of a five-minute scene being ruined by a supposedly dead person going red in the face and suddenly gasping for air. No such problem for old Cranners-never held up a shoot yet !'

As Morgan finished his anecdote and took a large swig of his pint he caught Graham Trent's eye and gave a casual nod. 'Ah...How's the world of media treating you then Graham ?' Trent, barely acknowledging Morgan's remark, just gave the slightest of shrugs and said offhandedly, 'Not so bad..Not so bad'. And that was it. The co conspirators in a potentially million pound deal cold-shouldering each other. Proof of some kind of guilt in itself. But how and who ? Those were the unanswered questions that Yaxley had to solve. A fire needs three basic elements to be a fire: Heat, a combustible material and oxygen. Similarly a murder requires three constituents: Motive, Weapon and Opportunity. The three strands of The Dixon case so far satisfied some but not all of those factors. The Opium Crazed pigs and the Opium Den at Hurst Farm, for instance. Was Reg aware of its existence and was he pressuring the person to give up taking/selling on the potion ? Was Reg playing a diplomatic game as with the Thompson's wood scandal ? Was the land fraud cause for a murderous act ? Did Trent act alone or was Morgan fully aware of the pressure Reg and Anne were putting Trent under ? The third strand of the mystery was the she-devil woman who had a distinct dislike of smokers and had run Yaxley off the road in her Fiat Lasagne. Was it her that had made the synthesised confession to Sidney Prince at 'GasBag 109' ? Motive, Weapon, Opportunity.

He knew the weapon; a pitchfork. He had evidence of motive for two or three people. The remaining insoluble was opportunity. Who had met Reg Dixon on that fatal morning and run him through the heart as the Fen Blew and centuries of natures work flew into the air to be redistributed onto other fields, into peoples eyes and turn ups, into houses, into cars to be swept up and thrown away. The erosion of the land and the erosion of morality leading to murder. The fens, gradually wearing away, year by year until one day in the future the sea would claim back it's own.  

As Yaxley pondered on these matters the eyes of the regulars remained fixed on the FA Cup Final as Arsenal pressed forward in an effort to increase their one goal advantage. Farcett's reverie was broken by the sound of an argument in front of him. He became aware that Dave 'Stumpy' Stumpsfield and Eddie Eastman were discussing the medicinal benefits of Asparagus. 'Course it does' said Stumpy. 'It's a well-known fact that 'Sparagus is an aphrodisiac. It aids performance' he said with a grin, 'It were the Viagra of Fens in the old days !' Eastman snorted. 'Rubbish...The only reason people eat asparagus is 'cos of the shape. I saw it in a history book. They reckon the Romans ate it 'cos of the shape..like a grit 'ol tadger..they thought it might help, but it 's only a myth. They were no better than men nowadays that buy big sports cars...they're just tadger substitutes !' Stumpy was insistent. 'Yor Wrong Eddie, There's a chemical that stimulates the love cells in yor body. I read it'. Eddie looked at Stumpy and said 'Stumps...It's just a phallusy'.

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 80 - Episode 81 - Episode 82 - Episode 83 - Episode 85 - 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