Coldsore Hall needs a new roof, people are packing up to flee the shire, and Lord Jeremy has to find the seventh son of a seventh son (who must also be an expert morris dancer) to lift the curse off the vicar’s backyard wading pool. Does that say “Pick me up and read me!”, or what?
Welcome to Chapter CCCV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney. Chapter CCCIV didn’t get written because the police came over to take samples of Ms. Crepuscular’s toothpaste. The less said about that, the better.
As the richest widow in Scurveyshire, Lady Margo summons up enough public spirit–and money–to hire Sir Ranulph Toadsome, London’s premier consulting detective (Sherlock Holmes is still a schoolboy). Sir Ranulph is only some two feet tall, but people pretend not to notice that.
“The seventh son of a seventh son, expert morris dancer, lives on an island off the coast of Scotland which only appears on a map in a church that’s not a church.” Sir Ranulph sums up the case. “And you need him as soon as possible! Is that the mission?”
“In a nutshell, Sir Ranulph,” Lady Margo replies.
“You got it, shorty,” says the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. Lord Jeremy kicks him in the shin. Sir Ranulph Toadsome glares hypnotically.
“The last man who called me that died in Broadmoor,” he declares. He is, of course, referring to the notorious high-security psychiatric hospital; but Twombley thinks he means an almost equally notorious township in New Jersey. He is about to say something about that when Lord Jeremy kicks his other shin.
“Cases like this only appear to be difficult,” Sir Ranulph says. “To the experienced deductive reasoner, they present only slight difficulty. In the meantime, why don’t your people just keep their distance from the wading pool?” To this question no one has an answer. They are not big on answers in Scurveyshire, these days.
“I must break the chapter here,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “and clean up the mess those loutish policemen made of my bathroom. As if there could be anything wrong with my toothpaste!”