The anguished cry of a creature in pain fills the long corridors at the chateau.
It is the cry of a Heelers in despair.
He strides like Heathcliffe into the kitchen.
"What's wrong with you?" quoth the Mammy lifting her eyes from the Irish Fembo Commie Times crossword.
Ireland's greatest living poet halts in mid stride.
"It's my new jumper."
"What about it?"
"What do you mean gone?"
"I mean someone's taken it."
"Ah you're joking."
The mighty Heelers fixes her with his famous Paddington bear stare.
"It's the first jumper I've bought in five years. Would I joke about a serious thing like that?"
I groaned epically.
"And at last I was going to be able to say to Hodders that one of my jumpers wasn't a Doctor Barn or a Businessman Tom hand me down. Seventy quids worth. A Viv Clarke special. Gone."
The Mammy did not seem to appreciate the gravity of the situation.
"It must be somewhere," she murmured with less concern than you might expect.
Heathlers flumped into a chair.
"I know where it is," I muttered darkly.
The Mammy beckoned me to explain.
"I'll bet Mags Masefield took it. I bet she did. Maybe she intended to clean it. Who knows? But right now there's nothing surer but that little Bart Masefield is wearing seventy lids worth of jumper to the mouldiest discos in South Kildare."
A thought struck me. There's an old Irish traditional song about losing your jumper at the disco. It seemed appropriate here so I began to sing it.
"Dancing at the disco bumper to bumper.
Wait a minute.
Where's me jumper?
Where's me jumper?
Where's me jumper?"
I stopped singing.
"And then the little swine will say: Who cares, it's not my jumper anyway. And he'll keep dancing. While the barman uses my seventy spondools worth of cloth to wipe up beer slops..."
The Mammy lowered her crossword. Somehow during the singing her attention had briefly wandered.
"I know what you did with that jumper," she announced.
"You were sitting in some cafe writing the greatest poem of a generation. You got a bit distracted what with all the bunny rabbits hopping around in your mind and stealing the line out of the World War Two poem. You stood up, put on your coat, and left the jumper behind you."
There was a short silence in the kitchen at the old chateau.
"Thank you Missus Marple," I proclaimed bitterly.
"You're welcome," said the Missus.
"You know what I think?"
"No," said the Missus.
"I think the cleaning lady dunnit."