All right, everybody, you asked for it: another installment of Oy, Rodney by Violet Crepuscular: Chapter CIV.
As Lady Margo tries to find out who is Queen of England at this time, Princess Didi visits Scurveyshire incognito to get the lay of the land. When she approaches the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard, Constable Chumley promptly arrests her. “Ye come alang wi’ me, lass,” he says, “ye’ll not be wilmin’ by yon brawnnick gulsen.”
“You fool, take your hands off the daughter of the Queen!” Her protests are to no avail, and she is deposited in the local lockup.
Meanwhile Lord Jeremy Coldsore, awaiting his marriage to Lady Margo, fobs off his creditors with a promise that the Queen herself will pay his bills. “Her Majesty is to be an honored guest at my wedding, and will spend the night in the Royal Suite of Coldsore Hall.” He does not mention that no one has spent the night in the Royal Suite of Coldsore Hall since 1603, when the Duke of Dobley went in one night and never came out.
Having convinced Lady Margo that he and the American adventurer Willis Twombley are one and the same and that it therefore doesn’t matter which one of them appears at the wedding as the groom, Lord Jeremy’s peace of mind is rattled by Twombley’s off-hand question: “Say, Germy, was you really jist a foundling left on the steps of this here hall? Margo says so.”
This is the first Lord Jeremy has ever heard of it. “I am sure the lady has me confused with someone else,” he replies.
“Someone else besides me?”
“Please, Sargon!” Twombley believes he is Sargon of Akkad. “Please concentrate on the arrangements for the wedding! I’m growing rather concerned about the vicar. Ever since recovering from his conniptions, he skips everywhere instead of walking, and makes cryptic remarks about some writhing tentacles he thinks he saw under the pool. I fear his mind may be unsettled.”
“Oh, he’ll be all right for the wedding,” Twombley says. “Anyhow, it’s your turn to go to Margo’s tonight for supper. Try to be cheerful, ol’ hoss! Soon as the Queen gets here, we’re goin’ to get hitched and all your troubles will be over.”
Given the prodigious length of the rest of the book, we are at liberty to doubt the accuracy of that prediction.
And we still don’t know who the dickens “Rodney” is.