When I returned to the police station, Constable Paradox said that Fingers McGinty had confessed to the theft of my balloons, and also one or two other crimes that had been on their books for a while. One of these was robbing a Royal Mail stagecoach in 1824, which I thought was a little unlikely, but Constable Paradox assured me that the coach had had McGinty's dabs all over it.
So that was the good news. The bad news that it was probably too late to recover my stolen balloons. They had most probably been resprayed and sold on, or possibly stripped down for their parts. It seems that every floaty balloon has something called a 'helium' in it, and these heliums are often sold on to rich businessmen in Asia.
Luckily, they had been insured for third party fire and theft, so I rang up my insurance company. It was answered by a robot who asked me questions and after each one I had to press a button on the phone to get through to the next level. It was like one of those 'choose your own adventure' books they had in the old days, but instead of turning to page 24 and meeting a dragon, you had to press number two to be put through to the claims department. If I had a robot, I wouldn't make it ask stupid questions on the phone - I would strap laser cannons to it and tell it to invade Bolton. This is probably why I've never been allowed a robot.
Anyway, they said that they would send a man round. I hope he's not a robot as well.