A Plague Of Pyramids

The complete tale...

Dangermouse was preparing himself for the dangers that lay ahead with a spot of yoga. Penfold, his faithful assistant, watched his strange contortions with some astonishment.
There was a bleep from the videophone, and Colonel K appeared on the screen.
"Ah, Dangermouse! I've got an urgent mission for you and Penf... Dangermouse!!" he blared, "are you listening?"
Dangermouse sat up with his eyes closed and scratched his right ear absent-mindedly with his left foot. "He's in one of his mind-focusing trances, Colonel," explained Penfold. "Dangermouse!" roared the Colonel, banging his fist. "The country needs you!"
Snapping out of his trance, Dangermouse turned to the screen.
"Good morning, Sir. Sorry to keep you waiting. What's the problem?"
"Pyramids!" retorted the Colonel.
"Maybe yo should see a doctor then, Sir."
"No, no, I mean giant pyramids... made of sand. Appearing all over the country. Take a look at this."
A picture of a giant pyramid standing in Trafalgar Square filled the screen, followed by several others.
"Good grief!" exclaimed Dangermouse. "They're everywhere!"
"That's right," said the Colonel grimly. "And it will take only twenty more to sink the whole country."
"Don't worry, colonel," said Dangermouse, "we're on our way." And seconds later he and Penfold were speeding towards Africa.
"Unless I'm very much mistaken, and I very seldom am," explained Dangermouse, "those pyramids can only have come from the Sahara Desert. And all that sand would have left a very big hole."
Penfold listened uncomfortably. It was so hot he was wishing he hadn't come and wondering when they would go home.
"It's hot enough to fry an egg on the bonnet!" said Dangermouse.
"But I'm not hungry, D.M.," said Penfold miserably, "and I can't see if there's any sand missing or not."
"Just keep looking," said Dangermouse. "I thought you were called Penfold, not Blindfold!"
The Colonel appeared on the videophone.
"Ten more of those confounded things have appeared since you left."
There was a hint of panic in the Colonel's voice. "Time is running out, D.M. You'll have to act quickly."
"We'll do our best, Sir, but there's an awful lot of desert to cover." Just at that moment the engine spluttered and the car stopped in mid air.
"Good grief! That's all we need," cried Dangermouse, as the car plummeted with a thump into a sand dune. "Now we'll have to walk."
They set off under the burning sun until they came to the edge of a cliff.
"What we need is a length of rope," said Dangermouse.
As if by magic, a lasso landed on the ground around them. Dangermouse hardly had time to say "that'll do nicely" before the rope was pulled tight around them and they found themselves face to face with a fierce Bedouin tribesman/
"It's a fierce Bedouin tribesman, isn't it?" observed Penfold, eyeing his flint-lock rifle with some alarm.
"Well it's not Lawrence of Arabia, that's for sure!" answered Dangermouse sarcastically.
"Here," asked Penfold, trying to sound brave. "What do you want?"
By the way of an answer, the tribesman uttered a fearful yell and galloped off, dragging our harassed heroes after him.
"I think he wants us to follow him," said Dangermouse.
"I think it's a real drag," said Penfold.
The Bedouin eventually dropped them in front of a large circle of white pulsating light. Penfold didn't like the look of it at all.
"Steady, Penfold," said Dangermouse reassuringly. "It's only a mirage! It won't do us any harm."
A large mechanical frog suddenly leapt out from the light and landed in front of them, waving a menacing mechanical arm.
"On the other hand," suggested Dangermouse, "maybe we should run for it." Penfold agreed. With the machine in hot pursuit, they raced across the sand. Suddenly they saw a legionnaire desert rat shouting and waving at them from a fox-hole.
"That'll teach us to let sleeping frogs lie," thought Penfold, as he dived into the hole. He thanked the rat and introduced himself.
"I'm Penfold, and that's Dangermouse, the world's greatest hero."
"I'm a brave legionnaire," replied the rat. "I joined to forget."
"Forget what?" inquired Penfold.
"Oh, I don't know, I forgot!"
"Oh, nice to see things worked out for you," chuckled Dangermouse. "By the way, where are we?"
"I don't know," said the rat. "I forgot that as well."
"Well, who are you?" Penfold persisted. "And why are you here?"
"I don't know, I..."
"Forgot. Yes, you told me."
"Penfold! Quick, look at this!" interrupted Dangermouse urgently. "Our mystery's solved!"
Outside the hole the frog machine was busy sucking up sand.
"Look at the size of the hole it's made," cried Dangermouse. "that thing must have something to do with all those pyramids. Let's see if we can get aboard without being spotted."
"Oh'eck, must we?" said Penfold in alarm. "Couldn't we just wait till it rains - then it would rust and seize up."
"Good grief, Penfold. It never rains in the desert. Come on!"
Once inside, a strange assortment of gadgets confronted them.
"I wonder what all this glue is for," pondered Penfold, coming across two large tanks marked 5000 Gallons Best Glue.
"Probably to mix with the sand to hold it in pyramid shape," answered Dangermouse. "Anyone with a grain of sense would see that."
"Oh, Dangermouse, look! Quick!" squealed Penfold suddenly.
"Ssssh! I'm trying to think."
"No, it's just that..."
"Sssh, I said."
But it was too late. Two mechanical arms shot out and held them in a vice-like grip. They were swiftly lifted upwards.
Dangermouse found himself facing his old enemy.
"I might have known," he said "Baron Greenback."
"Welcome, Dangermouse, welcome," replied the arch-amphibian. "My apologies for interrupting your inspection of my craft, but you see we're about to leave. I've a few more pyramids to deliver."
"You monster!" cried Dangermouse. "What can you hope to gain with this hare-brainded scheme?"
"That's easy, eh, Nero!" leered the toad, patting his pet affectionately. "When the other countries see what I have done to England, they will realise my power. I will be ruler of the world!"
"You'll never get away with it," said Dangermouse defiantly.
"Oh, but you're wrong," said Greenback with a sneer. "Observe."
A screen on the wall lit up and London could be seen with the water rising ever higher and higher.
"Good grief," cried Dangermouse. "If I get loose this room will be wall to wall frog!" He tried vainly to free himself.
"It will be interesting to see you try," hissed Greenback arrogantly.
"Give him a thump for me, Dangermouse," said Penfold bravely.
"Stiletto!" snarled the toad.
"Si, Barone."
"Release them!"
"Si, Barone." With an evil cackle the crow released our hapless heroes.
Instantly, Dangermouse assumed a karate pose to strike terror into his foe. Unfortunately, he didn't notice the trap-door beneath him...
They fell, with a crash, to the floor below. Dangermouse leapt back out to resume the fight, but succeeded only in walking into a large hammer.
When he came to, Dangermouse was lying next to Penfold.
"Are you all right D.M.?" asked Penfold anxiously.
"Oh, yes. I didn't feel a thing," said Dangermouse sarcastically, rubbing a large lump on his head.
"Oh, that's all right then."
"Good grief," muttered Dangermouse to himself.
"Are you quite comfortable?" gloated the toad, appearing above them.
"Make it easy for yourself, Baron," answered Dangermouse. "Give up and I'll stop all this rough stuff."
Greenback sneered. "What a humorist you are, Dangermouse. I shall be sorry to lose you... but lose you I must. In a few moments I shall deposit the rest of the pyramids that will sink your precious country beneath the waves. And you and you're fearless friend will add a little weight to the last pyramid - from the inside!"
"I want my mummy," wailed Penfold miserably.
"We have arrived, Barone," crowed Stiletto.
"Good! Good! Set course for Westminster." Greenback rubbed his hands in anticipation.
"I think a pyramid by the side of Big Ben will be a fitting resting place for out two interfering friends."
"You know, Sir," whispered Penfold, "I don't think he likes us."
"You don't say. Penfold," said Dangermouse acidly.
"Yes, really! I can tell!... Er, listen, Dangermouse, how are we going to get out of here?" asked Penfold uncertainly.
Dangermouse had been studying a metal pipe high up on the wall.
"Yes, that should do it! Now listen, Penfold. This is what we do..."
Greenback's evil machine hovered next to Big Ben. A long tube slowly extended and sand began to pour out forming a large pyramid.
"Farewell, Dangermouse," jeered Greenback. "Don't forget to write!" And he laughed a hideous laugh.
Sand and glue started pouring into the room as the floor fell away. Dangermouse and Penfold clung to the pipe above their heads.
"Sticky situation," said Dangermouse "Are you ready, Penfold?"
As the sand stopped pouring they jumped down on top of the pyramid.
"Cor, that was close," said Penfold.
"Yes it was, wasn't it," agreed Dangermouse. "Here, just hold this a moment, will you?"
"Yes, right - what is it?"
"That? Oh, it's the diaphragm from the main stabiliser."
"What's that?" asked Penfold, puzzled.
"Just watch," said Dangermouse. "Greenback should be missing it about... NOW!"
As he spoke they could see Greenback's craft high in the sky. It suddenly dived, looped the loop, then swooped up into the air spinning round and round like a catherine wheel. It shot up and up until it became a tiny dot way above them.
"Well, that's the last we'll see of him," said Dangermouse. "Now, let's get out of here. You should have brought your bucket and spade!"
Safely back in their hideout Dangermouse reported to Colonel K.
"Jolly good show, Dangermouse," said the Colonel. "We've managed to break up most of the pyramids and the water's goin' down. I'd like to know what happened to Greenback, though."
"Well, Sir, the last time we saw him he was heading straight up," answered Dangermouse. "I think he got the point." Penfold giggled.
"Penfold, what are you laughing at?" asked Dangermouse.
"Hee, hee, hee! Oh, Sir... point! Pyramid! Very good. I do like that, Sir!" Dangermouse and Colonel K both shook their heads at Penfold who was giggling uncontrollably.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, Greenback, Stiletto and Nero clung to the top of a pyramid, nervously eyeing the sharks swimming around the base.
"I do hope this glue doesn't dissolve in water," said Greenback.
So it was that the terrible toad's evil plans came unstuck and once again the heroic deeds of our tenacious twosome saved the world from a sticky end. It's a pity the legionnaire still doesn't remember a thing about it!

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