Now that he’s been elected justice of the peace, Lord Jeremy Coldsore can perform his own marriage to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, and so save Coldsore Hall from its wolf-pack of creditors–some of whom have already been shot, and hidden away, by his friend Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad.
Welcome to Chapter CXLII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney. Here we adjourn to Lady Margo’s parlor for the wedding rehearsal. Present are Jeremy and Lady Margo, Twombley, and Lady Margo’s pet crayfish, Oswin, serving as a witness. The crusty old butler, Crusty, has refused to come up from his butler’s pantry: “I refuse to be a party to this monstrosity,” he says.
“I feel a bit strange about all this, Sargon,” Lady Margo says. “I find it hard to remember that you and my dear Jeremy are actually the same person.”
“Don’t you let it worry you, l’il gal,” says Twombley. “It took me a long time to learn how to be two different guys at once, but it’s the only way I can keep them pesky Babylonians from dry-gulchin’ me.” He points to the window. “See that gardener out there, with the wheelbarrow full of poison ivy? He don’t look it, but he’s two guys masqueradin’ as one–a Babylonian spy. I’ll deal with him later.”
Lord Jeremy, as justice of the peace, will perform the ceremony, with Twombley as best man. From time to time they must switch their positions. Like this:
“Do you, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, take this woman, Lady Margo Cargo, for your lawfully wedded wife?” He then moves to Lady Margo’s side to say “I do.” Meanwhile, Twombley takes his place as justice of the peace. After saying “I do,” Jeremy goes back to being the justice of the peace and Twombley takes his place next to Lady Margo. “Do you, Lady Margo Cargo, take his man, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, for your lawfully wedded husband?” Glancing at Twombley, she replies, “I do! I mean, I think I do. This would be so much easier if we had the vicar here!”
“He’s still down with the conniptions, l’il gal,” Twombley explains. “We can always fit him in if he snaps out of it.”
He and Jeremy trade places again, and Twombley says, “If there is anyone here who’s got any kind o’ tomfool reason why these two here should not be hitched, let him speak now or forever shut his trap.”
“I object!” peeps the crayfish.
And Lady Margo, having time only to mutter, “Black Rodney strikes again!” keels over in a swoon. Twombley, unable to catch both her wig and her glass eye, lets both drop to the floor. In fact, so does Lady Margo.
“We’ve got to do better than this!” cries Lord Jeremy.
“Practice makes perfect, Germy,” says Twombley. “And a certain crayfish is gonna wind up in a bowl of gumbo if he tries any more tricks!”