Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 13: Disappointment

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.

 

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 11: Reader Alert, Sex Scene Coming Up

In which our heroine explores the city of Istanbul.

Previously Mata Hari escaped, the House of Lords debated, and Quills went for a swim.

Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott stepped off the Orient Express. She was in Istanbul, Constantinople and Byzantium all rolled into one. After checking in at a hotel, she went directly to the British Embassy to report the Mata Hari incident. After telling her harrowing tale to the British ambassador, she concluded, “I wanted you to know that there are spies out there. And they want to hurt people. People like me.”

“Duly noted.” The ambassador scribbled something on a notepad on his very large desk in his very large ambassador’s office. Looking down upon him was Queen Victoria, Empress of India with her dour, mourning look. Her husband, Albert, had been dead for quite some time, and he was still dead. She would never smile again.

The white-haired ambassador with his white mustache straightened his Rule Britannia tie. Then he rose from his desk and walked over to her ladyship. He took her by the hand and escorted her out of his office. After all, it was getting late in the morning and he needed a nap. He hadn’t had this many visitors in weeks.

In every embassy no matter the country, there is an officer, or should we say a clerk, whose primary responsibility is to handle those citizens the ambassador thinks a bother. Some are called Mission Executive Secretary, some are the Ambassador’s Assistant, some are the Secretary in Charge of Propriety. Whatever the position is called, many foreign service people begin their careers with this position. They are the ambitious ones, the fawners who will use it as a springboard to more lucrative responsibilities. On this springboard, future secretaries of state and foreign ministers, even a Prime Ministers or two, have been born. Others end their careers in this position.

Nyles Chowder Rucket of the Sprucket Ruckets, the Ambassador’s Gofer, was the latter. He had a small desk in a very small space outside the ambassador’s office. It was a closet. The Ambassador gently pushed her ladyship over to Nyles’ closet and opened the door.

“What did you say was the nature of your trip to Istanbul?” the Ambassador asked, his hand pushing our heroine inside the closet. “Here. You can tell my assistant.” He glanced over at the bureaucraft with gopheresque face and asked, “What was your name?”

Nyles burrowed out of the ton of paperwork on his desk and popped his head out of the hole he created and went to say his name.

He was cut off by the Ambassador, who said to no one in particular, “I have so many employees in the embassy I can never remember their names. Anyway, he is very capable. After all, he is British. You can tell him your business in Istanbul. Or is it Constantinople?Oh, well, never mind. I have some very urgent matters to attend. The Prime Minister and the Queen, you know.”

He closed the closet door and returned to the nap in his office.

The near-blind Nyles stood and reached across his desk. Lady P. P. grabbed his hand to avoid him the embarrassment of missing hers.

“Nyles Chowder-Rucket at you service, Madame.” He returned to his chair. ”What is the nature of your visit? Perhaps I may help.”

“First, there was this…,” our heroine said, almost telling him of the Mata Hari incident. Then she stopped herself. She was not up to another brush off. “Oh, never mind. I am here to do some travel journalism. Seeing the sights and writing them up for the newspapers back home. So, the homefolks may live vicariously through my adventures.”

“Well, I am afraid I am no good at sights.” Nyles straightened his glasses. In the best of days, everything was a blur, and this was not a day that had been going well for him. He could barely see his nose, much less the woman before him. She could’ve stood there a la Godiva and she wouldn’t have gotten a stir from the small man behind the very small desk in the very small closet. “But if I can be of any other service, please feel free. I am at your disposal.”

“Perhaps you can, my dear Rucket,” she said. “Give poor little moi the benefit of your advice on some of the high points of the city not to miss.”

“Of course, Madame,” Chowder-Rucket said. He began a description of the city that droned on and on and on, and then on some more.

After three minutes of this tedium that seemed like three hours, our heroine was ready to leave the bureaucrat’s cupboard screaming.
She interrupted his monotone voice. “Thanks for the tour, my good fellow,” she said. “Think I’m getting the hang of the city.”

She shook his hand and came out of the closet. Then it was off to her hotel. She dusted herself off and donned a new attire and a new hat. She had heard from Two Ems that Istanbul’s bazaars were the place to go.

“And always wear a new hat,” Two-Ems finished her advice. “A lady is never seen without a new hat.” It was advice Lady P. P. took to heart. She had a hat case filled with hats for every occasion. She opened the case and pulled out her bazaar-shopping hat, fitted it on her pretty head and tied it on with a perfect bow. “There,” she said, admiring herself in the mirror. “I feel better already.”

On her way to the Le Grand Bazaar, she took a hankering for lunch. She came to a small brasserie named the Big Salami. She entered and found a table. Lo and behold, behold and lo, the waiter before her was Dilly O’Jones.

“Well, ain’t that a how-do-you-do and a skip-ta-ma-loo-my-darling,” she said when she gazed upon his muscles flexing before her. It was enough to give a girl the blushes. So she blushed, then continued, “If it ain’t a small world. Dilly, it’s me.”

Dilly leaned across the table and kissed her ever so succulent lips, then said, “I missed you a bunch, hon. Would you care to bonk?”

She hesitated. After all, she had already disappointed one man, her former husband. Doubt and confusion gripped her deeply. What if she wasn’t a real woman? She held back.

“An English lady does not bonk,” Marye spoke with a slightly affected English accent. But the hair on his chest showing through his open shirt and the bulge in his pants were simply irresistible. Perhaps … perhaps. Well maybe. Maybe Dilly was the one man who could save her from a life of virginity. After all, he was a red-blooded American male, not a stiff-upper-lipped British lord. Yes, he would save her from a life of spinsterhood and virginity. “Oh, what the hell,” she said.

Dilly handed his order pad over to the gray-haired waitress at the next table. He retired to the room above the eatery with his darling, ready for some daring do. There in his bedroom she undressed. Off came her dress and her hoop skirt, then, with Dilly’s help, her corset. Onto the floor fell her chemise. Her breasts were de-breasted. And her holy grail was unveiled.

“What nice melons you have, baby,” Dilly complimented.

“Why, thank you, dear,” she said, a smile filling her face as she stood before her fellow Brooklynite in her all-togethers.

Then Dilly fainted, overcome by her seductiveness.

“I never knew he was that kind of guy,” she said out loud, stunned at the turn of events. “The first sight of my bosoms and he’s out. What a mistake this was.”

He shook himself awake. “No, no. It wasn’t you. I mean, it was you. I was overcome by your … I mean, you. Baby, please stay. I want you, and you want me. You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted. Look at you. You’re amazing.”

She looked at herself in the mirror. “Yes, you’re right. I am amazing.”

His “please stay” turned into his feeding at the trough of love and the big fellow planted one for his gipper.

After an afternoon of foreplay, afterplay and in the middle-of-it-all play, each of the two were lost in their own thoughts. Dilly lit a cigar and misquoted Kipling, “A Cuban is a Cuban, but a woman, now that’s smoking.”

“Are you saying that I am a woman?” She didn’t feel like a woman. The earth had not moved. The stars had not twinkled. And where were those fireworks Two-Ems had promised? What a letdown this sex business had been. Dilly just had not been up to the dallyinng she expected.

He blew a smoke ring through another smoke ring. “Did you ever doubt it?”

Later that afternoon the two kissed goodbye. Dilly went back to his brasserie; Marye made a quick exit stage left for her streets of adventure. She had decided that the back of a motorbyke wasn’t much of a ride. Much later, much much later, our heroine would remember the time she bonked in Turkey. Then there would be an enormous smile on her face, glad she escaped the pickle a life with Dilly O’Jones would have put her in. But not that evening.

Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe, formerly Mary-Mary Smith of Brooklyn Heights, New York, decided Istanbul was not her cup of Yorkshire Gold after all. She went to the pier, looking for a slow boat to China. Instead she took the first boat out of town and went on the ship bound for Egypt, the Pyramids and all points beyond.

“Perhaps I will change my name to Jayne and find Mister Tarzan,” she mused thoughtfully. “I could really use an ape man right about now. Dill’s fainting about did it for me.”

Next Week: The Queen makes an appearance.

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 10: A spy by any other name is still a spy

Previously our heroine met three ghosts at Haggismarshe. They convinced her that she should do some travelling. After all, she could afford it.

To prepare for her journey, Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott needed a wardrobe. She was off to London and shopping. She outfitted herself in the best that Bond Street had to offer for the well-dressed lady who wants to gadabout. And, as we all know, no gadabout would be a gadabout without gadabout hats. So she filled seven hat carriers. Each carrier held six hats.

Lady P. P., as she was now affectionately referred to by the servants of Haggismarshe, and by the press, donned her best pink pantaloons, corset and hooped skirt, her bright white dress and her pithy pith helmet and her dainty black boots. She bid her household fare-thee-well. Then she had Leavers leave her at the docks. Her ship passed the White Cliffs of Dover and landed in France. On to Paris she went, arriving in time to catch the Orient Express.

The train made its way through France and toward Istanbul. Lady P. P. noticed a mysterious woman dressed to the tens and more across from her. The woman was exquisitely embroidered into an outlandishly revealing dress. She had accoutrements of jewelry decorating her body in various and sundry places.

And, yes, dear reader, she was the woman in black, standing outside the Abbey during the wedding in Chapter Four. The very same woman arrived too late to marry Lord Dunnie which was her Plan A. Her Plan B to have an affair with the Old Cootster fell through as well. He went and died. In the meantime, she had come up with a Plan C. Hook up with Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott, get in her good graces, and use her to do dastardly deeds. As they used to say, “All’s fair in love and war and getting your own way.”

“May I, how you say, introduce myself?” the young woman asked in a deep Franco-German accent with a tinge of Polish-Italian to it. “My name eez Mata Hari.”

“Oh, just call me Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe,” our heroine returned. She was not happy with the familiarity of the other woman.

“That eez such a looonnnng name to call someone of your obvious common background, don’t you think?”

“That’s what I am called. I’ve read that you are a spy. Is that true?”

“I spy, Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe. But eet eez not as eef I could help myself. I do eet for love.”

“I’ve always wanted to ‘do it’ for love,” Marye said. “But I seldom find the opportunity. Most of the men I know are regular prissypotts. There was one but that’s been a long time gone. Now I am on my own and gadaboutting ‘round the world. Mostly I find myself dilly-dallying about like some dolly on the Chattanooga Choo Choo.”

“The Chattahooga Shoe Shoe? I love ze shoes. Where can I find a pair of those? Hope zhey are more comfortable than the ones on my feets. My feets eez killing me.”

“You will find them in Chattanooga.”

“Where this Chattahooga?”

Before Marye could respond, Mata Hari suddenly appeared distracted by a noise from outside the compartment. “Pardon. Excusez moi.” She was on her feet lickety-split and out the cabin door and heading down the hall.

“That was so strange,” Lady P. P. said to herself. “Such a delightful woman. I mean, for a spy. Just as I was getting ready to let her call me Marye, she up and ups out of here.”

Two gendarmes appeared at the door.

“Madam?” the one with the mustache said.

“Yes?” Marye pulled out her compact and began to powder her nose.

“Have you, by some way, zeen a woman dressed elegantly with jewelry perched all hover her body? She eez Mata Hari, the notorious spy. Have you zeen her?”

“Can’t say that I have. Only us Americans here.” She smeared lipstick onto her lips.

The gendarme closed her door. Within minutes, Mata Hari, disguised as a mustachioed man in a tuxedo, appeared at the door and came inside. She had a dagger in her hand. “I will get you for telling ze gendarmes that I was here.”

“But I didn’t.”

“Then I will get you for lying.”

“But I didn’t.”

“Then I will get you for being such a bad liar.”

Then the dagger was gone, and so was Mata Hari. Mata Hari’s Plan C had fallen through. Now onto Plan D and a certain Eager Beaver.

PARLIAMENT PARLIAMENTS

In the House of Lords called “Lords” for shortsky, Baron Duffield said, “We can do anything we want. After all, we are the lords of Lords. We can take her title if we want. As far as her lands are concerned, we will repossess them and remit them to the Queen’s Estate.”

“If we do that,” Sir Myles said, “none of us will ever get another American heiress to marry us.”

“We could get the marriage annulled,” Tucksmeyer said. “Who knows if Lord P. P. ever consummated the union. I doubt he did.”

“Then there can be no objection to an annulment,” Baron Duffield said, “can there, Myles?”

QUILLS

It was a dark and moonless night on the Rock of Gibraltar. Quills, whom we met in a previous chapter, Chapter Six, stood on the beach at Catalan Bay, reflecting on his life. Twenty-five years old and he, Quilip Thomas St. James Loopsey, had no prospects for the future. Possibly his father, the Governor of Gibraltar, would buy him a parish to provide him a comfortable living. Then a wife of his father’s choosing. After that, children and soon old age and death. What a bore that would be.

Seeing Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott’s face plop into his soup and die brought to Quills’ mind how mortal he was. At that moment, he knew he wanted more than his life of British privilegedom promised. He wanted passion, adventure, true love. He wanted his freedom.

He looked out into the darkness, a darkness that reminded him of his bleak future. He sat down on the beach and pulled off his shoes. He rose and walked into the water. When the water reached his waist, he began to swim, one arm in front of the other taking him farther and farther out to sea. And farther and farther into his future. He swam deep into the night. Joy and exhilaration cruised through his body. He was free.

Next Week: Istanbul, Constantinople.

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 9: Haggismarshe and Its Ghostly Ways

What would an English manor house be without a few ghosts?

Previously our heroine arrived back in England with a casket but no husband. Her husband’s casket, with his body in it, had been lost at sea. The captain of the ship happened to have a spare dead sailor, so he subbed the dead sailor for Lord P.P The casket was a closed door affair at the funeral. There was a move in Parliament to take away Lady P.P.’s titles now that hubby had left this earth.

In the days that followed old Lord Dunnie’s funeral service, Lady P. P. retired to her estates at Haggismarshe Manor. The servants went about their regular duties and left the lady of the manor to herself. For months, she perambulated the grounds of her new estate in a haze of hallucinogenic stupors.

This haze, the servants believed, was caused by the mists coming off the moors nearby. Even the groundskeeper took notice of her condition and said to his twelve-year-old son, “Avoid the missus. There’s bats in her belfry. She’s a bit loony-toons herself these days.”

Finally Marye buried herself in a vault in a tower overlooking the estate. It was one of several dingy, dampy place spread throughout the manor house and its adjoining residences. With a cask of amontillado for companionship, she began to search her heart, contemplating her next step.

Should she return to her beloved Dilly and dally in New York Society? She had loved Dilly O’Jones with all her heart, had been heart-broken to leave him. But things were different now. If she went back to Dilly, she would have such a trivial existence for someone of her capacities and nobilities. She had experienced the devotion and worship that a Lady of the British Realm received. She had been put on a pedestal. She was not sure she was ready to step off it and marry a commoner. An American commoner, at that.

Then there was the problem of New York Society. They totally disliked her parents. They still held it against her father, John Smith, that he won the Pocahantas Shipping Line in a poker game. That was gambling and there was no way that a gambler and his hussy, Lady P. P.’s Moms, would be ever, ever accepted in New York Society. No matter what English lord their daughter had married.

After a few stiff drinks, she began to see things clearly through her drunken haze. “I am a lady, aristo…aristo…cratically speaking. I want to have some … fun. Burp! No more plain jane Mary-Mary Smith for me. From now on … burp … it’s Lady Ma-ma-rye Wimplethead Prittypott of H-h-h-haggitmore Etate.” Then she passed out and fell to the floor.

Like so many of the great houses in Great Britain, Haggismarshe Manor House had been the residence of ghosts for centuries.No aristocrat considered themselves an aristocrat unless they lived in a haunted house. The higher an aristocrat was on the aristocratic scale the more ghosts for their homes. Each of the Queen’s residences had at least fifty.

However, there were not enough ghosts in England to go around. The Brits being the Brits came up with the perfect plan. Invade other countries, colonize them and demand an annual quota of ghosts. Even though the Americas had more than their share of the specters, they resisted this wholesale theft of ghosts.

It was not the raising of taxes but this stealing ghosts that had led to the Colonial Rebellion in 1776 and the War of 1812. Britain gave the Americas their independence but never returned the stolen ghosts. It just wasn’t done.

Haggismarshe Manor had three ghosts. One of these was a peculiarly American fellow. Originally there were only two ghosts from the Prissypotts past, Earl “Early” Grey Wimpleseed and Sir Long John Longjohns Prissypott. The position of the Wimpleseed-Prissypotts required a three-ghost haunting for their great manor. A third was demanded. Otherwise the Wimpleseed-Prissypotts would be reduced in rank.That would never do.

Fortunately, for the Wimpleseed-Prissypotts, General Cornwallis came to the rescue. After his defeat at Yorktown, he sneaked away from the Colonies with a boatload of ghosts. Early in 1782, he gifted these ghosts to nobles falling short after King George 3 received his share. There was a sigh of relief throughout the land. Cornwallis had saved the nobility from being commoners. Needless to say, Cornwallis was everybody’s hero.

One of these ghosts given to the Wimpleseed-Prissypotts was Benjamin Patrick Nutt and his horse, Sally Mae Nutt. Needless to say, she was a chestnut. Benjamin Patrick was from the Nutty Nutt Nutt family.

Not the Headless-Horseman-New-York Nutts. Though his mother Meg was from that part of the clan, Benjamin came from the Georgia branch of the family. He was a circuit riding attorney and partner of the law firm of Peck & Nutt. Had seen the War for Independence as a chance to party, take a few British scalps, then go home as a regular Yankee-doodle-dandy. Sometimes things never work out the way you plan them. It had been his scalp scalped. He would have gone on to haunt some high-falluting Georgia patriot’s mansion if it had been up to him. Instead he had been hog-tied and dragged off to England.

This Yankee ghost hovered above Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott’s passed-out body. Having wenched with the best of wenches, he recognized absolute perfection in the bosoms below him. “Oh, my my and a skip-to-my-lou-dy too-dy,” he said, staring with large, round saucer-like amazement.

His two associate ghosts floated beside him. They nodded their agreement.

“Now that’s a lady,” Early Grey said. “Dunnie done himself proud.”

“My liege lord Richard 3,” Sir Long John Longjohns. said, “would have locked her in the Tower to keep her safe for himself and his hump.”

“Shall we give her our two pennies worth, fellows?” Benjamin Patrick asked his good buddies. “She does seem a bit distressed.”

“I say aye,” Early said.

“I am an aye too,” Longjohns voted. “That makes it anonymous. I mean, unanimous.”

The three put their three heads together and worked to think up a plan.

“Wha-wha-what?” Marye slowly pulled herself awake and out of her stupor. She looked up. “Oh, lordy, I have a headache. It’s a real dilly. Not the real Dilly. Dilly is off in America. I’m here alone.”

“Having regrets, ma’am?” Benjamin Patrick settled onto the floor.

“What?” Marye couldn’t believe her eyes. She blinked her blinkers a number of times to make sure she actually saw three ghosts hovering above her. “Who are you?”

“Oh, we’re ghosts,” the Yankee ghost said. “We haunt places. Right now we’re haunting Haggismarshe Manor. My name is Benjamin Patrick from Georgia Colony but y’all can call me B. P. Everybody does. At least, my friends.”

“I’m Earl Grey Wimpleseed.” Early removed his hat, a broadbrimmer with a big feather sticking out of its top, and bowed a very deep bow.

Sir Long John bowed as well. “And, madam, I am Sir Long John Longjohns Prissypott, your late husband’s great-great-great-great-great uncle thrice removed.”

“What do you want with me?” her ladyship asked from her place on the floor. “Oh, my head.”

“We’re here to give you our quid’s worth of advice,” Earl. said, “if you will allow.”

B.P. said, “I been elected spokesman for the we three of us. We thunk and we thunk and in all our palavering we could only thunk one thing for you to do.”

“What would you say that would be?” Her ladyship was sitting up, interested. At least, as interested as someone with a hangover could be. She’d been after a solution for days and days and days. None had come to her.

“Leave this place. It’s loaded down with the past. Don’t go back to your dilly dallying with that silly boy, Dilly. He’s only after one thing.”

“That’s what Moms says,” she said.

“It’s not your companionship,” B. P. continued his agreement with Moms. “Get out and see the world. Have some fun. You have your daddy’s cash. He’s given you enough money to tide you through anything for the rest of your days. So, enjoy. Lying low here and moaning and groaning is a waste. You have a life to lead. And who knows?”

Early piped in, believing later was better than never when it came to advice, “Only the shadows know,”

“And they are not saying,” L. J. said, pulling up his long johns that seemed to be slipping into the aether.

Poof. Her ghost friends were gone.

Marye rose and refreshed herself with a jolly good stiff spot of tea. Then she viewed herself in the mirror. She liked what she saw. She admired the buxomness of her bosoms and her hourglass figure that flattered every dress she wore. Indeed she was not a plain-jane Mary-Mary Smith any longer. She was nobility, and nobly she must act.

Her smile melted into a frown. But how could she be a real woman? Look at the effect she had on the only man she had ever come close to knowing in the Biblical way. He lay in the bed of her memory limp as putty.

She choked back her discouragement and thought about what the ghosts had said. “You’re a grown-up woman and a lady at that,” she said to the mirror. “It just won’t do to stay all locked up in an attic when there’s a world out there to explore.”

So it was decided. Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott, the former Mary-Mary Smith of Brooklyn Heights, would travel. She would see the hither and the thither and see the world and all that lay beyond. And she would do it all by herself. No Moms, no Daddykins, no Dilly, no Lord P. P. No one but she herself.

If it was her fate to remain a virgin, so be it.

Next week: A train ride and a mysterious woman

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 8: Trouble Brewing

In which our heroine arrives home and Parliament does some debating.

Previously two British government officials discuss their marriage possibilities.

On Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott’s way home to England, there was a twenty-one gun salute for the RMS Queen Victoria Empress of India when the ship docked at the Puerto de Cadiz. The Port did not get many first-class liners in those days so it rolled out the Red Carpet for any and all that anchored in her port.

As the port’s canon wham-blam-slammed their kabooms into the air, the blasts shook the ship so hard that Lord Prissypott’s body slipped overboard and off into the water without a wherewithal or a fare-thee-well. It was a day later before it was discovered that dear old Dunnie would not be available for the funeral.

“Woe is me,” poor Lady Marye moaned ever so sadly. “Woe is me. All British Society will think I am a very poor wife. I can’t even get my husband’s body home for a decent funeral.

The captain, Captain Mills Wycliffe III, whom everyone called Thirds, always wore a spick-and-span captain’s attire. He took one long gaze at her ladyship’s breasts and knew he had to help the poor things … I mean, poor thing. He didn’t have it in his heart to see those poor things drooping from a sad heart. No, sirree. Being the gallant captain he was, he knew he had to help.

“Madam.”

“Yes?” The poor thing’s baby blues looked up into his dark greens. “Yes, my dear captain.”

“Madam, I possibly may have a solution.”

“Yes, dear captain, my captain?” Her eyes continued to gaze, her bosoms heaving with her every breath.

Her ladyship moved him in places he had not been moved in for quite some time. “Yes, I think I have a solution. We happen to have an extra dead body on hand. One of the sailors died last evening. He mixed up some spirits to create a certain cocktail we onboard call the Davy Jones’ Locker. Well, the recipe happened to be a bit off. He poured a glass of the stuff down his gullet, and let’s just say that sailor was given a first-class ticket to see Davy Jones.”

“What do you mean, captain my captain,” her breasts moving a bit faster in the hope of a solution.

The captain offered, “We bury our sailors out at sea. We put them in a casket and drop it into the ocean during an all-hands. Since it is a closed casket, we could leave his body out of the casket. Make-up and dress said sailor as Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott. We have a very good make-up artiste on board. He’s with the ‘Pirates of Penzance’ performers. And voilà, you have your husband back. No one shall ever know the difference. You shall be saved from all embarrassment.”

“You’d do that for little old moi?”

“Most assuredly,” the captain let it be known. “Noblesse oblige and all, you know.”

Thirds leaned down and kissed her. She returned his kiss. Then a seed of doubt coursed through her passionate, virginal young body. She pulled herself out of his arms.

“No, I can’t,” she said. “It’s…too too soon.” What she really meant, “I am no real woman. Look at how Dunnie responded to me when he saw me in my altogethers. I can’t take doing that to another man. It would be too too much to bear.”

“But I will take the body.” she continued. Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott kissed her brave captain on the cheek, then turned and ran back to her cabin, sobbing. She would always be a virgin.

***

Thus, it was that there was a service for the old aristocrat when the ship docked in London.

“Our good friend has left us,” Sir Myles di Fussye-Pants said in his eulogy. “But he will not be forgotten. This brave warrior who served Wellington at the Waterloo, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade, who lost his favorite horse, Rum Biscuit, in the Sepoy Rebellion. This brave warrior shall be missed.” Sir Myles removed his monocle and wiped a tear from his one good eye.

Of course, Two-Ems and Mother were there to comfort Marye. Then Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott was interred into the family’s mausoleum at Haggismarshe Chapel.

***

In Commons and Lords, a debate was being pursued. It was going on and on and on, and on some more.

“Can we allow an American to take her seat in Lords?” Lord Tucksmeyer wanted to know.

“Here, here,” other lords joined Tucksmeyer’s protest.

“But she has land and is a titled lady.” Sir Myles stood up for Lady P. P.

“Not if we remove her peerage,” Baron Duffield spoke up.

“We can’t take her title,” Sir Myles interjected.

“And why can’t we?” Tucksmeyer wanted to know.

Next week: Ghosts come a-haunting