“Well, what I was hoping,” Jasmine went on, fiddling with one of her abraxas rings, “was that you’d look after it. Hide it for a few days. Just till things get sorted out, like, that’s all.”
“Till what things get sorted out, darling?” Priny asked.
“Well, you know, who did what, like, and that …”
“So, who did do it?” the Commander, who’d been grappling with it, asked, frowning up at Jasmine.
“That’s what has to be sorted out, James,” Priny said reasonably.
“Well, according to Annie, it was Phineas that was involved,” Jasmine was able to tell them. “But according to Hattie, because of what Phineas had told her George had told him, it was Humph, as a master of disguise, and all that. Or Shelly, Hattie said Shelly could be the mastermind behind it, like Ma Bacon, or somebody, in America.”
Priny ignored it. “So, meanwhile, in there,” she said, indicating the sack with her cigarette holder, “is all the cash from the Shrewsbury robbery? Is that right?”
“One hundred thousand pounds …?”
“Yes. Well, almost.”
“My word,” Priny said, and fluttered her eyelashes at it. “May I take a little peek, Jasmine? I’ve never seen a hundred thousand pounds before.”
Jasmine said yes, of course she could, and was it all right if she went now?
“Yes, of course, darling,” Priny said breezily.
“Just a minute – hold on, Jas,” Sion broke in. “Why didn’t any of you just call the police?”
Jasmine looked scandalised.
“We can’t do that, Sion! What if Humph is the mastermind, and all that? We can’t call the police on him. Wouldn’t be right.”
“My word,” Priny said, peering into the sack. “All that money … There’s oodles of it,” she said with a delicious little shiver.
“Who would have thought it,” the Commander pondered.
“Who would have thought what, darling?” Priny said, sitting down again, and leaning on the table beaming, chin in hand, at her husband.
“Well, Humph. A master criminal, and all that, you know?”
She laughed, sounding light-headed. “This gets weirder. A sackful of swag from a wages snatch sitting on one’s deck is fantastic enough – but Humph as a master criminal …!” she said, and tinkled another laugh.