Introducing Chapter DIV (pronounced “div”) of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular continues to describe the extensive preparations made by Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, for a safari which, in all likelihood, will never venture out of sight of the vicar’s back yard.
He has forgotten why he’s organizing the safari in the first place. Lady Margo reminds him, “It’s to get rid of that rhinoceros that burrows under the vicar’s wading pool.”
“Better hire us some cavalry, too, then,” he replies.
Some of you surely noticed that the title of this chapter was supposed to be “A Captive Heart.” This refers to Lord Jeremy Coldsore, held as a “prisoner of love” (Oh, great scott!) by Constable Chumley’s mother, who leads a double life as Thir Lanthelot, the Lithping Knight. “I am getting better!” she confides in the reader. “Last year it was a triple life! But I am no longer Bomba the Jungle Boy.”
Jeremy would love to escape, but his cell is way high up in a tower that wobbles dangerously whenever there’s a wind. To keep his will to live, he writes poetry on his dinner plates and tosses them out the window to the River Rhine.
Here I sit in this miserable dungeon,
Waiting for someone to bring my lunch in.
Here Ms. Crepuscular indulges in an aside to the reader. “I have been blamed for the defects in Lord Jeremy’s poetry,” she writes. “Ignorant readers consistently scaphanize these verses. Well, pshaw on them!”