Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Tap Runs Dry!



This morning, Alonzo S. Whitebeard paid a visit.

His stepfather is that awful man Whitebeard - his voice seems to have some kind of sickening effect, for the moment you hear it you feel rather ill, or at any rate seedy and depressed. The fact is that old Whitebeard is detested by everybody. Even the Badfort Crowd won't have anything to do with him.

Alonzo's not a bad chap, though, his only fault being the fact that he is tremendous miser.

He is so miserly that he can't even bring in food from his own store without pretending to strike a bargain with himself. He pretends that there is a shopman there, and offers eightpence for a ninepenny tin of salmon. He then pays the money into his own till and feels he has struck a good bargain.

He loves to look at things that are costly - the thought of large sums of money makes him feel quite dizzy.

"Oh, Sir, can I watch the money coming in from Goldfish Lodge?" he pleaded.

Goldfish Lodge is a gigantic tower at the far end of my castle, Homeward.

The rents are collected by a trusty agent called Oliver Hoot, and it may surprise you, but I have never seen the chap.

So vast are my holdings, I have never had the opportunity to meet him or inspect the tower.

Meanwhile the rents keep arriving, sent via tube by Hoot to my silver cupboard. Inside it is a strange device with a golden spout. From it, there continually drop shillings. They fall with a lovely jingling sound into a little wooden keg. When the keg is full, automatic machinery takes it away, and another comes up in its place, while the old one moves away to my treasury.

In a somewhat theatrical mood, I opened the door to the cupboard with a flourish!

Silence. Not a drop of shilling could be heard.

Alonzo burst into tears and the Old Monkey looked aghast.

"Oh, Sir!" he cried "What could have happened? has Hoot turned to a life of crime?"

"We shall have to investigate!" I declared "For it is clear that something is terribly amiss!"

"But Sir, you have always said that the way to Goldfish Lodge is hard and puzzling and we would have to wait for Hoot to take us there!" he replied.

"Nevertheless, we must find a way. We shall need A.B.Fox's investigative prowess, and ask Will Shudder to bring the A.B.C. Guide to Homeward from the library." I commanded.

This was clearly a time when an elephant of action was required - the fate of the world may depend on it. I had earmarked the rents from Goldfish Lodge for the G20 financial recovery plan. What will Gordon and Barack say when they discover the funds have gone astray?


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