In Chapter CCCVII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Lord Jeremy, seeing that the vicar has somewhat recovered from his latest bout of conniptions, takes the bull by the horns and decides to go ahead with his wedding to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. The quickly patched-together ceremony is held on the front grounds of Lady Margo’s luxurious country house.
“We are met together,” intones the vicar, “to join these two peoples in woolly matrimony. If there is anybody here who knows of any reason why these two should not wed, let him speak now or forever hold his pieces.”
Up from his chair springs a little bald-headed man whom no one has ever seen before. “Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know the reason!” Everybody stares. The vicar smiles benignly, as if he doesn’t fully understand the situation.
“And what, my good man, is that reason?” he inquires.
“It’s Lord Jeremy! He’s already married!”
Appalled, Jeremy can only blurt out, “I am not! I am not already married!”
“Prove it!” demands the little man. “Prove you aren’t married!”
This completely stumps Lord Jeremy. He is not the first man to run afoul of trying to prove a negative. The best he can do is sputter, “Why, everybody knows I’m not married, and never have been! Everyone in Scurveyshire knows that!”
“That’s not proof, my lord! If that’s what everybody knows, then everybody is mistaken. You have deceived them!” ******
Ms. Crepuscular breaks the chapter to bring her readers up to date on the major archaeological discovery made in her back yard.
“It now seems the funny stones are not Carthaginian ruins after all, dear readers, but only a lot of discarded modern bricks, clearly stamped with the label Allen & Bubenick Brick Yards Inc.! In fact, that company is still in business, over in the next township. And the squiggly writing is only a bunch of random scratches, not Carthaginian letters. So they have torn up my yard for nothing, and all those fools in the pith helmets have since made themselves scarce.”
“I am too disturbed,” she adds, “to finish this chapter as it should be finished.”