Such a hullabaloo there was when they discovered Dobsonâ€™s brain had been stolen! One cub reporter called it the hullabaloo to end all hullabaloos. Initially beside herself, Marigold Chew soon grew to appreciate the peace and quiet â€“ the unhullabaloo â€“ in the house itself, where Dobson lay perfectly still, as if asleep, on a mattress. She painted and sang and fed the squirrels in the garden. Occasionally she tiptoed into the room where Dobson lay sprawled, and examined the sutures on his skull. The police scientist agreed with her that it looked like a professional job. Detective Captain Cargpan was convinced that the pamphleteerâ€™s brain was being kept in a jar within a ten mile radius, and waited patiently for a ransom note. There was further hullabaloo when a picture was sent to the Daily Screech, purporting to show the brain on a platter, but painstaking analysis showed that it was just a grey lump of dough. Some wondered if a heroic pooch would find Dobsonâ€™s brain while rummaging in a hedgerow, in a curious foreshadowing of the theft and recovery of the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966, a year later. Marigold Chew listened to her Xavier Cugat LPs and tended her hollyhocks and pasted cuttings into her scrapbook. Detective Captain Cargpan filled his pipe with untreated Uruguayan tobacco and paced up and down the garden path, praying for rain. He believed that a torrential downpour would flush out the brain thieves. Time passed, and the hullabaloo died down, and the cub reporter on the Daily Screech was embedded with a different police force investigating a different case. And then, despite the weather remaining balmy and sun-battered, one Thursday morning the postie came prancing along the lane carrying a package. Detective Captain Cargpan let Marigold Chew unwrap it, for she was deft where he was a butterfingers. She said â€œGosh!â€ as she folded aside the last layer of blotting paper to reveal the pamphleteerâ€™s brain. It was rather muddy, as if it had been kept in a ditch, but she rinsed it thoroughly under the garden spigot and handed it to the police scientist, who scampered upstairs and reinserted it into Dobsonâ€™s head. No one ever did find out who had stolen it, or where it had been stored, or whether any experiments had been carried out on it. Detective Captain Cargpan pursued the case for another month or two, but he was a maverick, so his manner of conducting his investigations was highly idiosyncratic, and passeth all understanding.
Should one have to listen to a Xavier Cugat waxing, whilst waiting for a loved one’s brain to be returned, I can thoroughly recommend
“The Romantic Sound of Xavier Cugat”. This album also includes a track called “La Bomba”. The word Bomba certainly has Hooting Yard connections.
One cannot help but wonder whether or not Dobson’s brain was cloned during its short sojourn away from its owner’s skull and is consequently now available, two for the price of one, in many a Gloucestershire street market. I have certainly seen something that looks similar whilst perusing those very boutiques, but owing to the theft of my spectacles (in not dissimilar circumstances) I may have been looking at white cabbages instead.
This is one of my favourites. I hope it is collected in the new book. Will we ever know what befell Dobson’s brain when it was away from “home” ?