All of Scurveyshire is still trying to hunt down the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks–who’s very similar to the famous Raffles the Gentleman Thief, only ignorant, slovenly, boorish, and dull–who is suspected of having stolen Lady Margo Cargo’s family jewels and priceless collection of glass eyes.
In Chapter CCCLXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crespuscular has Lady Margo post a reward for the capture of Sir Robin. And what a reward it is! “Dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular writes, “it is no wonder that every single person in the shire has dropped whatever he or she was doing and plunged into the hunt for the aristocratic thief. And what reward is that, I hear you ask! Well, actually I don’t hear you, we are probably separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles. I have to use my lively writer’s imagination to imagine you asking that question.” This soliloquy goes on for another five or six pages. I have heard rumors that a number of prominent people are banding together to try to stop Ms. Crepuscular from writing anything more.
What we really want to know is what Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, knows about the fate of those jewels!
Meanwhile, Ms. Crepuscular seems to have forgotten to tell us what this irresistible reward is. Instead, we get this background information about the suspected thief.
Sir Robin Banks is the younger son of the Earl of Fapley, disinherited by his father and cast out of the family because of certain small but profoundly annoying personal habits. Since then he has also become an obnoxious drunkard, a compulsive liar, and a heretic. He attended Oxford University for a time, until they discovered he was there and chased him out of town with torches and borrowed farm implements.
Yeah, yeah, already! What does Crusty know?
“In the next installment, dear reader, I promise to reveal what Crusty the butler knows,” Violet writes. “Really, for a fictional character, it’s devilish hard to pry any information out of him.”
I do not hold with blaming things on people who do not, in fact, exist.