The Queens View Affair Current Scene (Book XI, Act I)


Last update: 2019-11-15 15:30:01

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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!

Steve Ahoy

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]
Colin is afk for a bit
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.
Alice is referring to her own brief (and
disastrous) movie career waaay back in
Book VI, Act I -- from November 2007, if
anyone wants to feel old! It was a movie
series from roughly around the same time
that Stinky starred in "What the hell is
that smell?" but was WAAAAAY more
high class, although bombed for some reason!
In the non-ass related media it was rated
as "crap" or "total crap", which was really
rather unkind given Alice's performance.
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
;; Alice is referring to her own brief (and
;; disastrous) movie career waaay back in
;; Book VI, Act I -- from November 2007, if
;; anyone wants to feel old! It was a movie
;; series from roughly around the same time
;; that Stinky starred in "What the hell is
;; that smell?" but was WAAAAAY more
;; high class, although bombed for some reason!
;; In the non-ass related media it was rated
;; as "crap" or "total crap", which was really
;; rather unkind given Alice's performance.
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!
Dom is out
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]
End of scene
[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?
Austin: [Raises his eyebrows] Good for you, Harvey!

Chrysti Kingston Short

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?
[Exit CHRYSTI.]
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?

Christie Kingston-Short

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?

Chrysty Kingston-Short

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!
Gah! "Curries" = Curlies! Damned predictive text!
Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ On Friday, 26 July 2019 17:27, dinanc
wrote:
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!
Bad Conor - including the previous mail!!!
Harvey: Well, you certainly pressed pressed this old soldiers military buttons, my dearest dear! [Laughs long and loud]
Bad Colin, forgot to change the subject line!!!
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!
This new posting format is hard, huh?
;; This new posting format is hard, huh?
Is it??
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!
Just a heads up for you. I will be on vacation starting tomorrow until Tuesday of next week!
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]
Dom and I have been sending mails to
just each other due to an addressing
malfunction by someone who shall
remain nameless.
But it wasn't me!!!
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!
[Enter CHRYSTI.]
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!
End of scene, next one coming right up
[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?
Yes, we have cats.
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!
Heather is afk
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?
Back from vacation… physically at least
 
Harvey: None with the sheer diversity of goods and chattels that they sell!
Welcome back
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.
; out today
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.
End of scene, next one coming right up
2
;; End of scene, next one coming right up
[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.]
Mon: [In a distinctly non-French accent] 'sup?

Monsieur Mon Seer

Sent from ProtonMail Mobile On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 13:17, Conor Ryan
wrote:
Harvey: Where’s my wife, Christie? Is she in danger?
It's Chrysti!!!
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.
Heather is afk
Charlie: Did a young lady come in here before us?
Mon: Supposin' she did, what then?
;; Heather is afk
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.]
I figure if my defining character trait is "smells bad" I might as
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!
How many rooms are there?
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] 'evening.

Shimmy Jive

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.
Alice: Hey!
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!
[The door is locked.]
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.]
Terry: Hey! What's going on here?

Terry Butcher

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
wrote:
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
wrote:
[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?

Horatio Caruso

From Tom to just me
Clint: We're looking for someone. Our investigation into the lady who was smuggled out of the hotel in a carpet [mimes putting on sunglasses] is all wrapped up.
Horatio: [Knocks on the door] What carpet?
Charlie: [To Horatio] Obviously WE do not have this carpet. [Gestures to herself] Do I look like the sort of person who handles housekeeping concerns?
Horatio: Then who does? [Knocks on the door] Who?
Austin: Good question. Would you care to help us find out?
Horatio: Certainly not. Why would I care if she can roll carpets or not?
Dur: Well…. Aren’t detectives supposed to… you know… detect things?
Horatio: Right now I'm detecting that you're starting to annoy me. Now, let me get this straight, the [exaggerated finger quotes] case you're working on is if she [points at Charlie] knows anything about housekeeping? [Looks at her hands] She doesn't.
Dur: Wow! He's good! Now tell us is SHE [points at Alice] knows anything about doing laundry?
Charlie: [Smiles at Horatio, admiring her hands] Why, thank you! [All business] Our case is more involved than that, I am afraid. We fear our colleague's wife might have been kidnapped and/or harmed in some way!
Dur: Wow! He's good! Now tell us is SHE [points at Alice] knows anything about doing laundry?
Horatio: [Looks Alice up and down] I'd probably need to do a closer investigation. [Snaps his head round to Charlie] Why didn't you say that? Did it happen here? Was there screaming? Was there a... [licks his lips rolling his r] rrrrrransom note?
Austin: We are still looking for one. She was abducted in a rolled up rug, carried by two men. Perhaps they were illiterate?
Clint: Either that or she's missing and someone else got kidnapped in a rug, in which case the hotel is going to get some awful reviews!
Horatio: Look, let's all just calm down. Describe the rug.
Harvey: Well, we didn't see it for ourselves, what, but we were given an accurate description. Paisley, tassels, that type of thing!
Charlie: [Nods] Yes, have you seen any such rug? Possibly rolled up and containing a woman?
Horatio: And this description? Who gave it to you? Was it the woman in the rug? Or the people carrying it?
Harvey: Neither. It was some funny looking cove with a false moustache and a blue hat. He came out of that door there! [Points to the door]
Horatio: False moustache, you say? Is there any chance that he may not have been telling the truth? [Knocks on the door indicated by Harvey]
[The party indignantly all deny any such possibility.]
Horatio: [Listens at the door for a moment and then knocks again] Hm. [Unlocks and opens the door, looking inside] Oh.
Charlie: [Tries to look inside. To Harvey] Why don't you let me look first, Colonel, just in case. . . . [runs a finger across her neck discreetly]
Harvey: Good heavens no, my dear woman! You must stand back and protect yourself against any potential attack! [Looks around the door]
On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 11:10, dinanc
wrote:
Alice: I wanna see!
[Everyone packs into the doorway and squeeze through into a completely empty room, devoid even of furniture.]
Alice: Oh my god! Look! No rug!
Harvey: And no sign of Chrysti! What was that strange man doing, coming out of a completely empty room, what!
Alice: She must be kidnapped. Or murdered. Or both!
Horatio: Or maybe the guy with the fake moustache lied??
Harvey: [Scratches a ticklish pricklish sideburn] Gah! I fear we have been duped by that moustachiode bounder! But why? Why?
Austin: Because we are too trusting?
Alice: No way, man! We're total cynics -- battle hardened warriors who've saved the world half a dozen times. I mean, sure, some of us think that they have slept with astronauts, or that they once met Gyan Rosling's younger brother, but we know what we're doing. [Lamely] Right?
Charlie: Of course we do! We are investigating the mysterious disappearance of the Colonel's wife! [To Horatio] Now, can you help us find this poor woman?! Or are YOU attempting to deceive us about your alleged hotel detective credentials?!
Dom, you only replied to me and then I replied
to just you!
Austin: I certainly do, although other members of the party are more the 'instinct' types.
Horatio: Look, lady. There is no evidence of any woman, rug or moustache. I suggest you go back to her house, she's probably there cleaning or doing laundry or something, you know what women are like.
Dur: Of course we know what women are like! [Looks deflated] Actually we have no idea!
Alice: That's true, they don't! [To the party] Huh. Looks like the trail has gone cold -- let's go back to Harvey's and search for clues. We could get some magnifying glasses and specimen cups!
Clint: What we need is a great detective who can help us track Chrysti down so we can kick in the kidnapper's door and give them a sound thrashing!
Charlie: [To Clint, flattered] Why, Mr. Scar! I suppose I AM a great detective, in a sense. [Excited] Science is rather filled with mystery, with only subtle clues to follow in solving those mysteries!
Clint: Uh, sure! I was thinking of this Horatio guy. Or a bloodhound.
Alice: Yeah, but where would we find that Horatio guy?
Horatio: Uh --
Alice: Sh! I'm thinking! [Face gets transfixed with concentration] Hm. I see. [Takes out a small whiteboard and makes out a bunch of equations, working furiously, before stepping back] What was the question again?
Harvey: Apologies, I was too upset to speak for a moment! [To Horatio] That woman, sir, is my darling wife, and she was seen entering this hotel, but not leaving it. [To the party] Come all, let us return to my home. We may find a clue among Chrystis correspondence.
Alice: Good idea! [To Horatio] Fetch me a bunch of fancy, fruity soaps that we may away!
End of scene, next one
up tomorrow. Stuck at
a conferring for next
few hours!
Chrysti: Cuddly Bear! There you are!
Harvey: Chrysti, you're safe and sound! How overjoyed I am! [Attempts to give her a big hug] I feared the worst when we saw you enter the hotel, and not leave.
Austin: Indeed, we feared the b.., worst. We thought that you had been abducted! What happened in the hotel? Are you okay?
Chrysti: Hotel? I'm not sure what you're talking about, Cuddly Bear! You must be mistaken.
Charlie: [To Chrysti] Surely you do not mean to suggest that your loving husband does not know his wife when he sees her!
Harvey: Unless of course, you have a twin! [Laughs long and loud] How was your grandfather, my sweet?
Chrysti: Of course my darling husband knows me, but I'm sure that relative, and somewhat hysterical, strangers, might confuse him. [To Harvey] Unfortunately I didn't get to see him -- I was so sad at being away from you I came right back.
Harvey: Bestill my beating heart! [To the others] So there you have it, good people. All is well in Nostalgia!
Charlie: [To Chrysti, nodding at the magazine] Have you an interest in rugs?
Chrysti: No more than anyone else, I would say. I subscribe to the same rug magazines and watch the same rug documentaries as that everyone else does. Perhaps you're the one with an unhealthy interest in rugs?
Charlie: I see. Are you searching for a new rug, by any chance?
Chrysti: No, I'm quite happy with my old, beloved rug. [To Harvey] Let's go upstairs for some disturbingly noisy love making.
Colin is out today
Harvey: [Beams] Certainly my dear!
[Exit CHRYSTI and HARVEY.]
Alice: Is it just me or is there something slightly odd here?
Austin: When we are the normal ones, it means that something is very very odd here.
Alice: That totally was her in the hotel, right?
Charlie: Of course it was! We need only look at her disturbing obsession with rugs to make the connection!
Dur: It certainly seemed that way! Perhaps we should take a look around while the two of them wrestle!
Alice: Don't be so crass! That's my Uncle Harvey!
[From upstairs the unmistakable creaking sounds of a bed can be heard.]
Alice: Ew! [Flips through the magazine] Huh. It says here that aside from walking on and using for disposing of bodies, it is also possible to fashion curtains and even clothes out of rugs! Wow, look at this, you wouldn't even know it was once a rug!
[Shows the party a picture of an uncomfortable woman with a rug wrapped around her.]
Clint: She's not, say, part of a family of identical quintuplets all obsessed with rugs, is she?
Charlie: I fear not, Mr. Scar! [Ponders] While the Colonel is [delicately] occupied, let us try to find some evidence that this Chrysti person the person she claims!
Alice: [Checks her pockets] Hey! Someone slipped me a note! [Shows it to the party]
[The note reads "Shes a fake, but lets pay alounge untill we figyour ouch shes doinit". It is clearly the note that ALICE wrote back before the meal with CHRYSTI.]
Alice: Who do you think wrote it? The penmanship is just gorgeous!
Clint: It kind of looks like your handwriting, Bimbo. And your spelling.
Alice: But why would I have written that? I mean, we all think she's super nice, right?
Charlie: [Skeptically] Do we? She seems rather flighty, doesn't she?
Alice: She does... but she seemed so nice after we had our meal!
Harvey: [Enters the room and stretches massively] By the saints, its good to be home!
Alice: You're looking a little... flushed, Uncle Harvey!
Harvey: Firstly, not your uncle, dear girl. But yes, nothing like an energetic, un, jog, to get the blood flowing, what!
Charlie: Colonel, how wonderful to see you very, very happily married with NO doubts whatsoever about your beloved bride! She seems perfect in every way, and your marriage utterly carefree! [Watches Harvey's face closely]
Alice: [Peers at Harvey] And how she's super careful with your money!
Austin: Do tell us of all of the cunning ways in which she has invested it for you, I could really use an update on the latest hot investing tips!
Harvey: Why, there's plenty of time for that dry topic tomorrow, I'm sure. [Claps his hands together] Anyone feeling peckish?
Alice: But we just had a meal of steaks, chops, a soused pigs head, complete with apple, golden honeyed locusts, jellied eels, thrushes ankles, snakes feet, crispy popadoms and curried Brussels sprouts like, half an hour ago?
[Enter CHRYSTI, carrying an implausibly large tray.]
Chrysti: Who's hungry? I've got steaks, chops, a soused pigs head, complete with apple, golden honeyed locusts, jellied eels, thrushes ankles, snakes feet, crispy popadoms and curried Brussels sprouts!
Charlie: [To the party, warningly] None for us! we could not eat another bite! [Looks at Harvey and says in a low voice] Perhaps you could pass on this feast, too, Colonel? One does not wish one's young wife to think one getting [looks pointedly at Harvey's waistline] puffy? Must keep in fighting shape!
Austin
: I am famished! [Nibbles delicately at a thrushes ankle]
Alice: Austin! [In a loud whisper] You know this is almost certainly poisoned, right?
Austin: [Puts the thrushes ankle down] I prefer thrushes ankles. Perhaps I am no so peckish.
Clint: I couldn't possibly. We ate so well earlier!
Bank holiday here, sorry!
Harvey: [Grabs the plate of curried brussel sprouts and begins popping them into his mouth] These are truly wonderful, dear wife!
Alice: [Smacks the plate from Harvey's hand, sending curried Brussels sprouts flying in all directions] No! [Looks caught] Er, there was a huge spider in there!
No posting today or tomorrow, stuck in a conference!
[Everyone looks at the broken plate and sprouts.]
Alice: He was very scary looking!
Austin: Never mind, it's only a plate of sprouts. I'm sure the staff will have that cleared up in an instance. [Looks around for Staff] You do have staff?
Charlie: [Gasping] Colonel, we must throw out all of this food at once! Real studies--not fictional, highly suspect, suspiciously convenient ones!--show that where there is one visible spider, there are hundreds hidden nearby!
Alice: [Screaming in terror] Aieee! I hate spiders! [Leaps onto a chair]
Chrysti: No, he has a wife. That's all he needs.
Alice: Well, can't you do something about this spider infestation!
Austin: So who does all of the cleaning and ... [gestures vaguely to the house] ... and all of those house things?
Chrysti: I don't know. [Vaguely] Someone that Harvey pays for, I suppose.
Charlie: How marvelous the Colonel has no money worries whatsoever! [To Chyrsti] Do you help him manage his vast wealth?
Kevin is out today
Dur: I love spiders! Where are they? [Starts rummaging through the sprouts]
Chrysti: Of course. I have helped him with a number of shrewd investments. None have paid off yet, but I have a feeling that the Mattress Farm will soon bear fruit.
Charlie: Mattress Farm? Is that some sort of euphemism for a brothel?
Chrysti: Why? Do you have a brothel you want us to invest in? [Takes Harvey's arm] That's not really the sort of business we care to be associated with, but best of luck to you with it.
Clint: I dunno, it sounds like a pretty safe investment to me.
Harvey: Investing in brothels? Spiders? Throwing my food on the ground! What in the blue blazes is wrong with you all?
Alice: We're not investing in spiders, we're trying to avoid those eight legged monsters!
Charlie: Colonel, what IS the Pillow Farm, if not a brothel?
Austin: A pillow farm too? I guess that must work well with the mattress farm!
Harvey: Why, the Happy Sleep Sleep pillow farm is quaint rural plot of land a few hundred miles from here, where they breed and rear free range and organic pillows! Ethically sourced, what!
Alice: Don't be silly, Austin, it's all the same farm. Pillows that aren't harvested early grow into mattresses over the winter, and are then harvested in the... [stagily] spring!
Chrysti: [Takes Harvey by the arm] Cuddly Bear, can you come with me a moment?
[Exit HARVEY and CHRYSTI.]
Dur: [Disappointed] Can't find any spiders! [Despondently places a handful of sprouts in his trousers]
Charlie: [Nods to the table] Dur, empty your pockets at once! This food is not safe to eat, even for someone with your astonishingly hardy digestive system!
Dur: [Sighs and has a good rummage around in his trousers, before dumping the sprouts on the table]
Alice: She's right Dur -- I wonder if it was poisoned! Maybe that's why you were all acting so foolishly earlier?
Alice: ALL of them!
Dur: [Tuts loudly and deposits about 20 additional sprouts on the table] What do you mean by acting strangely earlier, you all seemed the same as usual to me!
Alice: Oh my god, Dur! You're the one who suggested we get her a present!
Not true, it was ALICE who suggested it
but at the time, everyone thought it
was a good idea
Dur: Well, I probably meant a sandwich, or a kebab!
Austin
: That was odd wasn't it. Are you sure it was the food?
Alice: No, but what else could it be? She definitely has some hold over him -- we need to break it!
Dur: Maybe she has him hypnotised!
Charlie: [To Dur, pityingly] You are NOT going to convince me to let you eat this suspect food! It must be tainted. She seems keen to keep us all eating it for some reason!
Alice: So how are we going to get rid of her? [Looks at Dur] Oh for god's sake! He's eating another one!
Dur: [Swallows] He's not your Harvey, so is it our business? [Coughs and covers his mouth]
Alice: He is our Harvey, he is! And even if he wasn't, surely it's everyone's business if that damned spider-investor is fleecing him out of his money! I mean, if we saw a Dur from another dimension that didn't know us, do you think we'd just ignore him? [Thinks] Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean!
Charlie: Precisely! I, for one, would appreciate it if all of you intervened if you met another version of me that, for example, made poor relationship choices. Further, this may well be the ONLY Colonel we shall ever know again, given all of the dimensional disruption in recent months!
Alice: Poorer.
Charlie: [To Alice, patiently] No, this Colonel appears to be wealthier, despite the best efforts of his wife.
Alice: No! I meant... oh, [sulkily] nevermind. Okay, so how will we get rid of her?
Dur: Suppose we could try to track down her grandfather. Or check out that butcher again. He'll surely be able to give us some food!
Alice: I don't think there is a grandfather! She was clearly going to meet some fellow swindler in the hotel. The question is who? [Thinks] If only we could track down that suspicious looking guy with the fake moustache, maybe he might know?
Clint: Yeah, but he was wearing a fake mustache - his disguise was foolproof!
Austin
: maybe it was the suspicious guy in the fake moustache!
Alice: [Gasps] What? So you mean... she wasn't bundled up in a carpet? [Thinks] That could explain why that laundry guy was so weird with us. So, [tents her fingers] it all starts to make sense. [Points to a conveniently located spiderweb] There's a web of lies constructed to trick Uncle Harvey out of all of his money. [Paces the room] We need to plot a counterstrike to take down the crims. [Continues her pacing] A plan so devious and so cunning that even once we steal all their cash and leave them naked and helpless at the side of the road they still won't know what happened. [More pacing] This plan will be so ingenious that there will be books and songs written about it, and we're just the megabrains to make it hap- [gets caught in the spiderweb] Aieeee! Help! Help!
Charlie: [Stands up dramatically, oblivious to Alice's plight] Back to the hotel, group!
Alice: [Knocking the webs off herself] While I love racing around in panic as much as anyone, maybe we should come up with a scheme to convince Harvey to come with us?
Dur: Are we not going to see the fresh meat? I mean, butcher?
Alice: Sure. We're going to see the butcher, but first we need to give Harvey a reason to come with us!
Dur: We can tell him that they received a load of that sideburn stuff in the shop?
Alice: And how will that make Chrysti want to spend less time with him? Well salved sideburns will make her only want to spend more time with him!
Clint: Not if he spends his entire fortune on sideburn cream it won't!
Alice: We want to him to appear to have spent all his money so she gets the hell away from him!
Dur: I wonder what lottery he won? Is it possible that we could fix it to say it was a mistake that he won, and he should never have been given the money? Or, even better, we could order thousands of steaks on his tab at the butcher!
Alice: No! We need to trick him out of his money, but then give it back to him, so no butchers, no blowing it all on boring books, no splashing out on expensive suits, nothing! I mean, we might get some nice hair care products, but that is IT!
Austin
: Of course we give it back. After expenses, naturally.
Alice: So what could we trick him into buying? Some sort of expensive item that Chrysti would also be interested in?
Dur: She likes jewellery!
Alice: But she'll probably know the difference between a real piece and some cheap tat?
Austin
: How about a fake tax bill. I doubt that he has ever paid his taxes.
Alice: If Chrysti is really just a grifter, why don't we trick them into buying something?
Dur: She likes insect jewellery. Maybe we can fake some type of spider brooch? Catch a spider and paint it up. [Stomach rumbles] Mmm, spider sandwich! Spidewich!
Austin
: Like the deeds to a tropical island ?
Alice: No more spiders! What is wrong with you people?
Alice: Didn't they say they met at an exhibition of historical military buttons?
Charlie: Yes, but if she is a grifter, who is to say she actually cares for military buttons herself?!
Alice: That's the genius of it, Charlie -- we can put in any crappy old shiny bit of tat and tell them it is worth a fortune!
Dur: Okay, so where do we get the shiny tat?
Alice: [Shrugs] Idunno. Maybe we just tell them we have a seller in the hotel who will sell a button that's worth ten bajillion for just one bajillion? That'd work, right?
Good Morning all. Back from my too short vacation
Harvey: By the saints [opens the door with such force it's nearly blown off the hinges] Ten bajillions for a button did I hear you say, dear girl? [Does a little dance of excitement] Why, that could only mean they've finally found the lost button of the Duke of Yorkie! The lost button, what! [Looks at the group expectantly] Duke of Yorkie!
Alice: [Looks around at the others, puzzled] Er, yes, yes, it is a Duke of Porkie!
Charlie: [In a low voice] Careful, Colonel! You do not wish anyone else to hear and buy the button before you have a chance!
Harvey: [Tuts and lowers his voice to an eardrum shattering roar] No, the button is not the Duke of Yorkie, the button is the Button of the Duke of Yorkie! The one button to rule them all! It was given to the Duke or Yorkie by an ancient enchantress, to ensure invincibility during warfare. And by gads, work it did! He laid waste to all before him, until years later, during the battle of Helmsshallow, his lucky coat ripped on a bramble while leading the vanguard of the horse charge, pinging the button into the undergrowth and resulting in the Dukes mighty defeat, death and routing of his troops. Until now, the button was lost, and passed into legend! I cannot believe it's been found! Huzzah! Huzzah! And thrice, huzzah!
Alice: Huzzah!
[Enter CHRYSTI.]
Chrysti: I take it from the Huzzahing that you haven't asked them to leave yet?
Harvey: [Laughs loudly and runs over to Chrysti, hugging her] The Dukes button has been found! And is for sale!
Chrysti: Really? How... surprising.
Dur: And why is that so surprising?
Harvey: Surprising and delightful! Surprisingly delightful and delightfully surprising!
Clint: But true, if the rumors we heard are accurate. Just think of it!
Charlie: [Enthusiastically] What a glorious time we live in! [To Harvey] We can broker the sale for you, if you wish. [Nods to Austin] Our attorney can help draw up the necessary ownership papers, etc.
Chrysti: And you say it's worth ten bajillion, Harvey? [To the party] How much can you get it for us for?
Austin: Fortunately I am an expert in such negotiations. I will beat them down to a reasonable price.
Alice: It's true, we're all experts and necessary for the sale. I, myself, have a PhD in Buttonology and have authenticated it. We can get it for a knockdown price of one bajillion -- minus our modest expenses as my learned colleague will outline shortly.
Chrysti: [Licking her lips] So there's a profit of.. of almost nine bajillion to be made?
Harvey: Well, there would be were we to sell it on, which of course we will never do! It will be an heirloom to our future progeny, my love!
Clint: And such an heirloom!  You'd best revise your will so that it can never be sold, just in case.
Charlie: [Nods emphatically] Excellent suggestion, Mr. Scar! How fortunate we have a lawyer to make this all official, immediately and irrevocably!
Austin
: Certainly [Whips out a large wad of papers] Shall we delay longer or just get on with the deal?
Harvey: Why, that sounds like a wonderful idea, [to Chrysti] does it not, my love?
Chrysti: Certainly, although I will need to check the paperwork first of course. What will be the means of payment? Bank transfer? Cashier's check?
Alice: I think our sellers might prefer used goldbacks in a brown paper bag dropped off in a dingy hotel.
Harvey: Oh, I'm sure I have all that lying in the vault downstairs! [Practically bouncing up and down with excitement] By the saints, the button! I can almost feel it in my hand!
Charlie: Marvelous! We shall help you carry it!
Chrysti: All the money is in the bank -- I made sure that all the assets could be liquidated quickly. Uh, in case such a bargain opportunity presented itself! I'll pick it up and meet you at the location. Where will you be?
Alice: How about the WoeTell Hotel? Do you know it?
Chrysti: I'll find it.
That's the hotel where the party
saw her going
Harvey: Perfect my dear, I'll accompany you to the bank and help with carrying the money! We shall meet the others at the hotel.
Austin
: Perhaps we should all accompany you to the bank. We can't be too careful. And it's a lot to carry. [Dreamily] I can't wait to see the button!
Chrysti: Oh no, it would compromise security for you all to come -- and Harvey, perhaps you should stay with them you know, to make sure they don't [lowers her voice] mumble mumble.
Charlie: [To Chrysti] Do be serious! We are NOT mumblers! Dur is a bit of a mutterer, true, but that is quite different.
Alice: I think she said in case we lose a shoe on the way.
Chrysti: I didn't! I said in case you people somehow raise the money to buy it elsewhere and yoink it out from under us.
Harvey: [Turns suspiciously to the group] Hmmm. Well, I don't think they look the type to destroy the dreams of an old soldier, but, better safe than buttonless! [To the party] Come, let us be away! The button awaits!
Dur: Oh, don't let these innocent faces fool you, sir! We have destroyed many a dream!
Alice: To the WoeTell Hotel!
[Exit ALL.]
End of scene, next one coming right up!
[Book XIII, Act I, Scene VI. The WoeTell Hotel. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY enter the foyer and negotiate the rope maze from before, eventually getting to the same receptionist as before, MONSIEUR MON SEER.]
Mon: 'sup?
Alice: Can we have the key to... [turns to the party] we should probably have gotten a room first, right?
Clint: Maybe this kind person can tell us the room where [whispering] the button is located.
Alice: Wait a minute! There's an actual button? Holy crap, we're gonna be rich!
Harvey: Lead us to the button where the buttons have the button for sale! By the buttons!
Mon: What?
Alice: Ah... [to the others] of course! It's a secret. Some low level Frenchman wouldn't know about it. Let's get a room. [To Mon] How much is a room?
Mon: A bedroom?
Alice: Yes!
Mon: To buy or rent?
Alice: Rent.
Mon: Half a GP.
Dur: Half? Do we have half a GP, or do have an instrument to make change out of a whole one?
Alice: Poor Dur, he's never seen a denomination larger than a copper piece! There's another type called silver, and ten of those is half a GP. [To the others] Can someone pay the man?
Harvey: [Scratches a pricklish ticklish sideburn] I must admit that I'm thoroughly confused what! I thought the button seller was already here and we are also here to meet and purchase said button? Why do we need a room?
Charlie: [To Harvey] To protect your privacy and ensure no one else can see the button and be tempted to top your offer, of course! [Digs out two fistfuls of copper pieces and hands them to Mon] Here, this should cover the room!
Alice: That's right -- all those button smugglers you hear so much about could come looking for it!
Mon: [Takes the coppers with a look of disgust] You may have the Squid Room. It is on the top floor. It has a picture of a squid on it.
Harvey: [Glancing around suspiciously] Very well then good people, to the Squid room!
Austin: I do hope this is not one of those 'themed' rooms for couples!
; out all day
Charlie: [To the party, edging in front of Harvey] Just as I, as the party's leader, was about to say. Follow me, group! [Heads for the room]
[CHARLIE and HARVEY walk quickly together down the corridor, barely fitting through, until they get into lift.]
Alice: [Looks at the buttons] Do we want water, fire, earth or... ass? [Shows that there are icons rather than numbers on the buttons]
Dur: I wonder if the squid room will be stocked with fresh calamari [Stomach grumbles loudly]
Alice: Surely you had enough poisoned sprouts to keep you going?
Dur: [Sadly] No! I hardly had any!
Alice: More than enough! [Presses the water button and lift groans into life]
Charlie: [To Dur, comfortingly] Do not worry! I have no doubt we will find some rancid, half-eaten room service orders abandoned in the hallway!
[As if on cue, the lift arrives and the door opens just about six inches, revealing that they are about a foot lower than they need to be. Across the way wafts the delicious smell of day old congealed burger.]
Clint: There, doc, you see? Dinner!
Alice: How are we going to get through? It's way too small! I mean, not for me, of course, but for the rest of you!
Clint: By sheer determination, Bimbo.  [Tries to force the doors open.] Doc, if you help me out here, I'll give you first crack at the burger!
Harvey: Ha, we are being tested, dear people! To see if I am truly worthy of the button! [Attempts to squeeze through the gap] No! Hmmm. Perhaps this way...[attempts to squeeze through the gap] No, not that way either. This will surely work! [Attempts to squeeze through the gap] Hmmm. Gah!
[Everyone heaves and pull it open slightly more.]
Alice: Step back so that the slimmest party member may get through!
Austin
: I'm not going through that gap! It might wrinkle my suit!
Alice: If it wouldn’t be such a ferociously right squeeze, Aus, it wouldn’t get wrinkled!
Harvey: Perhaps we could try to move onto the next floor and walk down the stairs.
Charlie: It's worth a try! All clear, everyone?! [Presses the button for the next floor]
Alice: No way! I'm svelte enough to glide through without creasing anything!
[Forces her way in through the gap with all sorts of panting and grunting, until she gives up, ass sticking towards the party.]
Alice: I'm stuck! It must have closed a bit while I was trying to get through!
Charlie: [To Alice, unconvincingly] Yes. That must be it. [To the party] Let us try to widen the gap once more!
Harvey: [Begins pulling on one side of the door]
Austin
: [Jabs at the open door button a few times] Where is the elevator boy? That is most suspicious!
[Somehow the party get the door open enough that ALICE falls through into the other side. She leaps up, dusting herself off, red faced from the effort, her clothes a crumpled mess.]
Alice: See? Easy as pie!
Austin
: I think it was the pie that was the problem.
Alice: [Looks at the leftover food] No, it's a burger. [Presses the button outside the lift and it slides open] Hooray! Well done, Alice!
Charlie: Splendid! We had best make our way to the room before we lose out to another, [eyes Alice's hips] less generously burdened buyer!
Clint: Oi!  That's body-shaming, Sarge!  We can't be having that!
Alice: Oh please, that's jealousy, Stinky!
Harvey: Speaking of which, this is a very confined space! [Steps out of the lift]
Alice: [Walking passed the doors, each of which has a different sea creature on them] Ah! Here we are -- squid! [Turns the creature upside down as one would turn a 9 and 6] Or is it octopus?
Harvey: Or a bagpipe?
Alice: Why would they have a bagpipe room beside a fish room? [Looks at the picture more closely] Or is that a Güiro? Man, this is confusing!
Charlie: Let us see if the key works! [Attempts to unlock the alleged Squid Room]
Austin: [Checks the door to see if it is unlocked] Well, you can all complain to your hearts content on the Inn Adviser notice board.
Alice: [As Austin opens the door after Charlie unlocks it] I prefer Inn Advisable, they're way better about telling you what's bad.
[The room is a nightmarish mix of poor taste and sea-related gaudy material. Everything from the strangely sticky velour carpet to the blinding and somewhat inexplicably lowly placed disco ball in the middle of the room conspires to make it quite grotesque.]
Alice: Wow! Isn't it great?
Dur: Just point me to the mini bar!      
Alice: [Points to a dust-covered mouldy fun-sized Knickers Bar under the bed] There you go!
Dur: [Dives under the bed and the party can hear ravenous sounds as he devours the discarded candy bar] So, now what?
Clint: Now we wait for the seller, I guess.
Harvey: And my darling wife! Oh, I'm so excited to see, touch and own the button!
Alice: You'd better wait in the bathroom while the sellers come, Harvey, you know, just in case they get spooked. I mean, they already know us.
Charlie: Yes, and if you reveal too much excitement, they may raise the price!
Alice: [Once Harvey is safely in the bathroom] Right! We need disguises so we can pretend to be the sellers! Charlie, what have you got?
[There are some disgusting noises coming from the bathroom]
Dur: I could get a steak and wear it as a beard!
Alice: No no no! We need good disguises, like moustaches!
Dur: Well, a sausage is nature's moustache!
Charlie: [Digging through her knapsack and handing things out] Well, I have a spare grey suit, a sensible nightgown, and quite a bit of paper, which we might use to fashion a jaunty hat! [To the others] What about the rest of you?!
Austin: [Gets out a very smart business suit, shirt and tie, in pigeon colours] I could easily disguise myself as a banker? I have been working on this disguise for some time!
Alice: [Takes out her sword and starts cutting into the carpet, before turning triumphantly to the party, a stack of moustache-sized pieces of carpet in her hand] Here we go! One for everyone! Quick, put them on! [Knocks on the bathroom door] Buttons! Buttons for sale!
Dur: [Puts on the fake moustache, holding it in place by crunching his upper lip towards his nose]
Alice: [Knocks on the bathroom door again, putting on an entirely unconvincing deep voice as she puts on her fake carpet-moustache] Hey! Where's that Harvey guy who wants to buy our button?
Dur: Indeed! I am in quite the mood to sell a most rare and unique button for a considerable fortune!
Clint: [In an outrageous French accent] But not *too* eager, hon hon hon.
Alice: Well, I guess we better sell to that other button collector, the one who will likely melt it down into scrap.
Charlie: [Holding her mustache generally in front of her upper lip as she speaks in exactly her usual voice] Oh, where IS the buyer?! Are we going to have to sell to the button to that astonishingly wealthy Lieutenant instead?
Austin: [Looks through his satchel trying to find a suitable looking button] Time is money! [Pauses] Do you think he's okay in there?
Clint: 'opefully zee buttonological excitement eez not too much for 'is aging 'eart!
autocorrect hates me
Austin: [In a monotone banker voice] Indeed Mr Brown. [Clears his throat] |Now, I am about to move the button from my satchel to my pocket. Please adorn yourself with your eye protection! [Puts on his sunglasses and brings out a button so shiny that it bleaches the carpet white] And into the pocket [puts it safely in his pocket]
Alice: [Still with her fake male voice] Quite so, Mr. Black.
Harvey: [Flings open the door and Enters the room] You have the button?
Austin: {In his super calm, monotone banker voice] Yes we do, Colonel. Do you have the money?
Dur: [Bristling his fauxstache] Pish Tosh! Do neither of you have any manners? We can hardly barter on empty stomachs can we?
Harvey: I will have it presently, as soon as my darling wife arrives with it. I say, where did the others go, what?
Austin: We had to ask them to leave due insurance policy compliance.
awa hame
Alice: We told 'em to sling their hooks, see? We didn't want no squares and dames harshin' our business deals, see?
Charlie: [Keeping her mustache to her face with a finger. In her own voice] Oh, indeed! They could not be present for the transaction itself for an array of complex legal reasons! [Raises an eyebrow] Now where did you say your wife was, Colonel? We have other very interested buyers, you know!
[Enter CHRYSTI, very clearly not holding a huge bag of money.]
Chrysti: Uh... [looks around] So, you're the button sellers?
Charlie: [To Chrysti, in her normal voice] Indeed, we are! As you can plainly see and hear from my heavy accent, I am a wealthy businessman from a distant land!
Alice: [With her unconvincing male accent] And I'm a tough guy goodfella, see? [To Harvey] Does dis dame have the cash?
Chrysti: I need to see the button first.
Harvey: Indeed, show us the button! How I can't wait to see it!
Austin: Engage eye protection [Wearing pristine white gloves, pulls out the button so shiny that you can see peoples skeletons]
Chrysti: [Eyebrows raised so high that the party can see them behind her shades] Wow! [Holds her hand out] I'll need to authenticate it, of course.
Austin: [Puts the button back into his pocket] Nope! Lets see the money first!
Charlie: [Nods approvingly] Quite right! Any other arrangement would be most irregular!
Alice: Hey! What's with this dame, see? [To the party] These wise guys is wasting our time! This is small potato stuff, see? Let's blow this, er... hit parade?
Chrysti: No, no! We have the money, it's in the next room!
Harvey: Then we should continue this conversation in the other room. You'll be able to see the money, we will be able to see the button.
Chrysti: Yes, let's do that.
Alice: Yeah, sister! Let's do that, see?
Chrysti: That's what I just said.
Alice: Yeah! See?
[Exit ALL.]
End of scene, next one coming right up!
[Book XI, Act I, Scene VII. The Eel Room. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and CHRYSTI have just entered. Sitting in a fairly dark room with a huge suitcase is a man with a beard, IMMY HIVE, who bears more than a passing resemblance to SHIMMY JIVE, who claimed to have seen CHRYSTI get rolled up in a carpet earlier.]
Chrysti: This is Immy Hive, he works at the bank, he's here to make sure that nothing... [smiles] untoward happens.
Immy: This deal is most irregular, most irregular! I am here to ensure that my clients are not being, shall we say... misled?

Immy Hive

Charlie: The only thing irregular about this deal is your, shall we say, reluctance to prove to us your serious intent to purchase our rare and utterly authentic treasure!
Harvey: [Quickly] By the saints, we certainly are keen! Super keen, in fact!
Immy: [Opens the suitcase to reveal a pile of money] One... bajillion!
Harvey: [Eagerly] Now, let us see the button, if you would, dear sir!
Charlie: [Peers at the money closely] One bajillion? It looks a little small. Do give it a quick count for us, would you?
Does it look like real money or
like it was made of cut-up carpet?
The money looks real!
Immy: Sure. [Quickly counts through it to show there genuinely is one bajillion there.]
Charlie: [To Immy] Now, hand the case to the Colonel, and Mr. Sle--er, Mr. Sleeve will give the Colonel the button in exchange for the money!
Immy: Uh... okay. [Hands the case over]
Austin: [Gets out the ring and passes it to the Colonel. Tries to check and count the money] Nobody leaves the room until everyone is happy!
Alice: [Points aggressively at Immy] See? [To Austin, quietly] Why are you counting the money? I thought we were buying it? [Thinks] Oh, wait! Yes, this is all very confusing.
[Within seconds AUSTIN has the money counted and his look of supreme smugness tells the party that it is all there.]
Harvey: Looks at the ring Austin handed him] I say, what's this? This is not the Button of the Duke of York ie!
Immy: [Snatches the bag back] What's going on here? Is this some sort of ... of grift?
Alice: Hey! Let's all just calm down, see?
Ha! Unfortunate typo, Dom?
Charlie: [To Harvey, feigning surprise] It isn't the button you were looking for? What does YOURS look like?
Alice: I think the button he's looking is a button and not a ring!
Harvey: [Looks at the button given him by Austin.] Well, I must say, it certainly is shiny!
Austin
: [Admiring the glow] They say it is the power of the button that make it shine.
Immy: And does the button really look like a ring?
He did give them a ring! 01.07.010!
The truth is out there!
Clint: [Twirling his carpet mustache] In zee final analysis, all buttons, zey look more or less like rings!
It's a fool-proof disguise, I tell you!
Austin: [In his monotone banke voice] It's a button. The most incredible butto that ever was!
Charlie: [Nods emphatically] Oh, indeed! [To Harvey] You HAVE seen it before, haven't you?!
Harvey: Like everyone else, only in my dreams sir! Only in my dreams!
Chrysti: Let me see! I mean, can I see, Cuddly Bear? [Puts the case of money on the dresser and sits on his lap, gazing at the ring] Ten bajillion!
Alice: Ten bajillion? Hey, did you just do us out of nine bajillion?
Chrysti: Too late, suckers! [To Harvey] Oh, Cuddly Bear, we will be so rich!
Austin: [In his monotone bankers voice] How humiliating. We must leave at once before anyone notices our incompetence. [Tries to take the suitcase of money and leave]
Alice: But we're not happy, see?
[AUSTIN yoinks the suitcase and walks to the door as calmly as possible before opening it wide.]
Alice: We're gonna get our revenge, see? [Starts backing away to the door] We're not leaving with cuttin' ya, see?
Charlie: [To Chrysti, shaking a fist] Ooooh, revenge is a dish best served cold, so we will think of a suitable rejoinder and issue it to you at a later, unexpected time and place!
[The party head back to their own room.]
Alice: Quickly! Let's hide the suitcase and then go back to-
[Someone knocks loudly on the door.]
Harvey: [Opens the door] Horray, success! I am now the proud owner of the button! What a day to rejoice! My darling wife is at this very moment away to the bank to place it into our safe!
[The party immediately rip their moustaches off.]
Alice: [Standing beside Austin with the suitcase behind them] Great! Well done!
Austin: How wonderful! You must be so pleased! Congratulations! [Excitedly] May we see it at some time?
Harvey: Of course you can! We should celebrate with a drink, and then visit my prize at the bank, to gaze in wonder at its majesty!
Alice: Yes, that's a great idea! [Makes no move]
Charlie: [Looks at Dur, surprised] You heard the man, Dur! We shall all be having drinks! Go fetch them, chop chop! [Claps her hands]
Alice: Yes! And Harvey, you better go with him to show him where the house is -- he's a bit of a dimwit. We'll wait here while you bring the drinks back.
Dur: I am NOT a dimwit! Er- what are we celebrating again?
Harvey: Very well, although it's going to take me all of my willpower to not run off to the bank to look at my new purchase! [To Dur] Come with me, fellow!
Dur: [Still clearly confused] Er- Sure?
Alice: Bye! [To the party] What'll we do with this?
Clint: Make sure it's real and then save it to give you the colonel later?
Alice: Well, he's still standing right there. [Nods to where Dur and Harvey are standing at the door]
Harvey: [Waves at the group] Hello! Goodbye! [Leaves the room]
[As soon as HARVEY is outside ALICE flips open the suitcase. It is full of stones.]
Alice: What the hell?
Austin: [Changing his suit] What in the Realms? I checked it myself!
Alice: We all saw it, Aus! You gave it to Harvey and then... holy crap! He handed it to Chrysti, and she put it on the dresser next door!
See Post 01.07.022
Austin: No, I meant the money, not the button!
Alice: So did I! Who cares about the button? It wasn't even a button! Chrysti moved the money onto the dresser when she sat on Harvey's lap!
She did! 01.07.022
Clint: Obviously she's too cunning for us! She even got a priceless button!
Alice: That's where you're wrong, Stinky, because I took the liberty of pocketing it and putting it in my coin purse. Safe and snug. [pats her pocket] Hey! It's gone!
Charlie: We must go after her! We cannot let her just take all of that money!
Austin
: Indeed, Sargent, get the squad moving at once! [Goes after the money]
Alice: [Races to the door] Well, where is it?
Out all day so no posting!
[Everyone gets to the door and spot HARVEY and DUR returning with drinks.]
Alice: I need this! [Grabs one and knocks it back]
Austin: [Takes a weak lemonade and sips it cautiously] Is this locally sourced?
Charlie: [To Harvey] Colonel, perhaps we should check on your wife?
Harvey: We should check on both my wife, and my button. She should have lodged it in the bank by now.
Austin: I'd love to see the button, if possible. We should go straight away before the bank closes.
Dur: Before we have our drinks? I'm sure we're not in THAT great a hurry?
Alice: Yes! We're all big button fans!
[Exit ALL.]
End of scene, next one coming up shortly!
[Book XI, Act I, Scene VIII. The First National Bank of Nostalgia. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY have just stepped into the bank. A man, BERNARD ROCKEFELLER, approaches them quickly.]
Bernard: Ah, Colonel! Good to see you! Good to see you! You seem to have recovered from your accident!

Bernard Rockefeller

Harvey: Mr Rockefella, how are you, good sir! But I'm at a loss as to what you mean? Accident? I've been in no accident!
Bernard: Oh -- well, I must have picked her up wrong. Your good wife was in earlier to withdraw your entire savings to help pay for the treatment after, what did she call it? A grotesque sprout accident?
Harvey: [Going as white as a very white sheet] By the saints, sir, you must be mistaken! She withdrew money for a shrewd investment, but should have returned here a little earlier, with said investment!
Dur: [Aside to the group] Was this all part of our cunning plan?
Charlie: [To Dur] Well, it would have been better to have exposed her in a way that allowed us--I mean, the Colonel--access to his considerable wealth!
Austin: If we can catch them, we can at least get the Colonel's money back! And the button!
Dur: Yeah, but where do we start?
Harvey: I just don't understand! Perhaps she's been forced into a crime against her will! [To Rokefella] What time was she here this morning? Did she look worried and rattled, as if skullduggery was afoot?
Bernard: Actually, she seemed downright perky -- she was in just before lunch. I seem to recall her humming the tune to "Wearin' the money."
Alice: That was just before we met you and her, Harvey!
Clint: What an unexpected development!
Harvey: I must admit, I'm confused and confounded! Perhaps I did have an accident with a sprout which has caused me amnesia of the whole affair!
Charlie: Perhaps you did, Colonel! Certainly, your wife has never done even one single thing that caused you concern? Correct??
Harvey: Absolutely, my dear woman, my dear Chrysti is the very personification of virtue!
Alice: How much cash is left?
Bernard: Er... none!
Harvey: None? By the saints, and what the blue blazes?
Bernard: Well, there is the matter of some unpaid bank charges, which your wife said you would pay once you had, we, recovered.
Austin: [Cautiously] And how much are those charges?
Bernard: I'm sure they're nominal, unless there was some... [flicks through some paperwork and his eyes open wide] Huh. 5000GP? Unusual.
This is a large sum of money!
Harvey: Why that's not a problem...erm, I mean, it would not have been a problem when I woke up. Now however...[pats his pockets].
Alice: You know, I think we should go to the bathroom. [Gives the party a big stagey wink]
Charlie: [To Alice, crossing her arms] You know I do not care for group visits to the bathroom nor the mischief implied therein!
Austin: Great! Lets go! [Looks gleefully happy. To Alice, quietly] What have you got?
Alice: One cool friend and one stick-in-the-mud!
Bernard: Well, there is a bathroom just down the hall, but...
Harvey
: [To Bernard] I say, why are the bank charges so high, fellow? I've been a good customer to this branch and bank, what!
Bernard: It's the standard charge to convert a bajillion gold pieces to untraceable currency. Your wife said she needed it like that for doctors and stuff.
Alice: Harvey! Bathroom! Now!
Bernard: Plus, with the skyrocketing costs of toilet paper, our expenses are on the rise.
Clint: Obviously people should just use back issues of Science 'n' Stuff instead. Keep costs down, man!
Harvey: [To Alice] Yes indeed.
Alice: Don't be so crazy, Stinky -- the paper is way too shiny.
[The party cram into the tiny bathroom, which is so small that two of them could fit inside a standard airplane bathroom.]
Alice: Okay, that's better.
Charlie: [Clutching her knapsack protectively] No one is touching my back issues of Science & Stuff!
Alice: Don't worry, I won't make that mistake again.
Clint: Huh. I'd have thought that no one was touching the back issues!
Alice: Not since someone befouled them in the most grotesque way!
Charlie: [Frantically digs into her knapsack, wailing] But I routinely consult the back issues! With my busy schedule, I cannot always be certain I will have access to a well-stocked research library!
[Someone BANGS on the door and a gruff voice calls out.]
Voice: Goons! Hired goons!
Austin: Busy! [To the party] Did someone hire goons?
Harvey: Not me, certainly! [Loudly] This convenience is occupied, what!
Alice: Oh man, I did, but they're early! Maybe if we go quiet they'll think the place is empty?
Voice: Two people just said it is occupied!
Harvey: What's your point, fellow? Twice the confirmation that this stall is occupied!
Charlie: [To Harvey, gasping] Perhaps they are perverts! [To the goons] Are you perverts?!
[The sound of muffled conversation comes from outside before the voice speaks again.]
Voice: 66% of us are not.
Alice: Let's escape out the window -- I figured coming in here to do that would attract less attention.
Dur: Who would hire goons to pursue us into the facilities?
Alice: Well, I hired them, but in my defence, firstly, they are early, second, I never asked them to pursue us in here and third, and most importantly, I thought they were called "Go ons", I mean, they sound funny, don't they? Who wouldn't want a good old go on?
Charlie: Well, if you paid them, can you not simply tell them what to do?! That is why I tip Dur so generously, you know!
Alice: No, Charlie! [As though speaking to a slow child] Then they'll know we're in here! Come on, let's just get out the window. [Starts climbing out, giving everyone an unwelcome confirmation that day is, indeed, Laundry Day]
Harvey: [Looking at the window] I'm not sure we'll all squeeze through, my dear girl.
Alice: [Climbs through and calls back] It's okay, we can do it one by one!
Clint: I wonder...  [Gives the window frame a hefty kick, hoping to boot it out of the way and make more room for Harvey.]
Alas, it doesn't break
Alice: Oh for god's sake, Clint! He's not that big! Come on, stop messing around and get out of there. I need to go to the bathroom!
Harvey: Then why were you the first to climb out of the bathroom, dear girl? [Begins squeezing through the window]
Alice: Good question! [Starts to squeeze back in] Hey! This is way tighter than before! [To Harvey, who is uncomfortably close] Maybe I should wait?
Harvey: If you would be so kind, my dear.
Charlie: [Watching the disaster unfold in the window. Hopefully] Perhaps the goons have gone, and we can leave through the door! [Knocks on the door] Hello?!
Voice: [From outside] Goons!
Alice: Oh my god, Charlie! You'll attract too much attention. Now, quickly, climb out the window while I take a pee over by this bush.
Austin: [Sniffing the air] Do people really use such disgusting water closets, or is this some kind of 'original feature' cultural preservation thing?
Alice: [Making a strange zipping sound and looking quite relaxed] Ah! That's better! Right, are we going back to Harvey's?
Clint: Do we expect to track down Harv's mo... wife from there?
Alice: Mo... hope so!
Charlie: [Unconvincingly] Yes, she surely will be waiting there with all of the Colonel's money and his treasured button!
Austin: [Anxious] We seem to be wasting time as usual, we really should get after the thieves!
[The party race to HARVEY's house only to see a huge moving carriage parked outside.]
Alice: Uh oh!
Harvey: I say, what in the living daylights is going on here? [Rushes towards the carriage]
[The party race after HARVEY and almost collide with GREG GRISWOLD, a geeky looking guy lifting a box out of the carriage.]
Greg: Woah! [Smiles] You folks sure did give ol' Greg a surpriseroonie! Are you a welcoming committee?

Greg Griswold

Harvey: [To Greg] Welcoming committee for what, fellow? What the blue blazes are you doing at my house?
Charlie: [To Greg] Who hired you for this moving job? [Disapprovingly] You really do not seem properly equipped for it!
Alice: And that cardigan, yeesh, Greg, that's fooling no one!
Greg: Uh, no one hired me -- this is my house. Myself and the Missus just bought it. We're moving in today!
Charlie: [To Greg] From whom did you buy it?!
Harvey: [Incredulous] What are you talking about? This is my house, what!
Greg: [To Charlie] From the most lovely lady. She's a widow, though, quite sad. [Lowly] She did say that her estranged father might turn up, though. Is this him?
Austin: [Gesturing to Harvey] No, this is her husband, and as you can see he is not dead.
Harvey: Honestly, is this some sort of terrible nightmare?
Greg: Maybe it is, but I have legal documents showing this house is mine! Rather conveniently, I have them here in my pocket. I like to keep them close as I was so thrilled to get such a nice house at such a great price. [Shows some documents]
Austin: [Very interested] Ohh. Let me see them please. [Takes the documents and checks them carefully]
[Judging by AUSTIN's reaction, these are most definitely legit.]
Greg: See?
[A carriage approaches at speed and skids to a halt. CHRYSTI looks out and blows a kiss.]
Chrysti: You never should have tried to scam me!
[The carriage zooms off.]
Dur: Wow! What a surprising turn of events! [Clearly defeated] Oh well, nothing left to do about it, eh gang? Lunch?
Alice: Forget that! Let's chase her!
Austin: [Looks around for a fast looking carriage] Let's go!
awa hame
Alice: [Leaping into the drivers seat of the moving carriage] Come on!
Greg: Er.. um, excuse me...
Dur: Yes. You are excused good man. [Jumps into the carriage] Now carry on about your business!
[The carriage ZOOMS off, leaving a shocked GREG in its wake.]
Alice: Yeeeeeha!
End of scene, next one coming up on Monday!
[Book XI, Act I, Scene IX. The Streets of Nostalgia. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY cling on for dear life as the moving carriage flies through the streets, leaving a trail of furniture and precious Griswold family mementos behind them.]
Alice: This thing is slow, but it seems to be getting faster! [Points at Chrysti's carriage in the distance] Are we going to be able to catch her?
Austin: [Holding on for his life] Only if you give it a bit more juice!
Charlie: [To Austin] We must throw more heavy items from the carriage!
Austin: Make it so, Sarge!
[A woman, ANNA GRISWOLD, appears from the back of the carriage, struggling to stay standing.]
Anna: Er, hello? Sorry to bother you and all, but I think you may have taken the wrong carriage.

Anna Griswold

Clint: Not from where I'm standing! Does this thing have a turbo feature?
Dur: Perhaps we could toss the tart?
Alice: Hey!
Anna: I’m awfully sorry to inconvenience you but that is our precious family belongings that are falling out!
Clint: Maybe you'd better get off and collect them!
Anna: Well, yes, that's a potentially useful and, er, constructive suggestion, but we are moving rather quickly, aren't we?
Austin: Yes, it agree that it would me most dangerous for you to try to disembark at present. Perhaps you should wait until the carriage stops?
Charlie: Yes, and in the meantime, perhaps you could point out some of the heavier objects in your collection?
Anna: Will, there is that beloved metal statue of Grandpa Griswold, but we couldn't part with that!
No posting today, stuck at
a conference!
Alice: Is that the life sized one of the bearded guy wrestling a bear?
Anna: No, that's Grandma Griswold!
Charlie: [Goes to lift the Grandma statue] Really? The other one is heavier than this one?
Can Charlie heft it alone?
Harvey: I’ll give you a hand with that, my dear woman! [Grabs one side of the statue]
Austin: You should let one of the staff do that, you could injure yourself, and it's not covered in your policy!
Anna: [Mournfully] It's only slightly heavier!
[Thunk! Out goes GRANDMA GRISWOLD, causing the carriage to speed up.]
Charlie: [Watching the statue] Splendid! [To Harvey] Now, shall we find Grandpa and decide for ourselves which statue has the greater weight?!
Anna: [Defensively standing in front of what appears to be a statue of a female with short hair] No! I mean, it isn't here.
Harvey: Please step aside, my dear! It is imperative that we catch up with the coach in front! Imperative, I tell you!
Anna: Why? Are you some sort of... desperados? Some sort of ... [licks her lips salaciously] dangerous criminals?
Austin: We are knights, tasked with saving the Realms. Some may think of us as Desperadoes, and some even refer to us as criminals, but they have psychiatric issues.
Anna: So you ARE criminals! How exciting!
Harvey: Well, you seem quite excited by the prospect!
Anna: [Liberally throwing stuff out] Quick! Grab that chest -- it has Greg's concrete block collection in it!
Dur: What? I don’t see how this will help, but I suppose if you insist… [Grab’s Anna’s chest] Now what do I do?
Anna: Whatever you want!
Alice: [Looking back in the mirror] Oh my god, Dur! What the hell is going on back there?
Dur: [Still gripping Anna's chest] I have no idea!
Alice: Make him stop!
Harvey: [To Dur] I say, stop that behaviour immediately, what and help me with this other chest! [Grabs one side of the chest]
Dur: [Obviously still confused and trying to grab for Alice’s chest] This chest?!
Charlie: [Horrified, gently but firmly smacks Dur on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper] Stop that at once!
Dur: [Clearly frustrated] Well if you all would be more clear with your instructions, perhaps I could be more helpful!
Anna: [Aggressively] Yeah! He's doing his best, you know! [Grabs the large wooden chest] Quickly, lover, help me throw this over.
Clint: You heard the lady, Doc! [Helps throw out anything he can.]
Heading out for a week tomorrow afternoon, by the way.
Alice: We're gaining! She's just pulled into that alleyway up there!
Anna: [Excited] Let's fuck the bitch up! [Looks at the party] Er... too much? [Awkwardly] That was too much, wasn't it? It's like when I first discovered scrap booking and took out a second mortgage so we could finance a scrap booking business.
Charlie: [To Anna, taken aback] Er, yes, why don't you stay behind in the carriage, to prevent it being stolen by brigands!
Harvey: You’re an in for a penny, in for a pound type of person eh!
Austin
: A little bit too muc
Anna: [Beaming] That's right! And no one's gonna steal our carriage on my watch!
[The party enter the alleyway and see CHRYSTI's carriage parked at the side of the road.]
Alice: [Stopping the carriage] Uh, didn't we steal yours just a few minutes ago?
Anna: Sure, but I wasn't really on watch then.
Harvey: Come along group, we are close to finding out what the blue blazes is going on here in Paranoia with my good wife!
Alice: [To the party] I think he's getting paranoid -- we're in Nostalgia!
[The party approach the carriage. It is dead quiet.]
Harvey: Gah, I'm getting addled in my old age, what with all of this kerfuffle, what! [Looks into the carriage]
Austin: [Carefully looks into the carriage] Their valet is not up to much!
Alice: Nothing! She must have gone into this house, here.
Charlie: Shall we conduct a bit of reconnaissance? Look for a window!
Dur: I don't know what that word means! Instead of a vocabulary lesson, why don't we see if we can see what is going on while being sneaky and without getting caught? Anyone see a window?
Alice: [Points to the window in the carriage] Here's one!
Harvey: Chrysti may be in danger! I'm sure she's being coerced into these nefarious doings!
Alice: Are you?
Harvey: [Sighs deeply and morosely, scratching a pricklish, ticklish sideburn] Actually, no. I'm beginning to think I've been made both a cuckold, and fool of.
Austin: It looks like you may need a good lawyer [Offers Harvey his card] I would be happy to oblige, the would be a small fee, naturally.
Alice: It probably isn't all that bad, Harvey, you know... oh. [Looks behind the party] Uh, maybe it's best you don't turn around.
Charlie: [Looks around] Oh, dear! What fresh humiliations must fate rain upon this poor old man?!
[A massive hot air balloon floats up. Much to everyone's horror, on it is printed a huge picture of CHRYSTI and SHIMMY having sex.]
Alice: I mean... that could be anyone, right?
Harvey: [Looks at the balloon in shock] By the saints, what sort of deviant mind could conceive of such a thing?
Chrysti: [Peers over the side of the balloon] Thanks, folks, it was a blast! [Tosses what appears to be a small coin over the side]
Harvey: [Drops to his knees] Why? Why have you done this? By the saints, my knees!
Alice: [Grabs the item from the air and looks at it] Un. Be. Lee. Vable.
Harvey: [Painfully getting to his feet] What is it? What did she throw from the balloon? Is it the One Button? Has she displayed a final act of decency?
Alice: Yes! It's the Lost Button of the Duke of Yorkie! We're gonna be rich!
End of Book XI, Act I. Next one up on Monday!
[Book XI, Act II, Scene I. Long John's Shiver. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, about twenty minutes after the last act ended, having realised that the "Grand Old Duke of Yorkie Button" is a total fake. STEVE AHOY approaches.]
Steve: Good news, everyone! I found some Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve!
Charlie: [To Steve] Splendid! And where is the latest issue of Science & Stuff?
Harvey: [Brightens for a moment, before sighing again] Wonderful news if you're giving it away for free, however, if not, I'm afraid I'm woefully embarrassed of funds right now.
Steve: Free? This is the last Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve in Nostalgia, the rest has been impounded by HARMA, along with every episode of Science and Stuff!
Charlie: [Gasps] What?! Why would they do such a thing?
Steve: Apparently Science And Stuff is little more than a thinly veiled tool of the propaganda machine of the Amoral, used to promote unrealistic standards of rigour with scientific investigation and stuff.
Alice: And what about the Sideburn Salve?
Steve: Supposedly little more than a thinly veiled tool of the propaganda machine of the Amoral, used to promote unrealistic standards of beauty.
Harvey: What tosh! It's merely the finest way of making a ticklish, pricklish sideburn, ticklishless and pricklishless!
Austin: [Helpfully] You could shave them off?
Alice: Don't be crazy, Austin -- they're his trademark! You might as well ask Clint to stop being stinky, Dur to stop being pathetic, Charlie to stop talking about books all the time, you to stop preening or me to stop being adorable and everyone's favourite!
Charlie: [To Austin, nodding] Yes, it would be like Alice wearing nice undergarments or making good relationship decisions!
Alice: Hey! I totally have nice underpants! You know...
Tom is away
Clint: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Laundry day, we know. It looks like HARMA are about to try and fill the void left by Wilhelmina?
Austin: That's a little over the top, Mr Scar. They're just boring old grandmother type underwear.
Alice: Spend a lot of time checking out grandmother underwear, do you, Aus?
Austin: Only yours, Alice, you are everyone's favourite.We live in hope.[Sighs]
Alice: Aw! Thanks, Aus!
[The door bursts open. Enter LUCY ANGEL, heavily armed and out of breath.]
Lucy: I need a fast carriage, a fake moustache, some Stylish Sam's Sideburn Salve and two copies of The Journal Of Science and stuff from within the last six months.
Steve: [Puts his hands up] Please don't kill me!
In the party's dimension, Lucy and Austin were
married, only for Jerome to kill her on their
wedding day
Harvey: [Aghast] No, not the Stylish Sams!
Austin
: [Stunned] Lucy?
Lucy: Yes. What are you? Some sort of narcotics agent?
Austin
: [Surprised] No, I am a Lawyer .
; afk a while
.
Lucy: That doesn't surprise me. [Snatches the salve] Who's got a fast carriage and wants to get away from HARMA?
Dur: Well, we DO have a carriage, but we were kind of chasing after someone I think…
Austin
: Me. [Gets into the carriage]
Clint: The person we were chasing is well and truly gone -- we might as well get out of here before HARMA come!
Charlie: [Eagerly] Oh my, yes! We have no interest in dealing with HARMA! [To the party] To the carriage!
[The party race out.]
Alice: But who has copies of Science and Stuff? I mean, sure, any sane person has a bunch of fake moustaches!
Charlie: Do be serious! I have all but the most recent issues of Science & Stuff! [To Lucy] You are welcome to them, but you must promise me to return them in good condition!
Lucy: No can do, lady. We need these for a bribe.
Harvey: And who are you attempting to bribe, dear woman?
Lucy: The sleaziest, most low-life scientist you could imagine!
Charlie: [Astonished] Not that horrid Horatio Heathcote-Willoughby?! [To the party] He often fails to cite seminal work in the field of Cryptozoology.
Alice: Gasp. How awful.
Lucy: [Momentarily taken aback] Even worse! It's Charles Hilliard-Montgomery-Carthington II.
Alice: You mean Deuce?
Lucy: I believe that's how he likes to be referred to.
Harvey: [To Alice] You know the person this good lady is referring to?
Alice: I was once engaged to him, in a different dimension. [Dreamily] He was just crazy about me.
Charlie: [To Alice, gently] Was he? Was he REALLY?
Alice: Yes! [To Harvey] It was adorable! He even had a scrapbook to plan for our wedding!
Austin: [Looks a little sad at the mention of wedding, glances at Lucy] Are you busy later? Could I interest you in dinner, perhaps?
Lucy: Yes, I'll be busy trying to save the world!
Dur: Of course! You know I would do practically anything for a free meal! [Licks his lips salaciously and bats his eye lids] A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
Charlie: [To Dur, sternly] Do keep your pantswich in your pants!
Dur: Well duh! Where else would I keep it?
Alice: Judging by how disgusting they always look, I thought you kept them on the floor behind a dusty cupboard!
Dur: Don't be absurd! That's just where I FOUND several of them.
Harvey: [Shudders] By the saints, and I let you into my house! Into my dining room!
Austin
: [to lucy] How are you fixed for after saving the world? Or between saving the world?
Lucy: [To Austin] Probably not hanging out with some needy narcotics agent!
Austin
: Great, would you like dine with me then?
Charlie: [To Lucy] Do please ignore the men of this group. They are so easily distracted! Now, do tell me how you know Deuce! [Eagerly] Are you a scientist yourself?!
Austin: [To Charlie, indignant] Considering the fact that the Lucy in our own dimension was very nearly my one and only ever wife, this hardly classifies as an "easy distraction" [Moves to the back of the carriage and sulks, arms folded looking out of the window].
Charlie: [Taken aback. To Austin, in a low voice] Oh, dear! I do apologize, Mr. Sleaze. Here, I shall assist you in your efforts to re-woo your true love! [To Lucy, casually] So, I find well-dressed men who know a GREAT deal about personal grooming products quite appealing, don't you?!
Alice: [Nods at Charlie's words] Especially ones with really nice arms!
Lucy: [Does a double take on Austin on hearing about the marriage] Married? [Sizes Austin up and down before turning to Charlie] More appealing than sulky little narcotics agents, that's for sure. And no, I'm not a scientist -- too risky for my blood.
Harvey
: [To the party] You definitely do seem to have a complicated background, my good people!
Austin
: [Perking up at the praise] Well, we have been saving the Realms for many years, across several dimensions and throughout time. [Ponders] I don't recall the last time we had a whole day off.
Lucy: You're not going to get one off today, either. HARMA are on a sweep!
[Time passes]
Lucy: Or maybe you will take a day off!
Charlie: [Dramatically] Never! Heroism never rests! [To Lucy] Tell us more about these sweeps! Are they targeting scientists? Why is that such a high-risk job?
Lucy: Not just scientists, any voices of reason and logic.
Alice: Hairdressers too?
Lucy: Sure. [To Charlie] The sweeps are where HARMAHarmers are rounded up for re-education.
Charlie: [Gasps] But MY education was superlative! Those monsters!
Alice: Mine too!
[Everyone laughs.]
Alice: Hey!
Lucy: Well then, are you ready to join the Resistance?
Charlie: Almost certainly, though I should like to hear more about your aims and methods, etc. before giving my support, of course!
Lucy: So far it's mainly running away screaming before HARMA sweep us up and kill us.
Austin
: I think we can manage that and much much more!
Harvey: Well, I've lost my wife, my house and my money! I'll certainly not also lose my opinions and self worth today! These old bones can move quickly when they need to!
Austin: [To Harvey] Alas, we have heard the evidence, and are in no doubt!
Alice: Alright! We're getting band back together! Let's go!
[No movement.]
Alice: Er, shouldn't someone be in the driving seat?
Austin: Alice, would you like to drive?
Harvey: I'll drive, good people!
Alice: Aw! Don't worry, Aus -- if this Harvey is anything like the original Uncle Harvey, he's almost as good at driving as I am.
[Slowly and deliberately HARVEY puts the carriage in gear and drives off at a painfully slow speed.]
Charlie: [To Harvey] While I applaud your attention to safety, we are fleeing capture from HARMA! Perhaps you could drive a bit faster without compromising safety??
Alice: Oh man! That pedestrian is walking faster than us!
Harvey: Speed kills, good people! A slow coach is a safe coach!
Lucy: Turn left up here. [To the party] Brace yourselves, it's a sharp turn.
Harvey: Why thank you, my dear! [Slows down even more to make the curve]
Clint: C'mon, Harv, drive it like your wife stole it!
Alice: Look! It's a HARMA steamroller chasing us! [Points back at a slow moving steamroller that is starting to make up ground, by about a foot a minute]
[Everyone hangs on as HARVEY rounds the corner.]
Charlie: [Urgently] Now is your chance to get away, Colonel, while they must slow to take the turn! Do hurry!
Alice: Look out! There's a little kid in front of us! We're going to hit him!
[A small child has run into the middle of the road. At the current rate of speed, the party will almost certainly plow into him in the next ten minutes.]
Harvey: By the saints! Out of the way, unruly street urchin!
Clint: I got him, Harv! [Daringly leaps out of the speeding carriage and rushes the child to safety before leaping back on.] Man, that was a close call!
Alice: Well done, Stinky! He could have been killed. In fact, oh! He's back out there again!
[Strange, but true. The urchin, TWISTED OLIVIER, is standing out on the street again.]
Olivier: [To the party] Please sirs, can I some mo'?

Twisted Olivier

Harvey: Move aside idiot urchin, can't you see we're in a rush!
Alice: What the hell is mo'?
[The carriage slowly bears down on him]
Charlie: [Exasperated] Here, you silly urchin! [Tosses a copper on the side of the road in attempt to move the urchin]
[OLIVIER grabs the copper piece and steps back in front.]
Alice: Gah! Er, maybe we could go a tiny bit faster?
Harvey: But if I go faster now, dear girl, I'll hit the young tyke!
Austin: At this rate he'll be in his thirties by the time we hit him!
Clint: But not hard enough to seriously injure him and you'll teach him a valuable life lesson.
accidentally sent to just Colin as#83
Harvey: I'm sure getting stomped on by horses is going to be fatal regardless of speed, what!
Alice: At least it'll teach him a lesson!
Charlie: Indeed! [Wisely] An urchin that cannot take direction with the incentive of a copper piece will soon starve to death.
Harvey: [Looks back to see how far HARMA are] By the saints, certain capture, or certain murder of an urchin! What a conundrum! A conundrum I say!
Alice: Urchin? Or young street tough?
Charlie: [Muses] Likely the former, on his way to becoming the latter. That is, of course, if he takes business opportunities where he finds them and does not starve to death before reaching puberty!
Olivier: [Draws a sword] Mo'.
Harvey: I say, that's uncalled for! He's a young highwayurchin!
Austin: Just keep going, he'll jump out of the way. They always do. In fact, they are pretty hard to hit, even if you are really going for it.
Alice: I don't know, Aus, I've hit loads of urchins, and half the time I wasn't even trying to. Why, once I tried to avoid one and he still got tangled up in the wheel!
Austin
: Impressive! Multi talented as ever!
Alice: Well, one doesn't like to brag, but I am just great!
Austin: I thought the adjective 'super', was more appropriate.
Harvey: [Roars at Olivier] Out of the way, blast you! Do you want to put the theory of how luck horse shoes are to the test?
Olivier: [Steps up closer] You wouldn't dare. Mo'.
Austin: Where is this Mo character? [Looks around] It must be his nanny, or some form of chaperone.
Charlie: [To Harvey] Well, we did warn him! Full speed ahead, Colonel!
Alice: Chaaaarge! No mo' mo'!
Austin: It is a disgrace the way the prole abandon their derivatives on the highway. Someone could get hurt! The local constabulary are clearly substandard.
[The HARMA Steam Roller comes screaming around the corner.]
Olivier: [Starts to charge at the carriage] Moooooooo'!
Harvey: By the saints! I can't murder a child! [Attempts to swerve the carriage around Olivier]
Clint: Be sure to grab his sword on the way past! It's not a toy!
[The carriage swerves to avoid OLIVIER and flips up on two wheels before completely falling onto its side and sliding at high speed towards "CHINOS CHINA SHOP"]
Alice: [At the bottom of the pile of party members on one side] I don't want to say I told you so, but I did warn you about the dangers of having anyone other than me driving!
Charlie: [Hanging on for dear life] If YOU were driving, we would also be on fire!
Alice: We are on fire, look! [Tries to strike match but it breaks] Gah!
Harvey: Don't worry good people, I'm sure that china shop will gently stop our progression!
[Enter CHINO MONTANA, a scary looking tough guy with an ugly neck tattoo, stepping out of the China Shop.]
Chino: What the hell? Hey!

Chino Montana

Austin: [Cradling Maplin] Well be okay!
[The carriage hits the unfortunate MANNY and crashes into the side of the shop.]
End of scene, next one coming right up!
[Book XI, Act II, Scene II. Chinos China Shop. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and LUCY are in the overturned carriage, which miraculously seems to have had most of the impact absorbed by CHINO.]
Alice: Wow! Who knew that a china shop would be so absorbent?
Chino: Heeelp me....
Austin: [Gets up and tries to help Lucy out] Are you okay?
Charlie: [Takes a look at Chino] Are you seriously injured? [Concerned] And litigious by nature?
Austin: [To Chino, brightly] I can help you.[Gets out his diary] I'll check my schedule.
Harvey: It was all that little urchins fault! Speaking of... [tries to spot where Olivier and the HARMA group are]
Lucy: [As Austin helps her up] I'm fine. Hm, that's a really nice arm.
[The HARMA steamroller is racing towards the party, but there's no sign of OLIVIER.]
Chino: Your carriage is on my chest!
Dur: [Looks around excitedly] Is someone in need of a doctor?
Charlie: [To Dur] Good idea! If he is near death, your intervention will no doubt speed his painful end, at least!
Chino: No, I need a carpenter!
Alice: That's not so bad. Dur knows as much about medicine as the average carpenter does!
Austin: [Carefully rolls back Maplin's sleeve and shows Maplin to Lucy] Thank you. I'm quite attached to him myself.
Lucy: [Nods in approval] Very nice. In fact, one might say, it is exceptional.
Chino: My chest!
Austin: [To Lucy] Yes, it is. [Carefully rolls his sleeve down] Right, what next?
;; away until Monday!
Harvey: [Tries to help Chino]
Charlie: [Goes to assist Harvey. To Chino, hopefully] You DID say you are not litigious, did you not?
Chino: [Standing beside the carriage] That depends on what state my chest is in, doesn't it?
Harvey: Well, your breathing doesn't sound laboured. Are you in much pain?
Chino: Why the hell would my breathing be laboured?
Alice: Well, you said the carriage is on your chest. Although... you are standing beside it.
Chino: It is on my chest!
Clint: And what in this chest is so important that it can't wait until you get someone in here to dismember our carriage?
Charlie: [Intrigued] Oh, DO tell! Perhaps we can help!
Chino: Well, it's certainly not a bunch of body parts, that's for sure!
Harvey: Er, that's a relief to hear.
Charlie: [Quickly] Perhaps we should leave you to your no doubt legal and not at all alarming business, then! [To the party] Hurry, we must escape that slow but steadily encroaching steamroller!
[The party turn to look. The HARMA officers on the slowly approaching steamroller shake their fists angrily at them.]
Dom is out
Austin: Define "bunch".
Chino: [Counts out on his fingers, going around twice] 16.
Austin: [Makes some notes] Anything more than two is probably a felony.
Clint: Maybe you should file a complaint with HARMA? They're just out there...
Chino: Maybe I should, bitch.
Charlie: [To Clint] Now, Mr. Scar, let's not add any limbs to the chest, shall we?! [To Chino] Now, if you'll just point to a back door we can use, we will be on our way!
Dur: [Aside to group] If he is going to report us to HARMA, perhaps we should plant some contraband on him first!
Alice: Well, I don't have any! [Looks around] If only there was some shady type we could buy some off! [Spots Chino] Huh, I bet he has some! We should get some from him and plant it on him!
Charlie: [To Alice] We have no time for shopping! If we linger, we will surely end up in a HARMA jail, with no learning opportunities!
Harvey: I'm sure Harma will find something objectionable with him regardless of whether we plant something or not. They seem to be down on everything!
Alice: Good point -- let's hide in this shop, and, for the love of Phili, be careful, he has loads of really nice, fragile items.
Harvey: I'm sure HARMA will show a lot of respect and caution amongst fragile items, what!
Alice: They better be! [Accidentally knocks over a shelf of beautiful china dogs] Gah!
Austin: HARAMA are a bunch of clumsy oafs! I doubt that they will even manage to stop their steamroller before it hits the shop!
Charlie: [Gasps] Oh, wouldn't that be dreadful?! [Looks around the shop disapprovingly] Though, to be fair, a lot of this is merely clutter for the maid to dust, isn't it?
Austin: Yes. Although I would skip the dusting and just have the whole lot disposed of roughly. They have perfectly awful taste.
Harvey: Indeed, my dear woman, they are a fine source of gainful employment!
Alice: Oh, they love it Charlie, it gives them something to be proud of. [Bends down to look at a grotesque statue of a cat with a preposterous pink bow] Isn't this adorable? [Knocks over another shelf as she does]
Harvey: [Grimaces at the crashing] Perhaps we should be more stealthy in our movements, good people! [Trips and sends a cabinet of porcelain rabbits wearing various disguises and costumes bouncing to the ground]
Austin: [Watching Harvey trash the shop] I'm not so sure, Colonel, we may be doing the world a favour.
Charlie: [Looks at the cat Alice is holding] Ooooh, how precious! [Races to grab the cat and knocks over a row of vases shaped like bowling pins]
Alice: You clumsy oaf! You just broke all their porcelain butt plugs! [Throws her hands up in dismay, dislodging a suspended shelf fill with delightful porcelain angels that rain down upon the party]
Austin: [Catching a porcelain cat, frowning at it then throwing it on the floor] Shall we get moving!
Clint: [Looking around the devastated shop with evident satisfaction.]
Harvey: Yes indeed! We should leave before HARMA arrive and destroy this poor shop owners livelihood, out of a fit of badness!
Alice: God, it's just the sort of mean spirited thing they would do.
Chino: [Urgently] Take my chest, please -- HARMA will destroy it, and the fate of the Realms could depend on it.
Austin: [To Clint] Mr Scar, could you bring the chest please [Looks around for the chest]
Charlie: [Intrigued] Ooooh, what does the chest contain?! How can we use it to save the realms??
Chino: Just get it to The Panther. He'll know what to do with it.
Alice: Cool! Is he a real panther? Can he talk? Is he like that king in the Lion King?
Chino: No! First off, the king in the Lion King was a lion, and anyway, The Panther isn't a real panther, it's a codename because, you know what, forget it, I'll find someone else.
Alice: [Steps in front of the chest so Clint can grab it] Is our chest now!
Austin: [Casually checks his nails] Don't worry, we'll get it to The Panther. Saving the Realms is what we do best.
Harvey: And where would me meet this Panther?
Chino: There's not enough time to tell you! [Grabs a china dog and runs out to confront the HARMA steam roller] Bring it on! Bring it on!
Alice: Er, maybe we should look for a back exit?
Charlie: Indeed, let us take advantage of this convenient distraction! [Heads for the back of the store]
[Everyone races to the back of the store, somehow knocking over even more delightful ornaments. However, there's no exit to be found.]
Alice: Let's check what he meant.
[The party race to the front and call out to CHINO, who's still waiting for the steamroller. He dashes over.]
Chino: Sorry, I should have told you, the back way out is actually upstairs. There's a split level road system in Nostalgia.
Dur: [Hopefully] And perhaps there is time for brunch whilst we run for our lives?
Harvey: Sadly, it seems there is no time for breakfast, brunch, elevenses, lunch, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner or supper! [Heads for the stairs]
Austin: Oh, are you on the micro eating mini-meals dietary program? I have heard that is it wonderful for your energy levels!
Chino: [Races towards the steam roller again] Is that all you got? [Stops and comes back to the party] Actually, there's some sandwich stuff in the fridge, you'll pass it on the way out. [Races back one more time] You bastards! [Thinks of something and turns to the party] Oh, by the way --
[SQUELCH! CHINO gets knocked down by the steamroller.]
Charlie: [Wincing] To the stairs, group! We cannot let this poor flat fool's sacrifice be in vain!
Austin: [Heads up the stairs] It probably already was! Lets get out of here!
;awa hame
Clint: [Lugging the chest as best he can] We could use some clever disguises, don't you think? To go with Dur's snacks.
Alice: We could use those moustaches from... uh, what moustaches? I'm sure I don't know anything about moustaches!
Harvey: Moustaches you say? Like the ones those sellers of the One Button had? Damned fine facial growth, I must say! But only a dolt would fail to recognise a false moustache, what!
Alice: Did they? Oh... interesting, because, you know, we didn't see them, of course!
Austin: Indeed. [Checks his nails briefly]
Charlie: Of course, HARMA is run by dolts, so perhaps false mustaches would suit very well!
Austin: If only one of use had some left over from a fancy dress party or something!
Harvey: Are they looking specifically for you? I mean, would wearing a false moustache disuade their interest or tomfoolery? And how would you disguise the chest?
Alice: [Slaps a fake moustache on the chest] Oh no! Where's the chest? No one knows!
Austin: Shall we get a move on? [Puts on a fake moustache and a fedora. In a croaky voice] Oldest game in the world! Let's find this Panther then!
Dur: [Puts a moustache on his forehead so it looks like he has a unibrow] Am I doing this right?
Alice: Wow, that's actually something of an improvement, Dur!
Charlie: [To Alice] There is no time to assuage Dur's crushing insecurity about his clear and demonstrable unattractiveness just now! Upstairs, quickly!
Dur: Awww! But there's NEVER time for that! [Sulks up the stairs]
Clint: Don't worry, doc, they're just running a standard play from "Keep Him Down - A Woman's Guide to Happiness." But our time will come!
Harvey: [Scratches a ticklish, pricklish sideburn] What an odd group, what! [Heads up the stairs] We must be away!
[The party race towards the back door.]
Alice: Uh, is that blood dripping out of the chest?
Austin
: It's probably fake Halloween blood! [Puts on some latex gloves and checks to see if he can open the chest]
Charlie: [Helps Austin examine the chest] Is it locked?
Alice: It's nailed shut!
[LUCY is at the door.]
Lucy: Come on, quickly! There's a carriage outside that we can steal. [Opens the door to reveal a carriage parked across the way.]
[The carriage has "Nostalgia Home For Special People" and is painted with all sorts of adorable colours and smiling animals.]
Harvey: By the saints, we certainly won't go incognito in that carriage!
Lucy: What do you suggest? We take that invisible one instead?
Dur: Is that an option?
Charlie: [To Dur, scolding] Do be serious! If the carriage is invisible, it would reveal its quite visible passengers inside, leaving us even more vulnerable!
Clint: If there really is any invisible carriage, we're taking it and that's final!
Harvey: And surely the sight of a group of people floating past on the road would give even the most jaded of HARMA soldiers cause for pause, enabling our escape!
Austin: [To Lucy] That carriage looks just fine or our purposes.[To the others] We are trying to be discrete, after all. [heads over to the carriage]
Alice: Invisible carriage! The very idea is completely -- [bangs into something unseen] ow!
[AUSTIN quickly establishes that the carriage is open.]
Charlie: [Excited] Oh, can it be?! An invisible carriage?? [To Alice, skeptically] Or is this a bit like the imagined [finger quotes] laundry day that never comes?
Alice: I think it might be! Although, if it's invisible, how do we find the door?
Harvey: And we do have to hitch up an invisible horse, or does one come preinstalled?
Alice: Good question! Or maybe it's just a normal, non-invisible horse!
Charlie: [Tentatively feels around for a horse attached to the carriage] Let's try to investigate!
Alice: Surely there's no such thing as an invisible horse!
[There's a tremendous crashing from the china shop.]
Lucy: That certainly sounded like a steam roller crashing through a china shop to me!
Austin: [Tries to find the door to the invisible carriage and get in] At least they wont be able to see our plates in this!
Clint: [Feeling around for a door] Do we have any way of slowing them down? Cute kids with a bouncy ball, that sort of thing? Although maybe HARMA would just run them down out of spite, whereas when we do that it's just incompetence.
Harvey: I say, I didn't hit that young urchin with the carriage, I tell you! Now, lets try to get this chest in the carriage and be on the off, what!
Alice: Maybe you should have! Then they might be too preoccupied with scraping him off the street to chase us! [To Austin] Did you get some plates too? I hope they're a stylish as mine! [Shows a grotesque "Pelvis Cressley" memorial plate] Isn't it great?
Bank holiday here today, so no posting from us!
Austin
: [Shudders at the sight of the awful china] It does grate somewhat. How long will it be before it's broken?
Charlie: [To Alice, scolding] We are not common criminals! [Brandishes the pieces of the porcelain kitten figurine Austin smashed] I only took this, for instance, because it was in the trash!
Alice: Never! I wouldn't be as careless as Charlie was with her china cat.
[ALICE gently places the plate where she thinks the roof of the invisible carriage is. The plate smashes to the ground.]
Alice: Oh my god! We're never going to be able to get into this thing, and even if we could, they will be able to see us and there's no horse!
Harvey: Well then, let us take the other one. Someone else can drive this time. My high speed driving skills are over for one day!
Alice: I'll drive! [Races to the carriage] ;; End of scene, next one coming right up!
[Book XI, Act II, Scene III. The "Nostalgia Home For Special People" carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and LUCY are her. ALICE whips the horses and everyone grabs on for dear life.]
Alice: Yah! Giddee up! Yeeha! We're motoring now!
[Slowly the party realise that they're not moving.]
Alice: Hey! What's going on? [Pokes one of the horses with the whip] I don't think these are real horses!
Harvey: By the saints! [Gets out of the carriage and examines a horse, knocking on its head] Are horses usually hollow?
Dur: [Pokes his head out of the carriage] They are if you scoop all their internal organs out for some of mom's homemade glue soup! [Lick's his lips] Those were the good ol days!
Austin
: what did you use the glue for?
Dur: We ate it, of course! What else would you use glue for?
Charlie: [To Harvey] Hollow?! Oh my, are they Trojan?!
[HARVEY, who somehow managed to reach the horse simply by reaching out, tries to open the carriage door to get a better look, only to find it is locked.]
Alice: Oh no! Maybe it's a Trojan carriage!
Austin
: [tries to get out of the carriage, pick the locks of necessary] Its a trap!
[AUSTIN fumbles around but there are no locks! The carriage slowly starts to move backwards.]
Alice: This has got to be the weirdest trap we've ever been caught in -- and we've been caught in lots!
Harvey: [Laughs loudly] A special trap for special people, eh!
Clint: No one cages us like this! [Tries to boot his way out of the carriage] Then again, there's a first time for everything.
Austin: Who is driving? [Rolls his eyes] This never happens when you own your own cab.
out for the rest of the day
Charlie: Judging from the erratic nature of our route, I assumed Alice was driving!
Alice: Wow! Maybe I am driving? Maybe I'm so good at it I can be both here and driving?
[CLINT uselessly kicks against the door as soothing music starts to play.]
Alice: Or maybe not. I'd never play such awful music!
Clint: I see they're starting early with the torture!
[A voice so soothing that it makes the party want to kill someone starts to speak.]
Voice: Okay everyone, we're on the way home!
Harvey: Home? What home? Mine is gone, sold through skullduggery to some miscreant!
Charlie: [Worried] Oh, dear. Are we being shipped to the home for Specials?!
Harvey: Ooh, that sounds quite satisfactory! Hopefully they'll serve a breakfast special!
Alice: Oh. I thought we might get a special breakfast special.
Voice: It's all okay, everyone needs to calm down.
Austin
: This is bad. Very very bad.
Charlie: [To Austin] Agreed! Let us try to take control of this dreadful carriage! [Tries to find a convenient manual override switch]
Voice: No need to worry... everything is fine...
[The party frantically search for a switch.]
Voice: Hey! Stop that! Chill! CHIIILLLLLLLL!
Austin: [Continues searching for a way out] Hurry!
Dur: [Panicking even more] Where is the disembodied voice coming from!
Alice: It's not disembodied, you fool, that was Austin!
Voice: [Deafening] CHIIIILLLLLLL!
Harvey: [Loudly] It's far too warm for that, I tell you! This carriage is quite enclosed and stuffy!
Voice: CHIILLLL! It only feels like that because of the crazy purple knockout gas.
Alice: Well, I don't see any -- oh, there it is. That's purple gas alright.
Harvey: [Sniffs at the gas] Hmm, well, I for one don't feel in the least bit tired!
Charlie: [Gasps] Group, try to break the windows! [Tries to kick out the nearest window]
[With surprising dexterity, CHARLIE kicks the nearest window out.]
Austin
: Let's go! [Tries to dive out of the window]
[AUSTIN valiantly, and perhaps, foolishly, dives out the window, disappearing into darkness.]
Lucy: [Fans herself] What a man! [Leaps out after him]
Voice: CHIIIIIIIILLLLLLLL!
Clint: Bah.  A real man kicks out the door!  [Assists Harvey and the others on their way through the window.]
So after three days of trying I've managed to get a person to
actually show up and repair the washing machine. No more living like my great-grandparents for me!
Charlie: Indeed, kicking a window is much more elegant! [Dives out the window]
Tom, if washin' your drawers in the crick was
good enough for Grandpappy, it's good enough
for you!
Harvey: By the saints, life with you people is certainly not dull!
;; Tom, if washin' your drawers in the crick was
;; good enough for Grandpappy, it's good enough
;; for you!
Laundry day!
Alice: Wait until Charlie starts showing you photos of her Science and Stuff Journal collection, then it'll be dull. [Leaps through] Yeeeeeee--
[ALICE glides through the window into what appears to be the same interior, where the rest of the party are with the addition of a super scary looking clown, PENNY DIM.]
Penny: Welcome! [Roars with laughter, a high pitched, evil, unnerving laugh]
Alice: What? What's so funny?

Penny Dim the Clown

Harvey: [To Penny, surprised] I say, where the blue blazes did you spring from? What is this?
Charlie: Indeed, you appear to be a clown, but your manner and dress suggest you might be a grotesque nightmare, instead! [To Penny, brightly] No offense!
Austin
: [To the clown] Are you on your way to a children's party?
Penny: I've just come from one -- it was a Party of Dooooooom!
Harvey: I've been to one of those! They served carrot cake! I mean, who in their right minds would make cake out of carrot! What next, brussel sprout ice cream?
Dur: Honestly, most parties we attend BECOME parties of doom too…
Austin
: It doesn't usually happen before we arrive!
Penny: It's happening now, bitch! Your poor arm, Austin!
[AUSTIN holds up MAPLIN to reveal that his arm is covered in sores and pus.]
Austin
: [Sees Maplin and freezes, hardlyable to breath] H. H, how!
Alice: Ew! Maybe it was the crazy purple gas? Should we get Dur to poke it with a stick?
Charlie: [To Alice, sharply] For Phili's sake, do you want him to die as well as lose his arm?!
Austin
: [Deep in shock, protects Maplin from Dur and the other] Call an ambulance!
Alice: [Catches glance of her reflection in a window] Aieeee! My hair! It's... it's...
[It has turned a really sad mousey brown colour.]
Harvey: Er, what's wrong with it?
Clint: My god, Bimbo, did you forget to bleach?
Austin
: [Leaning in to look at Alice's hair, only to recoil] Did you run out of conditioner! Are those head lice?
Alice: No, no, [to Clint] no, I don't bleach, [to Harvey] aw, thanks Uncle Harvey, but as you know, I'm a [huge emphasis] natural blonde. My hair shouldn't be THIS colour!
Clint: On the bright side, with your new guests at least we know Dur won't go hungry!
Alice: [Scratching her head] What guests? And where did you get that suit?
[CLINT appears to wearing the exact same suit as AUSTIN.]
Clint: [Looking down at his spiffy and somehow not-yet destroyed suit.] Hmm.  I look outstanding in this.  Great taste in clothes, lawyer!  [Frowns quickly.]
Charlie: [Looks at Clint appraisingly] How wonderful! I applaud your attempts to professionalize your appearance. Now, I urge you to do more about your personal hygiene, manners, and education. [Excited] Let us begin with education!
Harvey: I say, this has all taken a very odd turn, what! [To Penny] What’s your deal, you clown!
Penny: You're pretty uppity for a man who's sideburns are starting to moult!
[It's true. HARVEY's normally magnificent sideburns are starting to look sad and disgusting.]
Harvey: [Holding a large tuft of whiskers between his fingers, aghast] By the saints, look! I’m coming undone! This, this is what happens when I’m denied my Stylish Sam!
Alice: It's about to get worse -- Charlie's going to educate Clint!
Harvey: [In a panic] Does anyone have any glue? You there! [To Dur] You mentioned earlier that you and your mother made glue, do you have any left? Check your pockets man, this is an emergency!
Austin
: [Closely examining Maplin] Is the ambulance here yet?
Charlie: [To Austin] Oh, it will heal naturally, no doubt! [To Clint, excited] Now, let us begin your lesson! We shall begin with--what's the word--[dismayed] Wait, what IS the word I am trying think of? [Gasps] Did I just end a sentence with a--[turns pale] proposition?
Austin
: Yes. Please call an ambulance for me. I am dying.
Alice: If it was a proposition, you need to make it a bit clearer. Maybe open the top button or... four of that shirt?
Lucy: [Hiding under a seat] Help! Help!
Austin
: [Panics to help Lucy] What is it? Are you okay? [Tries to help her up]
Charlie: But what about me?! I have turned into a blithering idiot, leaving all of you with no one to guide you. [Wails] I don't remember how to use footnotes anymore!
Austin
: What are you wittering about Sargent? Have you also forgotten that I am the group leader! [Rolls his eyes. Gets down to see if he can help Lucy]
Dur: [Looks around bewildered] What has gotten in to all of you?!
Lucy: [To Austin] Keep away from me! Germs, everywhere! Everywhere!
Alice: [Reassuringly to Charlie] It's okay, the number is written under your show. That's how you know what size it is. [To Dur] It's crazy, it's like the thing we're most proud of has been taken away from us! [Thinks] Yet you seem the same!
Dur: Maybe it's because I feel nothing but shame! Oy, clown, care for a pantswich? [Tries to assault their foe with a slimy mess from his pants.... the pantswich that is...]
[DUR reaches into his pants and grabs the first piece of grotesque meat he finds there, throwing it hard at PENNY. To everyone's surprise, but most of all DUR's, it is a delicious looking steak. PENNY grabs it and bites into it.]
Penny: Mm! Delish!
Clint: You fiend!  You may make Harv's whiskers fall out, you can turn Alice's hair brown, you can make Chuck an idiot.  You can even make me be nice to the lawyer!  But eating Dur's pants-meat is beyond the pale!
Alice: It's not brown, Clint, it's some sort of grotesque mousey brown. I swear, I've never seen that colour before in my life!
Charlie: [Wails] Even Clint can tell my intelligence has dimin--er . . . becomed worser! [Buries her head in her hands in despair]
Austin
: [Bandages Maplin. Then Tries to help Lucy] Here, have some fresh latex gloves and a new packet of Little Prince Baby wipes.
Harvey: [To Lucy] While you're down there, can you see if any of my sidburn hairs have dropped to the floor?
Alice: Why did he even throw the pantswich at him? What an idiot! [Turns to Charlie] No offence!
Lucy: [Screams] Stop touching me!
Austin
: No one is touching you! [Looks for a way out] How do we get out of here?
Charlie: [Unhappily] How should I know?!
Dur: Hey, give me that steak back! [Goes after the clown in a jealous rage]
[DUR leaps on the CLOWN, only to discover that it has disappeared, and he has hit the ground hard.]
Alice: [To Charlie] Oh, stop being so sulky, at least your hair is a nice... well, as least you hair isn't mousy brown!
Clint: Austin, what should we do to escape this hell?
Austin
: [Searches for a way out] Try to escape this carriage!
Alice: Hey! Why are you asking him? Why don't you ask me? I have loads of good ideas! [Thinks for a moment] Toasted sandwich maker with an alarm clock -- that way you could wake up to toasted sandwiches!
[AUSTIN searches but the carriage seems well and truly secure.]
Charlie: [To Alice] It's a good way to get crumbs in your bed, anyway! [To Penny] Are you doing all of these [searches for a word in vain] not nice things to us?!
Alice: She's getting worse! That clown disappeared when Dur jumped on him!
That's true!
Austin
: [Sits quietly, holding Maplin carefully]
Alice: Hey! Have you all gone crazy? Come on, let's smash this place up!
Austin: Excellent idea, Alice, let's smash it to pieces [Gets out his dagger and tries to stab holes in the walls or doors] Come on Mr Scar, put that boot of yours to good use!
Charlie: [Sighing heavily] So, in addition to imagining clowns, I am also following Alice's orders?! [Glumly kicks at a window]
Austin
: No Charlie, it's not that bad, you are still just taking orders from me.
[The party lay into the furniture, windows and anything they can get their hands on. After a few minutes, they step back to observe their handiwork.]
Alice: What the hell? It looks the same!
It does!
Austin: Plan B anyone? [Searches around carefully] There must be some way out!
[The door carriage swings open.]
Clint: [Fawningly] Good job, Austin!
Charlie: [To Austin, nodding at Clint] Did you drug him?!
Alice: You think he'd have used a drug that would make him quieter! Come on, let's get out of here!
End of scene. Next one coming up on TUESDAY.
Hi folks, Slight change of plans -- we'll start TOMORROW, for sure! Regards, Conor ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 9:50 AM, Conor Ryan
wrote:
;; End of scene. Next one coming up on TUESDAY.
[Book XI, Act II, Scene IV. The Soft Room. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and LUCY are here, having just exited the carriage. The room is fairly large, with loads of brightly coloured bean bags and other super soft furnishings, as well as restful scenes of meadows and lakes on the walls. Soothing Dolphin noises waft through some unseen speaker system.]
Alice: [Looks around] What the hell is going on? Hey! My hair is back to normal!
Everyone feels their normal self again!
Harvey: [Rubs his pricklish ticklish sideburns] Ah, bless my boots, my mutton chops are back! [Gives a massive sigh of relief]
Charlie: [Overjoyed] And, more importantly, my intelligence is again as keen as ever! [Surveys the room skeptically] What is this place? It looks like the room of a simple-minded child!
Alice: [Throwing herself into a huge beanbag] What do you mean? This place is neat!
Austin: [Sighs in relief at seeing Maplin back to normal] We are in a padded cell. A rather upmarket one. [Looks around and searches for exits or things]
Alice: Not again! I mean... padded cell? What's that?
[AUSTIN searches around but there are no obvious exits, and even the entrance has been replaced by a wall with a luscious wallpaper.]
Austin: It is usually when the state looks after people with mental health or severe behavioural issues, however, in this case it looks like it is being used to torture us. [Goes to check Lucy] Are you okay? Is this room clean enough for you?
Harvey: [Bangs on the wall] I say, I say! What's going on here? Some people here need to use your restroom, what!
Charlie: This is an outrage! My mental acuity has returned, but I have no access to a world-class library! [Calls out] Why are we detained?! We demand legal representation!
Alice: If only we had a lawyer!
Lucy: I'm a lawyer, and quite an excellent one at that. [To Austin] I'm quite fine, thank you.
Austin
: I too am a lawyer. It seems that my colleagues still have some memory loss.
Lucy: I find one's colleagues often fail to appreciate one's legal career.
Alice: Oh please. I'm sure we'd remember something like memory loss!
Clint: After the trauma we've just experienced I should hope so!
Austin: [Agreeing with Lucy] Indeed. This rabble barely understands the basics of law, let alone the exceptional talent it takes to be a lawyer. I have a J.D., an L.L.M and an S.J.D., and I'll probably need all of those to keep this lot out of trouble.
Charlie: [Wryly] Well, it hasn't helped us from becoming trapped in this candy-colored nightmare, has it?!
Harvey: Did that man just say he's got an STD? [To Austin] You should probably get that looked at what! You don't want anything dropping off at an importune time!
Austin: [Looks towards the heavens] Sometime I wonder if the world is worth saving! [Sighs]
Alice: Don't worry Aus, the doctors will find a cure! [Goes to rub his arm reassuringly but pulls back] Er, there there.
Harvey: [Sits down on a soft foot stool] I must admit, good people, this has been a very strange day!
Austin: We will prepare our legal case against our kidnappers. [Starts some paperwork]
Charlie: [To Harvey] Yes, and getting stranger by the minute! But we must not get too comfortable. We must be alert and ready to escape. [Searches around the room, looking for anything to suggest an exit]
Alice: [Peers happy looking murals of sheep frolicking in the meadows] Hey, does that sheep look a bit like Clint? See? His eyes kind of follow you around... you know, like his looking at your chest and thinks you don't notice?
Charlie: [Goes to examine the pervy sheep more closely] It does not smell like Mr. Scar, in any case!
Austin
: [Pokes the percy sheep in the eyes] Take that, pervy lamb!
Dur: You do have to admit though, it will be pretty hard for HARMA to find us in here!
Alice: I don't know. It depends on whether or not HARMA are running this place!
[There's a sickening SQUELCH as AUSTIN pokes the eye.]
Austin
: [Recoils from the eye] That eye is disgustingly realistic! [Pokes the other eyes]
Clint: Hopefully it isn't realistic because it's someone's actual eye...
[AUSTIN pokes too slowly, and jabs what appears to be timber.]
Alice: Huh. I wonder why the first one sounded so squelchy?
Harvey: Hmm indeed, dear girl! [Gets up from the footstool and quickly jabs the same eye as Austin]
Charlie: [Sighs wistfully] All of this eye prodding puts me in mind of my early dates with Pestilence! Though, really, he was more of a gouger than a prodder.
Alice: Ah yes, I remember the first time someone gouged out eyes for me... actually, no I don't, because it never happened!
[HARVEY pokes at the other eye, but it is also solid now.]
Austin: [Makes some notes. Tries to carve out an eye with his dagger] Some one is spying on us! Yet another crime!
Charlie: [Alarmed] What if it is a scared fellow prisoner?! We must not be rash in our eye gougings!
Austin: If I make a new hole, you can look through and check.
Dur: [Stomach rumbling] And if you come away with a gouged eyeball, can I have it? 
Alice: If you can make a hole, why don't we just climb out of it?
Austin: It's an eye hole. Even your svelte figure would have difficulty in squeezing though an eye hole.
Harvey: [Gives the wall a mighty kick and listens for any movement outside]
Alice: Maybe he has something even more svelte he could stick into your hole, Aus?
[HARVEY kicks the wall and his foot bounces off.]
Lucy: I see know why the walls are padded.
Gone for the weekend!