The Queens View Affair Current Scene (Book XI, Act I)
Last update: 2019-08-17 01:00:01
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[Book XI, Act I, Scene I. A table in Long John's Shiver. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT and DUR are here, sitting at a round table waiting for their drinks, looking at the nightmare of olde worlde cheap and nasty pirate tat so badly thrown together that only the most gullible of tourists would consider it anything more than the result of an earthquake.]
Alice: Wow! This place is great!
[A familiar voice bellows out from behind the party.]
Voice: By the saints young man! I told you, I want four cans of Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve, and I'll have none of your cheek!
[A raspy teenage boy replies.]
Boy: Sir, we don't sell that here. This is a restaurant.
Clint: [Astonished] No... it couldn't be, could it? Colonel?
Harvey: [Going red in the face, to the youth] Damn your hide spotty scoundrel, four tins immediately, blast you, or my sideburns will be most unkempt and prickly, resulting in my darling Chrysti being quite prickly herself!
Austin: It sounds both very much like him and very much not like him at the same time! Chrysti?
[The party turn to see that it is indeed HARVEY, harassing a pimply faced youth behind the counter, STEVE AHOY.]
Steve: I'm sorry sir, but we don't sell any sideburn salve, I told you that last week, too!
Charlie: [Calls out] Colonel?! Are you lost? Did you escape your care facility?
Harvey: [Turns] Eh, what's this? Care facility, what the blue blazes? [Bows to Charlie] Perhaps you mistake me for someone else, madam.
Charlie: [Looks at Harvey sadly] Oh, dear. His mind has slipped even further than when we last met. [Touches her chest and says in an exaggeratedly slow way] I am Char-lie! Your group leader! Remember?
Alice: It is Harvey! It is! [Runs and grabs onto him with a huge hug, squeezing the breath out of him]
Harvey: By the saints, unhand me young lady, this is most unseemly! [Turns his head to Steve] You there, is there a new cheese epidemic in Nostalgia?
Austin: [Sighs in relief] Excellent, a cheese epidemic. Things are looking up!
Harvey: You seem to mistake me for someone else. I am Harvey Kingston Short the third, ex colonel of his majesty's Kings Reach fusiliers. And certainly have no acquaintance with cheese takers.
Alice: But you are the Colonel Harvey Kingston-Short the Third we're looking for -- I'm Alice, your favourite niece! Come on, you remember? Remember Philimas at Daddy's house when Auntie Madge got drunk on anti-freeze and locked one of the servants into the toilet cistern?
Harvey: Eh? I have no niece Alice, although I certainly have a Madge in my family tree. However, I'm afraid the incident described sounds far too active for my Madge, as she is usually too drunk to even rise at Philimas!
Charlie: [To the group, in a low voice] Perhaps this is more than mere senility! Perhaps this is another Harvey altogether!
Alice: Like the way there were two Finleys and Fletches? [Peers at Harvey] It could be true. [To Harvey] Have you ever met Colonel Harvey Kingston Short III?
Charlie: [To the group, in a low voice] Perhaps this is more than mere
Austin: A Harvey from the alternate world? Like ours but with a few differences? [To Harvey] Do you like golden honeyed locusts?
Harvey: [Goes all dreamy eyed] Ah, golden honeyed locusts, its been too long since I had that sweet, crunchy delight! [To Alice] Of course I've met him, he's me! Also, perhaps you could stop hugging me now, dear girl. What if Chrysti were to see!
Alice: [To Austin] We're the ones from the alternate world -- remember how Will destroyed ours? [Looks at Harvey suspiciously as she lets go] Chrysti? Who's Chrysti? [Lower lip quivers a little] Is she your favourite niece?
Harvey: [Gives a big laugh] Dear me no, Chrysti is my dear, beloved wife! That is why I'm here to buy my sideburn salve, as she is no fan of a pricklish, ticklish cheek. [Suddenly roars at Steve] Scoundrel! Hand them over, or there'll be trouble I tell you!
Alice: Wife? [To Steve] Look, just give him the salve!
Steve: Ma'am, you'll have to go next door.
Alice: Why? Do they sell Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve?
Steve: No, but if you go next door it'll mean you're no longer here.
Dur: [Mouth watering] Perhaps you could through in a platter of honeyed locusts. You know, for our trouble.
Steve: Look, this is a restaurant, we don't sell -- oh, actually, I guess we do.
Charlie: Splendid, we shall have a plateful, and we shall each have a refreshing glass of water! [To the party] Must keep a clear head, mustn't we?
Alice: Oh please! We just burst out through the chest of a demon, I think we'll have a round of rum shots!
Clint: Obviously this is the most appropriate time ever to do [huge emphasis]body shots.[/huge emphasis]
Harvey: By the saints, that man! I'm happily married! I have no interest in doing body shots with you!
Alice: Ew! Stinky! No one wants to lick anything off you -- not even Dur!
Dur: You clearly underestimate how far I will go for a free meal.
Alice: This is hardly the time for more of your thinly disguised homoerotic horseplay with Clint!
Dur: If not now, then WHEN?!
Alice: Any time there are not other human beings with a twenty mile radius.
Clint: Wow, I never took you for a bigot, Bimbo!
Alice: Oh please! I think what you and Dur have could be beautiful, but that doesn't mean I want to have to see you naked. I mean, really, Stinky, it's a form of assault, when you think about it!
Austin: Recover could take years of mental and physical therapy!
Alice: Maybe we should sue?
Austin: We? [Looks surprised] Oh, no, I don't plan on watching!
Charlie: [Primly] I think we would all do well to know a great deal less about one another's private lives and personal [delicately] preferences, which is why we should avoid alcohol of any kind!
Harvey: [Looking from party member to party member, before looking at Charlie] Who is in charge here? This troop seems to be quite a handful!
Charlie: [Eagerly extends a hand to Harvey] I am! Dr. Charlotte Parker-Kensington!
Austin: I am, Colonel. Our Sargent [Gestures to Charlie] seems to have forgotten the chain of command. [Offers to shake Harvey's hand]
Alice: Stop embarrassing yourselves! [To Harvey] As the longest serving Short in the party, I've taken charge in your absence.
Dur: Taken charge of what? Laundry day?
Harvey: [Suddenly laughs long and loud] Oh my goodness, what a joy you have brought this old soldiers heart with your jokes! Women in charge of a troop, by the saints!
Austin: What if the troops were all women?
Harvey: [Laughs even longer and louder] Stop, please stop!
Austin: As you wish. [Looks at the others in disbelief] Well, there we have it. Almost identical to the Harvey from our realm.
Clint: Certainly in all the important ways. You know, like the huge appetite and the causal sexism, that sort of thing. [Gives Harvey a respectful nod.]
Alice: And the slight odour of Further's Originals hanging in the air! You know, [gives Steve a dirty look] some people might be listening to our conversation?
Steve: Hey, I'm serving in a restaurant, I'm supposed to listen!
Alice: It's a fast food restaurant, you're supposed to ignore us!
Steve: As far as I can tell, these two [points at Clint and Dur] gave birth to him [points at Harvey] and he your mother.
Alice: [Grudgingly] Fair enough. [To the party] Seems like the pimply faced youth is doing his job!
Harvey: As long as that job is not giving the customer what they ask for, then top marks to the little spotted sailor boy! A shining example of their trade, what! [Scratches a pricklish, ticklish sideburn] I say, what brings you odd types to Nostalgia?
Alice: [Proudly] Saving the world!
Charlie: [Excited] Yes, only recently we encouraged the beneficial fusion of my two daughters to create a highly organized, brilliant, talented, just God to rule the world!
Harvey: [Shocked] You created a God? By squishing your children together?
Alice: It wasn't so much of a squish as a hug. I'm surprised you weren't there, Harvey, what with being such a valiant hero and all!
Harvey: [Goes bright red] Well, hmmm, yes, indeed! Dear girl, what a joy you are!
Dur: Are we still 'saving the world' now? I kinda thought the whole squishing thing might have given us time to take a nap...
Steve: Sir, you can't take a nap here!
Alice: What the hell kind of hotel is this place?
Steve: Ma'am, it's not a hotel, it's a restaurant.
Alice: And don't hotels have restaurants?
Steve: Uh, I suppose.
Alice: Well, there you go, then. Make yourself at home, Dur.
Charlie: [Excited, to Steve] Oh, and can you get me the latest issue of Science and Stuff? [Points to a discarded copy of Ass Fanciers Weekly on the floor nearby] I see you also provide periodicals!
Austin: [Watching Dur take a nap] Oh, do they sleep? [Muses] I suppose they must do.
Steve: [Grabbing the copy of Ass Fanciers Weekly] Right! Out! Everyone out!
Harvey: [To Steve] Are you including me in this outrageous demand?
Clint: Man, the concierge is awfully lippy! Expect this to be reflected in the review I write!
Dur: Yeah! Me too! If I knew how to write, that is!
Charlie: [To Austin, scolding] Mr. Sleaze! It is not kind to speak of another's crippling weakness. Why, it would be like freely discussing your lack of courage or [looks at Alice pityingly] oh, SO many things about Alice!
Austin: Not really. My courage is as vast and deep as a great ocean. I'm just adverse to dying for nothing.
Steve: [To Harvey] Yes! You too! In fact, the restaurant is closed! Get out, out! [Shouts with his breaking voice] Ouuuuuut! [Calms down and gives a smile] And please write a nice review of CripAdvisor, your comments matter to us.
Harvey: [Turns to the others] Well, I for one would like to show you a little Nostalgia hospitality! You're all most welcome to return with me to my abode for some supper. My wife Chrysti would be overjoyed, she loves a surprise, what!
Alice: [Grabbing the plate of golden honeyed locusts] Come on, Dur, get up -- we'll go somewhere that we'll actually be welcome!
Harvey: In fact [fumbles in his pocket and produces a small box], Chrysti will be overjoyed, as I've just bought her this little trinket! [Opens the box to reveal a diamond encrusted cockroach broach]
Alice: [Eyes light up] Yikes! Wow, Uncle Harvey! So.... I guess you're super rich in this dimension!
Harvey: Firstly, I'm not your uncle, dear girl. Secondly, not super rich at all, far from it, in fact. A cockroach broach by Cal Roche only costs a few thousand, or so. Pin money, what!
Alice: A few thousand? Copper pieces? Because if it's GP, then you are fairly well off, Unc- I mean, Harvey.
Dur: [Opening only one eye from his nap] Did someone say free food?
Austin: [Apparently not noticing the array of diamonds. To Harvey] most kind of you sir, we would all love to meet you and your beloved for dinner .
Clint: Whether she will feel the same way after half an hour with us is a open question!
Alice: No way! We're a delight to be around! [Beams at the party] Well, some of us... [face drops] maybe you can Dur can sneak off and you know... have a bit of [finger quotes] private time.
Clint: Actually, since the world is saved, you guys don't really need my help. And since you clearly don't want my company, either, it's probably time I get back to my own life. Colonel, is 'What the Hell Is That Smell?' still around? They may be a bunch of soulless TV drones but at least there I'm not always a buttmonkey!
Alice: [Reassuringly] Aw, Stinky! You'll always be a buttmonkey to us! And really, back to your own life? What life? Don't you think it's far more likely that Black Snake Mambo is also smash hit in this dimension? Not to mention the beloved Black Snake Tango and Black Snake Samba? I mean, eeeeeveryone loved them! In fact, Ass Fanciers Weekly ass-essed my performance as, and I quote, "ass-tonishingly assurgent.
a dark tale of a mambo dancer who gets mixed up with the occult. It was awful. There were two follow ups, Black Snake Tango and Black Snake Samba
Harvey: Apologies dear girl, but I've never heard of any of these. However, I'm not exactly au fait with the modern Talkies. Perhaps my dear wife might know, as she's a few years younger than I.
Alice: Way to go, Harvey! Found yourself a chick in her fifties, eh? [Finger gun] Click click!
Charlie: [Encouragingly, to Harvey] Yes, while some studies suggest that a significant age gap can be correlated with marital dysfunction, my own marriage is proof that this is not always true!
Alice: That's right -- the world destroying children that it produced were almost certainly not a result of the age gap.
Charlie: Decidedly not! [To Harvey, confidentially] We think it was likely due to the onset of puberty. Teenage hormones can have an unpredictable impact, even on a child brought up in a happy home!
Harvey: Hmmm, my dear Chrysti is quite a bit younger than that, my dear! You'll meet her soon enough, in fact, i can't wait to see the look of joy on her face!
Austin: I'm sure she will be enthralled. [Examines the beauty which is Maplin] Let us go.
Steve: Sir, there is the matter of the bill, for all these honeyed golden locusts, the rum and the matter of cleaning the floor where he [points at Dur] lay down.
Austin: I said [dramatically
] let us go!
[Exit the party.]
Steve: Sir? Sir! Ah, balls. [Sits down and starts thumbing through Ass Fanciers Weekly]
[Book XIII, Act I, Scene II. Harvey's House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY have just arrived at an enormous mansion, with a fabulous looking Refarri Carriage outside. He opens the door to reveal a lavish entrance and massive staircases leading up. Beside the door are a couple of suitcases.]
Alice: Going somewhere, Harv?
Harvey: [Looks confused] What, no, not at all. [Calls loudly while taking a closer look at the suitcases] My dear, where are you? We have some wonderful guests for dinner!
Charlie: [Looking at the suitcases] Perhaps your wife is planning to attend a conference?
[Enter CHRYSTI KINGSTON SHORT, an attractive woman in her early thirties, coming down the stairs.]
Chrysti: Harvey? What are you doing back?
Harvey: Chrysti my love, I've two wonderful surprises for you. Firstly, these wonderful guests for dinner and secondly...[holds the jewellery box out for Chrysti] Do we have additional guests? I've noticed those suitcases?
Chrysti: [Takes the box and looks in, giving Harvey a devastatingly warm smile] Oh, Cuddly Bear! You're so kind! No, we don't have guests, I was going to surprise you with a trip! [Looks the party up and down] What an... interesting looking group of people!
Austin: Austin Sleaze, attorney at law. Pleased to meet you! [Kisses her hand]
Dur: Yes, yes, fantastic to meet you of course? Uhm.... is the trip before or after dinner?
Chrysti: Well, I think we might put it for a few days now that we have guests. How exactly do you know Harvey?
Dur: We helped him give a thorough fist shaking at a very unhelpful clerk at some store... or restaurant... or hotel.
Chrysti: Ah. Trying to buy Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve in a place that's not a store again?
Harvey: That unhelpful scoundrel was even more useless today than previously, my dear! But tell me, I was not aware we were making a trip? Leave Nostalgia, what stuff!
Charlie: [To Chrysti, eagerly] Are you going to a conference?
Chrysti: Oh, god no! I was planning a surprise weekend with my darling husband, doing one of our favourite things. [Licks her lips salaciously] It involves body paint.
Charlie: [Puzzled] You mean the washable paint you give children to bribe them into taking a bath? [Looks at Harvey pitingly] Does the old boy need coaxing?
Clint: C'mon Sarge, surely there's no need to dig into the details of Harv's sex life, at least not in front of Dur!
Dur: [Crossing his arms] Bah! Someone sounds jealous!
Alice: [Nudges Austin, nodding towards Dur and Clint] Oooh! Trouble in paradise, eh?
Harvey: [Wipes a tear from his eye] Oh my dear Chrystie, you know me so well.
Chrysti: Yes I do, Cuddly Bear! Now, why don't you fix our guests some drinks while I bring our bags back upstairs?
Harvey: [Claps his hands together] Splendid! Follow me to the bar area! [Opens a huge set of double doors and leads them into the bar]. Now, who's for what, what?
Charlie: [Firmly] We shall ALL have rather weak tea, served at room temperature. [To Harvey, confidentially] One does not wish to get the group over-stimulated during its rest time!
Harvey: [Cups his hand over his ear and roars] Eh, speak up my dear! Shrapnel in my ear from the Battle of Little Squirrel Squeak, 42!
Dur: SHE SAID YOUR STRONGEST SPIRITS, COLONEL!
Harvey: Splendid! [Starts pouring drinks from a bottle labelled "Short Shorts"] It's a family recipe, what! Would strip the lead paint off of Madges face!
Alice: Wow! I remember the time some of the cousins and I got hold of a bottle and used it to set fire to one of the servant's pants. Burned down half the west wing! [Looks at a photograph of a blonde woman on the mantlepiece
] Who's this?
Charlie: [Picks up a glass of Short Shorts and sniffs it. Dismayed] Group, I advise we use this to strip the paint from our carriage, rather than attempt to drink it!
Harvey: [Looks sadly at the photo] That, my dear girl, is a picture of my first wife, Christie. Sadly, she left this wonderful home too soon. [To Charlie] Perhaps you'd prefer something a little lighter, dear lady. [Holds up a bottle labelled "Short & Curlies"] This was a smoother and lighter blend created between two of the finest families in Queens View.
Dur: [Shaking his head] Sounds tragic! Let's get sloshed! [Downs his drink]
Alice: Oh no! What happened to her?
Harvey: I believe she spontaneously combusted while counting money in the vault. For how else would you explain my returning home only to find an empty house, an open vault and a sizeable about of non sequential and non traceable money gone! No doubt burned to ash and blown by a cruel breeze out of an open door, leaving no trace, the poor thing!
Charlie: [Skeptically] No doubt. How long had you known the poor dear?
Harvey: [Drinks a Short Short] It was quite a long courtship! We were stepping out for seven weeks before getting married! Seven, imagine! I'm surprised she had the patience! [Pours himself another] She combusted three months later.
Austin: Combusted. I see.
Alice: Poor Harvey! It must have been awful for her to vanish without any trace! [Spots another photograph
] And who's this?
Harvey: That is Chrysty, my second wife, the kindest of souls! What a philanthropist! She had such a keen interest in saving the wilde tribes of the AmazonPrime! She set sail with all of the Short silverware to divide and provide a little bit of wealth and comfort for each of those villages along the river. [Quietly sobs] I received a letter a week later to say that her canoe went down with all hands. And silverware.
Alice: That's... uh... unfortunate. So you've been married three times?
Harvey: No, four times, my dear girl. I don't like to talk about my third wife. That was last year. A dark, dark year!
Charlie: Did you [delicately] lose her as well?
Harvey: Not quite, Khrysty had a nervous disposition and a delicate inner ear. Apparently could not take my [finger quotes] indoor voice! [Roars] I mean, what stuff! I can barely be heard in the east wing from here! She had to take our diamond cache to sooth her, and her lawyers, shattered nerves. Apparently they married soon after. Gah!
Charlie: Colonel, perhaps you should try single life for a while, should the current Chrysti go the way of the other ones? At least you could try dating a good solid Joan or a pleasant Mary for a change?
Clint: Wow, Harv, there's only one possible explanation - you're cursed!
Harvey: By the saints, Chrysti is the true love of my life! These last three months have been bliss beyond belief! This is true love, verily! In fact, it was worth living the previous three dark years just to have Chrysti in my life, what!
Dur: All these wives... don't happen to be related to each other do they?
Harvey: [Pours himself a drink of Short & Curries] Cursed? Why no sir, I believe I'm blessed, as Chrysti is now in my life. [Looks at Dur] Related? Why would you think so? [Takes a drink and immediately starts making the sound of a cat coughing up a fur ball]. Good grief, that really does stick in the throat!
Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ On Friday, 26 July 2019 17:27, dinanc
Clint: Haw! [Pours a drink and takes an appreciative sip of the paintthinner-cum-alcohol] Well, keep a close eye on the little lady while on your vacation. You never know when misfortune is ready to strike!
Harvey: Such as a sudden outbreak of soap?
Clint: Well that would be a tragedy!
Harvey: [Strategically placing himself upwind] Indeed, sir, indeed!
Alice: [Looking at the pictures] They do look a little similar to each other, don't they, Dur?
Dur: Enough so that they could be quadruplets!
Charlie: [Nods warily] Indeed, Colonel, have you ever seen any of your wives in the same room at the same time?
Harvey: What, eh? Three ex wives and a current wife all in the same room? Of course not, dear woman! What dimension of hell would that entail?
Alice: Good question, Harv. However, how about even one, non-combusted, ex-wife and current wife?
Harvey: Why no, I never have. As far as I'm aware, they did not know each other at all! It would be some damned coincidence, don't you think!
Charlie: [Nodding gravely] Coincidental indeed! [Gently] Colonel, I fear there is a very good chance each of your wives is in fact--[pauses dramatically] the same woman!
[Enter CHRYSTI, giving the party a devastatingly warm smile.]
Chrysti: Well now, who is ready for dinner?
Harvey: My dear, I'm absolutely famished!
Charlie: [Regarding Chrysti skeptically] Yes, it will be nice to have a chance to share a meal and learn ALL about you! [Flips out a notepad] When did you and the Colonel meet, dear?
Dur: I practically live for a free meal!
Chrysti: Of course you do! [Gives Charlie a wonderful smile] It was quite the most wonderful thing -- we're both huuuuge fans of historical military buttons, and we both had our eyes on the same Fourth Fusileers Third Button from The Second War, [smiles at Harvey] at first!
Harvey: Well, you certainly pressed pressed this old soldiers military buttons, my dearest dear! [Laughs long and loud]
Clint: Haw! What a sweet story that can only end well..
Chrysti: [Giggles as she snuggles up against Harvey] Oh, Cuddly Bear! I've made your favourite. [Leads the party into the dining room] Steaks, chops, a soused pigs head, complete with apple, golden honeyed locusts, jellied eels, thrushes ankles, snakes feet, crispy popadoms and curried Brussels sprouts.
Alice: I thought this sort of food was illegal because of HARMA?
Chrysti: Not for my Cuddly Bear, it's not!
Harvey: [Gives Chrysti a huge hug] Oh my dear, what a feast, fit for a king! [Pops a curried brussel sprout into his mouth] Wonderful! You've even used Piedelaquesta spices in the curry!
Chrysti: Nothing's good too for my Harvey -- no expense spared!
Charlie: [To Chrysti] How lovely. Tell us about your family, dear? Where do they live?
Chrysti: Oh, I don't really have any family, other than this big cuddly bear of course! The only family is my dear old grandfather, who I visit once a week with care packages.
Harvey: [Brimming with pride] That's my wonderful wife for you, as beautiful in heart as in body!
Charlie: [Primly] Colonel, we need not hear about your carnal lusts!
Austin: Indeed Colonel. Have you visited her dear old grandfather? Where does he live?
Chryst: An energetic young buck like Harvey wouldn't have the time so spend with old grandpappy! Besides, he lives way out in the middle of nowhere in a retirement home.
Charlie: [To Chrysti] Do be serious! The Colonel loves nothing more than discussing the achievements of men that have been dead for decades and allegedly superior products that were long ago recalled due to health and safety concerns! In short, he adores the company of elderly men!
Harvey: [To Charlie] You speak as if you know something about me, which you, my dear, do not!
Chrysti: I wonder, Harvey... have they been doing some, plainly poor, research into you? Perhaps with a view to trying to cheat you out of your money? [Stands beside Harvey fixing the party with a steely gaze] How do we know you're not just a bunch of gold diggers?
Austin: [To Chrysti] Oh, the Brussian defence. Good move. We are not gold diggers because A, we do not have spades, and B, you are the gold digger, Chrysti, or is it really Christie, or perhaps Chrysty, or even Chrystie? One and the same person, each time stealing from an elderly war veteran. That's low!
Chrysti: [Gasps in horror at this outrage] Harvey! Please! Get them out before they rob us blind!
Harvey: [Suddenly outraged, to Austin] How very dare you, sir? I invite you as a guest into my home and this is how you repay our kindness! Casting vile slurs and allegations at my wonderful wife! [Looks at the others] Are you all of a like mind? Are you all here to take advantage of the kindness of strangers? If so, I think you should leave this very minute! Gah! The cheek of the man!
Alice: [Stepping between them] Oh, he doesn't mean anything by it, do you Austin? [Turns to Austin, doing a calm down motion]
Charlie: [Laughs awkwardly] Goodness, no! It's just a little party game of ours, pretending the spouses of our friends are imposters! They do it to me all of the time. It's ever so fun, gathering up all of the evidence to prove the identity of one's husband! [To Harvey] Shall we play as we feast?
Harvey: [Bows to Charlie] That sounds a very strange game! I'm not a fan of playing games. And as for feast, that occasion is now highly in doubt, madam!
Alice: [Seeing the look of panic in Dur's eyes] Oh no, let's sit down! [Surreptitiously shows a note to the others saying "She's a fake, but let's play along until we figure out how she's doing it". Actually, it really says "Shes a fake, but lets pay alounge untill we figyour ouch shes doinit", before whispering to the party] Understand?
Chrysti: Yes, let's all sit down. Come on, Cuddly Bear, they are guests in our home after all.
Austin: [Acting surprised] What? Oh, terribly sorry, I thought that Chrysti had started the game "Brussian Defense!", My mistake. Easy mistake to make.
Alice: Yes, of course. [To Chrysti] We're way more polite than you might have imagined. [Tears off a hunk of pig's ear and stuffs the entire thing into her mouth]
Clint: Indeed! We're delightful and a joy to be around!
Chrysti: [Watching as Clint puts the entire pig's head into his mouth] Quite. So what brings you all to Nostalgia?
Harvey: Indeed dearest wife, a prudent and wonderful question! [To the party] Are you here to find a place to live? To settle down?
Dur: [Blinks and shoving handfuls of food into his mouth] Um.... I don't think we have actually thought about that question much. We have been so busy saving the world, I haven't spent any time at all thinking about what comes after. Say! This is a completely different world, eh? One completely devoid of any formerly 'perceived' malpractice on my part. Perhaps I could once again take up my medical practice!
Harvey: [Trying hard to hide his surprise] By the saints, you're a doctor? Well, I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities here in Nostalgia for a medical...man, what. [To Chrysti] Are they looking for doctors at the retirement home?
Chrysti: [Nibbling delicately on a curried Brussels sprout] I'm not sure, I might ask when I visit today.
Charlie: [To Chrysti] Oh, you work with the elderly? [To Harvey] Is that where you met?
Chrysti: No, but I regularly visit my granpappy. [Squeezes Harvey's arm] This young whippersnapper isn't elderly!
Dur: Ah, perhaps I could accompany you then? That way I can... assess... the home's medical needs?
Charlie: [Shivers] Er, yes! And we shall go to assist you, [with difficulty] Doctor!
Chrysti: No! [Smiles] I mean, not today, thank you. You should stay with Harvey.
Harvey: Of course, my dear! [To the party] We can take a turn around the room after dinner. Work off the pounds, what!
Austin: [Delicately nibbling on a golden honeyed locust] Errm, yes, and I can update their Wills, as and where required.
Chrysti: Oh, our wills are quite upto date, thank you.
Clint: [Nodding sagely.] I'd expect no less!
Charlie: [Nods at Clint's words] Indeed! [To Harvey] And how do you occupy yourself these days, Colonel? Do you feel the pull of the old adventuring life at times?
Harvey: [Wipes a small tear from his eye with a golden honeyed locust, before popping it into his mouth] They were fine days, my dear woman, at times I do feel a bout of nostalgia for the adventure of it all, but one must finally come to accept that a life on the road is a lonely life, and a life in the home brings a perfect wife!
Alice: Well, I think Chrysti is just a delight, Harvey. I don't know why Austin was so mean to her earlier.
Harvey: [Repeatedly raps his knuckles on the table] Hear her! Hear her! [To Alice] Well said, my dear girl, well said indeed! [Glares at Austin]
Charlie: [To Harvey] Oh, I quite agree! Why, if you think very, very carefully and logically about it, considering all available evidence, I am sure there is no reason whatsoever to suspect Chrysti of being any less honorable and truthful than your other wives.
Chrysti: [Smiles at Charlie] I certainly do my best to live up to the memory of those ladies.
Clint: It would be a real tragedy if you met with some unfortunate end like they did, so if I were you I'd be particularly careful to avoid poor Harvey's wife curse, if you know what I mean.
Chrysti: I barely even understand what language you're speaking, let alone understand you. [Smiles sweetly] I'm sure your usual sequence of grunts and moans is understandable by your friends, but I'm afraid I have little idea of what you mean.
Alice: Nor do I, Chrysti! I find him a sub-articulate idiot. I mean, you should have seen the note he wrote about you earlier, he spelled your name C - H - R - Y - S - T - I!
Harvey: [To Alice] Dear girl, that is how you spell Chrysti! [Laughs loudly] How else would you spell it? [To Clint, darkly] I'm not sure I like your tone, sir. One could almost perceive it as a threat towards my wonderful wife!
Charlie: [To Harvey] Oh, that is not what he meant at all! He was expressing hope that, after so much disappointment and tragedy, THIS Chrysti/Christie/Christy surpasses the odds and THIS union goes the distance.
Chrysti: Well, aren't you just the kindest? [Gets up] Please enjoy this humble fare. I shall get together the care package for granpappy. [Exits]
Austin: [As Chrysti leaves] She certainly is very kind. As are you.
Alice: I think we should get her a present!
Austin: That's a lovely idea. What do you think she might like?
Alice: Maybe some super expensive jewellery? Why don't we all pool our money and get something?
Dur: Great idea! [Fishes around in his pants and pulls out a half eaten sandwich] Hey! I forgot I had this! [Eats the sandwich] What was the question?
Charlie: [Hands Alice a copper piece] Here is my contribution! Might I suggest a nice, practical gift, such as a sturdy notepad?
Alice: No, no, no! A proper gift!
Clint: Obviously we should get her some more luggage. Or some pots and pans; women dig that kind of thing.
Harvey: My goodness, that's very decent of you chaps! I must admit, I was beginning to wonder if I'd made a catastrophic mistake inviting you into my house for a meal!
Alice: [Ignoring Dur, who is peeing into a potted plant] Oh no, we're great guests! We hardly ever destroy people's property!
Harvey: Where are you good people heading to after this? No doubt some zany, madcap adventure, full of brave acts of derring do?
Austin: Probably saving the world, or perhaps protecting the innocent from callus thieves and extortionists, for today at least.
Alice: [To Harvey] Why don't you take us to Chrysti's favourite shop so we can get her something?
Charlie: [Excited] Excellent idea! [Muses] But where in Nostalgia can one find Ashcroft Barrington-Fulbright's Compendium of Cryptozoological Curiosities, Volumes 1-92?! [Aside, to Austin] It is a bit rudimentary, true, but any credible collection include it!
Harvey: Well, she does love jewellery, especially jewellery which has been fashioned to resemble insects or animals. She particularly loves Cockroach by Roche.
Alice: That sounds way better than a boring old book!
Alice: [To the party] Sh! Don't let her hear!
Chrysti: [With a warm smile] What are you lot up to?
Harvey: [Enthusiastically] Why, my dear, we’re just discussing Neopolitan Boneyparts snow boarding troop tactics during the battle of Watertoilet, a tactic which we are all agreed, was doomed to fail! I mean, it was over one hundred degrees in summertime!
Chrysti: Oh, you and your snow boarding! [Gives him a kiss] I'm going to pay a quick visit to granpappy. I'll see you later!
[Book XIII, Act I, Scene III. Harvey's House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, getting ready to leave.]
Alice: Chrysti's really something else, Harvey, I'm just sorry you didn't get to have your trip away with her yet. I bet she's just great fun to travel with!
Charlie: Oh, indeed! We really MUST give her a enormously expensive gift to show her how much we admire her!
Harvey: Oh, she is such a joy to travel with, only the finest of the finest will do on our little jaunts to the realms various six star hotels! [Conspiratorially] You know, our travel motto has become, Spare No Expense, what! Wonderful!
Alice: How come you have so much cash, Harvey?
Harvey: Well, father left me quite a tidy sum when he passed from this realm, but my real wealth came from my shrewd investment selling snow to the eskimos! Who would have thought they were so addicted to the white stuff! Well, that and Auntie Catlady Emelada’s artworks “cats playing cards“ paintings suddenly becoming fashionable, exclusive and incredibly expensive to purchase by the Queens View elite. I mean, who would ever think that a gang of tabby’s playing poker would be worth so much! By the saints, when I think, I used to use her doodlings as fuel in my fire during the winter months!
Alice: It certainly sounds adorable. I wonder why they didn't become fashionable in our dimension. She sold a few, but certainly not enough to make us wealthy. [Reflects] Although, we were super rich after Great Uncle Faern found that golden turnip.
Harvey: How odd! My Uncle Faern found a golden turd, as far as I remember, but all it was, was a turd someone had covered in gold paint as a joke! [Scratches a pricklish ticklish sideburn] Of course, there was also the matter of me winning the lottery, eh! That certainly helped to swell the coffers!
Charlie: [Frowning] Those cat paintings sounds rather exploitative! [Disapprovingly] One assumes the cards were taped to their precious little paws, given that the poor dears possess no opposable thumbs?!
Alice: Oh, Charlie, don't be so ridiculous. They wouldn't tape cards to their paws for a painting! They would staple them on. The tape would show up too much! [To Harvey] Lottery? Oh, so you're... very rich?
Harvey: Rich, I’m not sure I’d class myself as rich, per se. Certainly Chrysti and I could live in a six star hotel for the next thousand years, but I’m not sure that’s rich, what! [To Charlie] My dear, you should see her painting “Intense Game Interrupted By A Moth”! By gads, those cards where up in the air! Up in the air, I say! I don’t think they were taped, glued, or even stapled to their paws!
Austin: Perhaps it was simply artistic license?
Harvey: No, she failed that seven times, both theory and practical!
Austin: [Double takes at Harvey, thinks of correcting him the decides best not to] Well, maybe she just painted from her imagination.
Clint: Or maybe she bred cats with opposable thumbs, which would have the additional advantage that they could operate the can opener themselves and would no longer need us for anything.
Alice: Don't be so ridiculous, Stinky. If they didn't have someone's bare arm to sharpen their claws on, what would they do? Would you really deny them the joy of climbing up someone's leg with all claws bared, expecting, and getting, a bunch of petting once they got up there? And really, do you honestly expect any self-respecting cat to sift through sand that smells worse than you multiplied by Dur to bag up its own crap and pee? Have you ever actually met a cat?
Harvey: Indeed, it’s understandable to see why they were worshipped by the ancient Encryptions, that people who loved mysteries and puzzles!
Austin: They must have been really into puzzles. Cats are obnoxious self centred, vacuous, vain, narcissists. Who in the Realms would want to spend time with such creatures!
Charlie: [Aghast] None of you know anything about cats! They are gentle, intelligent, and loving creatures, but people misunderstand them because they foolishly attempt to contrast them with dogs, who are mindless simps that wish only to please others and drool! Cats can think for themselves, so people fear them, much like they do strong women!
Alice: Quite so. [Admires herself in the window] It's also why it's not only fun but productive to treat men badly. It keeps them coming back for more!
Harvey: Quite! And as we also know, women, strong or otherwise, love playing with balls of yarn, what!
Alice: We're not playing with them, we're hunting them!
Charlie: Er, yes, quite. Now, perhaps we should attend to the purchase of these books!
Austin: I'm not so sure that she is the booky type?
Alice: Well, I know her better than any of you lot, and I can guarantee she's not!
Harvey: By the saints, my dear Chrysti absolutely loves books! As long as they are wrapped in the finest silk embroidered, diamond encrusted, gold leaf laden covers known to all, then by gads, the books a hit!
Clint: Yeah, let's stick to something sensible yet thoughtful. Which rules out anything that most of us might suggest! Sarge, you make a list of gifts you might like to get - they'll be sensible but probably thoughtless. Meanwhile, Bimbo, you do the same - they'll be thoughtful but probably silly. If anything's on both lists, that's what we'll do.
Alice: Oh please. If a nice present involves me having to do a bunch of writing it's almost certainly not a nice present!
Austin: We could get her a kitten?
Harvey: Goodness me no! We spend so much time out of the house visiting hotels, the poor thing would most likely starve to death.
Alice: So, no to dead kittens and boring books, then! Why don't we just do some browsing? It'll be great! We can do a montage of us trying on zany hats while listening to a super cool Dick Rascally song! Harvey, take us to the best store in Nostalgia!
Harvey: Why, that would be Long John's Shiver, the best that Nostalgia has to offer! But surely you remember it, its where we met earlier!
Alice: Great! They seemed really nice there!
Austin: The service was excellent. I do like satire and irony. And we did tip them very well, though they could clearly improve their hygiene standards.
Dur: Are there no other stores we might visit here in Nostalgia?
Harvey: None with the sheer diversity of goods and chattels that they sell!
Alice: I bet they have wonderful jewellery!
Charlie: [Skeptically, to Alice] Like the sort of jewelry you wear? [To Harvey, confidentially] Really, do you want your wife to look more like [nods subtly to Alice]?
Harvey: Eh, what's that? She seems perfectly presentable, my dear woman. Perhaps showing a little too much ankle and knee, but that's the fashion these days, what!
Alice: Everyone knows that the acceptable amount of thigh a girl shows is equal to the furthest distance from the tip of your little finger to your thumb! Come on, let's go to the jewellery shop!
[The party head down the street and arrive at the Long John's Shiver. Inside is STEVE AHOY.]
Steve: [To the party, sounding bored and depressed] Avast, mateys, welcome to Long John Shiver's. What be yer pleasure today?
Dur: Well, Alice could certainly use a few new pairs of under garments to combat her perpetual laundry day! Perhaps you can show us something in the "Ultra Granny" line?
Steve: Sir, this is a restaurant. We only use Ultra Granny Underpants to dry the dishes.
Austin: How about Yorkney scallops with sunkissed tomatoes, sweet potato truffle and walnut pesto? What wine would you suggest to pair with that?
Steve: Excellent order sir. Can I suggest a pair of Ultra Granny greys?
Austin: I was thinking of wine?
Steve: How about a '28 Fatto La Cheat?
Alice: We'll take the underpants too. [To the party] Someone might need them for laundry day!
Clint: Even better, someone could just buy, say, 30 pairs of identical awful underpants and rotate through them. You'd only have to do laundry once a month!
Alice: Clint, sometimes I question your love for Chrysti!
Harvey: I don't think old grey underwear is quite my Chrysti's thing!
Austin: Literally speaking, of course.
Clint: I'm all for getting a nice present for Harvey's lovely wife, but I draw the line at picking out her lingerie! That kind of thing is between man and wife, I say. Now picking out awful underdoos for Alice is more of a public service.
Harvey: [To Steve] And three pots of Stylish Sams Sideburn Salve, there's a good seaman!
Austin: They should start stocking that. They would make a killing.
Steve: Sir, this is a restaurant, we don't sell Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve here.
Alice: Oh my god! Every time we come in here someone's trying to buy it, Austin's right, you really should sell it!
Charlie: [To Steve, shaking her head] Sir, do you know nothing about supply and demand?! Where DID you get your business degree??
Harvey: [Sighs deeply, to Steve] Have you no concern or regard for the sideburned gent, what? [Turns to the others] Well, do you see anything you would like to buy as a present?
Steve: [To Charlie] Ma'am, I have a certificate in [dramatic pirate voice] Shiverin'. Two whole hours at Long John's Academy o' Shiverin'.
Alice: Wow, there's an Academy of Sivering?
Steve: [Laughs, but then smiles patronisingly] Sorry to laugh, but that's how the uneducated pronounce it.
Alice: How about we take some of these straws? [Points to a straw dispenser]
Harvey: Why, I'm sure you could, dear girl! In fact, did you know that it's possible to stick a number of them together and clandestinely drink out of another tables drinks when the occupants aren't looking! Incredible stuff! Though of course I would never do such a thing!
Alice: That sounds great! [Grabs a straw only to find that it is chained to the wall] Hey! What's going on?
Steve: We had too many cheese blowers coming in here stealing our straws. Now, if you people aren't going to order any food, I'm going to have to ask you to leave. [Looks around at everyone] Please leave.
Clint: What if we collectively order a beer while we do our shopping? That should do the trick, I'd say!
Steve: No, that wouldn't do the trick, because then I'd have to call the police! Beer is illegal!
Harvey: [To Steve] He of course meant rum, my good seaman! Rums all round, I think!
Austin: I'll have a summery Mourvèdre.
Charlie: [Primly] Weak tea for me, please. [Sternly] And where IS the latest issue of Science and Stuff? I asked you for it some time ago!
Steve: All we have is Extra Virgin Water!
Harvey: What's this? No Stylish Sam's, no beer, no rum nor Summry Morverd, not even some damned odd magazines! I believe the service in this establishment has definitely taken a nose dive, what!
Alice: So what do you have?
Sam: Extra Virgin Water and various HARMA Approved Replacement Meal Articles. [Gestures to an array of drab looking white boxes]
Alice: [To Harvey] Do you think Chrysti would like some drab white boxes?
Charlie: [Helpfully] Boxes can be terribly useful, allowing one to store other, better gifts one has received in the past!
Alice: Well, that sounds sensible and highly organised. Let's not get them!
Harvey: I agree, she loves a box as long as it contains something sparkling and expensive inside!
Alice: Why don't we just ask her?
Clint: Because that would be too easy?
Alice: Especially considering that she's just outside, look!
[This is true, CHRYSTI is across the street going into another building.]
Steve: Maybe you should all harass her for a while?
Dur: Any idea what she could be doing, Colonel?
Harvey: [Looking shocked] Goodness no, my Chrysti said she was visiting her grandfather, and that I believe is outside Nostalgia! Damned odd! I don't even know what that building is!
Dur: Perhaps a little reconaissance is in order?
Steve: I don't know what that word means, but if it involves you leaving the restaurant, I'm all for it!
Austin: That would be a bonus.
Harvey: I'm sure it's all very innocent! No doubt my dear wife has stopped in to some building to purchase medication, or a gift for her dear grand father! [Laughs nervously] All very innocent! [To Steve] You there, sailor boy, do you know what that building opposite is?
Steve: Sir, this is a restaurant! Oh, I mean, yes, it's a hotel.
Clint: (Loyally) Perhaps she's visiting her grandfather in a hotel?
Harvey: Perhaps so! Perhaps he decided to visit Nostalgia rather than dear Chrysti visit him. No doubt she kept it a secret in order to surprise me with his visit to our house later today or tomorrow!
Austin: Perhaps some one is black mailing her and has forced her to go to that hotel to appease her blackmailer! We should go and rescue her!
Alice: Perhaps he decided to visit Nostalgia and was kidnapped and now Chrysti is being blackmailed as part of the ransom!
Harvey: I must see what's occurring, as of the now. You are ost welcome to join me, but be forewarned, there will be trouble if someone is harming my dear wife!
Dur: Somehow I fear there is going to be trouble regardless of what we find!
Harvey: We should arm ourselves to the teeth, just in case. You there! [To Steve] What weaponry do you sell in this establishment? We’re looking for crossbows, swords, both long and short, knives, maces, battle axes, blunderbusses and throwing stars, an assortment of staffs and a plethora of pikes!
Charlie: [Nods approvingly] Good thinking, Colonel! [To Steve] We also will need your very best-reviewed book on hostage negotiation, along with a state-of-the-art megaphone!
Harvey: [Claps his hands together in glee] I like your style madam! [Louder than any megaphone could ever achieve] That’s the spirit!
Steve: I can give you two plastic forks and a paper plate.
Austin: Perhaps we should just go with what we have. My Ju-jitsu instructor says that I am merely two moves from being quite threatening. And the Colonel here is an expert at martial arts, if I recall correctly?
Harvey: [Scratches a pricklish, ticklish sideburn] Hmm, I do question that myself! I mean, I have had four wives in as many years. [Stops for a moment, to Austin] Wait, you did say marital, correct?
Alice: [Grabs one of the forks] Why is it so sticky?
Steve: I licked it.
Alice: Why did you lick the handle?
Steve: I was hardly going to lick the tines on it after it was on the floor, was I?
Harvey: [To Steve] Are you telling me, my young seaman, that you have no wicked woks, ferocious frying pans, cunningly crafted cast iron skillets, butchers knives or even whisks in that kitchen of yours? Sporks and paper plates will not do the do! We have a fantastic wife to rescue, what!
Steve: All we have is a sad saucepan!
Alice: [To Harvey] We all have weapons, though!
Harvey: [Looks around before grabbing a straw] We do now, my dear girl! To the hotel!
Clint: Haw! We've got a... uh... fair maiden to rescue! Ha ha! [Charges toward the hotel a la Sir Lancelot.]
[The rest of the party join the charge, weapons and forks drawn as they rampage across the street up to the "WoeTell Hotel".]
Steve: Oh wait, we do actually have some Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve after all! [Sigh] Too late.
[Book XIII, Act I, Scene IV. The WoeTell Hotel. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY have come charging into the foyer and up to an annoying rope maze designed to have queues of people winding around. They race through the maze, still waving swords, occasionally getting lost and doing the odd backtrack, before eventually getting to the front, where they wait patiently until the current guest is finished and the receptionist, MONSIEUR MON SEER, a man in a stripy shirt, red beret and outrageous moustache holding a glass of wine in one hand and three french loaves in the other turns to them.]
Sent from ProtonMail Mobile On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 13:17, Conor Ryan
Harvey: Where’s my wife, Christie? Is she in danger?
Mon: [Shrugs] Uhhh...... Idunno.
Charlie: [To Mon Seer] Have you seen any ladies in distress?
Austin: This service is highly non compliant. They should know exactly who and where all of their guests are at all times! I shal start legal proceedings right away! [Begins making notes]
Mon: [Nods to Charlie] Yup. Saw two of 'em. Shouting. Roaring. Waving swords around. One of 'em had a fork. Fairly hysterical. Typical woman stuff, but you're one, you know what I mean? [To Harvey] Women, am I right? [To Austin] Make sure you get the full extent of my luxurious moustache. [Smiles a dazzling smile and holds it]
Harvey: Where are these two ladies you mentioned? Are they still here? [Calls out loudly] Chrysti, my love, are you here?
Charlie: [Looks at Harvey in amazement. To Alice, glaring at Mon Seer] Look, THIS version of the colonel does not appear to be fluent in the language of male chauvinism! How refreshing!
Dur: [Staring at the bread] Ummmm.... are you going to eat those?
Mon: Of course not, they're made of wood. [To Harvey] Yes, they are still here. [Points to Alice and Charlie] Standing right there!
Dur: Then can I eat them?
Harvey: [To Mon] Damnable foreign idiot, what! [Roars at the top of his lungs] Chyrsti!
Dur: Wait… are we looking for Chysti or Christie? Or is it Chrysty? Pffft. And I’m the idiot.
Alice: Well, you are, but that's not relevant right now, Dur.
Charlie: Did a young lady come in here before us?
Mon: Supposin' she did, what then?
Clint: Then I wouldn't have to hang out in the lobby making a scene while a man searches for his wife?
Mon: Supposin' you did... what form would that scene take? Would you be wearing pants in this scenario?
Clint: Yes, you sicko! [Wafts some eau de Clint in Mon's general direction.]
well use it to my advantage!
Mon: That's disappointing.
Alice: The stench of garlic is so bad he can't even smell Stinky!
Austin: Perhaps Mr Scar could introduce him to his footwear?
Harvey: [To Mon] See, you have us reduced to threatening war crimes!
Austin: Although I knew that Mr Scars boots smell horrific, I was not aware that ther had been classified as weapons on mass destruction! [Moves back from Clint]
Mon: If only someone would think of a bribe.
Harvey: Well speak up then, Johnny foreigner! What type of bribe? A plastic fork? A paper plate? Money?
Charlie: [To Harvey, reassuringly] I'll handle this, Colonel! [Carefully places a copper piece on the palm of her hand and awkwardly reaches it out to him, struggling to keep it from dropping] I think we can come to an arrangement! Shall we shake to seal the deal? [Winks lamely]
Dur: [Pulls a soggy mess from his underpants that only vaguely resembles what once must have been some sort of sandwich] You can have halfsies if you tell us what you know?
[It's difficult to say which disgusts MON more, the copper piece or the slime in DUR's hand.]
Alice: Oh my god! You people are so embarrassing! Just be cool, okay? He's clearly looking to bribe us!
Blast from Conor # 27
Harvey: Is that so, dear girl? [To Mon] Then we accept!
Mon: Accept what?
Alice: Two of your french loaves. And your hat. [Narrows her eyes] And your moustache.
Charlie: [Swiftly pockets the copper piece. To Alice] Not the mustache! They are most unsanitary!
Austin: And unsightly.
Clint: We don't have time for this! What'll it be? A small cash prize or, well... [Waggles his door-kicking foot meaningfully] a kick in the painful place?
Mon: Okay, okay! I don't know where she was going, but she did take the elevator to the top floor.
Clint: There, was that so hard? Pay the man, Sarge!
Harvey: To the top floor, double time! [Heads to the lift]
Alice: [To Clint
] Pay him? I thought he was going to pay us!
[The party draw their weapons and charge, shouting and roaring towards the elevator door, where CHARLIE presses the up button. The party wait quietly until it arrives and, when the door opens, charge in, yelling at the top of their voices, before pressing the top floor button and all going quiet, listening to the muzak.]
Alice: So, this is a nice hotel, isn't it?
Charlie: [Wincing at the muzak] It is a bit noisy, if you ask me!
Harvey: It's all just noise these days! Give me a good old showband, or a military tattoo any day compared to this bingely bop stuff!
Alice: You two are such squares! [The lift starts to slow] Should we have a plan for when we get there? Or will we just run around randomly banging on doors?
Clint: Track her by scent? Or else pull the fire alarm, which I've always wanted to do.
[Bing! The lift arrives at its floor.]
Alice: Given that no one in a three block radius can smell anything other than you, Stinky, maybe we should pull the fire alarm? [Points to a conveniently located lever that has "Fire. Brake in case of necessity" written on it] Although, where's the brake?
Harvey: I think it means this, dear girl! [Gives the glass a smack with the paper plate] Gah, damned reinforced glass!
Austin: We could listen at the doors to try to hear her voice? But she might have been gagged!
Alice: That's it! She's been gagged! So, if we listen at a door and hear nothing, then she must be in there, right?
Charlie: [Uncertainly] Well, this is a hotel, so perhaps some of the patrons are implementing marital aids? We do not wish to disturb a law-abiding, lawfully married couple! [Excited] Perhaps we should knock, and if someone does not answer or answers wearing hostage-taking gear, that's our villain!
Harvey: We must be careful not to startle any neer-do-wells, as that may result in my dearest wife being harmed, or worse! I think it safest to listen first, try to identify which room she is being held in! [Places his ear against the nearest door]
Alice: What if the hostage-taking gear is a marital aid? [Self consciously
] I mean, it surely isn't, but I've heard stories... and read books... and seen movies... and been engaged to Deuce...
[The lift bings and HARVEY gets out, immediately listening to the first of ten doors, but appears to hear nothing.]
Austin: [Checks around for clues to Chrysti's where abouts] This may have to be a door to door!
Harvey: If it must, it must! [Listens at door # 2] Perhaps I should have brought my ear trumpet, what!
Alice: What? I can't hear anything!
[Enter SHIMMY JIVE, a man in his late twenties wearing a ludicrous false moustache, coming from door at the end of the corridor.]
Shimmy: [Looks at the party and tips his hat to them
Charlie: [Waves to Shimmy] Hello there, young man! By any chance, have you seen a young lady about?
Harvey: A most beautiful woman, with long brown silken hair, the smile of an angel and the grace of a gliding swan?
Shimmy: Oh, no, there's no one like that here. Just a bunch of homely blonde girls.
Harvey: Then have you seen any suspicious characters entering or leaving the rooms, or indeed, heard any disturbances in the last hour or so?
Shimmy: Not really. Just those guys carrying that enormous carpet down the fire escape stairs a short while ago.
Clint: Did the carpet say anything? Was it wearing shoes?
Shimmy: No... but it did seem to be struggling, and I thought it was kind of suspicious. I was so concerned that I tried to break the glass of the fire lever, but all I had was a useless paper plate.
Clint: Colonel, follow the carpet? Or continue going door-to-door? This is no time for subtlety! [Prepares to kick in every door on the floor if he has to, and also makes a note to stock up on painkillers.]
Austin: Follow the carpet of course! Her life is in danger!
[Everyone draws their swords, forks and paper plates and charge wildly down the hall, shouting and roaring as they barge out into the fire escape.]
Alice: Hey! Hang on a second! Let's go back!
[The party rampage back up the corridor to SHIMMY.]
Alice: What did the carpet look like?
Shimmy: Well, kind of... carpet-y, I guess? Tassles, paisley pattern, that kind of thing.
Alice: Right, got it, thanks!
[The party charge back towards the fire escape, a-hollerin' and a-tootin'.]
Harvey: I can feel success within our very grasp, good people! My wife has been kidnapped and I must say, I'm glad to have you at my side!
Austin: A honour to serve with you, Colonel. Let's show them what for!
[The party burst out onto the fire escape and race down all the steps, the hollerin' and hootin' starting to tail off as they get increasingly tired and out of breath. By the time they get to the bottom, everyone is exhausted.]
Alice: We must be too late! [Looks up and down the alleyway] Quiet! [Puts her ear to the street] There was a carriage here. [Face wracked with concentration] A blue, no, a black carriage. [Fixes the party with a steely gaze, a large black carriage right behind her] It feels like it is close by. Anyone else sense it?
Harvey: [Impressed] Her description is incredibly vivid, I can almost see the very thing behind her!
Alice: [Looking beyond Harvey at the large window behind him
] I think there may have been something written on the carriage,TITTUH OTTO? And there was a bunch of people standing around....
[Written on the carriage behind ALICE is "OTTO HUTTIT LAUNDRY".]
Charlie: [Gasps and points at the carriage] I found it! Hurry, we must take advantage of my keen powers of perception!
Alice: [Turns and looks] That's it! They must have changed the writing to trick us, though. Oh, they're good, they're very goood!
Harvey: Crafty blighters, indeed! Chrysti my love, I'm coming to save you! [Runs towards the carriage, brandishing his paper plate]
Dur: [Nervously] Is noone else concerned about what kind of dealings Chrysti may have been having to put her in contact with such nefarious ruffians? Just me? Ok....
Alice: I think these guys are okay, Dur. I bet they're [stagily, as she points to the word "Laundry"] Clean!
Austin: I wonder if their dry cleaning is up to scratch? I have a number of very expensive suits that require careful attention.
Alice: [Tries to look in] I can't see anything, the windows are too dark. [Panicky] Does that mean she's blindfolded?
Harvey: More likely they still have her wrapped in a carpet, eh! [Tries the door of the carriage]
Charlie: [Gets her sword ready] We are ready to assist you, Colonel!
Alice: Oh no! Now we'll never get her back! [Falls to her knees, shaking her fist at the sky] Crhystiiiiiiiiiii!
Harvey: [Wedges the paper plate into the door frame and attempts to force the lock]
Austin: [Tries to pick the lock] Someone could check the other door?
Alice: [Gets up
] What other door? What sort of fancy carriage has more than one door? [Notices that they are trying to open the back door
] Oh, I see. [Opens the front door just as Austin gets the lock picked
] This one's open!
[Enter TERRY BUTCHER, a man covered in blood, carrying a machete in one hand and a bunch of blood stained towels in the other.]
Harvey: [Shocked] By the saints, what have you done to my wife!
Terry: [Looking even more shocked than Harvey] Are you Christina's husband?
Charlie: [To Harvey] Is Chrysti a nickname for Christine?
Clint: And who is she to you, and why is she rolled up in the carpet? Don't you check for people before you take carpets off to be dry-cleaned?
Terry: What? Someone rolled Christine up in a carpet? What the hell is going on here? [Glares at Clint] You barbarian! Everyone knows you don't dry clean rugs! What are you? Animals?
Harvey: I've no idea who Christine is, sir! My wife is Chrysti! [Looks at all the blood] What have you done to her!
Terry: I don't know who Chrysti is, sir! I'm having an affair with Christine, Christopher's wife. What have you done to her?
Charlie: [Aghast, pointing to the rug] Is that Christopher?!
Harvey: [Points at the blood] Is that Christopher?
Terry: [Holds up the bunch of towels] What? No! These are from the hotel! Who the hell are you people?
Dur: [Points at the towels] Is THAT Christopher?
Austin: We are still looking for Chrysti! Her life is in danger. [Claps his hands] Let's focus people!
Alice: [Points at Terry] Is THAT Christopher?
Terry: Bunch of weirdoes. [Prises the door of his carriage open] Hey! It was already open! [Throws the towels into an apparently empty carriage]
Alice: Austin is right! We need to focus people. [Looks around] Where can we find some people to focus?
Harvey: [To Terry] Listen here, my good man! My wife was seen by us entering the hotel, then seen by not us leaving said hotel, wrapped in a carpet! Can you help me? My wife, my darling wife is missing!
Charlie: [To Harvey] Perhaps you could describe her in tremendous detail for this man?
Harvey: Why, she is simply divine! Hair like freshly spun gossamer! A face as beautiful as a sun rise over a misty glen! A body as lithe as a leaping panther in shadow filled jungle glade! Footsteps as light and delicate as a dew filled spiders web in autumn! A laugh a light and free as a humming bird singing an old show tune! My Chrysti!
Clint: I can almost picture her, Colonel. I just can't remember how tall she is, or what color her hair and eyes are, that sort of thing.
Terry: Humming bird, eh? Sorry, I can't say did that I. [Thinks] I did that. I that did. Gah! [Gets into the carriage and drives off]
Sent from ProtonMail Mobile On Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 16:07, Tom Henderson
Harvey: How could you forget, sir? [To all] She is as tall as a tawny gazelle leaping over a small hedgerow! Her har is the colour of a Eucalyptus tree at dusk! Her eyes, her eyes! The colour of the reflection of a weeping willow in a lake full of flowering lillipads!
Alice: She's about five six, Stinky! What will we do? Keep searching the hotel or go back to Harvey's and come up with a plan?
Harvey: [Tuts] She’s five seven, dear girl! [Scratches a pricklish ticklish sideburn] I think we should continue searching the hotel! We only have that rum coves word that someone was taken out of there, wrapped in a rug! My dear Chrysti might still be up there!
On Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 10:56, dinanc
[The party trudge back up, with half hearted waving of swords, and go back through the fire escape where they see a man, HORATIO CARUSO, knocking on a door.]
Horatio: Horatio Caruso, hotel detective. What are you doing?