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MONDAY
So here I am in sunny Switzerland. Itís something of a busmanís holiday for me, as Iím attending the international collectors and traders fair, which is being held here at the hotel in Meiringen. Itís like a sort of expanded memorabilia fair - thereís a dealerís room of course, but it is absolutely massive. There is everything here, not just cult tv merchandise, but antiques, stamps, cheese labels - you name it, someone somewhere will want to collect it. Thereís no accounting for some peopleís taste. Because of the Toybox, I have been asked to give a couple of talks about the whys and wherefores of compiling a comprehensive collectibles guide, which Iím looking forward to - Iím sure that other areas of collecting can benefit from my expertise and methodical approach. Unfortunately, my first day here has been somewhat blighted by the unexpected appearance of Beech. Sometimes I think that man is stalking me. He has set up some weird little display stand with various props and costumes from the series - all the way up to his genuine BBC police box prop. He is inordinately proud of his little collection. When I consider how much money the poor, deluded fool has spent on this pile of absolute tat, itís all I can do to stop myself laughing out loud. Things got slightly unpleasant when the organizers suggested I might to share my stage with Beech, as weíre both Who collectors. Of course, I had to decline. Beech got all huffy, and dared to suggest that I was jealous of him! The very idea...
 
TUESDAY
This trade fair has come at a very inconvenient time, when I should be concentrating on getting the novella range up and running. Iíve had to leave everything in Walkerís hand, although Iíve brought the laptop with me, and keep in constant touch via email. Iíve also taken the opportunity to send off a few more emails to Baxter, to see how heís getting on with his submission. Iíve still heard nothing from him, apart from that strange letter from his solicitor, threatening to take out an injunction if I didnít stop pestering their client. Obviously it canít be a serious threat - what else is an editor for but to chase up his writers? I still canít decide whether the letter is the result of a clerical error, or some sort of sophisticated writerís joke that Baxter is playing on me. Whatever the case, Walkerís suggestion that I should heed the letter and leave Baxter alone is plainly just silly! In the evening, I noticed that Beech had talked the organizers into giving him his own lecture spot. There he was, just like that time when he appeared on BBC2 - saying how he was the envy of all Doctor Who fans because he owned an original TARDIS. All I can say is, he really canít know many Doctor Who fans! All the ones I know think heís a complete moron. And whatís so fantastic about his police box prop? Iíve got hundreds of police boxes - of all shapes and sizes - at home.
 
WEDNESDAY
Today I gave my talk on the compiling of the Toybox. I was somewhat distracted however by the presence of Beech at the back of the auditorium. For one thing, he was waving the Masterís Tissue Compression Eliminator around, almost as if he was trying to threaten me with it. I mean, itís not as if it really works, is it? Afterwards, I decided to have it out with him. But he wasnít on his stand - one of the organizers told me heíd overheard Beech saying he was going for a walk to the local beauty spot. Apparently, thereís a waterfall about ten minutes walk from here, a famous landmark. Iím going up there right now...
 

EXTRACT FROM MEIRINGEN POLICE REPORT

When the two English visitors failed to return to their hotel, I was called in to investigate. Witnesses suggested they had taken the path up to the waterfall, so I proceeded there myself. At one point, the path beside the falls is only about one metre wide, with a sheer vertical cliff on one side and a sheer drop into the depths of the waterfall on the other. Here I discovered, resting atop a rock, a stubby black cylinder with a bulb-like end (later identified as a Tissue Compression Eliminator) - and beside it a childís toy robot (later identified as a Louis Marx "tricky action" Dalek) still in its original packaging. It was as if the two gentlemen had discarded these items before their conversation. Two sets of footprints led away from the rock to the edge of the cliff, where there was evidence of some sort of scuffle taking place. No footprints led back. Brambles and ferns that fringed the edge of the chasm had been torn away. I can only conclude that the two men argued and fought here, eventually reeling over, locked in each otherís arms, and plunged to their certain deaths in the seething waters of the Reichenbach Falls.

 

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