Things seem to be heating up for our heroine.
Previously the Queen was not happy. No sirree. None too happy at all. And when the Queen is not happy, the Prince of Wales is not happy. When the Prince of Wales is not happy, the Prime Minister is not happy. And when the Prime Minister is not happy, well, you get my drift.
The steamer to Egypt was old and decrepit, though it had been a ship of the line in its heyday. That was a long heyday ago, at least half a century. One wonders why Lady Marye booked passage on a boat named S. S. Twit. It was the only ship available that would get her out of Istanbul fast. After her experiences with Dilly and the Brittish Ambassador, that seemed best.
As the ship twittered along, sailing through the Dardenelles and past Cyprus, it squeaked noisily. The squeak was so loud that Lady P. P. became concerned. She hemmed and hawed and harrumphed until finally Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe bucked up her courage and blurted out to the captain, Captain Pedro Emmanuel Montoya Henandez Gabriel Garcia de Toledo San Cristobel y Mendoza Cantabria, “Won’t the ship sink?”
“Dis old tub, she eez quite seaworthy, Señora,” Captain Pedro Emmanuel said, winked and kissed her gloved hand like the old-world gentleman he was. He could have called her the Gloved One, but he didn’t.
She only wore one diamond studded white glove. The other hand, her left, was free of encumbrances. In fact, she had freed herself from a variety of encumbrances, such as her corset. If an emergency showed its face, she wanted to be prepared. The best preparation she could think of was to be decorseted. It was the American thing to do.
Then Captain Pedro Emmanuel offered, “Perhaps the Señora will join the captain in the Captain’s Bed. It is safe there. It will float if the ship sinks. I have tested it myself.”
“Please this lady is a lady,” the Señora Wimpleseed-Prissypott harrumphed. “And I am not that kind of lady. I have my pride.”
“I know, Señora, this I know,” Captain Pedro Emmanuel said. “One can see that by the way your bosoms heave and ho in my presence. Only a lady’s bosoms heave and ho like that. I have experience in the ladyship department. Señora should understand, it is a quite an honor to be invited to the Captain’s Bed.”
“This ladyship has been honored again and again,” her ladyship said. “I have the medals to prove it. Despite my ample pulchritude, my breasts cannot hold all those medals. Something has to give and give soon.”
“Ah, but what magnificent bosoms they are,” Captain Pedro Emmanuel said. “They are very ladylike.”
“I think I will pass on your kind offer today,” her ladyship with her lady-like bosoms said. “But if the offer is still open, I may take you up on it tomorrow. Especially if this is old tub hits an iceberg.”
“Señora, there are no icebergs,” Captain Pedro Emmanuel said, “in the Mediterranean. Nada. Not one.”
“Well, one never knows,” she said. “I’ve seen Gibraltar and that Rock is one big iceberg.”
While dining in the ship’s dining room that night, her ladyship encountered the famous English oilman and troubleshooter, Smythie Smathers. He was returning to Nigeria to explore the oil fields. Recently the troubleshooter had knocked about Africa, knick-knack-patty-whacking-giving-a-dog-a-bone and knocking the knackers in the head to get oil. And Nigeria was the place all that knocking had led him. He also had the knack to knock a lady’s knickers down nattily well. And here was a lady on-board.
Standing on deck, he looked out over the water and into the night, lit a fag, and offered her ladyship, our heroine, a smoke. The two discussed their precarious position aboard the steamer and instantly liked each other. They conversed on this and that and the other things.
Then he offered the following observation, “We’re two lonely hearts at here at sea, facing God-knows-what iceberg over the horizon. We should have some jolly good fun. It may very well be our last chance. I can see that you are a lady, and I assure you that I am a gentleman of the first degree. I have a black belt in gentlemanship. We should take advantage of such an opportunity as this. After all, we are missionaries taking our gospel of progress to the colonials.”
“Those are the very words that Moms said to me to convince me to go off to Merry Olde England. She said it was time to return all that English goodwill we in the colonies had received and seed our dear cousins across the pond. She thought I should do missionary work and sprinkle the Motherland with the blood of New Money. Besides I was getting a title out of the deal.”
“Would you care to join me in my chambers to enjoy a bit of the whimsy?” Smythie Smathers leaned over and kissed her on her cherry-lipsticked lips. It was the thing to do, and he was always one for the thing to do. That was how he had risen so far in his company, the Royal Beeswax and Petroleum Jelly Corporation of East Potterdom.
“I suppose we do have to rehearse our missionary work,” her ladyship sighed. “And what better place than a gentleman’s chambers.”
“Beside your bosoms look as if they are in need of the Smythie Smathers treatment.”
“You do know the Missionary Position on things?” she looked up into his eyes and quizzed. “I am one for moving forward. No coming in through the backdoor for me. The natives will respect our efforts only if we are upfront with them.”
“I agree,” Smythie Smathers said as he escorted her ladyship toward the stairs to below deck. “That is the sort of terpsichory the Greeks and the Frogs use, sneaking up from behind. We Brits, like you Americans, prefer the forward charge strategy.” The oilman opened the door to his cabin.
“I must admit I do need experience,” she said as she allowed him to guide her toward his oilman-sized bed. “I am so new at being a missionary.” She gazed down at the bulge in his pants. “You look like you will be a very good teacher. You don’t dilly dally around, do you?”
He sat her down on the side of his bed, and sat himself down beside her.
“I have never dillied or dallied in my entire professional career. It isn’t done in the fields I explore. It takes a lot of drilling before there’s a real gusher.”
She felt his bulge. “Feels like we may get a real gusher tonight.”
“I would say that it is very likely,” he said, touching her heaving and hoing bosoms. “It certainly feels as if the geology is in favor of a gusher.”
She stood and dropped her dress. It rushed to the floor in a hurry
“My God, your ladyship, how glorious,” he said. “I have been around the world many times over. Those are definitely two of the wonders of the known world.”
“Remember. No dilly dallying.”
In the throes of his passion, he cried, “I think I have struck oil.”
“The hell you have,” she screamed. “Drill deeper. Deeper, damn it.”
“But I’ve got a real gusher coming.”
“How can you call yourself an oil man if you leave a well only half-drilled?” She withdrew from the situation, rolled over on her side and fell asleep, disappointed and bored and thinking, “One of these days, damn it, I am going to have to find myself a real man. One with lots of get-up-and-go who’s get-up-and-go has not got-up-and-gone.”
The next morning he was gone. Besides that, Smythie Smathers was not in the bed beside her.
“Where the hell is he?” she said. “He must be costing his company a fortune, leaving the wells half-drilled. Some oil man.”
Her ladyship was famished. She was hungry enough to eat a horse. Not a real horse. She liked horses. She would never have eaten one.
She dressed and headed back to her cabin for a change of fashion and a new hat. She could not go out in last night’s leftovers. She needed a freshover before meeting her public.
Her ladyship walked from her stateroom to the dining room of the ship. Lo and behold, who was there? Smythie Smathers and he was feeding upon Crepe Suzette, a lovely young French tart who might have put the ooo-la-lahs in ooo-la-lah.
Seeing the young French woman on Smythie’s lap, Lady P. P. slapped the juice out of the smugness of his orange of a face. “So? You have a little French tart for breakfast, do you? All because I wouldn’t allow you to bring your reinforcements from behind the lines. I hope her boorishly flat bosoms are a tasty little treat for you because you shall never ever never dine with me again. I thought you were hungry last night but all you wanted was a little snack. You were saving up for the main course. All you want is sugar and no substance. That’s what tarts are for.”
She slapped his right-smug face again. Then a third time. She was angry and her anger was becoming angry. Before she could slap the juice completely out of him, he stopped her hand.
“Please. Don’t make a scene, old girl,” Smythie said in his best Smatherss manner. And he said the words quietly.
“I’m making a scene?” she said, grabbing her hand out of his. “I’m making a scene. I’ll show you a scene.”
She picked a sharp knife off the table and raised it over her head.
Next Week. Other Parts of the Jungle to explore.