Tag Archives: Lord Jeremy Coldsore

A Celebration Spoiled (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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We skip over two chapters dealing with scrubbing all the mud off Lady Margo and putting her to bed, and notifying Lord Jeremy Coldsore that his fiancee has returned from wherever she was. She has not told anyone that she was in the Plaguesby jail. Those two chapters were very badly written.

In Chapter CCLXXVII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Lord Jeremy has proclaimed a holiday to celebrate Lady Margo’s return. This time he first consults the Wise Woman of the Woods before proceeding with his plan.

“Go right ahead, my lord,” says the Wise Woman of the Woods. “This time absolutely nothing will go wrong. Your troubles are over!”

And so all of Scurveyshire gathers on the village green to play swallow-the-pebble, to drink copious quantities of ale, and rejoice for Lady Margo and her upcoming wedding to Lord Jeremy and his friend, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. Lady Margo believes them to be the same person and gets flustered when she sees them both together.

The merriment is interrupted by the sudden arrival of an ominously tall figure clad in an unimaginable (I wish she would stop using that word!) black cloak, out of which peers a dreadful papier-mache skull.

“Hear me, Scurveyshire!” bellows the stranger. “It is me–I mean I–Black Rodney! Woe to all of you! From now on, no happiness will ever be allowed again in Scurveyshire! You are hereby cursed, all of you!”

For Lord Jeremy, this is just too trying for words. “This is just too trying for words!” he exclaims, “and it’s time we put a stop to it.

“We have an ancient law in Scurveyshire, you villain, dating back to a time before the Romans came and made a hash of things. A native king named Porky decreed a law that anyone who brings bad news should be immediately put to death–a law which I, as justice of the peace, do now invoke. Black Rodney, I sentence you to death!”

“It’s about time!” mutters Twombley. He draws his Colt revolver and shoots the black-clad stranger where he stands. As the figure collapses on the sward (“I am so happy I finally got to use that word!” remarks Ms. Crepuscular, in an intimate aside), no one hears Jeremy mutter, “It really ought to have been a hanging, old boy.”

But wait! As all gather round the fallen sorcerer, it is soon discovered that the black cloak and the dreadful mask are… empty! Empty!

“I break the chapter here,” explains Ms. Crepuscular, “to heighten the suspense.”


The Search Party (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCXLIV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Lady Margo Cargo mysteriously disappears on her way to her wedding to Lord Jeremy Coldsore. In Chapter CCXLV, Ms. Crepuscular devotes 40 pages to the replacement of the light bulb that burned out while she was writing. This is high literary art, if you like that sort of thing.

In Chapter CCXLVI, the American adventurer Willis Twombley suggests forming a search party. “It ought to be pretty easy to track down an old lady with a wooden leg,” he says. Lord Jeremy does not like to hear his bride described as an old lady with a wooden leg, but he lets it slide. And Sardanapalus Tingleworth, the man with one buttock who has been blamed for all this, volunteers to lead the party. This persuades Lord Jeremy not to have him executed on the spot. Scurveyshire’s local hangman, Will Slopp, is disappointed.

Lady Margo’s trail leads from her lavish country house to the vicar’s back yard and peters out a few yards from the vicar’s wading pool. This is where Crusty the Butler found Lady Margo’s upholstered wooden leg. It is evident to all that Lady Margo has been sucked under the wading pool.

Twombley checks his revolver to make sure it’s loaded. “We gotta follow her under the pool if we want to get her back,” he says.

One by one, the members of the search party suddenly remember important errands that they have to do, make excuses, and leave. Soon it’s only Lord Jeremy, Twombley, Crusty, and Mr. Tingleworth standing in front of the pool.

“I don’t like that name, ‘Sardanapalus,'” says Twombley. “It sounds like an Assyrian name. Maybe I better just shoot this varmint.”

“Please, sir! It’s not an Assyrian name at all!” cries Tingleworth. “Besides, I volunteer to search for Lady Margo under the pool.”

No sooner does he say this than a huge, slimy, black-and-blue tentacle shoots out, lashes itself around Crusty’s legs, and whisks him under the pool.

“I am running out of patience with the vicar’s hemming and hawing about getting rid of this blasted pool!” declares Lord Jeremy. In his heart of hearts, he is reluctant to follow Lady Margo and her butler into unimaginable peril.

“And here I must end the chapter,” writes Violet Crepuscular, “or I won’t have anything to write about in Chapter CCXLVII.” We suspect she has not yet decided how to imagine an unimaginable peril.


Where Is Lady Margo? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapters CCXLI and CCXLII are taken up with author Violet Crepuscular’s current personal problems, which she insists on sharing with her readers. We gather she has heard from an old high school boy friend, whom she hadn’t heard from at all in over 40 years. He phoned her from a state prison somewhere in Utah and invited her to come and see him. “He wants me to sell my house and donate the money to his legal defense fund,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “I don’t know where he got the idea that I own a house.”

As if that weren’t distressing enough, she laments the disaster of the “tricky tray” she organized for her chapter of the Daughters of Wombat–does anybody out there know what a “tricky tray” is?–and apologizes for all the injuries incurred. It takes her halfway into Chapter CCXLIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, to pick up the thread of the narrative.

At last we have the wedding! Lord Jeremy Coldsore is to be wed to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in all of Scurveyshire, in an outdoor ceremony at Gibbering Jessie Park (where they hold the annual crab races), the vicar officiating–he is temporarily free of conniptions–and the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, serving as best man and a kind of co-groom: Lady Margo believes he and Lord Jeremy are the same person.

Everything is ready! All that is lacking is the presence of the bride. She is already three and a half hours late, and the vicar’s cheek has begun to twitch.

Suddenly Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, comes running up to the wedding party, gasping frantically and brandishing Lady Margo’s newly-upholstered wooden leg.

“She’s gone! She’s gone!” he cries. “I’ve looked everywhere, I’ve turned the whole house inside-out for her, and I can’t find her! Lady Margo is gone!”

Lord Jeremy is exasperated: he needs this marriage to keep creditors from seizing Coldsore Hall. “Oh, bother!” he hisses under his breath. “Only place in the whole dashed world where a man can’t have a bally wedding!”

The vicar topples over, and begins to make noises reminiscent of a steam locomotive about to give birth to several little locomotives.

“Where could she go, and leave her leg behind?” Twombley wonders.

At that moment one of the small crowd assembled, but not invited, for the wedding, is exposed as a man with only one buttock.

“The curse!” cries Jeremy. “The curse has struck! We couldn’t avoid it, after all!” He then faints, falling down beside the vicar.

“Gettin’ kinda crowded down there,” Twombley muses.


The Looming Curse (‘Oy, Rodney)

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Having been warned by the Wise Woman of the Woods to beware of a man with one buttock, Lord Jeremy has ordered Constable Chumley to find such a man and arrest him; but as we see in Chapter CCXL of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, this proves to be a rather difficult assignment.

“The constable’s already found four men with only one buttock,” reports Lord Jeremy’s friend, the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, “and one fellow in Farfield with none–and there’s a guy in Plaguesby who has three buttocks. Poor Chumley ain’t sure what he ought to do about it.”

“Well, arrest them all!” cries Lord Jeremy. “If a man with only one buttock shows up at our wedding to Lady Margo, it’ll put a curse on the marriage!”

“This thross’ll be yer flomin’ gragg,” mutters the constable, as he attempts to carry out his orders. He is concerned that the Scurveyshire jail is getting overcrowded.

To make a bad business worse, Lady Margo Cargo has begun to see this as a “reign of terror” launched by her prospective bridegroom. “I shouldn’t want our marriage to be remembered as a bad time for the shire, dear,” she says. “And, you know, it’s a funny thing about curses: the harder you try to avoid a curse, the more certain it is to overtake you.”

“That’s not funny!” growls Jeremy.

So now the jail is full to bursting, no room for the prisoners to sit down–not that the man with no buttocks can sit down, as we understand the act of sitting down–and the talk at The Lying Tart is beginning to turn nasty.

“Don’t worry about it, Germy,” Twombley consoles his friend. “We always had a whole lot of curses goin’ around in my Akkadian kingdom–” Twombley still thinks he is Sargon of Akkad–“and we learned to pay ’em no heed.”

“And that’s probably why there’s no more kingdom of Akkad,” growls Jeremy under his breath. He has never been married before, and the whole thing so far has been something of a disappointment.


‘Are Centaurs Really Real?’ (2014)

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This young woman’s choice is ill-advised…

The controversy over the reality of centaurs remains as lively as it’s ever been. I think that’s a true statement.

https://leeduigon.com/2014/10/14/are-centaurs-really-real/

Note the first appearance of Jeremy Coldsore as a NASA scientist, before Violet Crepuscular promoted him to the lordship of Coldsore Hall.

If anybody really knows about centaurs, he does.


‘Beware!’ (Oy, Rodney)

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“Now that the story makes sense,” writes Violet Crepuscular, we can proceed to Chapter CCXXXVIII of her epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, in which Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, prepare for their wedding to Lady Margo Cargo–who thinks they are the same person, and is troubled when she sees them together.

“It gets awfully confusing sometimes, Sargon, dear,” she confides to Twombley, who believes himself to be Sargon of Akkad.

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, darlin’,” he replies. “It’s only ancient Akkadian magic, which I got to do because there’s a lot of Babylonian secret agents after me. Jist remember that I’m only Sargon when I’m me.” This answer satisfies her. Whether it satisfies the reader or not remains in question.

But wait! Lord Jeremy has received a cryptic warning from the Wise Woman of the Woods–written in Old Estonian, for security’s sake. Twombley translates:

“Dear Lord Jeremy, how are you? I am fine. It’s me, the Wise Woman of the Woods.

“Beware the wedding guest who has only one buttock. He will put a curse on your marriage! You must take decisive action to stop him.”

Responding with alacrity (a word I seldom get to use), Lord Jeremy orders Constable Chumley to arrest everyone in Scurveyshire who has only one buttock. “Frae the decken with a crooster, m’lord,” replies the constable. He makes a beeline for the pub, The Lying Tart.

“Unless I am much mistaken,” says Lord Jeremy, “this is more of Black Rodney’s work. But it ought to be pretty easy to find a man with one buttock.”

“I knew a man like that in Dodge City,” Twombley recalls, “but I bet it ain’t him.”

Ms. Crepuscular concludes the chapter with a recipe for wood.

 


The Chapter IV Do-Over (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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From Chapter CCXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we pass on to–Chapter IV? Hey! What gives?

“Looking back,” the author explains, “I am most unsatisfied with my earlier presentation of Chapter IV, and I beg the reader to disregard it. Cross out those 57 pages! Pretend I never wrote it, and you never read it! I am deeply ashamed of its unedifying content, and hereby replace it.”

The substitute Chapter IV takes us back to 1818, the year of Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s birth at Coldsore Hall and a rather bad year for Scurveyshire, what with a plague of locusts, a wave of inexplicable divorces, cattle behaving like tree frogs, and other afflictions. Jeremy’s father, Lord Weeping (how did she ever come up with a name like “Lord Weeping Coldsore?”), sends for the ancient crone who doubles as the shire’s one and only Wise Woman of the Woods.

“How are we to bring this endless series of troubles to an end?” Lord Weeping demands.

“I have given this a great deal of thought,” the Wise Woman replies, “and all the omens tell me there is only one way out: you, my lord, must leave your palatial ancestral home… to go a-whaling. Proceed to the nearest port and sign up for the next available whaling voyage. This will snap Scurveyshire’s run of bad luck.”

Settling his affairs unsatisfactorily, Lord Weeping bids farewell to his wife, Lady Francesca–she is the daughter of an Italian nobleman who is, in reality, a shoemaker–and sets out for the nearest port. Here he pays for the inattention he gave his tutor as a child, when he ought to have been learning his geography. Unaware that ports are commonly located on or near the sea, it takes him several years to make his way to Bristol. There he signs up as a harpooner on the jinxed whaling vessel, Jonah Jones, just before it sets sail for the whaling grounds off Greenland.  Within minutes of the ship leaving harbor, Scurveyshire returns to normal. But the Jonah Jones, having taken a wrong turn off the coast of Ceylon, is never seen again.

Lady Francesca leaves Jeremy to be raised by servants and traveling mountebanks and returns to her family in Italy somewhere.

“This is altogether better than my original Chapter IV,” concludes Mr. Crepuscular. “Now the book makes sense!”


Lady Margo, Mrs. Chumley (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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As we enter Chapter CCXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we find Lady Margo Cargo trying to adapt to her new role as the wife of Constable Chumley, to whom she was accidentally married two chapters ago. She has yet to discover the constable’s first name. So have we.

“This must be undone!” Lord Jeremy Coldsore declares. It had been his plan to marry Lady Margo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, and so save his ancestral home, Coldsore Hall, from a growing legion of creditors.

“Germy, ol’ hoss, we’re runnin’ out of places to hide the bodies,” says Jeremy’s friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley. Twombley has been shooting creditors and hiding them around the hall and grounds. “If we don’t marry Lady Margo, we’re sunk.”

Meanwhile the constable goes about his duties and enjoys his evenings at The Lying Tart as if he weren’t married at all. It may be he has forgotten the incident. But then–

“I believe I’m with child by the constable,” Lady Margo confides in Twombley. “Dr. Fanabla says it’s all in my head, the marriage has not been consummated, and why don’t I just shut up about it–but I can’t!”

“Why don’t you jist get the marriage annulled?” asked Twombley. “I’m sure the vicar will be happy to do it for you.” He is not aware that the vicar has relapsed into more conniptions. “And if he can’t do it, Lord Germy can: he’s the justice of the peace, ain’t he?”

“But I gave my word to the constable!” cries Lady Margo.

Later, over enormous tankards of ale at the pub, Twombley tries to persuade the constable to disavow the marriage. “Mayhap the furthin be thwall a-beedle,” replies the constable. He has begun his  correspondence course in mole-ology and is preoccupied by it.

Lord Jeremy is almost frantic. “We’ve got to get that so-called marriage annulled by the next chapter at the latest! Or, as you said, old boy, we’re sunk!” He could, of course, declare the whole thing null and void, and have the assistant justice removed from his post and thrown in jail; but at the moment he is too upset to think clearly.

 


Bram Stoker Visits Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCXXX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney–we’re still waiting for Chapter CCXXIX–Violet Crepuscular writes of a visit to Scurveyshire by Bram Stoker, the famed author of Dracula. It is vain to protest that Stoker wasn’t born until 1847 and would have been only three years old in 1850. “I do not believe the dates commonly given,” asserts Ms. Crepuscular. Nor do we get anywhere by denying that Stoker spoke fluent Pidgin with a broad Irish accent. “My sources are impeccable,” she says. We are not sure she knows what “impeccable” means.

Stoker comes to Scurveyshire to do research for Dracula, which was not published until 1897. He is immediately informed that “We ain’t had but one vampire in Scurveyshire, and he retired from it long ago to go into the tea business. Last we heard, he had a big plantation in Norway.” But before he can leave, he learns that Scurveyshire is being terrorized by the long-dead necromancer, Black Rodney. His interest is piqued.

Stoker interviews Constable Chumley at The Lying Tart, where the local brew goes straight to his head and incites him to entertain the night’s customers by reciting rather lurid nursery rhymes. “Yer flothering bandy fair made a clogger that brawsty night,” the constable recalls.

The next night, Stoker disappears. Forever. It is discovered that the itinerant spider girl, Lizzie Snivel, fell madly in love with Scurveyshire’s exotic visitor: and also that he took advantage of her infatuation to purchase from her a rare Tasmanian blow-dried spider at a shamefully low price. Miss Lizzie, the only witness, insists that Mr. Stoker, hunting for traces of Black Rodney, ventured dangerously close to the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard. “I fear he was dragged under by them tentacles!” she cries. “Oh, I should have stopped him!”

Still trying to plan his wedding to Lady Margo Cargo, Lord Jeremy Coldsore finds it hard to do his duty as Scurveyshire’s justice of the peace. “I don’t have time to investigate the disappearance of a Pidgin-speaking Irishman!” he cries. So there is no investigation, and the wading pool has claimed another victim.

We are promised that in Chapter CCXXXI, Lord Jeremy will acquire a new cravat especially for the wedding.


‘Oy, Rodney,’ the Missing Chapter

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“Something magical” was supposed to happen in Chapter CCXXIX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, but for the time being she has noticed that she’d left Chapter CCXXVII unwritten, so she has gone back to that. “The only reason I can think of for having left Chapter CCXXVII unwritten,” she confides in the reader, “is that I was having trouble with my toilet flapper.”

In Chapter CCXXVII, Johnno the Merry Minstrel discovers the biggest cuss bag yet cunningly hidden in the Fourth Earl’s suit of armor, which he wore during the Wars of the Roses and then couldn’t get it off. The presence of the large cuss bag suggests that the earl’s skeleton is not, after all, still inside the armor. Which probably means that the ghost that occasionally appears, and likes to fill the upstairs bath tub with fried gloves, is not the Fourth Earl, as has been long believed.

The cuss bag contains cat hair and other detritus. “The other contents cannot be mentioned in polite society,” adds Ms. Crepuscular.

“It’s a good thing I’ve found this, my lord,” Johnno tells Lord Jeremy Coldsore, debt-ridden master of Coldsore Hall. “If I hadn’t, you would have had a fatal accident involving cat hairs. Only Black Rodney could have thought of that!”

“Well, how the deuce are we to be rid of him!” cries Jeremy. “What have I ever done to Black Rodney, that he should plague me with his sorceries?”

“I think he’s after Coldsore Hall, my lord,” says Johnno. “But let me soothe you with my rendition of ‘Down by the Old Mill Stream,'” which he sings while accompanying himself on the harmonica.

“I still expect something magical to happen in Chapter CCXXIX,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “but I can’t write it until I get this confounded flapper replaced.”

 


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