Tag Archives: Constable Chumley

And the Winner Is—!

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Breaking news! Elijah has won the comment contest: he has posted Comment No. 33,000 on this blog, and has won an autographed copy of one of my books. Elijah, you’ve got to email me (or leave a comment) to tell me which book you want, and give me your address. Try not to ask for Bell Mountain, I’m just about out of those.

Here to present the award is Constable Chumley, from Scurveyshire.

“Ooh, thare freenin’ foal Elijah, mickle grandings feer ye bawntin’ yon comment contest!”


Constable Chumley Testifies in Kavanagh Hearings!

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Democrat Senators have been reduced to calling fictional characters to testify against Judge Brett Kavanagh’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Already heard as witnesses against Kavanagh have been Captain Ahab, Betty and Veronica, and Tristram Shandy. But the star so far has been Constable Chumley of Scurveyshire, from Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

Asked by Senator Corey “Spartacus” Booker (D-Parallel Universe) whether Judge Kavanagh had ever harassed or molested any country maids in Scurveyshire during the reign of Queen Victoria, Constable Chumley answered vigorously–well, at least as vigorously as any fictional character can manage.

“Ooh, yeye, thar’ wee no thrickin’ bawn a-tall!” The Constable nods for emphasis. “I delly, footh, ’twas mair yon Kavanagh thoo’ briggle!” He went on in this vein for 90 minutes, no one daring to interrupt him.

The next witness, Ms. Violet Crepuscular herself, testified, “My feelings are the same as Constable Chumley’s.”

TOMORROW: Democrat Senators to call on characters from books and stories that haven’t been written yet.


The Peasants Are Revolting (‘Oy, Rodney)

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We must skip the next three chapters of Violet Crepuscular’s remarkable epic romance, Oy, Rodney, in which nothing happens. I don’t know why she wrote them. And she is fresh out of Estonian folk tales. These three chapters, she hints slyly, are the result of very bad weather in Scurveyshire.

In Chapter CLXXXIV, Lord Jeremy’s foot has healed after being accidentally shot by his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, and he is ready to proceed with their wedding to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. But then another problem crops up, which Lord Jeremy, as Justice of the Peace, must deal with: a full-scale peasant revolt.

“I didn’t even know we still had peasants in Scurveyshire!” he complains. “Where were they, all this time?”

“Constable Chumley says they came swarming out from under the vicar’s backyard wading pool,” his clerk informs him.

“What did he say exactly, man?”

The clerk pauses to search his memory. “As near as I can reconstruct them, sir, the constable’s exact words were ‘A farthy night, I thwill, yare greechins forthered a grambly riot up out of Arth itself, an’ wicky sump!'”

Meanwhile, the peasant mob, under the leadership of a masked man who looks like Desi Arnaz without the makeup, has overturned the ancient statue of Colonel Sanders in the village common and now surrounds The Lying Tart, demanding free beer. The landlord has been out of beer since Ms. Crepuscular ran out of folk tales, and fears for his life.

“This is Rodney’s doing,” opines Lady Margo. “If only I weren’t so busy with all the new upholstering at home, I’d flee to someplace nice.”

“Ol’ hoss,” says Twombley, “you better order the constable to disperse them peasants before somebody gits hurt. I ain’t got enough ammunition left to shoot ’em all.”

The constable having gone into hiding, a search ensues. They finally locate him at the constabulary’s station house, playing Scrabble with the prisoners. He has just gotten a triple word score for “Quixzorj.”

“Constable, I order you to disperse that mob of crazed homicidal peasants!” cries Lord Jeremy. Constable Chumley indicates by eloquent gestures that they will disperse themselves as soon as the town blacksmith blows The Great Horn of Pokesleigh.

“We shoulda thought of that,” remarks Twombley.

Even as he speaks, a horrible noise reminiscent of half a dozen giant ground sloths trapped in a tar pit comes roaring and grumbling across the landscape. As if by magic, the peasants drop what they’re doing and stampede out of the story. Scurveyshire is saved.

Adds Ms. Crepuscular, “I will not listen to carping comments to the effect that I have chosen a cheap way out of this dilemma. The Great Horn of Pokesleigh has a long history of being used in emergencies, and it’s not my fault if this fact is poorly known outside of Scurveyshire.”


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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