"I'll get it," said Jemima, going towards the door.
She opened it and saw Action Man standing there with a great big gun.
"You're dead, sis," he said in a strange sort of accent. Jemima slammed the door and hid round the corner. Bullets started flying through the door. They smelled of... well, sweets for some reason.
"Oh, yeah - why not try to shot the door down, I mean to say!" exclaimed Jemima.
Suddenly the shooting stopped and she heard Action Man complain as he flew through the air and thudded into the Big Wall.
"You can come down now - 'e's stopped," said Jemima casually.
"Oh, ah - a ha ha ha ha ha, right," laughed Patricia nervously and came down the stairs.
There was another knock at the door.
"Oh, er, a ha ha ha ha!" pointed out Patricia helpfully.
"It's not exactly gonna be 'im again, is it, after 'e's just flown forty feet through the air or whatever it is, is it?" said Jemima, going to answer it.
This time there was a lovely smell of soap and a grey-haired bespectacled woman with a basket appeared. The woman's head turned bizarrely from left to right to emphasize each syllable as she spoke, which made the two girls somewhat dizzy. Sometimes her entire body would gyrate and she'd even jump up in the air to show such important things as the end of a sentence or to warn them that her voice was just about to become even more high-pitched and ridiculous than normal.
"My oh my!" said the woman. "Wasn't it terrible that Action Man kept shooting at things? I've thrown him at the Wall. I think that boys should be locked in the coal cellar until dinner, don't you?"
"Yeah, whatever," said Jemima rudely.
"I am your neighbour and my name is..."
The woman paused as though trying to remember who she was.
"Mrs. Neighbour. I must come in and inspect your lovely house."
She forced her way in uninvited.
"I like your lovely little house. Can I come to play later?" she asked, making curious chopping gestures with her arms as she spoke.
"Yeah, great," said Jemima without enthusiasm.
"I've brought you some bread," said the woman, taking her basket into the kitchen, putting it on a table, picking it up again and jumping astronaut-like straight back into the living room with the bread still firmly glued to the bottom of her basket.
"I think we shall be very good friends," said Mrs. Neighbour, leaning forwards and nodding in violent agreement with herself. "We can talk all about who you love and who I love and all sorts of secret things."
"Oh, a ha ha ha ha ha ha!" laughed Patricia.
"I can't wait," said Jemima.
"I'm going to go to bed in your lovely little bed now. Good night," said the woman. With one superhero-like jump, she had ascended the stairs and was fast asleep on the bed, her whole body levitating and then falling again in time with her snores.
"I'm not bein' funny or anythin' but does she 'ave to stay 'ere?" asked Jemima.
"Oh, well, she has just saved us from Action Man," laughed Patricia.
There was the awful smell of sweets again which the girls knew meant danger. With it there came the drone of machinery and the horrible brightness of a massive torch being shone into the house.
"Come out you English girls," called out a voice that sounded like an attempt at a French accent.
Wearily Jemima opened the door. A blood-curdlingly large group of Mediaeval French knights was standing at their door holding up a banner which said "Agincourt". (Bearing in mind all the mud that they must have been in their armour was immaculate and the paper banner didn't have so much as a tear in it.) Squatting behind the knights was the incongruous presence of a 20th-century T-80U camouflaged Soviet tank with an outsized red Communist star on it and the gun trained on the house where the girls lived.
"I do not like girls," announced the leader of the French army. His soldiers rocked backwards and forwards on their feet as they roared their agreement.
Patricia rushed back into the house and up the stairs.
"Mrs. Neighbour? Mrs. Neighbour please help us, yeah? You're sort of like our only hope!"
But Mrs. Neighbour was still rising above the bed and falling back onto it in her slumber, exhausted after her earlier altercation with Action Man.
"I think we've 'ad it this time!" mumbled Patricia quietly.
And for once she wasn't laughing.