My joy at returning to the moon was unconfined; I started the speech, I had prepared, for the welcoming committee of dwarfs on Homeward Moonbase..
“Gratification,” I said, “is a poor word to express my feelings at this moment. I am afloat on a sea of foaming joy and delight! For the time being, I will say little, but on many a long moon evening I shall expound to you with suitable words my feelings at this extraordinary event !... for seldom in the history of elephants…”
“Oi…what about the workers!” interrupted a rather insalubrious dwarf who was clearly somewhat unstable on his feet. The Old Monkey was right – they had clearly been partaking of that noxious brew Black Tom. How had they got hold of that stuff on the moon?
“I have, of course, brought gifts for you all.” I attempted to shout above the general hubbub, “Hams, Koolvat, bananas, and a bag of specially minted gold commemorative coins for each and everyone one of you!”
At this there was a loud cheer and a chorus of “for he’s a jolly good elephant”
I was most gratified, but concerned to find all the dwarfs in such an inebriated state.
I soon had an explanation – Cloutman strong-armed his way through the crowd holding aloft – Hitmouse!
It turns out that he failed to rendezvous the escape pod with Beaver’s rocket and had crash-landed on the moon. Cloutman had discovered him plotting with two mischievous dwarfs. Apparently, they had built an illicit still on the Moonbase and had been brewing up large quantities of Black Tom for Beaver Hateman.
Due to a mix up in the pipework the evil brew had found its way into the base’s water supply.
Hitmouse was unrepentant – “You wait till Beaver gets here – he’s gonna be furious if you touch our Black Tom!”
“I have no intention of allowing that foul liquor to remain on the moon – I shall confiscate the lot !” I replied.