Just another night on stakeout...
Answer to the 'Word' challenge
Write a 4-page max story featuring Bodie and Doyle and using 5 each of
complicated and easy words from the following lists:
Complicated words: Sophisticated, Sardonic, Surreptitious, Gazebo, Augur,
Intricacy, Serendipity, Liquefaction, Proboscis, Raison d'Ítre
Easy words: Chocolate, Beer, Spades, Hiccups, Muddy,
Hangover, Superman, Chickens, Macho, Smoke
"Furtive, underhand, stealthy..."
"Talking about yourself again, Bodie?" Doyle held himself ready to dodge in case his partner found something to throw at him, but Bodie merely grunted.
" I'm doing a crossword. Anyway, if I was, I'd be saying 'stylish and refined', which is the clue to four down, not nine across..."
"Did you get any answers yet? How many letters?" Doyle asked, bored enough to be interested.
"Which one were you talking about?"
"Nine across. Thirteen letters, ending in 's', meaning furtive; the sort of character we're looking out for."
Returning his gaze to the window, Doyle thought for a second. "Surreptitious."
Bodie counted across the columns and filled it in. "Yep, that fits. OK, the other one, four down. Stylish and refined, another thirteen letters. It crosses surreptitious, making 'I' the fifth letter."
"Surely you can get that one? A person such as yourself: classy and urbane, and not to mention modest?"
Bodie grinned. "Easy. 'Sophisticated'. Anything happening out there?"
"It's raining. Some chap is walking his dog; poor mutt looks thoroughly fed up."
"So'm I. This stakeout is a complete waste of time." Bodie stood up and stretched, and peered over Doyle's shoulder. "I thought you said it was raining?"
Puzzled, Doyle glanced at him. "It is..."
"That's not rain; that's a monsoon..."
"And you'd know all about monsoons with your jungle background. Anyway the sky's looking lighter, it'll be over soon."
"Wish this shift was." Bodie consulted his watch. They'd only been there two hours: it already felt like ten. "Do you think the Cow would notice if we sloped off home?"
"Of course he would. He's got eyes everywhere; you know that. The sky will probably fall in if you move one foot from that door before the shift is over."
Bodie sighed; of course Doyle was right. Cowley would find out; their boss was in league with the devil. He returned to his seat and picked up the magazine again.
"Two down, five letters ending with 'e'. 'You don't get this without fire.' Smoke." The clue reminded him of something. "Did you get any more out of Murphy?"
"What, about Betty? Not yet. He let slip that he was taking someone to dinner on Saturday though - could be her."
"Bound to be. Maybe we should follow him; accidentally turn up at the same restaurant?"
"I didn't know you had a death-wish, Bodie. And if by some chance Murphy didn't kill you, Betty would make your life a misery. Don't forget who processes all the expense claims."
Bodie hastily revised his plans for Saturday. "OK, point taken. I can't afford to upset the ice maiden."
"If the rumours are true, you can't keep calling her that." Doyle had never thought that of Betty anyhow. Turning Bodie down just proved how sensible she was. Turning himself down, however, did seem to indicate a lack of perception. "It'll come out eventually. You can't keep anything quiet at headquarters for long."
"True. What about eight across: 'Could be a summerhouse or small shelter'. Six letters, ending with 'o'."
"O?" Doyle shook his head. "Dunno, what else is there?"
"OK, really easy one. Four letters ending with 'r', 'Product of a brewery'. "
"Even easy for you," Doyle grinned. "You're an expert on brewery products."
"And you're a rank amateur, I suppose? Just who was it drunk me under the table last week?"
"As I remember, Jax was still standing when we were both under the table. I'd love to know how he does that. We'll have to watch him one night - I don't think he drinks half as much as he makes out."
"Probably not. He never seems to spend as much, either. You don't think he's actually teetotal and we've never realised?"
Doyle considered that. "Nah. We've seen him. What was he was drinking last Christmas? That seemed to ginger him up nicely."
"Some sort of Caribbean cocktail, wasn't it?" Bodie remembered. "It had far too much fruit in it for me."
"More like a meal than a drink. We'll have to find out what the alcohol content was." Doyle lifted the binoculars to scan the house opposite, more because he needed to move and do something than because he thought there was anything to see. "Not a bean. Which reminds me, remind me not to take food recommendations from you again."
"I tried those chilli beans that you said were good."
"Well, they are."
"They also have some unfortunate side effects. Clare wasn't amused."
Stifling a grin, Bodie hastened to change the subject. "What about this clue? Eleven letters beginning with 's', 'A fortunate coincidence.'"
"Serendipity. Which those beans most certainly were not... You could've warned me."
"Caveat emptor, mate. Anyway, you're the one who knows about food. I'd've thought you'd have known all about side effects." Bodie completed that answer. "Hey, there's a clue about beans..."
Doyle frowned, waiting for another joke at his expense, but Bodie was serious. "'Sweet made from beans.' Nine letters, eighth letter is a 'T'."
"Chocolate. You should know that; you're always eating it."
"Could do with some now actually. I don't suppose..."
"In the bag," Doyle grinned. The bag also contained some sandwiches, a flask of coffee and a couple of cans of beer for later - stakeouts were bad enough without a few home comforts.
Bodie eagerly rummaged and retrieved the large bar of Dairy Milk. "Perfect. Who packed this lot for us?"
"Ruth. She's been stuck up here for three days already and found out the hard way that there's nowhere to buy anything."
"Remind me to thank her. Girl's a lifesaver."
"I already thanked her."
Bodie was about to pounce on the inflection in Doyle's voice - this wasn't the first time he'd hinted at some sort of relationship with Ruth - when Doyle suddenly said, "Gazebo."
"Eh? What the heck's that?"
"Eight across, summerhouse or shelter. Gazebo."
"It fits, I suppose it's right. And two across -" he scribbled quickly "- suit of cards, beginning and ending with 's', is spades."
Crunching on another chunk of chocolate, Bodie skimmed the clues. "We're about half way through. 'A repeated spasm of the lungs'. Got a 'c' in the middle."
"Hiccups. What you'll have if you don't slow down with the chocolate."
Bodie took another large chunk and chewed it ostentatiously and deliberately, before suddenly swallowing, half-choking with laughter.
"Eleven down - 'Pinocchio had a large one' - and it begins with a 'p'..."
Doyle shook his head in mock dismay. "Where do you get these magazines? What do you think it is?"
Bodie grinned. "Too many letters for the obvious. And nose doesn't begin with 'p'."
"Proboscis. A nose or snout. What Cowley sticks into things..." Doyle suddenly leapt to his feet, scrabbling for the photo of their suspect to confirm his sighting. "It's him. C'mon sunshine..."
As she finished packing away the equipment, Ruth picked up the magazine, scanning the clues and answers written in Bodie's handwriting. He did quite well, for an ill-educated oaf...
Her eye was caught by several notes on the bottom of the page. 'Beans?' 'Jax and fruit?' 'Murphy and Betty?' None of that made any sense. But the last one, 'Doyle and Ruth?????' made her blush. Time for her to have a word or two with Ray Doyle...