Tag Archives: Constable Chumley

The Peasants Are Revolting! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapter CXLIX of Violet Crepuscular’s worst-selling romance, Oy, Rodney, is action-packed! Honest.

But before it all heats up, Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, has a problem. He confides in Lord Jeremy.

“Germy, ol’ hoss,” he says, “you sure got a lot of creditors. I ain’t sure I’ve shot the half of ’em, and I’m afraid you’re goin’ to have to expand your cellar here at Coldsore Hall, ’cause I’m runnin’ out of places to stash the bodies. A few of ’em, y’see, they’re gettin’ kind of high, if you know what I mean. Especially that fella I parked in the closet in the billiard room. We need more space!”

“Oh, really, Sargon!” Twombley still thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. “I am trying to prepare our wedding to Lady Margo, and I’m sure I don’t have the funds to hire a construction crew!”

“Who said anything about hirin’ ’em? You’re the nobility, ain’t you? And they’re the peasants. Just draft a bunch of ’em to dig out a bigger cellar. This is England, after all–you don’t have to pay ’em.”

Meanwhile, Miss Lizzie the spider girl has been crying for action vis-a-vis the vicar’s mysterious, dangerous backyard wading pool. In the taproom at The Lying Tart, her heated oratory inspires the rustic patrons to snatch up scythes and torches and form a mob to attack and destroy the pool–which is now believed to be the “nest” of the ancient sorcerer Black Rodney, from which he periodically emerges to devour his unsuspecting victims.

Howling and roaring, the mob streams toward the vicar’s property. But when the uproar dies down for just a moment, Albert the Daft Old Minstrel asks a daunting question.

“Er, I say! What are we to do if Black Rodney comes out and gits us all?” The mob is a mere twenty yards from the hedge marking the border of the vicar’s yard. Behind it lies the pool.

Albert’s question stops the mob in its track. Everybody looks at everybody else. Suddenly they all drop their makeshift weapons and run away in every conceivable direction.

Constable Chumley, alerted by the noise, arrives too late to see anything but a large pile of scythes, pitchforks, and guttering torches. He shakes his head.

“‘Tis a froffin’ mair dindle hereabouts, this verning,” he soliloquizes.

‘Oy, Rodney’ Gets Sticky

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Author Violet Crepuscular has apologized, in advance, for Chapter CXLVIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “A few readers, just a very few, but not to be ignored, have complained that the story I am telling strikes them as preposterous. For this I apologize, but it’s too late to change it. Besides which, I don’t think it’s preposterous!”

In this chapter, Sir Ector Fullovit, Queen Victoria’s Witch-Finder General, arrives in Scurveyshire to investigate rumors of strange events around the vicar’s backyard wading pool. The itinerant spider girl, Lizzie Snivel, promptly falls in love with him. She has a bad habit of falling hopelessly in love with unsuitable men.

Sir Ector first calls at Coldsore Hall, where he finds Lord Jeremy selling lemonade at the entrance to his palatial driveway. Lord Jeremy’s wedding to Lady Margo Cargo looms in the background. You can see it looming if you know where to look.

“This lemonade tastes horrible,” Sir Ector says. “Are you a practitioner of witchcraft?”

“If I were, sir, I’d have better lemonade.”

“Why haven’t you, as Justice of the Peace, put a stop to these goings-on around the vicar’s wading pool?”

This question is a poser, and Lord Jeremy has no answer for it. “Never mind,” says Sir Ector. “I suspect everyone.”

That night, he stakes out the wading pool, driving several stakes into the ground and waiting for something to happen. The following morning, Miss Lizzie finds his sneakers and his witch-finder’s hat on the ground beside the pool–but no Sir Ector. Her screams and lamentations bring Constable Chumley running to see what’s the matter.

“Black Rodney’s got Sir Ector!” she wails. “Look at these deep drag marks leading to the pool!”

“‘Tis a swaikful dreeg,” sighs the constable.

“Why don’t you do something? Why don’t you get some men to lift up the pool?”

Chumley shrugs. He has not thought of this. “‘Tain’t my hozza to feern a dibble con,” he answers, in his old-fashioned country dialect. What country, we are not told.


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