Thursday, July 26, 2007

In Search of The Spotted Buffoon

Following Herr Tymnus' most informative post on the matter of louche louts and boorish buffoons, I had my butler Horrocks warm the Bentley, pack my net, a bottle of ether, several rounds of cucumber sandwiches, the family Bible, a couple of clean handkerchiefs, some boiled sweets, a bottle or six of ginger beer, my monocle, our passports (in case of emergency), several large sticking plasters, a crate of tinned herrings, four loaves of bread, a wheel of cheese, and we hove off into the woods in search of the mythical Grotto of Decadence.

After several minutes of tedious trekking, and abysmal alliteration, we happened upon a small clearing. There, reclining in their natural state of insolence, we discovered a Brace of Blighters infesting a mossy rock and a low fence.

I whipped out my Box Brownie and immediately snapped off a couple of prime shots. Unfortunately I'd left my Fairy Rifle at home (it was being cleaned by the obliging elves next door) and I was armed only with said ether, a net, and my faithful camera.

The Buffoons at Rest & Play

The Buffoons seemed unperturbed by our abrupt intrusion into their post-prandial smoke-and-lies hour, and instead greeted us warmly (if not with a measure of condescension) and apologised for their rough uniforms. The assured me that the uniforms were merely to enable them to more effectively blend with the forest hues ("and cries?" I quipped - to no avail).

Suddenly a chill wind blew through the clearing, and with a demonic squeal the Buffoons turned-tail and scampered away through the undergrowth, a faint cry of "Tiffin! Tiffin!" echoing through the darkening forest.

Horrocks and I stared at each other in rank disbelief. Could we believe our eyes? Had we truly encountered that which we though we had? As we turned tail for the Bentley - and home! - I espied, snagged on a low-hanging branch, this hankerchief:

Evidence? Or Merely My Butler's Carelessness?

Hark! I cried. Horrocks stopped in his tracks. I stooped and peered at the thing through my monocle. Most peculiar! I tapped at it with the butt of my cane. It didn't crumble to dust. I leant in further and smelled it. Indeed! The unmistakable hint of lavender-water. The Buffoons! Even in forest disguise they couldn't entirely eschew the comforts of home. I snagged the thing with my cane and held it aloft for Horrocks to take. It was then that I noticed the monogram. The letter "H". Horrocks begins with an "H" I thought (spelling prowess runs in the Nottlesby line, y'see. Great Grandfather Enoch Walter Disciplinarian Nottlesby was editor of the Stern Christian Review - Denouce Me Not Thrice, Ye Scoundrel). Could this merely be an oversight on my butler's behalf? A bit of lacy litter cast to the ground in to hopes of freeing his pockets of unnecessary ballast which would serve to impede his flight? Could my man be that much of a fop (or indeed dandy) - to even consider carrying a lacy hankie in the first instance?

I raised an eyebrow in silent cross examination.

Horrocks met my glare with his own steely reserve. He looked into my eyes. Then down at the hankie, then into my eyes again. He shook his head. I will have to trust him. It isn't his.

I nodded at the heinous hankie and Horrocks immediately popped it into a paper bag marked Hunting Souvenirs. It's best to always keep track of these things.

Motoring home, I smoked my pipe pensively. Horrocks did not take his eyes from the road. Was this due to safety? or, worse, raging guilt? How would I ever know? ...

{to be continued}


Blogger TimT said...

By Jove, Nottlesby, this is indeed as devilish a mystery as I've ever encountered! I am awaiting the conclusion of this on the edge of my seat, with baited breath, with hands clasped and head spinning, and a cache of exclamation marks dancing before my very eyes!!!! There has got to be a rational solution to all this - but what?

Thursday, 26 July 2007 19:20:00 GMT+10  
Blogger alexis said...

Egad, the suspense is killing me. Hurry up, narrative.

Thursday, 26 July 2007 21:01:00 GMT+10  
Blogger Cracklypork said...

I'm sorry, but I half-expected a homoerotic scandal.

Monday, 30 July 2007 12:00:00 GMT+10  
Blogger Kathryn said...


Love you lots and hope you enjoyed your day.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007 16:09:00 GMT+10  
Blogger Miss Ember said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, 4 August 2007 13:20:00 GMT+10  
Blogger Miss Ember said...

Hairy blighters, had a wee run-in with a cyber gremlin there!

What I meant to say was ... golly, how thrilling! I'm hankering away for the next instalment of handkerchief mischief and buffoonery!

Actually, could I put in a request for a boarding school reminiscence? Did you ever play tricks on the Latin master or drink too much ginger beer, downed with sardines, at the midnight feast so that you were unforgivably sick all over Matron next day?

By the way, your belated birthday package is winging its way to you by express kamikaze pigeon (remember to duck when you hear the whizz-bang!)

Saturday, 4 August 2007 13:28:00 GMT+10  
Blogger nailpolishblues said...

What? Still waiting?

Wednesday, 15 August 2007 23:16:00 GMT+10  
Blogger TimT said...

Farthings and fetlocks, Nottlesby! We, the gathered Nottlesbean Collective are exploding with anticipation! We don't much mind what romps you've been on, old fellow, update!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007 13:13:00 GMT+10  
Blogger Maria said...

Still Waiting, Nottlesby! You certainly are a chap fior keeping your readers in suspense, aren't you sir!?

Friday, 4 January 2008 16:20:00 GMT+11  
Anonymous Lacey said...

There was a fantastical urge to wrench out your drawer and rifle through your immaculately folded handkerchiefs, hurling them in bunches at the ceiling and watching them fall slowly to lie in a crinkled choppy sea of blue and grey upon your bedspread.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008 10:25:00 GMT+11  
Blogger St John Nottlesby said...

Apologies all, I have indeed been quite slack. The Next Thrilling Instalment shall come fortwith.

Well, it shall follow just as soon as I have safeguarded my supply of the aforesaid immaculately folded hankies (one of which a gentleman should never leave home without).


Friday, 1 February 2008 19:31:00 GMT+11  

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