Tag Archives: Willis Twombley

An Important Message from the Author (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of silly romance novels

In Chapter XX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney

What? Chapter XX? I thought we had Chapter CCCV last week! Why are we suddenly on Chapter XX? Violet Crepuscular explains.

“Dear readers, I am sure I have a Chapter XX in the appropriate place, between Chapters XIX and XXI, but I cannot recall that there was that much to it. So I might as well rewrite it here, and use it to help you to understand my difficulty in proceeding to Chapter CCCVI.

“In digging up my garden, the oafs from the police turned up some oddly-shaped stones with peculiar markings on them; and as a result, my whole back yard is now being dug up by all these men in pith helmets and I am forbidden to interfere.

“They say the funny stones are the ruins of some Carthaginian thingy and thus a major archaeological discovery–and the government expects me to fund their research! I don’t understand this. They say the squiggly marks on the stones are inscriptions of some kind, but all it seems to say is things like ‘Put this stone in such and such a place’ or ‘For a good time, visit Cindy.’ Meanwhile they’ve made a pig’s breakfast of my yard! I do not propose to invite them in for sandwich cookies.”

Moving on to Chapter CCCVI, what little there is of it, we find Archibald Cruxley, ace reporter for Upholstery World, rather cast down by his failure to interview Lady Margo Cargo about her upholstered wooden leg, the only one of its kind in all of England. He has not been able to stem the flow of Willis Twombley’s reminiscences of famous gunfights in America. Nor does he like the way Mr. Twombley waves his six-shooter every which way for emphasis.

“Man, I thought Ur was a rough town, all full of Chaldees who’d shoot you just to see if their guns was loaded!” Twombley believes he is Sargon of Akkad, on the run from Babylonian usurpers. “And there was fast times in Philistia, too! But there wasn’t none of ’em could hold a candle to Dodge City. You shoulda see what happened when Murderin’ Mike McGurk came to town! Did you know he was a Ghurka?”

On and on he goes. Lady Margo listens intently, lost in fascination. Lord Jeremy Coldsore listens somewhat less intently. And Mr. Cruxley isn’t listening at all. He is thinking he made a serious error in his youth, when he decided not to be a beggar.


The Plankton Kid (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of silly romance novels

“I am much distracted,” Violet Crepuscular confides in her readers, “by police officers digging up my back garden. I am sure I haven’t buried any bodies there! But I must proceed to Chapter CCCV of my epic romance, Oy, Rodney.”

It seems the editors of Upholstery World have gotten wind of Lady Margo Cargo’s handsomely upholstered wooden leg, the only one of its kind in England, and sent a reporter to interview her. He arrives at her luxurious country house just as she is about to serve tea to her two fiances, Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his friend, the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. She thinks they are the same person. When she sees them together, she think she needs new glasses.

“Madam, my name is Archibald Cruxley and I am a reporter for Upholstery World–” But Twombley interrupts him.

“Well dog my cats–a reporter! You must be here to ask me about my famous shootout with the Plankton Kid!”

“Er, really, sir, I’m only here to interview–”

“I know, I know–it’s hard to believe!” cries Twombley. He digs into his back pocket. “But here’s a picture to prove it!”

Image result for images of plankton

Everyone stares fascinatedly at the array of plankton. “All them little critters–that’s why he was called the Plankton Kid,” explains Twombley. “He had all of Dodge City eatin’ out of his hand, till I came along and plugged him.”

“What was he doing with all that plankton?” wonders Lady Margo.

“Don’tchu fret yore pretty little head about that, honey! It was sort of a callin’ card–every time he shot someone, the Plankton Kid used to stuff some plankton up his nose.”

“I say!” Lord Jeremy explains. “Wasn’t that dashed disrespectful to the dead?”

“Not the victim’s nose. His own nose–he stuffed it up his own nose,” Twombley elucidates.

Ms. Crepuscular breaks in with some harsh words for the police, who have just uprooted her begonias.


‘Beware!’ (Oy, Rodney)

See the source image

“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.

 


Ms. Crepuscular’s Note to the Reader (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of silly romance novels

We are startled by Chapter CCVIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, in which she sets aside the story and addresses the reader as “a fellow pilgrim on the long road of making sense of a world full of biscuits.” It goes downhill from there.

“Dear Reader,” she writes, “it has come to my attention that, in my efforts to present this epic tale, I have neglected its beginning. This will never do. And so, while we wait for Lord Jeremy Coldsore to learn how to get around on two left feet, the result of a misapplied regime of one-legged jumping jacks intended to cure the gunshot wound in his right foot, I find I must backtrack. So without further ado, I offer this.”

Chapter IA. How Lord Jeremy Coldsore Came to Befriend Willis Twombley

Willis Twombley, a globe-trotting American adventure who believes himself to be Sargon of Akkad, has occasion to pass through Scurveyshire, where he stops for several invigorating drinks at the local pub, The Lying Tart. He is soon joined at his table by Lord Jeremy Coldsore, master of Coldsore Hall, scion of a family that obtained noble rank just in time for the Crusades.

“I say, old chap,” opens Jeremy, “if you don’t mind my saying so, you look a bit down in the mouth. One should never drink alone, you know. Permit me to keep you company, to buy you another tankard of rich brown Scurveyshire ale, and listen to whatever you care to tell me. I perceive by your barbarous accent that you are an American. I am Lord Jeremy Coldsore, of Coldsore Hall.”

“Pleased to meetcha, Germy. Willis Twombley, that’s my name–but only temporary, like. Ditto my being an American.” Twombley’s eyes twinkle in a way that would move anyone else to find an excuse to leave suddenly. He lowers his voice. “Fact is, I’m really Sargon of Akkad, a great king. And not thinkin’ it enough that they stole my throne out from under me, those dadburned Babylonians are tryin’ to plant me six feet under.”

“Good heavens,” says Jeremy.

“They been followin’ me everywhere. They almost caught me in a crummy little place called Peedle, somewheres between Russia and Portugal. Had to shoot my way out. I came here because there ain’t never been no Babylonians seen in your neck o’ the woods. I need a rest!”

Impulsively, Jeremy invites the Akkadian/American to stay a few days at Coldsore Hall. “I’m in rather a sticky situation myself, old thing. The only company I ever get anymore is creditors. My ancestors left me with a lot of unpaid debts, and the creditors are trying to take over Coldsore Hall, ancient suits of armor and all. So I can certainly sympathize with you, losing a whole kingdom and all.”

“Germy, I believe I’ll take you up on that!” Twombley drains the tankard in one gulp. “Maybe we can sort of help each other. I’ve had a lot of experience discouragin’ varmints who want to grab your home sweet home.” He twitches his threadbare drover’s overcoat to reveal a pair of massive six-guns holstered to his belt.

“And that, Dear Reader, is how it all began!” writes Ms. Crepuscular. She goes on to complain about an editor who tore up her manuscript and threatened to have her arrested.


Ms. Crepuscular’s Estonian Folk Tale (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of silly romance novels

In Chapter CLXXXI of Violet Crepuscular’s interminable epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we get the pleasant little Estonian folk tale we were promised in Chapter CLXXX. It is intended to tide us over while Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s foot heals from being accidentally shot by the American adventurer, Willis Twombley.

We are not convinced that this is a genuine Estonian folk tale, but it will have to suffice.

Once upon a time, King Patrick of Estonia had three daughters but no sons. Needing a male successor, the king advertised in the newspapers for suitable princes to marry his daughters. Meanwhile, he questioned his daughters to see which of them loved him the most.

“I love you so much, O father of mine, that it makes my socks roll up and down,” said the eldest, Princess Jackie.

“That’s nothing,” said the second eldest, Princess Foozle. “If every ant in India brought me a gold doubloon, it still wouldn’t be enough to buy my love for you. And there are an awful lot of ants in India!” We are assured that “Foozle” is a genuine Estonian girl’s name of great antiquity, but we are at liberty not to believe it.

But the youngest, Princess Chimney, answered, “I guess I love you as much as I’m supposed to. I mean, you’re okay.” Outraged by this answer, the king marries Chimney off to a beggar with dandruff. Meanwhile, he marries Jackie to the Duke of Flatbush and Foozle to Prince Huitzilxochitl of Kizzuwatna.

(“It’s jist the kinda thing them dam’ Hittites always used to do,” interjects Twombley. “Asia Minor went to pot when they moved in.”)

The two eldest princesses turned against their father and divided up his kingdom, putting him on public assistance.

But Chimney’s husband turned out to be the Emperor of Peedle in disguise. His fantastically large army conquered Estonia and restored King Patrick to his throne, and sent the now-impoverished elder daughters and their husbands into a humiliating exile. They were last seen begging for food in Detroit.

“And that,” concludes Ms. Crepuscular, “was enough to make the king leer!”

 


The Ambassador’s Geisha Party (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of silly romance novels

Chapter CLV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, should have told us what happened at the gala party thrown for the Japanese ambassador, Walt Dropo, at Lady Margo Cargo’s opulent drawing room. Instead, we are treated to several recipes utilizing Frothee and sauerkraut, none of which seems particularly appealing. We have to move on to Chapter CLVI to get to the party.

With the members of the Scurveyshire Ladies’ Garden Club done up as middle-aged geishas dressed like cowgirls, and square dance music played inexpertly on traditional Japanese instruments, the only hope of making this event a success lies in Willis Twombley’s strategy of getting Dropo-san roaring drunk as soon as possible. This is accomplished with terrifying ease.

“Now I demonstrate my skill with sword!” he bellows, clumsily drawing his samurai sword and laying about the decorations. Crusty the butler disapproves. Everyone else panics. Dropo-san blunders out of the house, crashing through the unopened French window and out into the night. No one seems disposed to follow him.

“I say! This is a disaster!” exclaims Lord Jeremy Coldsore.

“Guess we better catch him before he beheads somebody,” says Twombley. “Heck, this never happened at any of the parties at my royal palace.” He still thinks he is Sargon of Akkad. Flourishing his six-gun, he sets out after the Japanese ambassador. Jeremy follows. It would be a regrettable incident if Twombley were to shoot the Emperor’s favorite cousin.

It’s a dark and moonless night. Jeremy immediately loses sight of his friend. Suddenly, several shots ring out. With a sense of foreboding, Jeremy follows the sound of the gunshots–to find Twombley standing a safe distance from the vicar’s backyard wading pool.

“Too late, ol’ hoss!” says the American. “I got here jist in time to see poor Whatsisname disappearin’ under the pool, still swingin’ his sword. There was big slimy tentacles wrapped all around him, and my shootin’ didn’t do no good. He’s a goner.”

They sit down, sighing, on an antique marble bench. “I shall be hard put to explain this, old boy,” says Jeremy.

They are joined by Constable Chumley, who offers them a pull from the flask he carries under his helmet. “I throck it were mickle gree,” the constable remarks philosophically. He has been longing, for years, to deliver a philosophical remark, and now that he has the opportunity, makes the most of it.


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

See the source image

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.”


%d bloggers like this: