‘Darren!’ I say. ‘But –’
But Darren is looking past me, towards the front of the helicopter.
‘Hello, Ada’, says the pilot.
That voice is familiar.
I turn my head.
She looks back at me, regarding me with my own piercing mud-brown eyes. Next to her, in the co-pilot’s seat, is a knitting bag, a Rock-a-matic brochure, an Amazonian blowpipe, a bricklaying receipt from Simon Q. Nutkin, and a bag full of trophies, at the top of which lies my own 1976 Gymkhana cup. On the cup I see that the words ‘Ada Lamb, Winner, Most Promising Pirouette (Dressage)’, have been crudely scratched out and replaced with the words –
‘Ida’, I say. ‘Ida Lamb.’
Ida looks at me.
‘Yes, dear twin, it is I! And it was I, I, all along! I killed Dr Fflloyd, stole the trophies, drowned the lacrosse team, bricked up Jade Dragon, murdered Karl by blowpipe, kidnapped Shiny, and attempted to murder you when you were sipping margeritas by the pool! I was the whispering in the pipework, the face at the window, the creaking rocking chair, the footsteps in the attic late at night! And you never noticed a thing! I am not Great-Uncle Herbert’s great-niece for nothing!’
‘And Asafetida and Miss Scarlet?’ I say.
‘Ah, well, piloting a helicopter is new to me’, says Ida. ‘I may have miscalculated the angle of approach, what with the cruel east wind’.
‘But why, why?’ I say, as custom demands.
Ida gives a hacking laugh.
‘I was always cleverer than you, dear Ada, and madder! What’s more, I have always been, and remain, seven minutes older than you! You had me locked away in the attic by your companion so that you could pursue your academic career unchallenged! Well, those days are over! I have come to claim what is rightfully mine, mine! Darren!’
‘You claim Darren?’ I say.
I look at Darren.
Darren has unbuckled his safety belt. He is reaching for something in the overhead compartment.
Dear, dear Reader.
Darren is holding a .25 ACP Beretta, palely.