Shylock Humes lay on the bed. The Briar burned slowly filling the room with the sweat aroma of brandy soaked tobacco. Silence engulfed him as his heavy eyelids began to close.
"No smokin in ere mate" whispered a voice.
"Oh, sorry" answered a startled Shylock.
"Surgeons don't like it when they are operating" said a nurse.
"What the hell is going here then"! Sir Spittle Spungion the surgeon shouted; "why is this woman wearing a deer stalker and tweed trousers, she should be in a gown and knocked out!"
"It's Hume's sir, the hernia" advised the nurse.
"She's a hernia? What are you talking about" growled Spungion.
"I'd say she is talking about twenty words a minute" offered Shylock.
"Shut up! You should be undressed and in a gown" barked the Staff nurse
"Madam" started Shylock, "I cannot undress fully I am the world's greatest detective and may be called upon at any given moment to solve a crime that needs to be solved quickly".
"No you are not pal, that Colombo bloke is the best" said a cleaner.
"Have a care my man!" shouted Humes, "I work for the BBC".
"Sir Spungion, shall I belt him over the nugget with the mallet" asked a porter.
"For god's sake yes, then remove his hat and trousers" answered Spungion.
With that, the porter belted Shylock over the head and put the world's nearly greatest detective in the land of nod. Sir Spungion squashed Hume's hernia back into his groin and left the stitching to a seamstress that happened to be passing the operating theatre.
The following morning, Shylock woke in his hospital bed surrounded by nobody. He sneaked a look under the sheet at his operation. Someone had sewn "Betty was here" into his groin.
Satisfied he would be left in peace, Hume's decided to do the Sun crossword. An hour later he had yet to answer one clue. So the rumour was true, it is harder than the Times crossword.
A porter pushing a rackety old trolley entered the private ward. "Tea up!" he shouted.
"May I have Assam please" asked Shylock
"Arse what mate?" answered the porter.
"Assam my man, given to us by Maniram Dutta Barua in eighteen sixteen" replied Shylock.
"Well, I've got P.G Tips given to us by Maude Biggins in the canteen" laughed the porter.
"Not for me the tea of the masses my man, my palette is far too delicate" sighed Shylock.
"I'm a martyr to my plate mate" answered the porter as he left the ward.
Some hours later, Dr Whatnot stood beside Shylocks bed, he had been talking for nearly an hour before realising the detective was asleep. A gentle dig in the ribs aroused the detective.
"Wha what is happening?" asked a drowsy Shylock.
"Sir Spungions watch has been stolen, that's what is happening" said Dr Whatnot.
"Given to him by the big Mam Sahib Queen Victoria" answered Shylock.
"They say it is made from the finest welsh gold and inlaid with rare blue diamonds, crafted by the blind French watch maker, Monsieur Les Avealuke" offered Whatnot.
"Where did they buy it?" enquired Shylock.
"Woolworths" replied Whatnot.
"Gad, they have money to burn our royals" said Shylock.
"Where do we start Shylock my old friend?" asked Whatnot.
"In the operating theatre Whatnot, one of those staff members must have seen something and it is my guess it was the porter with the small feet and slight limp" mused Shylock.
"Why him?" enquired Whatnot.
"He was the tallest and did not wear spectacles" answered Shylock.
"What was his name?" asked Whatnot.
Shylock did not have time to reply, from nowhere, a loaded bedpan hit the wall behind them followed by a bowl of NHS jelly and ice cream, more seriously, the duo were hit with a British Rail cheese sandwich. Will our heroes survive the attack?