The Reporting Team's Christmas Mystery Play 2003

Volume XIII

Mr. Trehedgehog drew from his pocket a small cardboard container and laid it upon the table. On the outside was a red poison label and beneath it was written 'Brassica Testes Diaboli'. He pushed it towards me. "I understand that you are a doctor, sir. Have you ever heard of this?"

"No, I have never heard of it," I admitted.

"It's cousins are the vile cabbage and broccoli but this, the sprout, or to use its proper nomenclature, 'Brassica Testes Diaboli', or Satan's Testicles, is pure, concentrated evil. It is used in certain households as an ordeal poison for children. In this form it can induce the most crippling stomach churning and nausea but there is another preparation, a preparation I foolishly revealed to Mortimer Tregennis, whereby it can be transformed, by mixing it with foul swill beer, into a single burst of flatulence so devastating that those few people who have survived the experience have come to call it The Devil's Fart!"

"Mortimer Tregennis was a subtle, scheming man whim I did not much care for but Mr. Trejelly desperately needed money and so the Reporting Team tolerated his visits to play cards. One day, only a couple of weeks ago, he came to my house and I showed him some of the curiosities I had picked up on my travels around the world. I described the noxious effects of this vile substance I had come across while travelling (at very high speed, naturally) through Lincolnshire. How he took it I cannot say but somehow, while I was rummaging through my collection, he managed to extract some of the 'Brassica Testes Diaboli'. I well remember how he plied me with questions as to the method of conjuring up The Devil's Fart but I little dreamed that he could have such a personal reason for asking.

"I thought no more of the matter until Mrs. Trerichards; telegram reached me at the airport. No doubt Tregennis expected me to be in Japan by then but he had failed to take into consideration the complete absence of a public transport system in Cornwall. I came back at once and, of course, I could not listen to the details without suspecting what had transpired. When I learned that Mortimer Tregennis had been seen buying flagons of Tribute at the St. Awful Brewery I had no doubt as to his guilt. Knowing how much they liked him it is no wonder that Mr. Trejelly, Mr. Tremacdonald and Mrs. Trebristol did not react when Shaun Tresheep wandered into the room. Little did they know that Tregennis had just that moment filled him with Tribute and fed him the 'Brassica Testes Diaboli'. Tregennis no doubt hoped that the Devil's Fart would kill them all. Even so, the three that survived were left in no condition to identify the murderer.

"But what could I do? Should I appeal to the law? Where were my proofs? That night I met up with the rest of the Reporting Team. Our souls cried out for revenge. It was now that we determined that the fate which he had given to others should be shared by himself. As fortune would have it, we had amongst our ranks Mr. Shaun Tresheep, Shaun Tresheep's identical twin stranger. The love of his life is a Miss Lucy Lobster of Higher Lowerstoff (or, possibly, Lower Higherstoff) who was most upset at the fate of Mr. Tremacdonald and Mrs. Trebristol (mainly because she was now left behind to look after Catto Macho). So, to win her favour, Shaun bravely volunteered to undertake the mission to release a second Devil's Fart. 

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