As we take up Chapter CCCXIV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we find Lord Jeremy Coldsore very angry that the Wise Woman of the Woods’ prescription for lifting Black Rodney’s curse on the vicar’s backyard wading pool proved completely ineffective, resulting in the loss of three seventh sons of seventh sons who were also expert morris dancers.
“She’ll pay a grim price for that!” he vows, and orders Constable Chumley to arrest her.
The constable demurs. “Naith o’ flurrin’ with yar blymin’ och, m’lord,” he says in his quaint rural dialect. Unmoved, Lord Jeremy orders him to accompany him to the Wise Woman of the Woods’ quaint little cottage in the woods. Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, brings up the rear.
At first the Wise Woman of the Woods can’t believe the ritual didn’t work. But upon being told the details of the shameful episode, she shakes her head sadly and remarks, “It’s all your fault, my lord. I never told you to use three seventh sons of seventh sons. That was all wrong! And I fear that this is just the clam before the storm.” No one knows quite what she means by that.
“Enough of this superstitious twaddle!” declares Lord Jeremy. “Constable, arrest that woman!”
“No, my lord–you don’t have time for that!” she cries. “What you need now is a wombat’s womb. It’s the only way to save the shire.”
Lord Jeremy stares at her. “And how am I supposed to lay my hands on one of those? Where is a wombat womb at?”
Ms. Crepuscular writes triumphantly, “Aha! Yet another crepuscularity! Dear reader, we are making literary history!”
[Editor’s Note: If you think I’m kidding, visit http://www.chessgames.com, click on “Chessforums,” then click on my “Playground Player” forum (the one with the little green dinosaur), and scroll down to yesterday’s posts. You will find a host of new crepuscularities devised by some of my enthusiastic chess colleagues. This could become the 21st-century equivalent of the Droodle.]
We are not told how Lord Jeremy is to obtain the womb of a wombat. Ms. Crepuscular is saving that for a subsequent chapter.