Introducing Chapter CCCLIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular reminds her readers, “According to local legend, the lost city of Driphdrash contains a treasure chamber which, if discovered, would make everyone in Scurveyshire rich beyond the dreams of avarice.” We are not told the details of such dreams.
By now the whole shire knows that the only place they haven’t searched for Driphdrash is the site of Lord Jeremy’s ancestral country house, Coldsore Hall; and the population has voted unanimously to tear the house down to get at the lost city. Lord Jeremy himself voted for it–well, almost. He caught himself just in time.
He is saved at the last minute by the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, who, in a daring midnight raid, invaded Lady Margo’s lavish home and stole her priceless collection of glass eyes, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and Royal Doulton china.
Lord Jeremy has outmaneuvered the people of Scurveyshire by deputizing every man, woman, and child in the district and ordering them to hunt down the aristocratic thief. Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, cannot restrain his admiration.
“That was good thinkin’, Germy, old hoss! Look at ’em go!” Totally distracted from their hunt for Driphdrash, the people are now rushing in and out of their houses, barns, and tool-sheds looking for Sir Robin Banks. “His nefandous crime,” proclaims Lord Jeremy, “has shamed and disgraced every man, woman, and child in Scurveyshire. We must erase this blot on our reputation!”
But Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, knows what really happened to Lady Margo’s family jewels!
Here she concludes the chapter without telling anyone what really happened. Instead, we get a recipe for Mongolian toothpaste balls with pickled cabbage and tadpoles. You’d think she’d been deputized, too.