Chapter CC of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, is a real pistol. I’ve heard of a reader in Caithness, Scotland, who actually enjoyed it.
Lord Jeremy Coldsore has endless difficulties with Dr. Fanabla’s regime of jumping jacks, prescribed to heal his injured foot. He has to be tied in to a harness hanging from a tree, which is the only way he can do one-legged jumping jacks: a painful and troublesome procedure. He is also waiting for the other ingredient in his cure, earth from the grave of a regicide, to be shipped from a supply house in Bucyrus, Ohio. He cannot be married to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, until he can stand on both feet.
“I still can’t think of any regicides who were buried in Ohio,” he complains.
“That’s where you’re wrong, ol’ hoss,” says his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley. Twombley still thinks he is Sargon of Akkad. “This stuff comes from the grave of a dude named Watson, who murdered a man who claimed to be the rightful Lost Dauphin of France.”
Twombley lapses into nostalgia. “I once visited the grave of King Bill, who was king of a little one-horse town on the Euphrates, Utu-Mashtu. He got killed playin’ strip poker with some crooked Amorites. I never had no use for Amorites.”
Meanwhile, Lady Margo is getting uneasy about her wedding. “I can’t understand why Lord Jeremy’s foot won’t heal!” she says.
“I can’t understand why you’d want to marry that loony in the first place,” says her crusty old butler, Crusty. “Why don’t you marry me instead, you old bat?”
She is shocked. “Oh, dear! Why would I want to do that?”
“Because I love you, stupid!”
“And stop calling me Crusty! You’ve been doing it for 36 years and I’m sick and tired of it! My name is Adelbert.”
“Adelbert?” She can hardly believe her ears. “I didn’t know your name is Adelbert. And titled ladies don’t generally marry their butlers, Crusty–I mean Adelbert!”
“Batty old cow!” mutters the suitor. “Well, think about it! Meanwhile, it’s time for my trombone lesson.” Crusty is teaching himself the trombone. Honk! Ooomph! Blaaaap! It is really quite intolerable, and it places Lady Margo in a state of confusion.
The chapter concludes with a recipe for cat food sandwich cookies.