Introducing Chapter CDXXXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular chides her readers for demanding more romance.
“You’d think they’d be satisfied,” she writes, “with a cyclops rampaging about the countryside while the town awaits the delivery of sea monkeys–but no, that’s not good enough! They want this to be a kissing book–ugh! Well, if it’s kissing they want, it’s kissing they’ll get!”
Patching up a lover’s quarrel caused by a difference of opinion between their respective invertebrate pets, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, embarks on a hot and heavy smooching session with Lady Margo Cargo, Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s financier. (Shouldn’t that be “fiancee”?) Now that she’s fitted herself with a new upholstered wooden leg, Lady Margo is hot to trot (“You have no idea how distasteful it is to me to have to write such tripe,” Violet interjects.) In the course of this athletic love-making, Lady Margo’s wig falls off, her glass eye pops out, and Twombley’s six-gun slips out of the holster and into Oswin the Crayfish’s aquarium.
“It’s not cheating,” explains Ms. Crepuscular, “because Lady Margo is convinced that Mr. Twombley and Lord Jeremy are the same person. All attempts to demonstrate otherwise have failed so far–but at least her conscience is clear.”
Here she terminates the chapter before things get out of hand.
As for the cyclops, “If nobody cares about him tossing people’s cottages around like basketballs,” Violet concludes, “well, isn’t that a sad commentary upon our time?”
She will spend the rest of the day consoling the neglected cyclops.