Saturday, 23 February 2008

The Pleasure Palace

We decided to continue our bus tour of Homeward with an expedition to my Pleasure Palace.

The Pleasure Palace was formally known as Montague Tower.

Montague Tower for a long time had been a toilsome and disappointing place - visitors hoping to visit the museum there were usually thwarted by the fiendishly complex and mysterious route required to get there. It was the most maddening, baffling place in my domain. This suited the curator, Septimus Brigg, because he did not really like visitors. In truth he is a somewhat lazy and officious individual and enjoyed laughing at prospective visitors attempts to find the entrance. It became known as the Closed Gallery for obvious reasons.

Our first visit was a dull affair. Although the museum consists of twenty four floors of artifacts, Septimus had only managed to find out how to get to three of them. The first floor consisted of nothing but treacle bowls through the ages; the second contained a collection of Flemish cooking stoves, all the same size; and on the third, nothing but flamingo bird-baths.

Luckily, my detective A.B.Fox discovered that whilst the staircase only serviced the first three floors there was in fact a lift that runs to all the floors. The exhibits on the these were far more interesting than the boring items on the first three floors.

There are a wizard's dressing gown, a metal crusher for hard pies, a toffee candlestick, a Chinese rattle, a donkey's tooth mounted in silver, a thumb jug, a tin of burglar's toothpaste, an elk skinner, an antique lawnmower, and so on, and on.

Enough fascinating items for people to make many visits of discovery.

Most exciting of all, however, is the fact that on the roof is a steel platform from which a large steel bucket can be used to ascend from and descend to the ground.

I decided to re-open Montague Tower as a Pleasure Palace. After looking at the endless things of interest on all the floors visitors are then able to go on the roof, look out and see splendid views of Homeward and the countryside, and then take an exciting ride down in the bucket!

The aerial lift soon became the great attraction.

As usual, Septimus was complaining about how noisy the visitors were being. "They don't show enough reverence for these great historical artifacts," he moaned "the children are always running about and laughing!"

I had to remind him that I had renamed the place The Pleasure Palace for a reason - the idea was that people came here to enjoy themselves!

We decided to have a spot of lunch at the new eating-house I had established for visitors and were just tucking into some wholesome fare when A.B.Fox came up to me and said quietly: "I have very bad news for you, sir. I am afraid all the members of the Badfort Crowd are here, sir. They are disguised in various ways with false beards and wigs, but I've spotted them."

What are they up to now?....

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