Violet Crepuscular introduces Chapter CCCL of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, with a recipe for Nebraska Crabcakes with Colgate toothpaste. The less said about that, the better.
Our story picks up with the mysterious stranger who looks like Broderick Crawford behaving erratically. This is of great concern to Lord Jeremy Coldsore. Not only has this mysterious stranger become his rival for the hand of Lady Margo Cargo (the right hand, I think: the left was chewed off by a goat); but it’s impossible to arrest him because of his uncanny resemblance to Sir Osmund Footeball, who has friends in Buckingham Palace and it would be awkward to arrest him by mistake. “Tis a drough theever, M’Lord,” explains Constable Chumley.
While Sir Osmund contents himself with pressing his face to shop windows to frighten the customers, the other Broderick Crawford look-alike has begun to run around Scurveyshire in random directions, keeping it up until he runs into a tree. When that happens, his head makes a resounding Bong!
This is what he looks like between bongs.
“Ain’t we gonna stop him, Germy?” asks the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad. “I could shoot him.”
“Only to find out we’ve shot Sir Osmund Footeball!” cries Jeremy. “There’d be a spot of trouble over that, old boy!”
Bong! He’s done it again.
By now half of Scurveyshire is watching his maneuvers. Anyone but this stranger would be unconscious by now. And then it happens…
Bong! And this time the stranger’s forehead splits open, revealing a strange collection of gears, push-rods, and valves. He falls backward to the ground and this time doesn’t get up.
“Well dog my cats!” exclaims Twombley. “A mechanical man! Where do you suppose that came from?”
“Not from anyone who wishes us well!” expounds Lord Jeremy. “Let’s find someone to clean up the mess–while we start an investigation.”