The Needlehole Mysteries

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Post by Eldorion Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:43 am

That's the mystery, innit? Very Happy
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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:45 am

lol!
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Post by Orwell Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:54 am

Of course, Mrs Figg, we can't possibly carry on our... err... relationship, if you're still a married hobbit! I love you

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Post by Tinuviel Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 am

Perhaps that could be part of the mystery Orwell!
{{{{{{{{ Dearest Eldo, perhaps my fine nose may appear in this next tale?}}}}}}}}}}

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Post by Mirabella Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:13 am

Oh Your Majesty, any story could only be improved manifold by your exquisite nose... Very Happy

Oh my -- I didn't realize! Shocked

Oh Your Majesty, I think you need to punish Eldo severely. He allowed a crack to appear in your encryption spell! He spends absolutely nothing on 'Magic Maintenance' you know, the cheapskate! Rolling Eyes It was bound to happen soooner or later! Mad

It's closed again now, thankfully... but it was there for a second and I saw everything you said! Shocked

You better kill him, I think.

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Post by Eldorion Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:58 am

Tinuviel wrote:{{{{{{{{ Dearest Eldo, perhaps my fine nose may appear in this next tale?}}}}}}}}}}

{{{{{{{ I'll see what I can do. I'm hoping to be able to include most everyone at some point or another, but I don't want to try to smush too much into a single story. It wouldn't do anyone justice. }}}}}}}

Mirabella wrote:Oh Your Majesty, I think you need to punish Eldo severely. He allowed a crack to appear in your encryption spell! He spends absolutely nothing on 'Magic Maintenance' you know, the cheapskate! Rolling Eyes It was bound to happen soooner or later! Mad

Still trying to get me even though Sgt. Herring and I beat you earlier, eh? Mad
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Post by Mirabella Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:15 am

Oh my, Eldo... Laughing You're starting to believe your own fiction! They say writers do get carried away with their own creative 'conceits'. Laughing As if I would have time to Plot against you, what with the Wedding and all. Rolling Eyes Laughing

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Post by Amarië Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:02 am

Eldorion wrote:I guess I have no choice. Laughing But seriously, progress is being made on the first chapter of The Mystery of Mister Figg! I can't promise when I'll have it posted but I'll just say that I'm trying to explore the world of DI Eldo and Sgt. Herring in a little more depth this time. study

cheers I can hardly wait!

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Post by Tinuviel Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:57 am

I'm not going to kill him Mirabella, shame on you! But I think I will create an extra layer of encrytion just in case...

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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:58 pm

DI Eldo. Sgt Herring and the Mystery of the missing Figg, oooo Its almost as catchy as a Agatha Christie. Cool
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Post by Orwell Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:59 pm

I've heard it's not going to be anywhere near as good as The Coal Scuttle, Mrs Figg. Shocked

And I'm not suggesting this because the Anon Author told me to because he fears Eldo is going to outdo him again and is trying to mount some severe pressure on the lad. He's not the envious sort. No way. I've known him a long time. He is almost totally ego-free - like me, in fact. Cool

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Post by Eldorion Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:25 am

Author's Note:

The Mystery of Mister Figg

Part 1



It had been just over a week since Detective Inspector Eldorion and Sergeant Ringo Herring had solved the case of the simultaneous disappearances of Mr Petty Tyrant of Scotshobbiton and of the Banks family coal scuttle. One of those things had now been returned to its rightful place, but the coal scuttle had not, as far as anyone knew, been recovered.

Odo R. Banks, Esq. was extremely distraught at this and lodged a formal complaint with the the police in Needlehole. Unfortunately, the police in Needlehole were in a state of flux since Sheriff Mirabella Banks had been arrested for attempted murder.

Responsibility fell to the commander of the SWAT Hobbits who held the Sheriff in custody to inform Mr Banks as politely as possible that the investigation had already uncovered all it was likely to find. A Hobbit such as Odo Banks was not accustomed to taking “no” for an answer, however, so he confronted DI Eldo about it the next chance he got.

“I really think you should talk to Captain Bullroarer. He's in charge for now,” said DI Eldo.

“I already have, but that oaf doesn't seem to realize just how important I am in this town!” said Odo. “But you do, don't you Mr DI? You've been here a while now and we've met before.” In fact, the last time they had met Odo had sworn up and down that he would see DI Eldo kicked out of the force and sentenced to several decades in the Lockholes for daring to impugn the honor of his beloved niece Mirabella.

The DI then indulged himself. “Between you, me, and the lamp-post, if it were my coal scuttle that were missing, I'd just go ahead and file a claim with my insurance company.” The DI smirked at the rising color in Odo's face. Maybe there was one bright side to being off-duty while he healed.

That evening DI Eldo went for a leisurely stroll around Needlehole. A warm front was moving through and it felt like spring even though it was still January. The offices of the The Archet Bugle were boarded up. The paper had stopped printing and was to be auctioned off after its previous owner, Lesbo Proudfoot, was discovered to be involved in a murder plot.

Eldo scowled at the memory of Lesbo and carefully felt the bruises on his chest. They had faded considerably in the past week but he still felt sore if he exerted himself too much. He knew that he would be fine with time, but DI Eldo was not the most patient of Hobbits.

He felt that it would be easier to bear if they had gotten Lesbo, but she had escaped from the final showdown and gone on the lam. “Probably hiding out in Wales,” said DI Eldo to nobody in particular. He snorted. There was nothing to do about it. Lesbo was long gone and soon he would be moving on to new cases. But for now he was still in Needlehole.

He and Sgt. Herring were still staying in a wing of Mrs Figg's House of Eels and Pleasure. This had caused a fair bit of gossip by scandalized residents of Needlehole, but in truth there was nowhere else for visitors to stay in the town. Not that many would have wanted to stay elsewhere; Mrs Figg's was legendary.

Shortly after he had started to walk around again, Mrs Figg had controned DI Eldo and Sgt. Herring in the lobby as they were about to leave for lunch. “You boys cost me two of my most valuable customers. I hope you're both properly ashamed of yourselves.”

Sgt. Herring, always the more diplomatic policehobbit, spoke for the two of them. “Next time, we'll do our best to keep our criminal investigation as convenient for you as we can.”

The truth was that DI Eldo did not entirely mind having time off. He found Needlehole to be not quite as dull as he'd thought once he discovered the pub life, and most of the locals were quite welcoming once Biffo and Petty put in a good word for him.

And, strangely, he found himself enjoying the company of Sgt. Herring. Eldo felt closer to him than he had to any other officer in his career after almost dying in the Bugle warehouse. They had also discovered a common taste for old career stories as well as the finer types of buckie. It was an unfamiliar feeling for him, but DI Eldo was not in a hurry to move on.

* * *

The next morning DI Eldo woke to a loud knocking on his door. He pulled a pillow over his ears, but the knocking continued, getting louder.

“Enough already!” he snapped as he opened the door. He paused when he saw Mrs Figg on the other. “Oh, good morning! Er, you just woke me up and I'm not really a morning person. Sorry.”

Mrs Figg shook her head. “How long do you boys plan on staying in my rooms?” she said shaking her head. “I understand Sgt. Herring enjoying this arrangement, but I wouldn't have thought you were that type.”

“He's not my-”

“Boyfriend?”

“It's not like that.”

Mrs Figg looked unconvinced. “I had a man in my life too once, you know. For some people denial is the first step towards love.”

Eldo made to close the door but Mrs Figg stopped him. “I came here to tell you I got a message this morning. Some fellow by the name of Elthir says he knows you. He wants you to make a palantir call to him at 11 o'clock sharp. You can use the one in the lobby.”

The DI scowled but nodded. “Thanks for letting me know.”

Mrs Figg's palantir proved much the same as any other, and DI Eldo was soon connected to Superintendent Elthir back in Scotshobbit Yard. “Good morning, sir,” the DI said rather sullenly.

“'Morning, Detective Inspector,” said Superintendent Elthir rather more cheerfully. “I trust you are feeling better?”

“Considerably. The time off has really helped.”

“I'm glad to hear that,” said the Superintendent, and DI Eldo was surprised to find that he believed it. “I'm afraid we need you back on active duty a little earlier than we had anticipated, though. I'm sure you're aware of the policing void in Needlehole right now.”

“As far as I know Sgt. Herring and myself are the only policehobbits in the town,” replied DI Eldo.

“Yes, that's correct. What with all the trouble Sheriff Mirabella caused and the next elections still a long time away we're in something of a pickle here. But that's where you come in. I want you to be stationed in Needlehole to look after things until there is a new Sheriff. It can't hurt to have some outside eyes there anyway, given all the connections Mirabella managed to make.”

“That makes sense, sir. What about Sgt. Herring? Will he be transferred?”

“I had a little chat with the exchange program office,” said Superintendent Elthir. “And they've decided that, if you both agree, he'll continue to be partnered with you while you're in Needlehole.”

“That sounds good to me!” said DI Eldo happily.

“Exellent,” replied the Superintendent. “I'll talk to the Sergeant next and then we'll fill out the paperwork on our end. Good day, Eldo.”

* * *

Soon, Sgt. Herring and DI Eldo were moving the few possessions they had brought (plus a few more that were carted to Needlehole for them by Superintendent Elthir) to the Sheriff's office. No one had moved anything since Mirabella's arrest, so the walls were still covered in framed poems to Pretty Tyrant and pictures of the couple.

“'I want you to be the Sheriff who arrests my heart',” read Sgt. Herring as he examined a framed poem edged in pink flowers. “Ugh.” The poems and pictures were all thrown in the garbage.

The Sheriff's office was on Main Street in the heart of downtown Needlehole. Their new next-door neighbor turned out to be Amarie, the ambassador of the Dark Planet, on vacation while the Forumshire Council was adjourned.

“I read all about your adventure in the papers,” she informed the policehobbits when they met. “I was fascinated how you managed to track all three conspirators to the warehouse just from talking to people. I do love detective stories, but the best ones are when they're true!” DI Eldo smiled as best he could and Sgt. Herring thanked the ambassador politely.

It appeared that Amarie was a subscriber to every newspaper in Forumshire, based on the pile of them that appeared at her door every morning. They were collected at promptly 8:00 AM by one of her assistants from the Dark Planet. Her other assistants did her shopping and gardening and Amarie herself spent most of her time working in her private study.

DI Eldo, who remembered the troubles immediately following Dark Planet Day, was not entirely comfortable with the neighbors, but he calmed himself by remembering that the Admin had decreed that Forumshire would move beyond the past and reach out in friendship. Who was he to second-guess the Admin who led Forumshire through its darkest hour?

The ordinary policing of Needlehole contrasted sharply with DI Eldo and Sgt. Herring's first few days in the town. There were regular calls regarding public drunkenness or improperly parked pony carts, but for the most part the Hobbits of Needlehole were able to resolve things on their own. Odo called regularly about members of the Tyrant clan trespassing on his property, but more often that not this turned out to be Petty and Biffo sneaking away for a night on the town.

After a couple of weeks DI Eldo decided that Needlehole was not as bad as it was made out to be. Even so, every now and then he would pine for an intriguing case that would further his career. Those were the nights that he would spend flipping through his now usually-neglected promotional exam prep book until Sgt. Herring told him he needed to rest.

* * *

It was the first week of February when such a case came to the attention of DI Eldo and Sgt. Herring. It was a Wednesday morning, which for them meant reading through all the loose papers floating around the office from the past week and deciding whether to file them or through them in the garbage. (Forumshire was not the sort of progressive country that would have recycling.)

The two partners were in the middle of an intense debate over whether they needed to keep a record of every single complaint from Mrs Figg's customers that they had become ill from her establishment or if they could simply create an index with names and date. Sgt. Herring was sure that he had DI Eldo in the crushing grip of reason when the bell rang loudly.

“I'll get it,” said Sgt. Herring, who was closer to the front door. He opened the door to reveal a young female Hobbit in an expensive-looking Hobbit-suit. “Can I help you?” asked Sgt. Herring.

“Yes. I am looking for Detective Inspector Eldorion and his subordinate,” replied the stranger.

“That's me,” Eldo called from within. His feet were propped up on his desk and he did not feel like moving. “I'm the DI, I mean. Sgt. Herring here is the subordinate.” That brought a scowl to the Fjordlandian's face.

“Good, good,” said the stranger, though she cast an disapproving glance at the DI's casual posture. “I am Agent Nora Herring of Bree-land Intelligence.”

“Any relation to Ringo?” The DI grinned.

“Pardon me?”

The Sergeant here is named Ringo Herring, of Skattykatzenfjord,” said DI Eldo. “Are you two by any chance related?”

“Not that I'm aware of,” said Agent Nora tersely. “I am a native of Bree-land, though I am of Fjordlandian descent. But that's not the issue here. My visit was arranged as part of a joint intelligence operation between our countries, but I'm sure you've been debriefed.”

“I certainly hope I still have my briefs,” said DI Eldo with an air of mock concern. “I may have gotten a memo about this though. Give me just one minute, as you can see we're in the middle of reorganizing our file system.”

Agent Nora gave an exasperated sigh but said nothing while the DI rifled through the piles of papers on his desk. “Ah, here it is!” he exclaimed. “Arrived from the Superintendent in Scotshobbit Yard this morning. But there must be a mistake. It says-”

“That Bree-land Intelligence requires the cooperation of the Forumshire Police Department in an ongoing investigation that affects us both and that you will accordingly have to visit Bree-land in order to familiarize yourself with the case,” said Agent Nora coolly. “I've read it.”

“Why can't you just fill us in here and now?” asked Sgt. Herring with some annoyance at the Bree-lander's attitude.

“Because it is an important matter of national – and in fact international – security and we cannot risk transporting classified documents all the way to Forumshire,” said Agent Nora.

“Why not just handle it yourself then?”

“Because we have reason to suspect that some of the criminals under investigation have fled to Forumshire,” said the frustrated Agent. “International cooperation is thus of the utmost importance. Now, as your superior officer can attest, you two have been ordered to Bree-land with me. We should depart as soon as possible.”

“I assume you have made travel arrangements,” said Sgt. Herring somewhat more snappily than he intended to. DI Eldo continued to read through the memo.

“Unfortunately the ship to Bree-land on which I arrived is not returning directly and I have not yet had the opportunity to find another,” said Agent Nora with a slight flush at the hitch in her plans. “However, if we return promptly to the Capitol I'm sure we can find arrangements without trouble.”

“That won't be necessary,” said DI Eldo, who had finished the memo and was now folding it up. “I know a Hobbit who can take us their directly. No other ports of call along the way, provided you can afford it...?” He raised his eyebrows slightly.

“Cost is of no importance,” said Agent Nora.

“Perfect,” said DI Eldo. “We can be ready to leave within the hour. Get ready to meet Captain Orwell McOdo III, the most pompous privateer in all of Forumshire!”


Last edited by Eldorion on Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:06 am

On the lam in Wales... Shocked dear oh dear.
{{And I am MENTIONED IN THE STORY!! *squeeeee*}} *cough*

How very exciting this is! Travelling to Bree-land!

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:26 am

Great right up until my namesake --- the THIRD one Eldorion! Why him? Sad Sad Sad {{{I didn't see that coming! Laughing}}} Oh well, I must toughen up I guess.

My goodness how can this tale fail? That tetchy young woman from Bree-land, formerly from Fjordianlandia - sounds suspiciously familiar. Cool. Cool

And that budding romance between DI Eldo and Sgt Herring. I weren't expectin' that either. Laughing Though maybe it's one of those blasted stupid little rumours that fly around about Policemen (or Policehobbits) who are forced - because of circumstances - to spend a lot of time together. Idle gossip, Eldo - idle gossip! I won't believe anything, not until Beaky Potter gets photos anyhow... Laughing

And Biffo and Petty ("Putty"?) teaming up. Impossible - maybe not... the Real Odo would be furious. (Your fictional Odo sounds remarkly 'on the mark' btw!)

It's clearly an Alternate Forumshire tale, what. I mean, there's a "sea" between Forumshire and Bree-land. And Dark Planet can be reached by land or sea, presumably? Shocked Gold, lad! Gold!

Excellent Eldo, bloody superb! cheers

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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:38 am

I think it's nice that Petty has a friend. Smile Or a pet... And it's nice that Eldo and Herring get a long so well. I hope there won't be any misunderstandings with the Herring's and Eldo travelling together.

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:46 am

Not with me -- but I don't trust the gutter press, Amarie -- that's NotP, The Purist and (sadly of late) the Archet Bugle. I think that the State run franchise will leave it alone though, unless to deny any rumours. Eldo and the Admin (who runs the State rag) are closer than even the DI and the Sergeant are in this clearly fictional tale.

{{Talk about rumours flying around Hobbiton! I've heard so many since taking over the Wedding Plannning, Amarie. My goodness! I've heard one too many gross tales about what Eldo and the Admin get up to in that Tower of Lore! Eeek! Shocked }}}

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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:53 am

{{{{ Shocked Pssssssst, Orwell!! ORWELL!! I think your encryption is leaking!! You're missing a bracket!! Beware the wrath of the Admin!! Mostly because you put my NAME in there, you slob! pale }}}}

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:05 am

{{{{{{{{{{{{ - is that enough.... better be sure... {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ oh f*&k! pale }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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Post by Porgy Bunk-Banks Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:09 am

My goodness! What a stink! No wonder Orwell didn't answer the door Wisey. He's passed out on the floor. Ooo pooh -- the peppermint is stifling. Open a window will you, darls...

What's this on the sideboard btw? It looks like one of those cheap foreign palantir-interceptors doesn't it?
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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:11 am

{{{{{{{{{{{{Yeah, Orwell, that should do it. Now if you will excuse me, I think I will retire to my spaceshi.. STUDY! Study.}}}}}}}}}}}}

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:20 am

Huh? Oh Porgy and Wisey -- what happened? I dreamt I was drowning in a vat of peppermint tea... then everything went blank...


Oh NOW I remember... affraid

Sniff! Sniff! Oh excuse me a moment will you, guys. Incoming peppermint with a strangely Nordic flavour... Someone's sent me an encrypted message....



{{{Good luck with the study Amarie. If I'm dead next time you see me, please don't blame yourself.... Sad }}}



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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:35 am

{{{Orwell, I would be very mildly happy to bring you with me to the safety of Dark Planet and my own mod powers, but you made pretty darn sure that the bouncers there know exactly in which direction to kick you... Will you ever learn? DON'T PISS OFF THE ADMINS!! And most CERTAINLY don't drag me down with you! }}}

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:44 am

{{{ Laughing You know, I partially deserved my banishment from there.... Laughing }}}

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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:46 am

{{{ Lol! No kidding! Laughing }}}

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:50 am

{{{I blame Pretty most Rolling Eyes --- It was mostly guilt by association I feel...but as she got banished too, I suppose I can't be too bitter and twisted about it... Very Happy ... ... ... ... NOT MUCH! Banghead }}}

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