“Gotcha with that title, didn’t I!” snickers Violet Crepuscular, introducing Chapter DCXLVII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “Well, that’s how I won my spurs–” spurs? Is Roy Rogers here?–“as the Queen of Suspense! And one of the great secret techniques of ‘suspense’ is to deceive the reader!” Not a secret anymore, though, is it?
Constable Chumley, now disguised as a ghost–really, it was much too hot inside that deep-sea diving helmet–continues to “haunt” (ha-ha!) The Lying Tart, trying to get the goods on the ritualistic poking ring rumored to meet in the pub’s back room. With the sheet over him, patrons give the constable a wide berth. Too bad he forgot to cut out eye-holes. “Aft yon burrdin cligh,” he explains.
She has forgotten about the rhinoceros in the cocoon behind the chicken coop. It seems wiser not to remind her.
Meanwhile, a reader named Mrs. Panty, from Dixieville, Manchuria, asks the question that we’ve all been asking: “What the heck is ‘ritualized poking’?”
Alas, Ms. Crepuscular is not yet ready to divulge that information. “I still haven’t found words to describe it, it’s just that awful!” she admits.