Just any Tom, Dick or Harry?

It’s a day for celebration and with the photos safely stashed away, the Roberts emerge into the sunlight.

‘We won’t be getting any trouble now, my dear’ the Chairman reassures his wife as they stride across the dusty yard to inspect the prisoners.

Janet Roberts idly adjusts the curls around her magnificent green beehive as they approach the dishevelled huts. She hadn’t realised what a powerful aphrodisiac victory could be, but after gunning her way to the top of the table once again she was savouring the adulation with her co-conspirators.

‘Janet!’ Joe Roberts shouts urgently across the yard from the doorway they have just left.

‘What’s brown and wrinkled and never stays where you put it?’

‘Joe!’

Joe and Tom Roberts along with James Bradley have all played their jokers this week and with 12, 14 and 12 points apiece Janet had noticed them behaving a little out of hand. Tom had been particularly surly after scoring 6 points from the first 4 fixtures on the scorecard but just 1 point from the remaining 6 fixtures, and his brother had been making the most of his mood.

‘No – you don’t understand…’ Joe enunciates slowly, beckoning them back towards the office.

Meanwhile, Ralph Hannah (aka The Cooler King) is striding around the Predictor’s hut recounting a chance encounter the previous evening and tossing his baseball casually into the air for effect.

‘Well my scores were decided then,’ admits Ralph, ‘I met Maradona”s daughter last night and she said she would be happy with 1-0, who am I to argue…’

“Then of course, off my guard, The Chairman came up behind me and – well, here I am’.

The Predictors nod sadly at the story, recalling their own painful tales of capture.

‘Keep your spirits up guys’, Pete Yoder (The Scrounger) jumps up, seizing an opportunity to offer ‘support’. I’ve got a small stash of liquor they missed when they picked me up from New Orleans. Guess the drunk act worked huh?’

‘That was no act, Pete’ retorts Andrew Thraves (Intelligence), observing quietly from the corner as usual. You reeked of bourbon when they threw you in here last night… but we won’t hold that against you!’

The Predictors gather around Pete to find out where the stash is hidden, while Andrew goes back to studying his papers. With 3 correct scores (a feat only matched by Janet Roberts) for Finland, Ukraine and Japan, Andrew is slowly heading his way up the table, but not without the finger of suspicion resting upon him. After an unpopular Predictor of the Week award for England’s defeat in Ukraine, morale and Andrew’s popularity are at an all time low. Ted Warland (The Forger) is making his own award for predicting Ireland’s 2-2 draw with Italy and Matt White (Big X) joins him to finalise the plans.

‘What’s Auntie Margaret’s leg doing sticking out of that trunk?’ screams Janet in horror as they enter the room.

‘Get it back in their quick, boys before somebody sees it!’ urges the Chairman, ushering the Tom, Joe and James towards the wrinkled stocking sticking out of the half-open lid.

‘She should have handed over the photos when she had a chance, Janet’ David mumbles distractedly. ‘Come on, let’s get back to the prisoners’.

But as they enter the hut, the room in empty.

Matt pulls The Moonerazzi from the tunnel onto the damp grass.

‘Why are you shaking? I thought you were the “Tunnel King”!’ asks Matt, concerned.

‘It’s not that,’ she sighs gratefully. I think I’ve had a bad reaction to all those beetroots they’ve been feeding us. Never let me see a beetroot ever again!’