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epilogue
chapter 23
chapter 22
chapter 21
chapter 20
chapter 19
chapter 18
chapter 17
chapter 16
chapter 15
chapter 14
chapter 13
chapter 12
chapter 11
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chapter 9
chapter 8
chapter 7
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chapter 4
chapter 3
chapter 2
chapter 1

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

Chapter 20.
The Fancy Dress Parade.

"Where are The Crown Jewels now?" asked Anne, her eyes shining with excitement.
   "There is one large Crown on the table outside in the hall," replied Julian. "I take it the rest are locked up in the room with the gang of thieves."
   "Oooh! The Crown Jewels," cried Anne. "How exciting. I must have a look at this Crown." With that, Anne picked up the lamp and went out into the hall, followed by everyone else.
   "This is The Crown of State," she said, remembering from her visit to The Tower of London. "See how the large diamond glistens in the light of the lamp."
   The four men, locked in the room, began banging loudly on their door. "If you let us out we will make it worth your while," shouted out one. "We are very influential people."
   "Not on your life," called back Julian. "I know who you are. What you have done is tantamount to treason. You will all be probably locked up in The Tower and the key thrown away."
   Meanwhile, Anne was investigating other parts of the hall. In between the room where the thieves were being held and the room she herself had been a prisoner, was another door. She looked inside. To her amazement, on the table against the back wall, were more jewels and in the corner, two large bulging sacks.
   "I think I have discovered the rest of The Crown Jewels," she called out.
   This brought the others running. On the table were three more crowns, The Sceptre and Cross and a large golden orb.
   Julian picked up the sceptre and gazed at the massive pear shaped diamond, set just below the cross. "This is 'The First Star of Africa', the largest diamond in the world," he said, in awe.
   Dick, rummaging about in one of the sacks, pulled out a long sapphire and ruby studded sword. "I could have great fun with this," he said, practicing a thrust at an imaginary foe.
   "Look at all these tiaras, bracelets and rings," exclaimed Vivien, peering into the other sack.
   Professor Dandashi strolled to the doorway and looked out into the hall. "The thing that puzzles me," he said, turning to the others, "is what is the name of this building we are in?"
   "I think I can answer that," said Dick.
   All eyes turned to Dick, in anticipation. "I believe we are under The Houses of Parliament," he said, suddenly embarrassed at all the attention he had aroused.
   "By Jove, I believe you're right," exclaimed George. "This must be where Guy Fawkes planned to blow up The Houses of Parliament years ago. It is now only visited once a year, on the fourth of November, by soldiers checking for explosives."
   "Wait here a minute. I have a brilliant idea," said Dick, a wicked gleam in his eye.
   He raced up to the end of the hall stopping at a huge door with the largest key he had ever seen protruding from the lock. Beyond the door were some steps. Dick bound up these two at a time. One-flight. Two-flights. Three-flights. He was then con-fronted by a similar door with an equally large key. Dick put his ear to the door and listened. He grinned with satisfaction. From behind the door could be heard people's voices and footsteps.
   He raced back to the others, grabbing hold of Anne by the arm. "Come with me a second, Anne," said Dick and led the bewildered girl to the table in the hall, picked up 'The Crown of State' and placed it carefully on her head. He then rushed back into the room, selected 'The Sceptre and Orb' and handed them both to Anne.
   "Doesn't she look majestic?" said Dick, standing back to admire his handiwork. "What I propose is this: we all dress up in a similar fashion and parade in front of whoever is upstairs. Then nobody can accuse us of not having The Crown Jewels," he added, giving Julian a wink.
   Julian slowly shook his head in disbelief. "We will all get our heads chopped off, Dick," he said.
   "Oh, come on Julian. I think it is a great idea," shouted George and raced off to find herself a crown.
   This was the signal for them all to join in.
   "I bags this sword," announced Dick, brandishing the magnif-icent jewelled weapon above his head. "My kingdom for a horse."
   Professor Dandashi stood back enjoying the entertainment. These certainly were exceptional children.
   "How about you, Professor?" enquired Anne. "This crown would suit you perfectly."
   "No thank you, Anne," he said. "I am having enough fun watching you five enjoy yourselves."
   "This is like a glorified fancy dress," remarked Vivien, "but using the real McCoy."
   Soon everyone was ready and in a line waiting to be inspected by the Professor.
   "How do we look, father?" asked Vivien.
   "You all look fine," replied the Professor, with a grin.
   "Hang on for a second," said Julian. "I have just one more thing to do before we leave."
   He went over to the table where he had earlier spotted some chubb locks, complete with keys. He selected two and fitted one to the door of the room that contained the remainder of the jewels and the other to the door that imprisoned the four men.
   "That should keep them safe until the Police arrive," said Julian, pocketing the keys. "We must not forget that the bearded scotsman who kidnapped Vivien is still at large," he added, grimly.
   Vivien shivered at the thought.
   Dick handed the lamp to the Professor. "You lead the way, Sir," he said. "It's the last door on the right, then up the steps."
   Standing at the top of the steps, in front of the final door, the little group suddenly felt nervous. What kind of reception would they be given?
   The Professor unlocked the door and led the children and Timmy through. They found themselves in a busy, wide passage. The civil servants, who normally scurried ant like about the corridors of The Houses of Parliament, were momentarily frozen into a sudden silence.
   Julian took this opportunity to lock the door behind him and slip the key into his pocket with the other two.
   A policeman on duty immediately came over to investigate. "Hey! What do you think you're up to?" he said, looking very annoyed. "If this is some kind of students rag joke, it is not very funny. In fact it is a very serious offence."
   Julian stepped forward, taking charge. "No. This is certainly no joke," he said, in a very authoritative manner that certainly impressed the constable. "As you can see, we are wearing the major items of The Crown Jewels which we have captured from a gang of thieves."
   "Well I er... er," stuttered the constable, at a loss for words.
   "What I suggest," continued Julian, coolly and full of confidence, "is for you to lock us inside a very secure room and call for an officer of high rank, at least a Chief Inspector, who is capable of handling an emergency such as this."
   "Yes, sir. Certainly, sir. Follow me, sir," said the humbled constable.
   By this time quite a crowd had gathered and heard all that had been said. As the strangely attired children were led off, the crowd broke out into spontaneous applause.
   The children, Professor Dandashi and Timmy, followed the policeman down the corridor into a large, well furnished, windowless room. In the centre was a long conference table, surrounded by neatly positioned, highly polished, wooden chairs. In the far corner was a desk together with a high backed, leather bound, swivel chair. The walls were liberally covered with oil paintings of various politicians. There was also a scattering of black leather, comfy chairs.
   When the policeman had hurried off to summon help, Anne laid her crown, sceptre and orb carefully on the long table, collapsed into one of the comfy chairs and burst out laughing. "Julian that was so funny. The way you told that policeman what to do," she said, trying to contain her laughter.
   "Yes, sir. Certainly, Sir. Follow me, sir," mimicked Dick.
   "It must be wearing this crown. It gives me a feeling of power," confessed Julian.
   They all removed their regalia and sat down to wait.
   After two or three minutes the door burst open and three policemen entered. Their eyes bulged at the sight of the jewels lying on the table.
   "You two wait here," ordered the sergeant in charge to his subordinates. "And don't forget, if you have any problems, I will be on duty directly outside."
   The two policemen left behind, stood to attention each side of the door.
   "Could you possibly tell us what is happening?" asked the professor, addressing one of the policemen.
   "I'm afraid I am not permitted to say, sir," replied the policeman. "But you certainly have stirred up a hornets nest."
   They all waited in silent anticipation.
   Eventually the door opened again, revealing a tall, distinguished policeman, wearing a flat cap, who completely filled the doorway. He slowly examined each of them in turn, with cold, steel grey eyes. It wasn't until he had stepped into the room, did Anne notice there was someone else behind him. This other person was a tiny, middle-aged man with a balding head, small, round, steel rimmed glasses, a raincoat and on his feet were, what looked like, a pair of carpet slippers.
   He shuffled over to the table, picked up the Crown that Anne herself had been wearing and let out a gasp. "Magnificent! Absolutely magnificent!" he breathed.
   "Yes. But is it the genuine article?" asked the tall policeman, with a definite edge to his voice.
   "Oh yes. This is 'The Crown of State' and these," said the little man, referring to the other items on the table, "are all part of 'The Crown Jewels'."
   With that, the tall policeman strode to the other end of the room, sat down in the high-backed swivel chair and placed his hat on the desk in front of him. "I am Commander Winter of Scotland Yard," he began. "If you would all pull up a chair, maybe one of you could explain how we got into this situation."
   When they were all re-seated, Julian gave as complete a summary of events as possible. The Commander listened to Julian's every word, not interrupting once. Julian finished by fishing the three keys from his pocket.
   He placed them on the desk one at a time. "This large key is the one for the door in the corridor that leads to the dungeons," he said. "This one is for the room that contains the rest of the Jewels and this key is for the prisoners room."
   Commander Winter sat, his hands clasped together on the desk, gazing thoughtfully at the keys Julian had placed in front of him. He slowly reached out, picked up the middle of the three, placed it in his pocket and turned to one of the Policemen still guarding the door.
   "Constable, would you kindly ask Sergeant Lloyd to step inside."
   In a thrice Sergeant Lloyd was standing smartly to attention next to the Commander's desk, notebook in hand.
   "Are you familiar with the dungeons in this building, sergeant?" asked the Commander.
   "That I am, sir," came back the reply.
   "There are two keys here on the desk," continued the Commander. "The larger is for the door in the corridor that leads to the dungeons. The other fits one of the dungeon rooms that holds four men prisoner. Take ten of your best men, arrest these villains, escort them straight to The Yard and lock them in separate cells until I arrive.
   "Secondly, telephone The Mayfair Hotel, speak to a Professor Kirren, inform him we have four members of his family, Professor Dandashi and his daughter Vivien, safe and sound and not to be concerned."
   The sergeant was furiously writing in his notebook, trying to keep up with these rapid orders.
   "There is a late sitting in The House at the moment. Some important Bill the Government are trying to push through," continued the Commander. "Make certain that a message gets to the Prime Minister, telling him I wish to see him as soon as possible, here in this office, on a matter of national importance.
   "Next, contact the Head of Security at The Tower on The Yard's secure 'phone. Inform him we are in possession of The Crown Jewels and would he have his boys sent over to pick them up. Finally, I believe the Commons restaurant is still open, due to the late night sitting. Have some of the best food sent up for these obviously ravenous people and not forgetting Timmy, this very brave dog."
   With that, the sergeant dismissed himself to carry out the orders of his superior.

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