Inspector Barnaby was called by Avon and Somerset police to help in the mystery of the missing sock.
Local lass Jo was found naked in the snow minus one grey sock. The local police called in Inspector Barnaby to help them solve this intriguing mystery.
The great man himself with his scrunched up creased old face like a scrunched up paper bag was glad to be brought in to the farce. He had been keeping abreast with it on Crime Botch and was taking a keen interest in the progress of his colleagues in Bristol.
Chris Jeffries was the first suspect to come under the spotlight by bumbling Barnaby. Inspector Barnaby was fascinated that he was the Secretary for an organisation which which to keep the original text of the King James Bible. In Barnaby's experience there were usually lots of shenanigans going on in the church with dodgy vicars in frocks and the PCC meetings which were usually power struggles of the most influential in the church.
He wondered if Chris Jefferies was a regular worshipper in the Church of England and he went to see the local vicar. The Reverend Percy Griffiths was an old friend of Chris Jefferies who confirmed that Chris was a regular at choir practice and sometimes did bell ringing in the church. Old Barnaby's got a dim glint in his eye and his face resembled an old steak and kidney pie. "Ahah" he thought, "perhaps the young lady was strangled by a bell-rope." However, after sleuthing around St James Church; he couldn't find any corroborating evidence. He found a pair of old false teeth underneath a kneeler and an old pair of wire-framed glasses under a pew.
At the Vicarage Barnaby had tea and scones with the Reverend Percy and ate some of his wife Rose's delicious scones with home made strawberry jam.
She was a talkative lady who told Barnaby about the up coming Spring Fayre. "Goodness me what rubbish people give to a jumble sale. Look at this odd grey sock without its partner; how is that going to benefit St James' Church?.....
Barnaby's dull eyes took on a gleam of recognition, he said,"Madam, my wife would be glad to give you some good quality clothing; allow me to arrange for her to come and assist you. I was wondering if I could borrow that odd, grey sock off you it could be of assist the police in their enquiries."
As a result of this police men were doing a thorough search of the church yard and went through all the items donated to the Church Fayre with a fine tooth-comb.
Dorothea Thomas a local stalwart of the church had been a worthy of the fundraising friends of the church remembered going through the bage of donated jumble. "Oh yes my dear I remember going through that bag of clothes. There was a red jumper and a pair of dark man's trousers some cycling shorts and an odd grey sock as well as a young ladies bra. It was unusual we don't usually get anything donated from Anne Summers." No she didn't know where the bra had come from or where it and the missing pair of lacy white knickers had gone.
Barnaby enquired who had access to the jumble. Unfortunately, this was practically anyone; he was interested to know that the St James' Bible Society where having a plant stall at this event. He wondered if the landlord Chris Jefferies might know anything about the missing items.
Barnaby saw the bouffanted old man who was mincing around the yard moving around the bouquets of flowers which had been left by well-wishers. Jefferies denied all knowledge of the missing apparel but admitted donating some lycra cycle shorts and a pair of wire-rimmed specs. He admitted he's found them lying around in the hall-way of 46 Cannynge Road. "The fussy old man said people will clutter up the communal area. I even caught the Dutch boy leaving his bicycle in the hall way. I gave him short shrift and said any items left in the hall would go to lost property. In fact I told him that I had given his glasses and cycling shorts to the Church Bazaar. He said that the Dutch man had blushed and hadn't questioned him about the bra and knickers which had been in a Tesco bag with the cycling shorts and glasses. Jefferies in his camp way smiled and confided in Barnaby. I saw the Architect girl wearing them on the 17th of December; I remember as I walked past her window on my way to the carol service at Saint James. She was parading around in all her finery naked except for the lacy bra and knickers. There was a candle on the table, two plates with some pizza and garlic bread; and two bottles of cider and two large schooner glasses. "Aha," thought Barnaby, "the mystery thickens". Barnaby inquired if Jefferies had seen the young Dutch man in the girl's flat. Jefferies exclaimed, "Oh no, he wasn't her type, I recognised the man who she was entertaining, however, it was Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, he is a keen cyclist. He had a light mountain bike which was parked outside. He had a ministerial car and his chauffeur asked me the best route to get out of Bristol. I told him about the short cut over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. I was hoping to question him about the congestion charge but didn't get the chance.
Jefferies confirmed that he had seen the Mayor of London leaving. He admitted that he had seen Boris carrying the young blond girl Joanna, who was a bit worse for drink in her dressing gown.
It transpired that Jefferies had overheard Joanna saying that she was expecting a child and she wanted Boris to marry her and divorce his wife. She had said "The best Christmas I could have would be a diamond ring." He had disclosed that he had heard some screams and the girl saying, "I don't care about your career; I will marry you. You will have to tell your wife about us when you return and I will tell Greg and my parents. She said that the lovers would meet up by the Clifton Golf Club on the 19th of December; after she had told Greg and her parents and he had told his wife, mistress and children. She said, "If you don't marry me and support me and the baby, I will tell everything and do a kiss and tell with Max Clifford.
When asked why he hadn't told anyone before; Jefferies responded that as a Tory supporter he did not want to be disloyal to his favourite politician. As for the bra and knickers, Jefferies, had found them in the snow when he returned from the "Nine lessons and carol service" at 9 pm when he returned home by foot in the dark. He had given them along with over miscellaneous items he had found cluttering the communal hallway area.
Jefferies is now assisting the police with their inquiries but this is on condition that Barnaby will question him; and will bring in some of Mrs Barnaby's delicious home made scones.