The Tower of London cast a grim shadow as Captain Namouth sailed his boat to the dock. Venetia and Poindexter disembarked. “You’ll be waiting for us?” Venetia asked.
“And where am I going to go?” Captain Namouth said as he lit is pipe and puffed.
Venetia nodded, but she was unsure. She wasn’t sure she could trust Captain Namouth. How could I trust anyone who doesn’t seem to care? She tried not to let it bother her as she and Poindexter strolled down the vacant streets of London.
There was no hustle and bustle of cars, no businessmen, politician or tourists snapping photos. Flowers were placed around the Trafalgar Square as memorial to Britain that was once great, but now a ghost town. The only sound was the ringing of church bells.
They heard an announcement in a polite British male voice. “Please stay inside your homes. The government is doing all it can to make sure we greet our demise in an orderly fashion.”
Turning around on the street, Venetia and Poindexter heard the voice repeat. “Please stay inside your homes. The government is doing…” As they looked down the street they saw an ambulance approaching with speakers on top. “…all it can to make sure we greet our demise in an orderly fashion.”
Suddenly a flaming tire rolled down the street and crashed into the ambulance. “Stay plinside yer momes…” mumbled the recording as the ambulance erupted in to fire. “Bla blubberment id dwoing.” Another flaming tire spun by, hitting the ambulance causing it to explode before Venetia and Poindexter.
Venetia and Poindexter looked up the street as another flaming tire came rolling toward them. Venetia rushed to Poindexter’s rescue and pushed him out of the way. Lying on the ground, Poindexter fixed his glasses to his face. “Was that necessary?”
“Runaway tire,” Venetia replied out of breath as she watched the tire roll to the bottom of the street and fall onto its side.
As they witnessed more flaming tires roll down the street, they heard the roar of a young boy. “I am Jimmy Pop, King of Kensington!” Several more tires rolled past.
Venetia helped Poindexter to his feet. Carefully she approached Jimmy Pop, a red-haired freckle-faced boy who wore tattered clothes. His face was covered in soot and his hair stood on end. “Jimmy, you should be a home with your family.”
“I was told to go out and play!” he yelled and rolled another tire down the street.
“Jimmy, this is trying times. A young boy needs to be with his family,” urged Venetia.
“Family, schmaily. I don’t hae a family, just the old creepy nuns at the orphanage. They said I was uncringible.”
Poindexter cleaned his glasses. “Do you mean incorrigible?”
Jimmy stood erect and gave Poindexter and Venetia a cocky gaze. “Who are yeh two septic tanks?”
“Oh, no we’re not septic tanks; we’re people,” said Venetia.
Jimmy roared with laughter. “Yanks! Yeh sure a wazzock bint.”
Venetia stood upright and scratched her head. “What? I don’t understand scamp, but I do speak Italian.”
“Yeh out of this world, yeh and that quack square-head,” replied Jimmy.
A vein pulsated in Poindexter’s forehead. I don’t need to take insults from a scamp. “I am a Doctor Poindexter Schiegopherer. I am a world renowned scientist.”
“Yeh! Right! Yeh’re just a poindexter,” Jimmy laughed.
Venetia leaned forward to Jimmy and smiled sweetly. “I understand, I too was an orphan living with nuns.
“Yeh so, yeh think yeh know me, yeh can relate to me. Ha! Yeh don’t know nothing about this dustbin lid. Go back to playin’ patty-cake with the sisters, lady.”
Venetia stared down at Jimmy. “Do you know what is happening, Jimmy?”
“It’s the end of the world, so? Who gives a crap?” he questioned with a careless shrug.
“I do!” exclaimed Venetia. She could feel herself growing angry and she had to stop herself. She took a few deep breaths and said, “Jimmy, do you want to come along with us?”
“What?” responded Poindexter.
“Why would I wanna to go with yeh and that poindexter?” Jimmy asked.
“Yes, why would he come along?” Poindexter questioned, pressing his glasses to his face.
“Listen man,” argued Jimmy, “the lady’s asking.”
“Adventure, you can be a real hero. Jimmy Pop saves the world,” said Venetia.
Jimmy cocked his head and folded his arms across his chest. “I do like the sound of that. What do I need to do?”
“Well, we’re looking for the smartest person in England, someone who could help us save the world. Do you know who that is?” asked Venetia.
“Of course, everyone in England knows; it’s Merlin,” said Jimmy.
Poindexter threw his hands in the air. “Merlin! Merlin! Really, Merlin! Why don’t we go find Sir Isaac Newton?”
“Well, we can find him too,” said Venetia. “Anybody who can help.”
Poindexter’s head reddened and the vein in his forehead pulsated to the point of explosion. “Argh!”
“No, Its not ARR; it’s DER, remember?” Venetia took Jimmy’s hand in hers. “Let’s go find Merlin.”
Poindexter lingered behind Venetia and Jimmy as they headed back to Captain Namouth’s boat. So many brilliant people in England and the supermodel had taken the aid of a delinquent.