Dame Barbara is in residence! As dusk approached last night, her cream-and-gold Rolls-Royce swept into the Burrow courtyard with a cheery tootle, and the Dame emerged, a vision in shocking pink and ostrich feathers, with eyelashes at least an inch long. She was escorted into the Parlour by Anticant, and I was introduced.
“Ah, Malaprop”, she said, “I am delighted you are here looking after my good friend Anticant. I heard the most complimentary things about you from my old friend the Duchess of Dither, for whom you so splendidly transformed the domestic arrangements at
Dame Barbara was soon ensconced in the Four-Poster room, and descended to the Parlour followed by her maid bearing a large reticule and a portable writing desk. “I intend to settle down here for a week”, the Dame said, “while I execute my latest oeuvre which is entitled ‘No
“Six large pink gins and a dish of peanuts, Ben dear”, commanded the Dame, and Ben trotted obediently off. As he did so, Wooffie trotted expectantly in. “Ah Wooffie, said Dame Barbara, “It’s time I relieved you of my cherished string of pearls. I’ve brought you a pretty cockleshell necklace instead. You will have to make do with that”. Wooffie made for the door, but the Dame was too quick for him. With surprising alacrity she interposed herself between Wooffie and the exit, and retrieved her pearls from around his neck. “There, there, good doggie”, she said, producing a large hambone from her reticule and fastening the shell necklace around Wooffie’s throat. He resignedly wagged his tail and settled down to make a closer acquaintance with the bone.
“That there Dame is a real caution”, said the Beadle, and went to answer the front door bell. The new arrival was Miss Marple, summoned by Anticant to assist in unravelling the mysterious affair of the Naked Kayaker and Ms LavenderBlue’s flying tights.