This is for Elizabeth

So, there you have it. Sam, I hope that answers the first point on your list? We will hear more about Rosalind later.

It is now time for us to move on to herrings and mackerel and what they were doing in Colonel Crackpot’s coat sleeve.

You see, Colonel Crackpot wasn’t like Doctor Socks, Professor Glooper and Lady Gertrude Gruntblatter. No, my friends, he was not like them at all, and it was something that he wanted to keep secret. As secret as he possibly could. Under lock and key, so to speak.


You see, Doctor Socks, Professor Glooper and Lady Gertrude Gruntblatter were all genuine villians, with genuine vocations in villainy. Colonel Crackpot wanted to be villainous, he really did, but the fact of the matter was, that he was – a fishmonger. (Now, there is nothing to stop you being a villainous fishmonger, but somehow the image is wrong. Well at least, to Colonel Crackpot it was.)

He hankered after the glamorous life of a villain: he grew a villainous moustache, and bought a villainous outfit and a villainous aeroplane (with teeth). He re-named himself and his house (Bilious Barracks), but the fact remained, underneath he was Nigel the fishmonger, and the more he tried to hide it, the more it came back to haunt him.

‘I must try harder,’ the Colonel said to himself every night, and every night, he dreamed of the exciting life he would lead once he had become truly a master criminal.

But now … now he had crashed his plane and here he was sitting in a rose garden.

Hildegard returned bearing a tea tray.


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