Following on from his famous victory at Strangford, Sir Gilbert has been consolidating his position in the Pontrilas/Golden Valley area, principally with the intention of providing equality and security for his tenants, employees and, indeed, all those fortunate enought to dwell within his sphere of influence.
Therefore, it was with great distress and anger that he received a telephone call from the publican at the Seven Stars public house in Clehonger. This gentleman had an ominous tale to tell. Apparently, a group of uniformed police from the Herefordshire force had gathered in his taproom. They were carrying a mixture of firearms and were in a state of considerable excitement. A substantial amount of beer was drunk and their talk became wild and threatening and it was all directed against Sir Gilbert Hill and his Volunteers. There was no doubting that they had violent intentions towards the Great Man and that they were indeed planning something that very night.
After several hours of steady drinking, the group were joined by an elderly man, also in police uniform, that of an inspector, but of a style long out-of-date. He was obviously a man of authority to whom the others all deferred in spite of their drunken state. Without any preamble, he ordered them from the pub and they departed, shouting insults and imprecations of a vulgar and threatening nature against the person of Sir Gilbert Hill.
The publican lost no time in calling Sir Gilbert’s office as soon as the police drove away in an unmarked van. He had no doubt that they were on their way to Sir Gilbert’s estate – indeed, they had been heard to boast that they were intent on seizing Sir Gilbert’s armoury and then the very person of Sir Gilbert himself..! Realising the grave nature of this threat, Sir Gilbert’s secretary immediately called him to the telephone and it was a grim-faced Leader who replaced the receiver ten minutes later. However, forewarned was forearmed and Sir Gilbert immediately laid plans to thwart the attackers.
A hurried but calm conference with Stirrup and Monsieur Samson Picardy led to the despatch of a heavily armed group, including a lewis gunner and Stirrup with his thompson sub-machine gun, to wait in ambush at the armoury which is a secure strongroom built into a rocky hillside.
Arriving in their erratically driven van the police, the worse for wear after their uncomfortable ride in the back of the vehicle and feeling the more negative effects of drinking too much beer, approached the armoury and were immediately challenged by the ambushers. No longer benefitting from Dutch courage and recognising how badly out-gunned they were, they immediately surrendered without a shot being fired; a total victory for the Golden Valley men.
The prisoners were disarmed but, given that they were serving police and the equivocal status of the Force in these uncertain times, Sir Gilbert thought it advisable to release them, all except the” Inspector” who, it transpired, was a retired member of the force who lived in Ewyas Harold and had long nursed a grudge against Sir Gilbert over a long-standing property dispute. Sir Gilbert has kept him in custody pending a decision on his future.