"I say," I said, taking another drink of my Glenlivet Single Malt. "She's a beaut!"
"Quite," replied Captain Goode, rather laconically I thought, fingering the trigger mechanism on his Purdey 12 gauge side-by-side shotgun. I knew he held this particular firearm in high esteem. And I was about to find out why.
"If I am not mistaken, Captain, this is the very gun used in the celebrated shooting incident," I said, brushing a speck of cigar ash from the front of my double-breasted, Brooks Brothers smoking jacket.
"That's right," he replied. "She served me well that night." He looked at me, a smile on his face, imploring me, or so I thought, to inquire further. I imagined he wanted to chat about the incident in detail, but probably considered it bad form to discuss it unbidden.
"Do go on, Captain," I said. "What happened?"
Captain Goode took another drink. "Well, old boy, I was frightfully busy," he said with a wink. "I was entertaining a young filly I met at the club. A tall, dark girl with fine features. Long, brown, and lean. Claimed she was Arab or Asian, something or other, can't remember which. But bloody hell, she was a robust one!"
"You old rogue," I laughed.
"She absolutely exhausted me," he continued. "And the cocktails were still working their magic, as you can imagine. So we both fell fast asleep. But I was soon awakened by the oddest sounds coming from the courtyard. It struck me that someone or something was trying to enter the house. I put on my Viyella robe and grabbed the Purdey to investigate. I stepped into the hall and that's when I saw them. Two men, at the other end of the room. Short, swarthy, foreign-looking chaps with beards. One of them was wearing a shirt on which was printed the image of that Cuban, what's his name."
"Che Guevera", I said.
"Yes, that's the one. I remember thinking to myself, only a scoundrel would wear such a thing. Anyway, old boy, they immediately started yelling at me. Of course it was gibberish to me. Though I could make out one word, ouda, which they kept repeating. It was all very odd. It was when they rushed me that I first noticed the weapons. They were armed. So I levelled the Purdey at them and blasted one chap, then the other. Just like shooting pheasants. Of course, at that range, they were both quite dead, as one would expect."
"Crikey, what an ordeal," I said. "But what about the girl?"
"She was hysterical. Understandably so. Crying uncontrollably. When the police arrived, they had to restrain her. It turns out, the men lying on the floor were her father and brother. The subsequent investigation revealed the two chaps had followed us home from the club. And this is the odd part. They were intending not to rob me, as I initially had assumed, but to kill the girl!"
"Whatever for?," I asked.
"For coming home with me," he replied. "They meant to execute an honour killing. Thanks to the Purdey, they were unable to do so."