Tag Archives: Lord Jeremy Coldsore

Bring on the Geishas! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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I don’t understand Violet Crepuscular’s literary technique. I was expecting to read, in Chapter CLIII, all about the preparations for the party to be held in honor of the Japanese ambassador, Walt Dropo. Instead, she gives us a digression about her sister-in-law’s atrocious table manners. This is most unedifying.

Moving on to Chapter CLIV, we find Lord Jeremy Coldsore trying to recruit geishas to serve at the party. He has to settle for members of the Scurveyshire Ladies’ Garden Club, who agree to do it in return for a zoning variance that would allow them to erect a colossal statue of their founder, Mrs. Elefanta Williams, in a statue-free zone.

“I hope this works,” says Lord Jeremy. “Not one of those women is a day under fifty, and not one of them knows the first thing about being a geisha.”

“Get the ambassador drunk in a hurry, and he’ll never notice,” replies Willis Twombley, the American adventurer.

With the vicar still laid up with conniptions, his gardener, Jock the Crotchety Gardener, takes it upon himself to empty the controversial wading pool and put it away. Jock and all his crotchets is promptly sucked under the wading pool, never to be seen again. Constable Chumley arrests the one eyewitness on the scene, charging her with Not Watching.

“But I saw some octopus kind of thing shoot out and grab him, and pull him under!” she protests. “Ain a fair vymin’ wi’ me hatriff,” counters the constable.

Lord Jeremy has no time for this: he is desperately trying to find half a dozen geisha costumes. Jo-Jo the Carefree Tailor, in complete ignorance of what constitutes a geisha costume, has created six outfits can only be described as rather like cowgirl clothes. This makes Twombley nostalgic for the plains of Texas.

“If we throw a square dance instead of one of those Japanese tea parties, we’re home free,” he assures Lord Jeremy. “Sort of a Japanese square dance, with that funny-soundin’ music that they like.”

There is no time left to pursue alternatives. The party must be held this very night.

Japan Declares War on Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CLII of Violet Crepuscular’s romance masterpiece, Oy, Rodney, it turns out that the Japanese ambassador who keeps getting snubbed and trampled on is a favorite cousin of the Emperor, and they are mighty mad over the treatment he’s been getting in this book. Consequently, Japan has declared war on Scurveyshire. Rumor has it that a Japanese fleet is on its way.

“Everything happens while you’re trying to arrange a wedding!” Lord Jeremy Coldsore complains. He and his friend, Willis Twombley the American adventurer, are to be married to Lady Margo Cargo, who has been tricked into believing they are one and the same person. Lady Margo’s wealth will save Coldsore Hall from its creditors.

In the absence of any undertaking by Her Majesty’s government to defend Scurveyshire–“Let them sort it out!” says Queen Victoria–Lord Jeremy, as Justice of the Peace, finds himself saddled with the responsibility to defend Scurveyshire. “With what?” he cries.

“Germy, you worry too much,” says Twombley. “All we gotta do is throw a nice party for the ambassador, and it’ll all blow over. Only thing is, first we got to find him.”

Together they pore over the chapters of the book related so far. Finally, late at night, they locate the Japanese ambassador. His name is Walt Dropo.

He enters Coldsore Hall with a samurai sword in his belt and bows stiffly from the waist, as far as his tight corset will allow.

“You have treated me very badly!” he declares.

“My dear fellow, we’re going to make it up to you!” says Jeremy. “You are to be the guest of honor tomorrow night at Lady Margo Cargo’s lavish country house.”

“I don’t have a date.”

“We’ll set you up with one, ol’ hoss!” says Twombley.

“Will there be geishas?”

In fact, Scurveyshire is clean out of geishas. There hasn’t been one in the shire since 1602, and she was only passing through. Twombley assures the ambassador that there will be geishas galore. Dropo-san is greatly pleased.

“I will immediately contact my government to call off the war,” he says. Bowing, he takes his leave, promising to return when they have his date ready for him.

“Where are we supposed to get geishas?” cries Jeremy.

“We got a whole chapter to scare some up,” says Twombley.


I Am Not Violet Crepuscular (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Just because Ms. Violet Crepuscular’s books are so hard to find doesn’t mean I’m writing them. I am not Violet Crepuscular. I have a beard; she doesn’t. I’ve never read a romance novel, except for her inimitable Oy, Rodney. That having been settled, we move on to


Every trial in Scurveyshire is the Trial of the Century. This time the defendant is the merry poacher known as Mickle the Merry Poacher and the plaintiff is Lord Nodule, demanding justice. This is the first case to be tried by Lord Jeremy Coldsore as Justice of the Peace.

“I demand justice!” barks Lord Nodule. “This peon, this excrescence on the body politic, this walking bubo known has Mickle the Merry Poacher, has been poaching on my land for 15 years and I want him stopped! I demand he be punished by drowning!”

The first witness is Constable Chumley, the arresting officer. “Oh, aye,” he testifies, “Mickle been doddlin’ the cairns swofty-like aforementioned deedle.” He is dismissed from the witness stand as soon as possible.

Several of Mickle’s neighbors, and six of Lord Nodule’s tenants, testify that the Merry Poacher has never actually succeeded in poaching anything. “He couldn’t catch a cold,” swears the Widow Flibbert. But the defendant, when he is finally sworn in, insists he has been very successful indeed.

“Caught me a centaur, once’t!” he boasts. “Let’s see anyone top that!”

“What did you do with it?” Lord Jeremy wonders.

“Was gunner eat it, wasn’t I! Only then I found a note on my door from Black Rodney tellin’ me I had to let it go, so that’s what I done.” The crowd gasps.

“I object!” Lord Nodule roars. “Ask him about the badgers!”

“Badgers? Ain’t never caught no badger,” Mickle admits.

“My lord, there are no badgers in Scurveyshire!” interjects the shire’s game warden, Officer Foffle.

“Caught me a Elf once’t, too,” says Mickle.

The public defender, Mr. Potash, moves that all charges be dismissed. “My client is obviously mad, my lord.” He produces a notably ridiculous-looking gadget. “This absurd contraption is one of Mr. Mickle’s homemade snares. You can see it’s perfectly useless for any purpose whatsoever.” Mickle scowls at him.  “I call on you to find him Not Guilty by reason of demonstrable idiocy.”

“He still ought to be drowned,” grumbles Lord Nodule. “What’s this shire coming to, anyway?”

Lord Jeremy sees no alternative but to dismiss the charges. Lord Nodule glares at him.

“You haven’t heard the last of this, Coldsore!” he declares. “I shall be with you on your wedding night!” [Editor’s Note: I think that’s what Frankenstein’s monster said to his creator, Victor Frankenstein, in Mary Shelly’s classic horror novel. What was Ms. Crepuscular thinking when she penned that line?]

The chapter ends abruptly with a recipe for aphid jelly. I cannot bring myself to repeat it.

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.


The Wedding Rehearsal (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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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!”


The Trial of the Century (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CXL of Violet Crepuscular’s indescribable romance, Oy, Rodney, she takes up “the Trial of the Century” in Scurveyshire.

Jasper, the village idiot, comes before Lord Nodule, Justice of the Peace, on the charge of creating a public nuisance. Before any testimony can be given, Lord Nodule bangs his gavel and announces, “I sentence you to be impaled!”

A shocked silence falls over the courtroom, broken only by Willis Twombley’s comment to Lord Jeremy Coldsore in the gallery, “Y’know, Germy, them johnny-come-lately Assyrians used to impale folks all the time. Did wonders for public morale. I’ll definitely consider it, once I git my kingdom back. Run out the Turks and impale the whole gang.” Twombley, an American adventurer, still thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad.

Jasper is the first to find his voice. Well, not the first: more like the second. “My lord, I must object most vigorously to this absurd and barbarous sentence, and you may be sure I shall file a formal complaint with the Chief Justice of England. You have no authority to levy these draconian punishments!”

Lord Nodule is confused. “Draconian?”

“Yes, my lord. According to Plutarch and other classical writers, Draco was made dictator and lawmaker of Athens in the generation or two before Solon–”

“Enough!” Lord Nodule snatches off his wig and slams it on the bench. “Enough, I’ve had enough of mollycoddling public offenders! No impalings indeed!” He hurls his gavel over his shoulder and storms out of the courtroom. His parting shot: “Tell the Lord Chief Justice he can’t fire me, I quit!”

Suddenly Scurveyshire is without a justice of the peace. The mayor laments, “Suddenly we are without a justice of the peace! What are we to do? We need a replacement!”

“I nominate Jasper,” calls out Mr. Jimcrack, the wool magnate. A hubbub ensues, until Sir Alastair Widget, an amateur scientist who breeds very skinny, bad-tempered hogs, calls for silence.

“There is only one obvious replacement for Lord Nodule!” he bellows. “I nominate Lord Jeremy Coldsore of Coldsore Hall! He’s the only lord we’ve got left.”

Jeremy is speechless. The crowd goes wild with enthusiasm, and he is elected on the spot by popular acclaim. Twombley claps him on the back.

“Atta boy, Germy! You’ll soon set this place to rights!” And whispers into his ear, “You can save the impalings for later, after the folks get used to you.”

Jeremy can only mutter, under his breath, “Oh, no!”

Twombley Plays His Trump Card (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CXXXVI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, visits the taproom of The Lying Tart to buy drinks for Col. Fildebert Blemish, who insists that he married Lady Margo Cargo by proxy many years ago. If his claim stands, she won’t be able to marry Twombley and Lord Jeremy Coldsore: Twombley has convinced her that he and Lord Jeremy are actually the same person, and marrying into her wealth will enable Lord Jeremy to keep possession of Coldsore Hall.

But first, for reasons known only to the author, the jolly villagers in the pub break into song, “We are jolly villagers.” Ms. Crepuscular has probably watched one too many old pirate movies.

By now Col. Blemish is well and truly tanked, and Twombley is telling jokes. Each one evokes loud belly-laughs from the colonel.

“Here, now,” says Twombley, “let me tell you the funniest joke I know. Quiet, everybody!” The villagers comply. “Are you ready for this, ol’ Fildy ol’ pal?”

“Ready and willing, Twombley–fire away!”

“All right. Now, Colonel, the first thing is, you’ve got to say ‘I am a bigamous bounder!’ Say it nice and loud, y’hear. And then I’ll say the punch line.”

The colonel burps. “Right-o, Twombley!” He clears his throat and announces, loud and clear, “I am a bigamous bounder!”

Twombley leaps to his feet. “Right! You all heard that! Col. Blemish has admitted to the crime of bigamy. He can’t marry Lady Margo Cargo! You all heard him say it!”

The crowd cheers: they don’t like the colonel. “You bigamous bounder, you!” shouts a mob of assorted laborers, scriveners, and shepherds. They begin to throw things at the colonel. He laughs uproariously until he realizes that Twombley has destroyed his claim to being Lady Margo’s lawful husband. He flees the scene, colliding with the Japanese ambassador who is just trying to enter the taproom. Trampling over him, Col. Blemish vanishes into the night.

Lord Jeremy has his doubts about this procedure. “Won’t he just come back and try again, once he sobers up?”

“Not a chance, Germy! See, I done some readin’ up on him, and he really is a bigamist. He has wed three wives!”

Jeremy sighs with relief. “So then the way is clear again,” he says, “for us to marry Lady Margo.”

“That’s about the size of it,” says Twombley–“once the vicar gets over his conniptions, that is.”

Is She Already Married? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Returning to a point raised some chapters ago, Chapter CXXXII of Oy, Rodney has author Violet Crepuscular devoting some time to the man who supposedly married Lady Margo Cargo by proxy many years ago. Unfortunately for all concerned, Mr. Proxy cannot be found.

The man in question addresses the crowd of inebriated villagers in the taproom of The Lying Tart:

“I am Colonel Fildebert Blemish, of the East Bunkingham Blemishes. In the year 18-something-or-other, while serving with Her Majesty’s 8th Hussars in Africa or somewhere, I married Lady Margo Cargo by proxy. This marriage has been valid all along; she is not free to marry anyone else.”

In the crowd, Willis Twombley whispers to Lord Jeremy Coldsore, “Don’t worry ’bout him, Germy. I’ll bushwhack him when he leaves tonight.”

“He isn’t going to leave! He has a room upstairs in this establishment.”

“Then I’ll have to do what I once did to some snake in the grass from Babylonia,” says Twombley. He still believes he is Sargon of Akkad. Lord Jeremy does not want to hear what he did to the snake in the grass from Babylonia.

Conspicuously absent from the gathering is Lady Margo herself. On her way out the door this evening, her wooden leg fell off again. It being his night off, Crusty the butler is not available to re-attach it. He has gone all the way to Plaguesby to attend a lecture on the mating habits of literary men.

Crawling about in the dark, Lady Margo soon loses her way–until suddenly, as the moon emerges from behind a cloud, the dreadful shape of the vicar’s backyard wading pool looms up in front of her.

She just has time to say “Uh-oh.”

Here the chapter concludes with Ms. Crepuscular’s recipe for cat food casserole.

Lord Jeremy’s Love Triangle

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This is supposedly Chapter CXXXI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, but I couldn’t swear to it.

The wandering spider collector, Miss Lizzie Snivel, has taken to hanging around Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s driveway lemonade stand and frightening the customers by trying to give them spiders.

“Want me to shoot her for you, Germy?” asks Willis Twombley, the American adventurer. He has been methodically picking off Lord Jeremy’s creditors, one by one. The most recent victim, this morning, he has concealed in Coldsore Hall’s infamous Haunted Bedroom.

“Rather you didn’t, old boy.”

The problem here is that Miss Lizzie is dazzlingly beautiful, except for the unsightly ruin of her nose, where she was once bitten by an Australian Venomous Horror Spider named Jeff. She has fallen in love with Lord Jeremy and can’t bear to be away from him. He finds it very flattering.

The Japanese ambassador makes another cameo appearance here, but no one wants him.

“Lady Margo ain’t gonna like yer flirtin’ with that spider gal,” Twombley warns. “If’n she gits word of it, she might not marry us. There ain’t nothin’ as jealous as a woman with a wooden leg. Believe me, I know!”

“If only she wouldn’t keep trying to sneak into Coldsore Hall at night!” cries Jeremy. Against his will, her persistence is beginning to win her over. Unknown to everyone, Miss Lizzie has amassed a colossal fortune by collecting spiders. She has not yet mentioned this.

“Lady Margo been tryin’ to sneak in? What’s wrong with that?” wonders Twombley.

“Not Lady Margo, old boy! It’s that spider girl. She won’t take no for an answer.”

Meanwhile a loud brawl breaks out in the taproom of the Lying Tart that night between villagers who believe Black Rodney is a dangerous sorcerer returned from the dead to put curses on the shire, and those who are convinced he is a kind of catfish. Constable Chumley restores order with a speech that no one understands. It is not reproduced here. “I am afraid his language is not what it should be,” Ms. Crepuscular confides in her readers.

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