That Business with the Mob of Peasants (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCXCIV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular confides in her readers, “Let me confide in you, dear readers! I do wish Mr. Duigon had not said I was ‘in jail’! I was merely helping the police with their inquiries. They are trying to discover who, if anyone, poisoned Mr. Pitfall, and they now suspect everyone in the neighborhood–he is that unpopular. I hope they realize now that my toothpaste rolls couldn’t make anybody that sick!” She is a little miffed that none of the police officers was willing to try one himself.

Moving on to the chapter, she describes the grief and horror that overwhelmed all Scurvyshire when Mr. Percy Puce, F.R.S., the shire’s Resident Genius, disappeared below the vicar’s backyard wading pool as the result of a fall from a clandestine sliding board. Don’t ask me if that’s a suitable adjective for a sliding board. I just work here.

Provoked beyond measure, a mob of peasants armed with torches and pitchforks assembles at The Lying Tart. Why they should want torches in broad daylight is mystifying. Maybe it’s just a thing that mobs of peasants do.

“We’ll destroy the vicar’s wading pool if it’s the last thing we do!” vows the mob’s ringleader, button collecter Oswald Backdraft, Official Ringleader of the Peasants Benevolent Association. The mob rushes off to the vicar’s back yard and that’s the last anybody sees of them.

Hours later, word of the incident reaches Lord Jeremy Coldsore at Coldsore Hall, where they have just put the Marquess of Grone to bed.

“We’re going to run out of peasants at this rate!” ejaculates Lord Jeremy. (“It’s a perfectly permissible use of that verb!” insists Ms. Crepuscular. I just work here.) “Constable Chumley, you ought to have prevented this disaster!”

“Huish, M’lord, I deagle fair maundery this fleethin’,” parries the constable. He rushes off to The Lying Tart to see if he can find any clues at the bottom of a tankard of ale.

This still leaves five chapters, I think, to be written before catching up to Chapter CCC, which Ms. Crepuscular has written out of order. “I pledge myself to accomplish this,” she writes in a chapter-ending footnote, “provided I am left in peace!”

8 comments on “That Business with the Mob of Peasants (‘Oy, Rodney’)

  1. It’s getting pretty crowded under that wading pool by now, isn’t it? Or does the wading pool merely cover the tunnel we were always warned about when we were kids, i.e., if we dug too deep we’d wind up in China? Of course, from England you wouldn’t wind up in China, would you? Maybe in San Francisco — which would be even worse.

    1. I dug a lot when I was a kid and never got anywhere near China.
      I am sure that in subsequent chapters Ms. Crepuscular will make clear exactly what happens down there.

  2. The plot sickens, I mean that if you eat too many toothpaste rolls, something is bound to happen. I’m relatively certain that too many would be one, but only if they are small.

    Yes indeed, the Peasants Benevolent Association really needs to address this wading pool matter, post haste. Frankly, I’ve always felt that allowing wading pools without a permit was the first step down a slippery slope to anarchy. 🙂

    1. I think the quality of a toothpaste roll greatly depends on the brand and flavor of toothpaste used. Same goes for toothpaste sandwich cookies.

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