Yesterday, the day gradually grew hotter, and a particularly dry wind blew in from the desert. Towards the East the sky began to look yellowish, and the sun became dimmer. The people of Tarboosh muttered uneasily and shut themselves in their homes. The wind became stronger, and away over the desert a great wall of flying dust and blown sand appeared.
On to the waterfront raced the gigantic dust devil, a great spinning pillar of dust, sand and litter rising high into the air.
It was a sandstorm. The force of the wind was immense and the Badfort Crowd, with their faces wrapped in cloths, battled to tie the village to the shore with great mooring-ropes. But they drew taut as bowstrings, snapped, and flew back like elastic bands.
Soon a foaming stretch of sea began to open between the shore and the Strand Quay.
The coast of Africa drew farther and farther away.
We were adrift, again.
This has created a major problem for Beaver. For, a good percentage of the inhabitants of the village did not make it back to the village before the storm hit. Beaver, himself, had been luxuriating in a Turkish Bath at the time and only got home in the nick of time - jumping the yawning gap between the village and the beach dressed only in a small bathing towel that scarcely covered his modesty. I believe a number of papparazi pictures of him (with certain areas blacked out) can be seen in a publication called 'Heat' magazine.
Beaver announced that he would send out boats to bring them back to the village. But to his chagrin they returned empty. It seems that the villagers have taken to the climate and the laid back lifestyle of Tarboosh and have no desire to return.
Beaver decided to appear in another of his 'fireside chats" on the television this morning.
"People of Badsea, as you know our population is now somewhat depleted. This has created a number of fiscal problems - although the Casino is still bringing in a healthy revenue from tourists, takings are down. Therefore, although to date no one in Badsea has had to pay tax - apart from Uncle, I am forced to introduce Income Tax at a rate of 45%. But do not worry, this will only apply to the very wealthy - the money will be redistributed to the poor and needy!"
Of course, the problem is that everyone on Badsea is now very wealthy. Their incomes have soared from office rentals to offshore companies and selling geegaws to tourists. The villagers are not happy. They suspect that the poor and needy that Beaver refers to may, in fact, be the Badfort Crowd.
Bad news from Homeward, too.
My brother informs me that my Treasury is sorely depleted. The economic misfortunes around the world are now being felt at Homeward. The dwarfs are no longer spending money on wild extravagances such as steam radios and mutton.
I have decided to kick-start the economy by reducing rents from a farthing a week to a halfpenny a month.