A visit to Lion Tower would not be complete without a shopping expedition to Gleamhound's Store.
Thomas Clatworthy Spencer Libertas Sweetwater Clanjohn Brewage Templetonjoyce Gleamhound is nearly always called 'the Old Man' - it is a lot easier on the tongue.
With his assistant, Eva, he makes medicines for a living. They live at the top of Homeward Tower, where he has a laboratory, but his store is located at Lion Tower. It is easy to find because it has a huge neon sign spelling out the word 'Gleamhound'.
We stood and read the notice outside:
PURVEYOR OF DRUGS. PROPRIETOR OF GLEAMHOUND'S HEADACHE MIXTURE, GLEAMHOUND'S HEADACHE MIXTURE, GLEAMHOUND'S HEADACHE PRODUCER (FOR ENEMIES), GLEAMHOUND'S HAIR REMOVER, GLEAMHOUND'S FAT REDUCER, GLEAMHOUND'S FATTENING MIXTURE FOR THE THIN, GLEAMHOUND'S STOMACH JOY, ETC.ETC.
Mr Gleamhound came out to meet us. He is perfectly bald, and wears immensely strong glasses over his inflamed eyes. He has been using his own hair restorer and eye salve for years.
For you see there is one distinct problem with all his products. They are all very good, but they act the wrong way. For instance, his headache Mixture gives you a frightful headache, his Jumbo Bunion Destroyer is well calculated to rouse bunions on a perfectly healthy foot. His Jacob's Eye Salve can put your eyes out for weeks, whereas his Punishment Eyesight Irritant (for enemies) will often cure people who have had to wear glasses for years.
No one wants to hurt the Old Man's feelings, though, so they tend to keep quiet about this fact. After all, as long as one knows the idiosyncrasies of his concoctions there is nothing better.
I asked the Old Man how he was getting on."Oh very well,very well indeed! After three thousand three hundred and seventy experiments, I have at last succeeded in perfecting a Hate Potion that is satisfactory. It has been selling like hot cakes! I must admit its sales have rather taken me by surprise - with Valentine's Day coming up one would assume that everyone would want my Love Potion - but surprisingly that has not been the case?" he replied.
I winked at the Old Monkey "Tell me Old Man, how does this Hate Potion work and what is it designed for?" I asked.
"Well," answered Gleamhound "it is very useful for getting rid of bores and sycophants. One drop of this potion and they can't stand you anymore - they soon go away then."
I tactfully replied "Well, that's sounds very useful, I have more than my fair share of fawning flatterers to put up with - but I think I'll take a bottle of the Love potion. One does not want to be heartless at this time of year."
"I must admit I don't have a lot of the Hate Potion left," said Gleamhound "I sold a dozen bottles to a spectral figure this morning - tried to interest him in my potion for making ghosts more apparent. Thought it would help him make more friends - he was not a very attractive person and his shabby clothing did not help. But he told me to mind my own business."
The Old Monkey piped up "I think it might be advisable to buy some of the Hate Potion, Sir, that personage sounds very like our old enemy Hootman...I suggest we check up on the incarcerated Badfort Crowd as soon as possible."
I heartily agreed - it seems some sort of skulduggery is afoot.