I’m bothered about the Beadle. He’s taken to patrolling the river bank at crack of dawn and late at night, listening anxiously for sounds of plashing oars and peering anxiously into the gloom for the shadowy silhouette of a kayak. In the servants’ sitting room he nods off after meals and mutters restlessly in his sleep: “No knickers! No Knickers! By Order.” He tells me he has never recovered from the shock of finding Ms. Lavenderblue’s nether garments flying aloft from the Burrow flagpole, and fears a similar fate for my stockings. We shall see……
* * *
Anticant has instructed me to get the Guest Parlour spick and span in anticipation of a Bank Holiday visit from Dame Barbara, a distinguished romantic novelist and old friend of Anticant. From what Ben and the Beadle tell me, she is what is known as “rather a caution”, and has a weakness for pink gins, so Ben has been stocking up the Snug bar with plentiful supplies of Gordon’s and bitters. When Wooffie heard she was coming, he perked up and said he hoped she was bringing her jewel box. What can this mean?
* * *
Rummaging through the mustier recesses of the Burrow kitchen store cupboard, I unearthed sealed packets of fifty-four different brands of tea, all unopened and well beyond their use-by date. Ben says they were left by a former guest who could never make up his mind which flavour he liked best, so carried a trunkful of tea around with him. Finally he decided he preferred coffee. Men are so contrary! Not least the Beadle….