In Chapter CCLXXXII of Violet Crepuscular’s monumental epic romance (just “epic” won’t suffice anymore), Oy, Rodney, Lady Margo Cargo finally gets out of bed, where she has been recovering from her ordeal in the dreadful Scurveyshire fens.
Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, have been taking turns to visit her. Because she believes them to be the same person, it troubles her when they show up together. She and Lord Jeremy are still engaged to be married, and Mr. Twombley still thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad.
What has motivated Lady Margo to roll out of bed and bounce painfully upon the floor, where she flops around and yells until Crusty the crusty butler can make his way up the stairs and struggle, with his failing strength, to sit her on the bed?
“Crusty, summon my lady’s maid to help me dress! I must visit Coldsore Hall before Lord Gwonleigh and Lady Petunia depart.”
“You don’t have a lady’s maid, you silly old trout.”
Lady Margo is perplexed. “But Rubella–”
“Rubella died two years ago, from a surfeit of lampreys,” Crusty reminds her. “Blimey, can’t you remember anything?”
“You mean I’ve been dressing myself every day, for two years?”
“Well, I flamin’ well ain’t been doing it!”
Lord Gwonleigh is the Marquess of Grone, one of the wealthiest men in England, and it won’t do, not to pay her respects while he’s in the neighborhood. As best she can, Lady Margo dresses herself. No one is there to tell her that in the process of pulling on her dress, she got her wig turned backwards. But in all other ways, her efforts are as successful as the wine-dark sea–
“I know what you’re thinking,” Ms. Crepuscular interrupts the narrative in an aside to the reader. “I will use this aside to the reader to put your mind at ease, dear reader.
“I realize the Homeric tag, ‘the wine-dark sea,’ may seem out of place in a lady’s private bedroom many miles from the sea. It’s my writer’s intuition that bids me use it. Besides which, my neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, has sworn to have a tantrum very soon if I don’t write something about the wine-dark sea.”
And now, having altogether lost the thread of the story, Ms Crepuscular breaks off the chapter with a recipe for boiled pizza slices.