Ken is asked to investigate the fiancée of Lawrence Varlish. He suspects that she might be having an affair with her hypnotherapist, Geoffrey Phillips. Harry goes to see Phillips, posing as an anxious patient, and soon discovers that Varlish is worrying over nothing. Two suspicious-looking South African men are waiting in the car park of the newly-opened CBS offices. They are anxious to collect something from a boat on the river. Nearby a narrow-boat belonging to a certain Mrs Walters is commandeered at gunpoint by Hobson, a suave man with a painfully cultured accent, accompanied by a Scotsman called Dilkes. They urgently need transport because their own boat has broken down. That night, when Ken is asleep on his yacht, he is woken up by the sound of heavy objects being thrown in to the water. Still half asleep, he peers out of the window but can't see anything and soon goes back to sleep. After advertising in the local paper, Ken and Harry are inundated with enquiries for missing persons etc. However one phone call comes from a woman (later identified as Mrs Walters) what wants to meet Ken outside a riverside pub, amid great secrecy. She asks him to deliver a letter for her. He does this, but John Losely, the letter's recipient, demands "where is the boat" which means very little to Ken. Later, Losely's heavies (the South Africans) sink Ken's yacht and threaten him again. An unkempt private investigator, Don Speed, offers to help relieve Ken's workload, but suspicions are aroused when he is caught snooping through Ken's files. He turns out to be a CID detective, watching Losely. Ken remembers the strange incident of a few nights before when he was woken by the sound of objects being thrown into the water. Harry suggests he gets Phillips to hypnotise him to see if he can remember any further details. All he can recall is that there was a boat on the opposite bank with a name involving the word "Tramp". After a lot of searching along the river, it is Rocky who finds the boat, "Chaste Tramp". On board they find Mrs Walters. She is keeping Dilkes a prisoner! The story emerges. Dilkes had told the police that he had been approached by "some shady characters" who wanted to rent his barge. He had agreed to let them use it to carry a load of stolen German silk which they were planning to land at Trent Wharf - the site of the CBS offices. However things had gone wrong when Dilkes' boat broke down and they had to commandeer Mrs Walters' boat. Hobson and Losely had kidnapped Roberts, her landlord who was just collecting the rent. They had left Dilkes guarding Mrs Walters, but she overpowered him and kept him prisoner. Harry recovers the stolen silk from its hiding place on the riverbed. Mrs Walters contacts the thieves to arrange a swap: Roberts in exchange for the silk. When the thieves arrive, Losely produces a gun but Mrs Walters expertly disarms him! The police close in and catch the thieves red-handed. With the reward money for recovering the stolen silk, Ken buys "Chaste Tramp" from Mrs Walters. This will be his new home, now that Losely's heavies have sunk his yacht.moreless
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