‘Oy, Rodney’ Gets Rather Odd

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Violet Crepuscular leads off Chapter CXVI of Oy, Rodney with the admission that she has borrowed much of the story from a not-quite rational neighbor. Then she remembers that she has left Queen Victoria waiting in the church for the wedding that hasn’t come off, and quickly returns her to Buckingham Palace.

Meanwhile, Lady Margo Cargo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, tries to convince her that she can’t marry Willis Twombley, who she thinks is also Lord Jeremy Coldsore of Coldsore Hall, because she is already married to another man–the mysterious stranger who stood up to object to the latest wedding but was interrupted by events beyond his control.

“Really, Crusty, I am sure I’ve never seen that man before,” she says, as he reattaches her wooden leg.

“He married you by proxy, Ma’am. He was in India at the time, so he sent a proxy.”

“I thought that man’s name was Mr. Proxy. And no one ever told me it was a wedding. I thought it was a game of blind man’s buff, without the blindfold.”

The scene shifts to Scurveyshire’s favorite pub, the Lying Tart, where Lord Jeremy  and Twombley are concealing the body of Lord Jeremy’s chief creditor, Mr. Softy, shot by Twombley as he tried to take possession of Coldsore Hall. They are breaking into the pub because everyone else has run off to take part in the strange events around the vicar’s backyard wading pool.

“I’m not so sure we ought to be doing this, Sargon, old boy,” says Lord Jeremy: Twombley still thinks he is Sargon of Akkad.

“Well, Germy, you don’t want to git hanged, do you? Let’s put him somewhere down the cellar. No one’ll look there.”

Lord Jeremy is upset. “Are you mad?” he cries. “They keep all the pub’s supplies down there! Of course they’ll find the body.”

“Not if we stick it behind some barrels. Trust me, ol’ hoss. I’ve done this several times before.”

This task accomplished, Lord Jeremy is suddenly stunned and shocked by a message scrawled in the dust on the floor.

It is a single word. Rodney.,

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

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