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chapter 1

The Famous Five: The Final Adventure.
A Tribute to Enid Blyton.

Chapter 18.
George and Anne's Adventure.

Anne and George waited with Timmy until Sir Peter Brooke had crossed the road and headed down Whitehall, before they set off in pursuit. Timmy was now sufficiently aware of London's traffic for George to allow him off the lead, even at night. Sir Peter did not seem in any hurry. He stopped at a newsvendor and bought an Evening Classified. Further on down Whitehall, was The Carlton Club. Sir Peter bounced up the steps and was greeted with a military style salute by the doorman.
   "We really can't follow him in there," announced Anne.
   A dark alcove was found, set into the building opposite. The three made themselves as inconspicuous as possible and pre-pared for a long wait.
   It was a full fifteen minutes before Sir Peter re-appeared and continued his journey, further down Whitehall, up Parliament Street and finally into Westminster. The big clock of Westminster showed one minute to eleven when Sir Peter turned right into a side street, unlatched a large wrought iron gate and entered The Abbey grounds.
   From their viewpoint, behind the black iron railings, Anne and George saw the Home Secretary stride up to the tomb of Sir Harry Hotspur and fiddle with the stirrup on the left foot of the statue. Then something very strange occurred, Sir Peter began pushing the engraved stone slab at the end of the tomb. The slab swung inward and he disappeared down some steps inside the tomb. The stone slab then swung silently back into place.
   At that very moment, the chimes of Big Ben could be heard to strike the hour of eleven o'clock.
   Anne and George looked at each other. Both had the same amazed expression on their face.
   "Tell me I'm not dreaming, Anne," said George, at last.
   "Well, if you're dreaming I'm having the same one," replied Anne.
   The two girls, with Timmy following close behind, entered the Abbey grounds through the big wrought iron gate and headed straight for Sir Harry Hotspur's tomb. George tried pushing the stone slab that Sir Peter had vanished behind. Nothing happened! She pushed harder, but the slab would simply not budge.
   "He did something to that foot up there," said Anne, standing on the step that surrounded the tomb.
   She tried pulling and twisting the foot but to no avail.
   "This spur is a little bit loose, but it doesn't seem to do anything," she said, finally.
   "Here, let me have a look," said George, impatiently pushing Anne aside.
   The sound of a motorcycle could be heard pulling up in the side street. George was giving Sir Harry Hotspur's foot a close inspection by the light of her torch, when ...
   "What the hell do you think you're up to?"
   The deep man's voice made George jump and drop her torch in fright. She turned to see a huge man, made to look even bigger by the large red helmet on his head, storm through the gate and thunder in their direction. The man raised his arm as if to strike George. This was too much for Timmy. With a growl coming from deep within his throat Timmy lunged at the man, sinking his teeth into a juicy part of his leg. The man yelled in pain. He bent down, put his huge hand around Timmy's neck and pressed hard with his fingers and thumb. Timmy felt his jaws open, releasing the leg. He was powerless to stop it. Still holding Timmy tightly by the neck, in one fluid movement, the man stood up and swung his arm backward. Timmy flew into the air, somersaulting over and over, landing with a sickening thud on the ground some thirty feet away.
   "Timmy, Timmy," shouted George. "What have you done to my dog? You brute."
   George screamed at the man, lashing out with her feet. He neatly sidestepped, grabbed her easily by the scruff of the neck, reached up, turned Sir Harry's heel, pulled down on his spur, kicked the stone slab open with his foot, pushed Anne roughly down the steps and threw George after her.
   Anne was lucky. She managed to stay on her feet, running down the stone steps and slamming against the wall at the bottom with her shoulder.
   Not so George. She tumbled over and over, finally cracking her head on the hard, stone flagged floor.
   Johnson, for that's who it was, swung the stone slab back into place and bound down the steps two at a time. He shone his torch up a narrow underground passage and turned to Anne. "OK, I want you heading in that direction as quick as possible. Now!" he ordered.
   "I am not leaving George here," Anne said, in a quavering voice.
   "Oh! Don't worry," said Johnson, "I'll attend to him." He promptly picked up George and threw her over his shoulder.
   The little group marched down the passage, Anne getting a prod in the back every now and again, a sharp reminder to move quicker. She was crying by this time. Was George badly hurt? How was poor Timmy? Where were they being taken? Suddenly Anne was confronted by what seemed like a solid stone wall.
   Johnson grabbed hold of her shoulder and pulled her back. "Wait there," he said gruffly.
   His torch picked out a metal lever jutting out from the wall. He pushed down on this, slid a section of the wall sideways and stepped through the opening.
   Johnson cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted to someone unseen. "Make yourself scarce. We have some unwanted guests."
   He lent back, grabbed hold of Anne and pushed her in front of him. Anne found herself in a dimly lit hall with many pillars joined together by curved, Saxon arches.
   Johnson frogmarched her across the hall to a large solid wooden door. He slid back the bolts, opened the door and thrust her roughly inside, dropping George's limp body to the cold, stone floor.
   "I've got some Company for you two," said Johnson, in a sarcastic tone, to the existing occupants. He then left, slamming the door shut behind him.
   The room was lit by a solitary lamp on the table, and to Anne's great surprise who should be sitting at the table but an equally astonished Vivien and Professor Dandashi.
   "Oh! Vivien! Professor! Can you please help me," pleaded Anne, "George has been hurt."

Timmy heard George call out his name. He saw the big man, with the large helmet, pick his beloved mistress up by the scruff of the neck. What Timmy wanted more than anything was to be able to go to George's rescue, but he just could not move. The impact on hitting the ground had badly winded him so there was not a drop of air left in his lungs. An excruciating pain racked deep inside his chest. Timmy could not move, but he could see. He saw the man reach up and turn the heel of the statue's foot and pull down on the spur. He saw the man kick the slab open, push first Anne and then George down the steps. He saw the man follow the girls inside the tomb and then close the slab.
   Timmy took short, panting breaths at first. It was a full minute before he was breathing properly and two minutes before he could stand. He staggered over to Sir Harry Hotspur's tomb and lent against the stone slab. No movement could be felt at all. He must find Julian and Dick.
   Timmy loped out of the Abbey grounds and up the road towards Trafalgar Square. His chest was still hurting but the exercise was freeing his bruised muscles. Every yard, Timmy felt easier. Every yard, Timmy went faster.

Turner steered the strange vessel out of St. Katherine's Dock into the main flow of The River Thames and hugged the north bank, the special battery powered electric motor making hardly a sound.
   Behind Turner sat West, a snug fit between two sacks of jewels, feeling as pleased as punch. "Did you see how those jewels just fell into our laps, Peri., just like old Brooksie predicted," blurted out West, bubbling with excitement.
   Turner just smiled. He knew the danger was not yet over. At that moment, a large helicopter flew overhead making for the Tower. "Things are certainly hotting up," he muttered.
   It took precisely eight minutes to reach the small landing stage at Westminster Bridge. The two men unloaded the sacks from the boat and laid them on the towpath, before Turner leapt onto the landing stage and lifted up a specially constructed shutter. West pushed the low-slung craft under the landing stage and Turner let the shutter drop back into place. The boat was now perfectly hidden from view.
   Both men gave an instinctive glance up river. The Police flotilla could just be seen rounding the bend, half a mile distant, search-lights sweeping the banks.
   "Let's get out of here," said Turner.
   The two men loaded the booty into the trusty news van and drove the short distance to The Abbey, the tomb and the secret passage.

It was 10.55 pm. Sergeant Brandon was leaning back in his chair, his feet crossed on top of the desk, sipping a hot, freshly brewed mug of coffee. Sergeant Brandon was the officer in charge, his duty: to guard The Tower of London. The room he occupied, situated high up in the northeast turret of The White Tower, offered a panoramic view of The Tower grounds.
   Along the full length of one wall was the control console that monitored all the alarms and sensing devices making up the Tower of London's security system. The left hand side of the sloping front panel was a mass of lights, buttons and switches: on the right, a bank of six different coloured telephones: and a large, red lamp dominated the centre. Above this, directly linked to the faceless voice of security command, a solitary red telephone.
   Across the table from the sergeant sat Corporal 'Winkle' Jones, reading a sports magazine. The chimes of 'Big Ben' could be distinctly heard through the open window.
   "Time for inspection patrol," announced Sergeant Brandon.
   "Yes sir," replied the Corporal.
   Every two hours the second in command went on inspection patrol, which really meant checking up on the guards to see if they were awake. But there would be no inspection patrol tonight, for just then the first alarm went off. Then another. Then another.
   The sergeant jumped backwards allowing his feet to fall off of the table and hot coffee from the mug splashed onto the front of his shirt, burning his chest.
   "Blast!" he cursed and ran over to the control console.
   All the alarm lights were flashing and as every light had an associated buzzer, everything looked and sounded in total chaos.
   Then the unthinkable happened. The large, red lamp in the centre of the panel began to flash also. The siren alarm had been tripped.
   "Oh no! Not Operation Raven!" cried out Sergeant Brandon, in dismay.
   'Operation Raven' was the code name given to an irreversible sequence of events that would occur when the computer inside the control console judged that 'The Crown Jewels' were under threat.
   First: The Crown Jewels, already locked inside the viewing room, would drop twenty metres and totally seal themselves inside an inch thick 'osmium alloy' chamber.
   Second: The River Police depots at The Isle of Dogs and Chelsea, would each send a flotilla of Police launches towards the Tower of London.
   Third: the local police would block off all roads within a mile radius of The Tower of London.
   And finally: a team of crack S.A.S. soldiers would be flown in by helicopter from Chelsea Barracks.
   Little did the soldiers know that while they were playing their little games the golden egg had already flown the nest and the only hope of the egg being returned to the nest hinged upon a dog. A dog named Timmy.

Timmy reached Trafalgar Square, skirted around the outer edge and exited down The Strand as he had seen Julian and Dick do earlier.
   On and on he ran until he met a roadblock of Police cars with flashing blue lights, but Timmy did not worry about roadblocks. He easily slipped, un-noticed, through the police-man's legs and the legs of the milling crowd beyond.
   Suddenly Timmy stopped dead. Was that Julian's voice he could hear? He looked over. Yes there he was, talking to another person. And Dick was standing close by.
   Timmy bound over, leapt at Dick, hitting him in the chest, almost bowling him over.

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