I fear Violet Crepuscular has been eating too many of her own toothpaste rolls. Chapter CCXCI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, suggests that maybe these confections are not quite as good for you as might be hoped.
With Lord Gromleigh, Marquess of Grone, still missing, Lord Jeremy Coldsore summons Constable Chumley–but he seems to be missing, too.
“Fear not, dear reader,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “I know where he is. It’s the writer’s responsibility to know more than the characters.” Especially these characters.
Totally captivated by his study of moles, the constable has joined the Greater Scurveyshire Mole Study Club. Imagine his disappointment when it turns out to be just another one of those clubs whose members do nothing but sit around and brag about how difficult their lives have been.
“I went to a school where they used to make us do everything backwards. We tried to tunnel out of it, but we only succeeded in tunneling back in!”
“When I was born, my mother sold me to a fisherman to use as bait. And she only got sixpence for me!”
“You think you’ve got troubles? My wife has no nose!” And so on.
Meanwhile, Lord Jeremy’s wedding to Lady Margo Cargo cannot possibly be held as long as a peer of the realm is lost somewhere in Coldsore Hall. After failing to find him anywhere else, Johnno the Merry Minstrel proposes to search the attic.
“I don’t know about that,” Lord Jeremy says. “No one has been up there since Lord Hucklebutt went in 1673–and he was never entirely rational afterward. Eventually he had to be put down. Besides, no one has the key.”
“But Germy,” interposes the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, “ain’t it a well-known fact that nobody’s better than ol’ Chumley when it comes to pickin’ locks? He’ll get in, if anyone can.”
“I have ordered peasants with torches and pitchforks to search the shire for the constable,” declares Jeremy.
“And that, dear reader, is where we must let it stand for the nonce,” Ms. Crepuscular confides in the reader. “You really ought to try those toothpaste rolls. They’re wonderful with catsup.”