Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott # 20: S. S. Twit-tering Along

Previously the ghosts of Haggismarshe and the Prime Minister were upset.

The S. S. Twit’s crew calmed the passengers, telling them there was no iceberg. The panic turned into an applause, then the passengers dispersed. The S. S. Twit steamed along like the Little Steamboat That Could, happy with the knowledge that it was not about to be sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.

In the ballroom, Tootles “The Tootler” Tootle Lou and her Orchestra swung its swing with The Doodlebug Ragtime and “We’re going to rock it like it’s 1899″. Then they changed the pace with a rendition of “France may be a country, but Paris is a city.” It was a waltz.

“How exciting,” Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott said, her ladyship following her German companion’s dance steps. “We were almost on a sinking ship.”

“Some people like to follow the weather,” said the monocled German Pipsqueak Pimplesquat. “That does not mean they long to live through a hurricane. I have been through two sinkings, and I can guarantee you, fraulein, it is never exciting.”

There was such a longing in the music, the violins leading the singer into sadness territory. It had most of the listeners sobbing. It was that sad.

Such a loverly waltz with such a loverly man, her ladyship thought. Goose pimples pimpled up and down her spine. Her bosoms were blossoming at the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations between Haggismarshe and Bavaria with this Bavarian gentleman of a German. Her monocled partner seemed to fit her bill as a candidate for Mr. Right. And he spoke very good English too. So there would be no need for a translator between the sheets.

Outside a dark cloud moved out from the land, across the sea, and toward the S. S. Twit. It was very dark and very foreboding; that’s the kind of cloud it was.

Pipsqueak Pimplesquat, his face directly facing the tall woman’s bosoms, overcame his reticence to advance the relationship to a new level of diplomatic partnership and asked, “Shall we repair to my drawing room? I have some very nice drawings there. Drawings you most certainly will admire.” It seemed to be the right good move in his way of existentialist thinking, and it was well put.

Slam! Bam! The ship hit … something. Something big. Something hard.

Pipsqueak Pimplesqueak and Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott had a close encounter of the bodily kind. “My darling,” he said, feeling her bosoms up close and personal. “I did not know you cared.”

“I did not know I cared either,” her ladyship said.

From the crow’s nest, a sailor cried out, “We’ve been hit. I am not kidding. We are sinking. Oh, my gosh, we are sunk.” Then he jumped, flying off the tippy-top top of the ship and crashing down toward the deck. He missed the deck and hit the side of the ship and thumped off and into the sea.

Smythie Smathers was taking a dump, got a bump and a pump went up his rump. Thwump! and he was thumped across the plump toilet. Then he slumped and he crumpled. He was dead as a doorknob. Deader than a doorknob. He was really dead.

Crepe Suzette bit off more of a companion’s meat platter than her French tartness could chew, swallowed hard and choked to death.

Studdley Duddley stood and announced to his fellow poker-playing pals, “It has been an honor and downright fun to take your money. But I do believe it is time to skedaddle and rope myself a lifeboat.” He rose and left his tablemates stammered and stunned. Quick thinking was always Studdley’s greatest strength. Especially when it came to self-preservation.

The S. S. Twit had hit a snag. A rather big snag. The biggest snag you can imagine, dear Reader. It hit the Rock of Gibraltar. How the ship had gotten that far off course was anybody’s guess. After all, it should have been in Alexandria’s harbor, not the western Mediterranean.

Some blamed the ship’s pilot, Wongway Wongway, and his pilotage. His ineptness had guided him through a career of screw-ups. Though he kept screwing up, he kept being hired. You see, he worked cheap. Very cheap. What can a guy named Wongway Wongway do besides pilot boats? Open a Chinese restaurant even though he was not Chinese and could not cook? Maybe if Wongway Wongway had a gps or Google Earth, he would not have hit Gibraltar. No, he would have read the coordinates upside down. It was the way of things. The way the yin meets the yang and blows up in your face when you least expect it, that way of things. And some blamed the Captain for hiring him.

Pipsqueak, a gentleman’s gentleman in his best gentlemanly form, pried himself from her ladyship’s body and escorted her off the dance floor.

The floor shook. It shook a lot and it began to lean to the port, then to the aft, then back to the portside. Everyone was heading for the doors, including Pipsqueak, her ladyship and the toot-toot-tootler. The singer pulled the door open and went through, shouting, “Tootle lou and skip to my do, my darlings. It’s toot, toot, tootsie goodbye. The Toot is out of here. Exit stage left.”

Lady Marye and Pipsqueak were right behind her out the door. On the deck, they encountered lots of pan and lots of demonium and lots of pandemonium. People were running to and fro, fro and to, and to and fro again. Pipsqueak yelled, “What’s going on?”

Someone passing someone else yelled back, “We’re running to-and-fro and, if that isn’t enough, we’re running fro-and-to.”

“I am going tootle-lou,” Tootles said and jumped over the side of the ship. On her way down to the water, she cried, “Yippee. I’m having a ding-dong daddy in a ping-pong-paddywack-give-a-dog-a-bone kind of day. Gee, I always wanted to say that and now I have.”


The ship started to shake, rattle and roll.

Sgt Mack Truck took it all in his Girine stride. He had faced down Jessie and Frank James in Missouri. He had faced down the notorious Billy the Kid in Tombstone. He had faced down Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn. He had faced down the Spanish at San Juan Hill. He was a Girine and there was nothing he had not met before.

Standing on the deck, helping the ladies into the lifeboats, the sergeant did not see the thing coming. The flag pole above him broke loose from the ship and fell, fell, fell and ran straight into The Truck’s head, through his body, and out his foot. He stood on the deck for moments without thinking. That’s when it came to him. “I am dead. Oh yes, I am dead. No more United States Gyrenes for me.” Then Sgt. Mack Truck of the United States Gyrenes fell to the deck.

A lady was in the Captain’s Bed, her hormones hormoning next to Captain Pedro Emmanuel. Suddenly their hormones stopped their hormonizations. Out popped the Captain’s pooper from her amusement park of love, and he was on his feet. Something had happened to his ship.

“What the … ?” Captain Pedro Emmanuel asked as he pulled his pullover on and slid into his pants.

The woman in the Captain’s Bed said, “Slam bam thank-you ma’am. Just like a man. Always eating and running. You’re abandoning me like all the others.”

“Madame,” the captain said. “Have you no sense of decency? My ship is sinking and this is not the time for more piddle-paddling.”

“Excuses, excuses,” the woman said. “Always excuses.”

“Well,” the captain said, “why don’t you wait here. I will be back in a jiffy.”

“Right,” the woman said. “You know how to break a woman’s heart. You get your way with her, then you’re out of there.”

The captain gallantly leaned over and kissed her succulent lips. “I am sorry, my darling Señora. When I come back, I will take over where I left off. You will be satisfied. That I promise. Extremely satisfied.” Then he was out the door.

Of course, he wouldn’t come back. They never came back. It was always like this. She was always a woman on a sinking ship. But a woman could hope the Titanic wouldn’t sink, couldn’t she?

Captain Pedro Emmanuel Montoya Henandez Gabriel Garcia de Toledo San Cristobel y Mendoza Cantabria headed fore, then aft, then athwartship, then starboard, then port. He ran through the ship’s companionways and out onto the fo’castle and he ran smack dab into the Big Rock. The monster stared into his eyes. He stared back at Gibraltar and felt the S. S. Twit slowly sinking. Not much time.

“Everyman for himself!” he yelled below at the First Mate.

“Skipper!” the First Mate called back. “What about the passengers?”

“They’re all tourists, Señor First Mate,” the captain yelled above the screaming and the whining and the complaining and the crying and the yelling. “Get the hell off the ship.”

“Whatever happened to the captain going down with the ship?” the First Mate cried.

“You have been promoted,” the captain cried back. “You are the captain now.” Then he jumped.

That dark cloud I told you about earlier, dear Reader, it had arrived. It filled the sky above the S. S. Twit. The world had gone black.

Pipsqueak and her ladyship ran to the edge of the deck. They looked down into the waters below. The sea was azure. Besides that, it was blue. Bluer than blue. It was indeed blue.

“Shall we dance the light fantastic, mine fraulein?” Pippy said.

“You betcha,” Marye said. Over the side of the deck, she followed Pippy as he jumped. He let go of her hand and shoved her out to sea. His body hit the side of the boat and bounced into the water.

Next Week: A Nice Night for a Long Swim

Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 16: A Ship of Fools

A Texan saves the day

Previously Daddykins hired a lawyer to make sure his daughter kept her titles.

Dear Reader, I suspect that you have been wondering when our story occurred. If you look on the map of history, you will find it located somewhere between the Franco-Prussian War and the Great War, that fiasco called the War to End All Wars. Of course, that was the Big Lie. That war didn’t end anything. If anything, it created even more stress on the world stage.

Actually, one could say the time of the novel was around 1896. In fact, I think I will state that very thing. It was 1896.

In those days, Great Britain was the Big To-Do and America some backwater colony. However, the Americans were sneaking up on the British. Soon they would have to bail their cousins across the pond out and save them from the Kaiser. But that is another story.

Science was sciencing. But Albert still had not discovered his e=mc two Einsteinian theory. The Curies were still dating, and I don’t mean carbon dating. The only Big Bang anybody had heard of was the toilet flushing; indoor plumbing was all the rage.

The last we heard of her ladyship, Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe, she was on the S. S. Twit twit-twit-twittering toward Egypt. After a night of rolling in the hay with a certain Smythie Smathers, she awoke alone. No British troubleshooter for the Royal Beeswax and Petroleum Jelly Corporation of East Potterdam next to her.

In the dining room, she found him carousing with a certain Frenchwoman, Crepe Suzette.

“Dear, do not make a scene,” Smathers demanded, a smirk on his smirk of a face.

“I’m making a scene?” she said. “I’m making a scene. I’ll show you a scene.”

The American picked a sharp knife off the table and raised it over her head.

Someone behind her grabbed her hand and wrenched the knife from it. She turned around. Before her stood a long, tall Texan in a big white hat. He placed the knife on the table.

“What the–?” she went to say.

“Ma’am, this piece of British trash isn’t worth it.”

“I resemble that remark,” Smythie Smathers said from his table, his face white from his close call with a knife.

“Who in the name of Brooklyn do you think you are?” Marye said to the Texan. Our heroine was angry and getting angrier by the second.

“Studdley Duddley at your service, ma’am,” he tipped his hat toward her ladyship. “I am a Texan.”

Her ladyship thought, “But of course. Every adventure must have a Texan in it. It doesn’t matter if he has anything to contribute. They just drop from the sky to dirty the waters of the story. And this story has to have this fool.”

“Go try your risk at whist,” Smythie Smathers said to the Texan. “You’re not wanted at this party.”

“Many prefer the game of whist,” Studdley said, standing there with his tongue hanging out staring at her ladyship’s morning bosoms. “But me, I am a stud poker man. The emphasis being on ‘stud’, ma’am. As all my lady friends will testify, my war cry is ‘Stud, poke her’. Old Studdley does try his best. But it seems my services are not needed here. So, it’s onward and upward. Remember what old Studdley told you. If you ever make it to Texas, you will have the bluest eyes in the state.” He tipped his hat and dropped out of sight.

She looked at S. S. and frowned. “What do you have to say for yourself, you Smythie Smathers?”

He looked at the knife on the table, reached over and removed it from danger. Anything to get it out of the way of this Madwoman from Brooklyn Heights by way of Haggismarshe.

“It isn’t what you think,” he said quietly, then turned to Crepe Suzette. “Crepe, go feint a faint or do something quaint and make yourself scarce. I have to straighten out our American friend.”

Crepe slipped off into the morning to sweeten up some other man’s breakfast. After all, that is what she did.

“What do you mean,” her ladyship demanded, “straighten out our American friend? You’d better have a damned good answer or this Brooklyn Heights girl is going to be doing some straightening out herself.””

“I am sorry, Your Ladyship,” Smythie said. “I only meant … I certainly would be much more comfortable if you sat down and joined me for a cup of morning tea.”

“This had better be something on the better side of good,” she said. “I won’t have tea. I am a coffee-drinking woman and I like my coffee strong and straight-up, no cream, no sugar. Like I like my men. And you don’t qualify.” She pulled out a chair and sat down and stared at him with a don’t mess-with-me stare.

S. S. called over to a waiter. “A cup of coffee for her ladyship.”

The waiter frowned. He would get the coffee but it wasn’t right. One had tea, not coffee. He had a cup of the black drink once. It tasted awful. And he couldn’t sleep for a week afterward. But he would get it. After all, that was his job. Getting things.

He went and pulled a cup off the counter. He poured coffee into the cup. He whispered to another waiter nearby, “When she is through with her coffee, we’re going to have to destroy the cup. The dishwasher will never get the awful taste of the black brew out of the cup.”

The coffee arrived with sugar and cream.

“You can take that away,” her ladyship said to the waiter. “Can’t stand sugar or cream with my coffee.” She lifted the cup to her lips.

S. S. leaned over and whispered, “I am on a mission for the government.”

The black coffee shot from her mouth and onto his face. She laughed. “You’ve got to be kidding. You mean to tell me that the government asked you to bop me while I was mopping up the floor bopping you last night. Is that what you’re saying?”

“Let me just say plastics,” Smathers whispered some more as he wiped the coffee off his face.

“Plastics?” her ladyship quizzed.

“Yes, plastics,” Smathers whispered even more.

“What in the name of Abe Lincoln are plastics?” her ladyship asked.

“Shhhh,” Smathers whispered. “Someone who shouldn’t might hear you say the magic word. It might even be He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named.”

Our heroine was almost on the floor with laughter. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. What had made her think that this Smythie Smathers was worth her time of day, much less her night in bed? Her taste in men … could it get any worse? Compared to this clown, Dilly was Prince Charming.

Then again maybe he was on to something. She sat up straight and calmed herself. “Okay, I’m all ears. But remember John Smith did not raise a fool for a daughter. I may be a British ladyship but I ain’t some gullible rube you can reel in with your line about some plastics.”

“Yes, plastics. Oh, you mean you haven’t seen the movie ‘The Graduate’?”

“What’s a movie? It’s 1896 and I have never heard of this thing you call a movie. What the—is a graduate? I mean I graduated from high school. Guess that makes me a graduate. But I am not sure about you, fellow. What loony factory did you come out of?”

“I am from the future, old girl. I came here via a Delorean but I ran out of gas. Since I am on a secret mission, I had to practice my missionary work last night.”

“That had better be practice,” her ladyship leaned over and whispered. “If that is the best you can do, you had better find another position. Because you’re not that good at this one. And just what in the name of everything that is American is a Delorean?”

“No, no, no,” Smythie Smathers whispered back at her. “You misunderstand.”

“You deflower my honor,” her ladyship complained, “and now you’re coming up with some cock and bull story that you’re from the future. It’s slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am. Well, no thank you, sir. No thank you.” She goes to stand up.

S. S. puts his hand on her gloved hand.

“Let go of my hand,” her ladyship said, “or I’ll call Mr. Tex back over here. And he can wax up the floor with you.”

“Please let me explain,” he pleaded.

“First let go of my hand. Then explain.”

He released her hand like it was a hot potato.

“Make it fast,” she demanded. “I am in the mood for a good lunch. And you’re starting to turn my stomach.”

“Yes, yes,” he said, getting on with it. “As I said I am on a mission from the government in the future. I have to stop some woman named Mata Hari. If I seduce you, I will be able to seduce her. I realized that you would be the much harder to seduce. Now I know I can seduce her.”

“Mata Hari? I know that name. I met her on a train but I never knew she had fame, that dame. She promised me a knife in the heart if she caught up with me again.”

“Yes, that sounds like the one and the same. She’s a spy. If I seduce her, I can slow her down and she won’t be able to meet up with the world famous American big game hunter, Johnny Eager. He has a package for her.”

“I see. I am still not overly convinced you are being absolutely truthful. The future and all? Do you think I am one of your Crepe Suzettes? I am not a tart, French or otherwise. Sounds like you and your conscience ought to have a conversation. Spy indeed.”

“I am afraid I don’t have a conscience. When you are in the missionary game the way I am, you can’t afford one. It is the white man’s burden after all. I say, would you care to help me practice some more later. I could use another session and you’re quite good, you know.”

She jumped up and slapped him with one of her white gloves. “You cad. How dare you? You’re after one thing and it is not Mata Hari. You want to get back into my pantaloons, don’t you? Well, thank you very much, but no thank you.”

“May I be of service, ma’am?” A large man in an even larger uniform extra-large stepped up beside her.

“My, my, what big stripes you have,” her ladyship said. She smiled her largest smile of the day, even larger than she had smiled the night before.

“Sgt. Mack Truck of the United States Gyrenes at your service, ma’am.”

“Kind sergeant,” Marye said, “would you please take my arm and escort me from these proceedings? The stench is getting too much for me, and I fear I shall faint.”

He took her arm and the two walked away from Smythie Smathers’s table. Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott looked back at the spy’s table. He had been rejoined by Crepe Suzette. “May I offer you a treat, Sergeant,” she asked the big fellow, “for your gallant rescue?’

“I do like pastry, ma’am,” the Truck offered.

“I am sure you do.” She smiled an even wider smile than before.

Next week: Will Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott ever make it to Egypt?

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.