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

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 3: A ruse is a ruse is a ruse

In which Momsie will not take no for an answer.

Previously Momsie told Daughterkins she is to marry an English Lord come hell or highwater.

“But Daddykins said,” Mary-Mary Smith said to her mother, “I could be with whoever I wanted. I want Dills.”

“Whom, dear,” Momsie returned.

“Huh?” the daughter retorted.

“That’s whomever,” Moms answered. “not whoever, dear.

“Huh?”

“Whomever,” Moms corrected her daughter. “As in Daddykins said I could be with whomever I wanted.”

“Oh, whatever,”

It was obvious that Mary-Mary Smith was not taken with the idea of entering into wedded blissfulness with some shriveled antique of an English lord with one foot in the grave and another right beside it in the cemetery. Rather she was more than eager to spend her life dilly-dallying with Dilly, which was not to be. Moms had put a nix on that. She had other plans for her nubile young daughter. Her daughter had reached her nubility only recently and Moms was not about to waste it.

What Margaret Smith desired, Margaret Smith desired very badly. What she desired very badly, she obtained come hell or high water. And what she wanted now was an English title in the family. She’d show her snobbish cousin, Thelmalina Pierpont, a thing or two. After ‘Lina had wed her daughter to a minor French nobleman, there had been no living with her. Now it was Margaret’s turn to show off her plumage and get her revenge. She, and her daughter Mary-Mary would be the Talk of New York Society, the family would have bragging rights up the bustle, and she would be put on the pedestal she felt she so richly deserved.

Unlike her good friend,. Mrs. Potiphar P. Josephs of the Banking Josephs. Alessandra’s daughter, Betsey, had run off with some buffoon of an archaeology professor. What an embarrassment that had been. How could Alessandra show her face in Society after that fiasco with her eldest?  Betsey might as well have joined P. T. Barnum and his circus of freaks.

“This is the only way that you will be acceptable in New York Society,” her Moms maintained. “Don’t you want that?”

“But, Moms …” our little Miss Brooklyn Heights whimpered her best whimper.

“Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe has all sorts of titles and,” Moms voice rose with excitement, “he comes from one of the best of the best families around. You ought to be proud to be her ladyship. Think. A title and all that money your daddykins will give you for being such a very good daughter. Won’t that be grand?”

So Mary-Mary, little Miss Contrary, after quite a bit more persuading and cajoling and threatening and even more pleading, made her deal with the devil. Not that she had much choice. It was either that or disinheritance, and she had gotten way too used to satin undergarments and eating with a silver spoon in her mouth. She agreed to become the next Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott. She’d figure out a way to dally with her Dilly on the side

#######

Before the nuptials could be nuptialized, Mother di Fussye-Pants and her Commission had to do their work. They had to create the Ruse. They had to make the prospective Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott, our little sweetheart from the Colonies, into nobility or there would be no noblesse oblige-ing for Miss Smith.

First on the agenda was to buy Mary-Mary a lineage. Now it didn’t matter what aristocracy they bought. It only mattered that they bought her lineage and a coat of arms for her linen. It was the way of things in the Merry Olde England of the 1800s. All the lords, and ladies, did it. They would find some imaginary country, fiefdom or principality that didn’t exist, preferably some place in Central Europe. Then they created a nobility for the place and made the chosen victim the cousin of this king or that tsar. Voilà, they were fit to marry.

So it came to pass that Miss Mary-Mary Smith of Brooklyn Heights became the Viscountess dat Renalla-Macedoni, Marye Caterina Olgastoya. She was but the latest from a long line of Olgastoyas and society could accept it or wonder the stoya why not.

Mary-Mary had a title and a first name that was difficult to pronounce until she met a Canadian who said, “So you’re Mary, eh?” All that was left was for her to acquire some British Society manners. For that, Mother di Fussye-Pants was on a ship and off for America. Within six weeks, Mother had Mary-Mary ship shape and up to snuff and ready for even the Queen. She would be the toast of London Society or Mother di Fussye-Pants wasn’t Mother di Fussye-Pants.

Shortly thereafter Sir Myles di Fussye-Pants stood in the House of Lords and announced the engagement and the  marriage of his dear friend and comrade-in-arms, Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe. The packed House stood and applauded as if they were one lord.

“Finally,” Lord Tucksmyer said to his friend Baron Duffield.

After making the announcement, Sir Myles limped out of the Lords’ Chamber. He was stopped by Baron Duffield.

“I say, Myles,” Duffy exclaimed, “you have a limp. Have you been to the Front lately?”

“Groin wound, you know,” he answered. “Two-Ems.”

“Lucky bastard,” Duffy mumbled. “And to think I have Lady Duffield. She just won’t die. I’ll be in the cemetery before she is at this rate.”

Then Sir Myles was off to plan a bachelor celebration for his good friend.

Next Week: The Society Wedding To Beat All Society Weddings

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 2: “When a girl has money, she has money.”  

In which Two-Ems is disappointed. We meet our heroine and the dilemma she finds herself in.

Previously the reader is introduced to Lord Dunnie, a member of the  British aristocracy with one foot in the cemetery and one in the grave. He is dead broke. Sir Myles di Fussye-Pants suggests an American heiress is the solution to his dilemma. Lord Dunnie agrees.  

When Sir Myles arrived home that foggy day in Londontown, he introduced his darling dear to his matchmaking scheme. However Mrs. Sir was not in the least enthusiastic. She wasn’t sure she could get any American heiress to go along with the proposition.

“That old wrinkled old thang,” she said. “He’s beginning to putter on one putter. He’s such a prune Danish and I am sure his putter is a prune as well. After all, we Americans like our prunes primed and ready to putter like yours, my dear Mylesie. By the way, we haven’t puttered all week. I need some puttering or it’s off to Daddy.”

With a right good jolly tallyho, he followed his wife into their boudoir. After three or four y’alls and an equal amount of war whoops, Sir in his altogether altogethers brought up the subject again. “Yes,” he said lying next to his beloved Two-Ms in their room-sized bed, “Dunnie is from good Viking stock. Viking and American stock, what an amazing copulation that would be.”

“But … “Her pouty lips pouted their pouty-est.

“It is a done deal, this deal with Dunnie. Society must have what society must have and we must all do our part in the game. Otherwise there will be no tally to tally-ho. The hounds won’t run and the fox will make an escape. So pleeze, my sweet, no pouty-wouties pleeze

“Yes, Mylesie,” she said, knowing when the battle was lost to his stiff upper lip. “Give a little, get a lot” was her motto, and she knew this was one of those times when it wouldn’t do to lay down the gauntlet.

“We’ll commission a Commission for The Match that we shall match matchlessly, you see. You do see, don’t you. We’ll ask Mother to do the commissioning. She’s right good for a nuptial or two. After all, she did well by us.”

“So who shall the unlucky girl be? I mean, lucky. Who shall we commission for Lord Dunnie?”

“I had in mind someone your own sweet self suggested. The daughter of a certain John Smith, the owner of Pocahantas Shipping. In American financial circles, he is very very, if you know what I mean.”

“But, Mylesie, I didn’t mean to connect her with an old fuddy, duddley like Wimsey Prissysottsey. I meant her for one of your young layabout studdleys. I promised her Moms.  We’re cousins, you know, and the Old Prune will be such a disappointment. She wanted a regular Beau Brummell for her sweet young thang.”

“It’s Wimpleseed-Prissypott, dears. He’s the one.”

“Well, if you insist,” she said, then rolled over and gave him her sexiest kiss. She knew it was settled, and she wasn’t completely unhappy. Now she would have a friend to shop with, to spend their fathers’ fortunes with, to attend the balls with, to show off the best of the colonies, to make all those spoiled British society ladies jealous.

Thus it was agreed, and thus it was an American heiress who was agreed upon. She would be the spot of tea to pour new life into that old Wimpie. She was the very very that Dunnie needed. And the money wouldn’t be bad either.

 #####

When the subject was broached to her of the arranged arrangement, the future Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott thought the arrangement was another of her mother’s derangements. She wanted none of it. At that time, her ladyship was a plain-jane Mary-Mary Smith from Brooklyn Heights. She hated the very idea of marrying a title to provide respectability for her filthy nouveau-riche family from the Southside of Nowheresville. She wanted what everybody wants when they are young and looking at life in all its potentials and their hormones are hormoning all over the place and they’ve got a bankload of cash to do anything that pops into their pretty little heads. True love. And the true love Mary-Mary wanted was her boyfriend from Brooklyn.

She had every intention of marrying that boyfriend of six months, Dilly O’Jones. She called him “My Sweet Dills,” when she was in the throes of passion. She was always in the throes of passion when he was within a block of her nubile and ready body. She loved to run her slim fingers through his ultra-greased, dark, Italian hair, hair he had inherited from his mamma’s side of the family. She held onto his tresses for her dear dear life on the back of his motorbyke when they cruised the streets of Manhattan. Though there was a lot of foreplay between this Romeo and Juliet, they had never consummated the relationship. She remained untouched, as pure as the driven snow.

She was still a virgin, but there were times she longed to surrender the state of her virginia to this dilly of a boyfriend. He was such a handsome lad that all the females he passed swooned and fainted when they saw his baby blues. But he had sworn his true love to his Mary-Mary from Brooklyn Heights and he was a man of his word. He loved her true-ly with all the trulyness his passionate, young Irish-Italian heart contained. Even more than that, he loved her a lot.

Unfortunately, for the young lovebirds, Mary-Mary had a mother and this mother reminded her how much she and her father had done for her. “With great wealth comes great responsibility,” her Moms said.

“But, Moms,” the sweet young thing said as she primped in front of the large mirror in the hallway, “when a girl has money, she has money. But money is not enough. One must have true love to be a happy girl. Otherwise … well, just otherwise.”

“That responsibility,” her Moms came back at her, “is the cost of the money. And there isn’t an otherwise in the world that can change that. It’s a trade-off. You can either be happy or you can be rich. Me, I’d rather be nouveau-riche. I may not be able to buy happiness but, at least, I can buy the dress. I am not up to living in some hovel on the side of the road, worrying about the kids and their next meal. And neither are you, dear.”

“But, Moms,” Mary-Mary said, ignoring her Moms’ logic, “you want me to marry unhappiness and misery. I want My Sweet Dills and I don’t like the pickle you’re putting me in. Daddykins can give him a position in his shipping company.”

“You would have your husband living off your fortune?”

“That’s what you are suggesting,” the daughter said. “To prop up some old fuddy of a British lord with Daddykins’ money.”

“This is different,” Moms said. She said it in such a way that you could take it all the way to the bank. She took her daughter by the shoulders and turned her to face her mother. “We’re getting a title in exchange.”

“I want Dills,” Mary-Mary demanded. “My Sweet Dills, and you’re turning everything sour.”

“Oh, dear,” her mother, Margaret Smith, smiled, eyeing her daughter’s nubile buxomy bosomss, “your sweet dill of a pickle only wants one thing, and it’s not your Daddykins’ money.”

“But Daddykins said I could be with whoever I wanted. I want Dills.”

“Whom, dear.”

Next Week: An American Girl Gets Aristocratted

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 1: A Man Without a Wife is still a Man Without a Wife

The Absolutely Unbelievable Endearing Adventures of Lady Marye Wimpleseed-Prissypott
–an entertainment–
This novel is not based on a true story.

Chapter One
A Man Without a Wife is still a Man Without a Wife
Wherein we meet a member of the British lordly class

This story begins before the British brexited themselves. This story begins before Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair ran things. This story begins before the Beatles dumped Pete Best and ringoed their way into legend. This story begins before Edward renounced the throne. And, yes, it begins before the war to end all wars. It begins in the time when the sun never set on the Empire and Britannia ruled the waves. It begins when God was an Englishman and Victoria tended her garden.

It begins in the late, late, very late nineteenth century when Lady Marye Wimpleseed-Prissypott indeed was to come by her title honorably. Lady P. P., as she was referred to in the dispatches, married for it. When she was Mary-Mary Smith, a sweet young thing, all of eighteen, she wedded into the monocled class of the British aristocracy. She tied the metaphorical knot with the old fuddy-duddy Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe.

Like many a red-blooded English blue-blood, the roots of Lord Wimpleseed-Prissypott’s family went deep into the once fertile soil of the English aristocracy. It stretched all the way back to the Conqueror and then some. He had a coat of arms to prove it too. In fact, his ancestral line could be traced farther back than that. His great-great-great-to-the-tenth great grandsire had been of the Viking persuasion. The man, Eric Prissyson, raped and plundered with the best of them, plowing a trail of terror through half the island of Britain. Anything in sight and great grandsire raped it, then looted it, then raped it some more.

When the Conqueror came to the Isles in One-Ought-Six-Six, EricPrissyson’s six boys, being the mercenaries they were, joined up with Duke William. They were responsible for composing the well-known “When Willie Comes Marching Home” to honor Conqueror’s conquest of the Isles. William the Norman Guy dubbed them Prissypottes, then rewarded them for their treachery with land, land, and more land. No cash, just land.

Somewhere along the way, between Conqueror and Lionheart, Lord Dunville’s progenitors dropped the “e.” It may have been his infamous ancestor, the Sheriff of Nottingham of Robin Hood fame, who started the practice, and it stuck. Under the reign of Henry 8, the Prissypotts combined their household with another illustrious family, the Wimpleseeds.

A duel or two was held over which family name would take precedence over the other and come first. Sir Alfred Prissypott, being a very near-sighted bloke and half blind too, lost to the head of the Wimpleseeds, Lord Pointe-head Wimpleseed. Thus the family name was Wimpleseed-Prissypott for all time.

Being of such an ancient and illustrious lineage, the Wimpleseed-Prissypotts intermarried throughout the aristocracy like crazy. The current Earl of Haggismarshe was in some way related to ninety-nine-point-nine-nine percent of the lords in the Lords. That’s the House of Lords for all you non-British readers. In spite of all the land and inbreeding and interbreeding, this final heir of Wimpleseed-Prissypott lineage lacked one thing. He had no cash.

Lord Dunnville had outlived five well-off wives. Nary a one of them had left him enough of a cash flow to sustain his large estates and provide a maintenance. His years as a Viceroy in the Raj had brought him nothing but a spot of fever. Poverty kept watch on the doorsteps of his holdings, and he had responsibilities. Oh, he had responsibilities. There were servants to provide for, illegitimate children to educate, tenants to employ. Plus a mistress or three on the side. And bankruptcy was out of the question. After all, this was England, and it wasn’t done.

Then one day in 1894, at The Club in London, his good friend Sir Myles di Fussye-Pants had proposed an ideal proposal. “Look west, old man,” Sir Myles offered, “look west.”

“Dear me, no,” Lord Dunnie said, his mustache raising its hairs in protest. “I lived in Ireland once and it was much too Irish for me. All that Guinness and a potatoes-only diet. No thank you. I’m a steak and kidney pie man myself.”

“Oh no, dear chap,” Sir retorted. “Good god, man, certainly not Ireland. I mean look to America.”

“Rah-ther pleeze,” Dunnie said. “I am not interested in barbarians. They’re savages over there. I saw Buffalo Bill at the Royal Albert. That Annie Oakley lass shooting up the American Exhibition, you know. Too much bang-bang. If I had wanted an Indian wife, I would have arranged for one when I was in the Raj. I knew quite a few maharajahs out there in the Frontier. They all had daughters they were trying to get off their hands.”

“No, no, my good Dunnie,” Sir said. “The Americans are not all savages. Some of the colonists even have a smattering of manners. They know when to sit and they know when to stand. And they can be taught when to curtsy and when to bow.”

“Can they now?”

“In New York, they have heiresses, just lounging around and waiting for a title. That’s how I acquired my EmmiliaLouise. I call her my Two Em’ed Emma or Two-Ems for short. She used to be Emmylou Muddythwistle, the daughter of a cattle baron. Of course, they are not real barons the way we English are. They like to call themselves thus.”

“I could never stand the smell of a steak in the raw,” Dunnie commented. “No cattle ranching for me. I like mine well-cooked.”

“No, no, Dunnie, old boy. I’ve never been required to commune with the cows. The baron sends Two-Ems a very generous allowance and we spend it. Rah-ther I spend it. Once we were engaged I couldn’t introduce her to society as Emmylou. We changed her to an EmmiliaLouise and gave the Muddythwistles a pedigree as well as a pedicure. She became a Thwistle from Muddystenstein-in-the-Alps. Now that we have tied the proverbial knot, I am fixed for life, you see. And look how mannered she has become. She curtsies very well when she is out and about in society.”

“I say,” Dunnie said. “Quite a setup you have there, dear boy.”

“Only one disconcerting item. It is quite troubling to have the wife do a y’all and a war whoop during fornication. Quite disturbing. Quite disturbing. But that’s the way they do it in some place called Texas. Wherever Texas is.”

“Terribly embarrassing, I would suspect.”

“One must suffer for one’s class. Noblesse oblige and all that rot, you know.”

“How right you are, how right you are.”

“Anyway, old sport, I have the right heiress for you. Someone my dear Two-Ems suggested would be a perfect match for you after I told her of your ‘situation.’ She’s an endearing young thing all of eighteen, blonde, buxomy and tall. What she lacks in manners, she’ll make up in bank account.”

“You don’t say. That does sound like a very attractive proposition. After all, my bankie is down to its last shilling. I could very well use an influx of cash. Have servants to pay, crops to grow, mistresses to mistress.”

“This marriage could be the hit of the social season. It’s been a bit of a time since the Prissypotts have had a hit. And this would be a coup de hit.”

“You do say? ”Dunnie said.

“Yes, I do say. After all, the Crown is beginning to wander if you are a one-hit wonder. Viceroying and all.”

“I must admit I am such a silly wicket and you are quite correct. Quite. Being in the poorhouse does build character. But I’ve enough character for three generations. By george, make the match, and I shall do it. I shall do it up good.”

“Besides,” Sir said, “it will give your wicket a chance to wacket.”

“I have mistresses for that, dear boy. Mistresses.”

“You can still have them on the side. By the by, how do you keep it up, old chap?”

“One has to do one’s duty for Queen and country. One does have to do one’s duty.”

“Yes, one does as I well know,” Sir asked, “So? Are we agreed? Do we have an engagement?”

“I would say rah-ther,” Lord said. “I do seem to be running out of rah-thers to say. But yes. Most definitely. That is, if America is willing.”

“Three cheers for you, old bugger. Three cheers and run up the colors. The Regiment’s about to have a wedding. It would have been a bore of a bear of a season without one. And you’ll come through with your very stiff upper lip as always. You’re going to do your class proud. My dear Two-Ems will see to the arrangements. She is very good at arranging arrangements, you know.”

Next Week: A Muddythwistle by any other name is still a Muddythwistle