Lord Nodule, former Justice of the Peace for Scurveyshire, has threatened to interfere with Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s wedding to Lady Margo Cargo, and is rather miffed that the wedding keeps getting postponed. In Chapter CLXXX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, he has just returned from an inspection of the Andaman Island penal colony.
“They do things right, out there,” he says. “The place is a regular hell-hole.” To make his point more telling, he bounces up and down on a pogo stick. The owner of the local bicycle shop fears that this may start a fad and impact adversely on his business.
“Germy, we got to do somethin’ about old Nodule,” says Jeremy’s friend, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad. “What say I plug him one?” He flourishes his trusty Colt. It goes off accidentally and shoots Lord Jeremy in the foot.
“Now see what you’ve done!” cries Lord Jeremy, hopping on his uninjured foot. “How am I supposed to get married on one foot?”
“I’m awful sorry, ol’ hoss. Well, maybe it’ll grow back. I seen that once. The king of Assyria cut off his foot while he was peelin’ onions, and eventually it growed back. ‘Tweren’t as good as the old foot, but he could hobble around on it okay. But that’s why they ain’t allowed to sell onions in Assyria.”
Lady Margo has a better idea. “You should have the bad foot amputated, my dear, and replaced with a nice new wooden one, beautifully upholstered, like my leg.” Her upholstered leg has a bad habit of falling off at inopportune moments, but Lord Jeremy is too tactful to mention that.
Lord Nodule hops all the way to the hospital on his pogo stick, just so he can threaten Lord Jeremy some more. “I can hardly wait for your wedding night!” he sneers. “Will I have a surprise for you!”
So Twombley shoots him. They explain it away as a pogo stick accident. Constable Chumley is sympathetic. “Many’s the loor in a fathin’ veeth,” he says, quoting a wise old Scurveyshire proverb.
“I promise to present the wedding as soon as Jeremy’s foot is healed,” Ms. Crepuscular reassures her readers. “Meanwhile, the next chapter will tide you over with a pleasant little folk tale from Estonia.”
We can hardly wait.