All the invites for my annual Christmas Eve party have gone out... with the exception of one. There is a long-standing custom that we have a truce at Christmas and Hateman and his tribe are invited to Homeward for the Christmas festivities, but, unless they make good on the dodgy deals they perpetrated with the goods from Cheapman's, I have made it clear that there will be no invite this year.
Tonight is the night of my Christmas Musical Soiree. I had one last lesson with my music teacher to hone my skills on the Bass Viol. He is a little man called Gordono. His real name is Thomaso Elsicar Gordono. He's an Italian, and everyone calls him the Maestro. The worst of it is he has such a dreadful temper. He gets into a passion over his music, and tries to throw himself out of the window because he can't bear to hear things played badly. He is always accompanied by a small lion, called the Little Lion. No one knows his real name.
Although he is grown up, the lion is hardly larger than an Airedale dog, but he's fearfully tough and compact. He also has one curious power. He can make himself heavy beyond all reason. He does it in a moment. Try to get him out of a room. You might think it easy enough but the moment you try to move him you find your mistake. He doesn't resist you. He simply makes himself heavy, and though you'd hardly believe it, he must weigh about a ton!
He seems to like music for he listens attentively to the Maestro.
I know that I can be a bit heavy on the bow occasionally, and I may have hit one or two false notes - but the Maestro's reaction was ridiculous. He threw himself on the ground in a passion, grinding his teeth.
Then he got up and rushed to the window. He was about to throw himself out when he realised that he was on the ground floor.
He looked rather sheepish, and contented himself with screaming a bit. After that he cooled down and the lesson proceeded. I ask you - talk about temperamental!
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