As we plod wearily into Chapter CCCLXVIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we discover that Black Rodney, the medieval sorcerer who vexes all of Scurveyshire, has again been up to mischief.
“Dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular begins, “you have doubtless been wondering how the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, has managed to subsist on provisions left over from the Third Crusade. Permit me to elucidate.” We love it when she does that.
Most food left over from the Third Crusade, she explains, is no longer edible some 600 years later. But sorcery can make it so–up to a point. “And we all know Black Rodney’s favorite target for his spells and hoodoos is Coldsore Hall.”
Now that he has escaped from the antique cedar chest which only has three sides, and consumed all the antique victuals that have been stored in that room since before the Magna Carta was written, Sir Robin has begun to have thoughts that should not occur to any aristocratic thief at any time.
“I shall emerge from this, my hiding place,” Sir Robin cogitates, “and proclaim a new Crusade! Iceland must be liberated from the Saracens!” History has never been his strong suit. He is much more well-versed in gluttony and drunkenness.
He slams open the door to his hiding place and races up and down confusing corridors until at least he finds an open-air balcony overlooking Coldsore Hall’s scenic driveway and beautifully manicured front lawn. To his delight, he finds an audience already waiting for him. He does not know they have assembled to demand a lower price of ale at The Lying Tart.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen–lend me your ears!” he bellows. This succeeds in gaining the crowd’s undivided attention. In fact, there happens to be a genuine Roman in the throng, one Massimo Jidrool, who thinks the speech is meant especially for him.
“I have come to proclaim the liberation of Iceland from the Saracens! And I–” here he has just enough sanity left to remember that he is wanted for a whole cornucopia of poorly executed crimes: he needs an alias, big-time–“I, Lord Henry de Swivenham, shall lead you!”
Immediately someone down below shouts, “It’s Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief! Get him!”
With a roar like fifty locomotives giving birth to sixty marching bands, the crowd streams into Coldsore Hall, brandishing pitchforks and torches–
“And here, dear reader, I must break off the chapter,” Ms. Crepuscular writes. “I tried a bowl of Mrs. Skinnard’s Baseball Innards, and it has disagreed with me.”