Every so often, by law, Scurveyshire is obliged to hold The Scurveyshire Fair at a location determined by lot. In 1806 the lot fell on Umm Shebet, a village in the marshes of Iraq. This year it’s the vicar’s back yard.
“Will this be the end of the vicar’s deadly wading pool?” Violet Crepuscular asks her readers. She waited several days for an answer but didn’t get one. It has left her in a bad mood. She refuses to write Chapter CDLXXXIV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. It was all we could do to get her to introduce Chapter CDLXXXVI.
“No one has counted the victims who were sucked or pulled under the wading pool, never to be seen again,” she writes. “If the Fair is held around the pool, how many more will perish? Oh, forsooth, the suspense! I’m the Queen of Suspense and I can hardly take it!”
Meanwhile, the Useless Sheriff of Scurveyshire, whose extra nose makes him look like a cubist portrait, has fallen under the spell of Mr. Bigcheeks, the lineal descendant of the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. Mr. Bigcheeks has used his arcane power over the Sheriff to make him do ridiculous things. The Lovesick Beagle imitation has to be seen to be believed. Imagine the trouble he’d make if he knew he was descended from a genuine, real-life wizard.
We join Lord Jeremy Coldsore in Chapter CDLXXXVII next week, after the first of the pinwheel booths gets swallowed up by whatever’s under the wading pool