Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Malley's Tea-Room

We decided to take a break from our tour and have a slap up tea at Malley's Tea Room. The decorations are in first-class taste. The Tea-room is one vast room painted red and decorated with many charming statues of myself. One shows me opening the dwarf's drinking fountains, another on my traction engine and a third presenting a golden lamp to the King of the Badgers. One might say they are uplifting. Mister Malley is clearly a cognoscenti of the arts. The best thing of all about Malleys, though, is that his teas are free - paid for by an endowment fund.

There had been a problem, at one point, when he had employed a gorilla called Septimus who had forced customers to hand over large tips. It had turned out, however, that this was only because Beaver Hateman had been masquerading as my rentman and conning him out of large sums of money. I put a stop to this and decided to fund the staff wages so that the meals supplied could be more substantial.

As we entered, a singing group of four wolves were crooning - accompanying themselves on tins and plates.

"Sometimes I'm very short of grub;
My stomach will not rally;
My pocket book is empty - quite;
Then I remember Malley.

"I walk into his tea-room vast,
Sit down and order lunch;
They tell me, 'You just wait a bit
And freely you shall munch!'

"Meat-pies and cakes come tumbling down;
There is no bill or tally.
They never say: 'You've got to pay!'
They say, 'It's all on Malley!'"

At this point a raucous voice joined in...

"But don't expect to fill your belly.
Watch all the buns go down that trunk,
Cos I can spy that fat nelly!
If it ain't that tyrant Unc!"

There was a gasp of shock from the patrons but I was not surprised to see Beaver, with his feet up, stuffing himself and swigging from a jar of Black Tom.

Malley, who is a little man, absurdly fat, with large hands and feet, and a very small face garnished with a blackberry-bush of a moustache, came storming out of the kitchen.

"Who dares to vilify our benefactor !" he demanded. "I do - what you gonna do...make me pay the bill and leave...ha..ha...ha...well there ain't no bill and I ain't going anywhere..so what you gonna do about it?" laughed Beaver.

A look of recognition dawned over Malley's face. "Why it is you... the scoundrel who robbed me on the pretence of collecting rent!...Septimus!" he shouted.

At this point the huge gorilla armed with a heavy wooden club came out of the kitchen and towered over Beaver...who suddenly looked rather shaken. He pointed at me. "Wait a minute...wait a minute...you mean you are happy to let fatso eat everything in the place and you want to throw me out?" he demanded.

"No I not throw you out," grunted Septimus "I got job for you!". Then he dragged Beaver off towards the kitchen and stood over him whilst he was forced to wash up a huge mound of dirty dishes.

After the trouble he has given us so far, on this trip, I cannot say that I had any sympathy for the ruffian.


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