Above Wandsworth in a tidy, little flat nestled on top of the Puck Rugby Carpet Company lived Amos Gardensby and his ten pigeons. These pigeons were quite special, really; to Mr. Gardensby, these ten pigeons were his ten little Sherlock Holmeses.
"Now if we could just get you to wear your damn little hat!" Amos snapped, attempting to pin it on his youngest pigeon Tobias. "You've got to look sharp if we want to impress Mr. Gamdridge!"
Tobias flapped against Amos' strain, jumping away from him and buzzing up around the top corners of the dining room, finally finding a perch on the cheap little chandelier. Amos turned to his nine other bird cages hanging from a long rod across the living room; in each birdcage was a pigeon wearing a bite sized little bowler's hat. They all looked smart, yet like something out of a comic strip.
"Will somebody say something to your brother?" Amos asked, huffing. "None of you were ever this much trouble at his age!"
There was a knock on the door, and a shrill voice to suit it.
"Mr. Gardensby?" Ma'am Lily Sibyl asked. "Are you quite alright?"
"The door is unlocked, Lily." Amos said. "I'm having a bit of trouble with Tobais and his little hat."
"Are you now?" Lily asked, pushing her way in. She was an older lady with a sinking, yet delicate face. She wore a purple, orange, and yellow blouse decorated with flowers, with a hat to match.
"You look smart, Lily." Amos said.
"Where's Tobais gone?" She asked.
"Up the chandelier in the dining room." Amos casted through the door.
"I swear, Amos, I don't know how you do it!" Lily laughed, admiring each pigeon. "You got them all to wear the hats!"
"Yes, all but one." Amos said, holding up Tobais' hat on his finger.
"Let me see that now." Lily said, plucking it from him. Amos followed her into the dining room, where they stood beneath Tobias.
"G'morning, Toby." Lily cooed. "A bit scared are you?"
Tobias' head cocked to the side in curiosity.
"We've got a meeting with Mr. Gamdridge at the bank, and it's very important." Lily said. "Mr. Gardensby wants you to wear this little hat here to impress Mr. Gamdridge. Can you do that for me?"
But Tobias wouldn't budge. Lily huffed, and Amos snickered.
"Look here." Lily said, putting the hat on her own head. "See, it doesn't hurt a bit!"
"I can't believe this." Amos smirked.
"Let's put it on you now, eh?" Lily smiled. To the amazement of Amos, Tobias climbed down from the chandelier and hopped to Lily's arm, where she fastened the little straps of the hat around his chin.
"I'll be damned!" Amos laughed. "You always were the smile, and I was the brains!"
"The birdbrains more like it." Lily said, placing Tobias in his cage.
"I don't find that funny, Lily." Amos said, turning his nose up.
"You'll have to find me funny if we're going into a partnership together." Lily said. "Do you really think this will work?"
"I think so." Amos said. "I don't see why it wouldn't!"
"Alright, if you want to get Maud and Oliver on down the stairs, I'll bring Nathaniel and Migsett, and we can start from there."
And soon, all ten birds were loaded up into the back of Amos' buggy, and they were off for the Royal Parshionise Bank. Around London, every whisper breathed the same; it was talks of war. "Have you heard what those damn Nazi's have done now?" Or, "My son hasn't written to me in over a week!"
"The world is very fearful these days, Lily." Amos said, rounding the corner of Lolian where the bank stood.
"Yes, and I'm fearful with it." Lily said. "You know my nephew George is fighting through Poland, yes?"
"I didn't know." Amos said, although he did. He made a hobby of reading Lily's letters when she had her back turned.
The lovely lady at the desk of the hotel beside the bank allowed them to borrow a cart to bring their birds in. The bank-goers all gawked and stared at the group, all in matching black hats. They were laughed right throughout the atrium and into Mr. Gamdridge's office.
"What the bloody hell is this?" Mr. short and stout Gamdridge demanded as Amos and Lily pushed their cart through the door. "This is a damn office, not a birdhouse!"
"We understand, sir!" Amos said. "We're your nine o'clock meeting!"
"You are?" Mr. Gamdridge asked, stunned.
"For the business loan." Lily chimed in.
"What business ventures could you possibly be dealing in?" Mr. Gamdridge asked, turning hot and red.
"A private detective agency." Amos said proudly, tugging on his tweed jacket. "Gardensby and Sibly; the Pigeoneers!"
"A detective agency?" Mr. Gamdridge laughed.
"You see, sir, all of these pigeons are expertly trained!" Amos noted. "I'll take you through the group...
The leader of our flock is Clement, the fattest and proudest bird in London! He's an expert at bringing the bunch around. He's a grand detective, he is!
And this here is Nathaniel the Nose. He's got the finest snout around! He can sniff out anything from trace elements of substance to coffee grounds!
The lovely lady of the group is Maud, she keeps the boys in line. She's quite the authoritarian when it comes to this flock. She's got a knack for it!
This one eyed rapscallion here is Hugo, but don't let the one eye fool you! He's got keen sight, and he could spot a petty thief in France; if he wanted to. Hugo's quite the snappy one.
The youngest of our ensemble is Tobias; he's learning the trade from his brothers and his sister. He still has a long road ahead of him, but with a good head like he has, he could make a fine detective!
Our friend Mr. Migsett here is the hot head of the group! He's quick to peck and slow to cool down! If a thief is on the run, Miggy is sure to be hot on his trail!
And this is Oliver, the one with the notions! He can spot the tiniest clues and put them together! Why, once I plucked the hair off a dog nine blocks down, and he was able to track the beast in five minutes!
Jeffrie is fearless, yet haughty at times! He always has to have the highest perch, and sometimes he scraps with Clement over authority! In his heart, however, he's a kind, loving bird!
The voice of our party is Mr. Lawrence! He can sing pieces by Beethoven and Chopin, as well as some he's come up with on his own! He's the smartest of our bunch, but is a bit afraid to put it on display.
And last but least is tiny Miles, who is a bit frightened at times but always puts his best foot forward! He's still learning, much like Tobias, but Miles is a tad bit slower than his bird brothers!
So, Mr. Gamdridge, what do you think?"
"I think I'm seeing things!" Mr. Gamdridge argued. "You want your birds to work as detectives?"
"They can be a bit unorganized on their own," Lily said. "But working together as one, alongside Mr. Gardensby and I, these birds function like one whole detective!"
"And they're even wearing little hats!" Mr. Gamdridge squeaked, admiring the birds.
"What does this mean?" Amos asked, excited.
"It means the joke is over, you two." Mr. Gamdridge said. "Get out of my office!"
"But it's no joke, sir!" Amos began. "It's really-"
"Out of my office!" Mr. Gamdridge snapped. "And take your bloody birds with you!"
The door slammed behind them. The pigeons hung their heads low, knowing that they failed; once again.
"It's alright, champs!" Amos said, wearing quite a fake smile. "This isn't the end of the world!"
"So what now?" Lily asked.
"We keep looking." Amos said, pushing the cart. "My dear, wonderful, Ma'am Sibly, we simply keep looking."