Gotcha with that headline, didn’t I? But let’s see what’s really going on.
Introducing Chapter CCCXXXIV of her epic (and interminable) romance, Oy, Rodney, author Violet Crepuscular reveals a startling piece of news.
“I am delighted to report,” she writes, “that my ground-breaking epic romance, Oy, Rodney, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize! My neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, nominated it, after I treated him to some of my home-made whiskey.” We are not told what is in the whiskey.
Meanwhile, the mysterious stranger who looks just like Broderick Crawford is assiduously courting Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. To the acute distress of Lord Jeremy Coldsore, who is engaged to Lady Margo, the stranger has totally charmed her with a magic trick which creates the illusion that he is able to pull off the top half of his left pointer finger and re-attach it at will. Even I can do that trick, but Lady Margo has never seen it before and can’t get enough of it.
There is also bad news from nearby Plaguesby. Lord Jeremy remarks: “I knew a new pneumonia was out there.” I take this as just another unworthy attempt by the author to display a new crepuscularity.
Nothing can be done because the stranger is a dead ringer for Sir Osmund Footeball, who also looks just like Broderick Crawford. There is no sure way to tell the two of them apart, and arresting the wrong man would be politically disastrous.
“This is only one of many problems a writer encounters when transforming a romance into a serious mainstream novel,” Ms. Crepuscular confesses. “But I can’t let Mr. Pitfall down! He has his heart set on my Pulitzer.”
For those who wish to learn this fascinating bit of legerdemain, here’s how it’s done. I did it in a job interview once, but I didn’t get the job.