No beast of the wild is more acutely aware of being stalked as prey than a London bobby on the eve of the annual aquatic event between Oxford and Cambridge, otherwise known as Boat Race Night. What causes this yearly crime wave? Some attribute it to boyish joie de vivre, others blame "looking on the wine when it is red". Actually, it is the supremely palliative effect of a bobby's helmet - the taking of one before bed is said to be good for what ails you. This year, Freddy Widgeon, Pongo Twistleton-Twistleton, Oliver "Sippy" Sipperley and Orlo Porter (in no particular order) had been advised to procure policemens' helmets by caring friends, in order to alleviate heartbreaks caused by: a broken engagement, an unnerving Aunt, a lost Boat Race Wager, and the occasion of a valet ruining a beloved cumberbund with the steam iron. Thus it was that Police Constables Jones, Greene, Potter and Bunn lost their protective headgear in the line of duty. Various techniques were employed in acquiring the prize helmets. One young man used a Flying Tackle, and one tried a Sideswipe. One fellow got his with a move called the Oxford Tiddlywink, whereas the classic Shove & Grab was employed by another.
And so it was, that the four young men found themselves in Bosher Street Police Court (Magistrate Watkyn Bassett presiding) the next day. The judge stated that he had his doubts as to the veracity of the young men who appeared before him under the names of Nosmo King, Jesse James, Thelonius A. Salt and Leon Trotsky, and had reason to believe that those names were, in fact, assumed and fictitious.
Later that day, the Drones Club secretary assigned to add this page to the historical record awoke, killed a gnat which was making a bloody great row buzzing about what was left of his head, consumed a pot of black coffee and a clam juice with a spot of tabasco, and tried to figure out which fellow nabbed which rozzer's helmet using what technique for what reason - and who appeared in court under what name ? Needless to say, he found it all a bit trying.
Can you, with the aid of these eight clues, help him sort out ... well, all that?