Criminal Masterminds

It ain’t just the Prof can come up with these clever plans - I got it going on upstairs too. Nice and simple, this one, not like some of the Prof’s forty-seven step wonders that end up with Eggsy and Laddie dangling from ladders above a canal packed with snapping crocodiles or some such.

Nice and simple, and right on cue, just as the Major’s Bentley rounds the bend, out steps Sharon. Do anything for me, that girl, including take a stroll dressed only in her underwear. The Prof would have had a broken-down minibus full of nuns or a pregnant lady with three toddlers, but all it takes is a nearly nude girl to draw the Major’s car to a halt.

That girl is a pro, cowering in terror, fingers trying to shield her eyes from the bright glare of the Major’s headlights. Only Eggsy and Laddie are with me, both of them in the back, and both of them playing against type as dunderheads because they’ve both remembered to bring their binocs.

I press transmit on the walkie to signal to Duncan. Drawn the short straw he has, up on a ladder with a nightvision scope – the lookout man. ‘Duncan, you have eyes on the Major and Sharon, over?’

Several seconds of static, and then at last he replies I the affirmative, but his voice is a little breathless. Poor guy, must be cold up that ladder.

We just drive up to the house, nice and simple. Round to the French doors at the back that the old duffer never locks, and then upstairs to the prize. Not his big green safe protected by lasers, not an idiot, am I. Into the bedroom, move a wardrobe, roll back the carpet, and bingo, check out the floor as old and decrepit as the rest, but check out the shiny bright screws at each corner. Underneath are five metal boxes that fit neatly into the gaps between the joists.

‘Oh yes, boys! Nothing but sushi and gold credit cards for us now!’

Eggsy and Laddie high five and whoop.

I call up Duncan for a sit-rep. Eventually, and after much, much static, he answers. That Sharon, what a girl, still playing the part of a damsel in distress and keeping the Major occupied. From what Duncan says, based on the noise from the car, she’s pretending to have a hysterical breakdown.

This means we have time to screw the floorboard back down, roll out the carpet and move the wardrobe back, and stroll out of there like we own the place. No frantic rush, no hurtling the car around narrow country lanes; we turn up at the hideout like we’ve been out for a Sunday drive.

Eggsy and Laddie spent the drive trying to guess the contents of the Major’s boxes. Solid gold doubloons, based on the weight. They are so crestfallen when we open one up to find that it’s full of metal toy soldiers.

I pick one up. The workmanship is exquisite.

‘Lads, lads, lads. Where’s your vision? Where’s your lateral thinking? Really old toy soldiers? Worth a fortune these are.’

Eggsy and Laddie’s faces brighten.

I continue. ‘Yeah, we’re gonna be rich. You seen the price of lead these days?’