By the time I finally emerged from the convent Michael and Romeo had given up their vigil outside. They were nowhere to be seen in any of the surrounding streets but it didn’t take me long to figure out where they might have gone. Returning to our usual tavern, I soon spotted them occupying a corner table. Somewhere along the way they seemed to have picked up a wandering lute player who was busy serenading them with a peculiarly mournful dirge of a tune. Romeo was swaying along, his eyes closed and an expression of intense emotion fixed upon his face, Michael looked like he wished he was just about anywhere else. As Michael’s eyes went skipping around the room, possibly in search of some means of escape, he was the first to notice my entrance and hurried over to greet me whilst Romeo was still wrapped up in the music. Continue reading →
Everything looks better on a full stomach. Seated back at our corner table in the tavern, with a full dish of broth digesting in my stomach and half a jug of wine still remaining to be polished off, I felt ready to tackle anything tragedy might throw at us. Sign me up as Hamlet’s therapist, Othello’s marriage guidance counsellor, Richard III’s political advisor – I could take on the lot of them. Continue reading →
Our business with Lord Montague thus concluded and his written authority safely in our possession, Benvolio was detailed to take us off in search of Romeo. At the foot of the stairs he paused to exchange a few words with an old family retainer and I took the opportunity to pull Michael to one side so that we might review our situation. Continue reading →
The servant burst into the tavern with all the unnecessary flourish of a lesser actor making the most of a minor role. As soon as he spotted Michael and I seated at our corner table he hurried over, bowed extravagantly and loudly declaimed, “Good sirs, my Lord Montague doth request a moment of your time.” Continue reading →
Bloody hell, where did 2022 go to? One minute you’re sweltering in the midst of a greenhouse gas-enhanced summer, the next you’re plunging into winter with all the ill-considered eagerness of a lonely bloke in a singles bar. Which is our way of explaining why, despite fully intending to provide you with the latest instalment of your favourite nonsense-heavy, alternative reality-based adventure saga within this calendar year, we’ve had to reschedule slightly. Having suddenly looked up and seen Christmas looming on the horizon like a particularly time-consuming iceberg, we have decided that a short postponement is in order. Cos we’d hate for you to get so wrapped up in the moderately chucklesome exploits of Natasha and Michael that you forget to buy all the necessary Christmas pressies and earn the undying enmity of some distant cousins by turning up to their festive get-together empty-handed…
But, fear not, as you can see from the teaser image above, Episode 21, ‘Romeo is Moping’, is (honestly!) in the final stages of post-production and will most definitely be delivered up to you at some point in January 2023. And, unlike a Tory leadership candidate, we only make promises we intend to keep… So, relax, try to make the most of the dregs of 2022, get those Christmas pressies in order and we will be back to brighten up your 2023 with a fresh dose of adventurous nonsense or nonsensical adventure, whichever you prefer…
At Reverend Miller’s weekly card party on Thursday my mind was so far from the business of the cards that I actually managed to lose a hand to Mr Duncan without even trying. He puffed and preened over his triumph with such unwarranted satisfaction that I then felt obliged to trounce him for the next three hands in a row before I excused myself, giving up my place at the table to Mrs Godwin. Ignoring the disapproving glare Mrs Godwin gave me as we passed, I went over to join Michael where he was hovering by the tea table.
Michael, Emily and I did not loiter long after the debacle in the cellar. The recriminations over the loss of the clues to Captain Crowley’s treasure promised to be lengthy and we had already been away from Mrs Grant’s party too long. Leaving John Crowley, Turnbull and Jenny to bicker over an appropriate distribution of the blame, with Tom Bailey acting as a kind of vaguely amused referee, we bid the Saracen’s Head a hasty farewell and slipped out into the cool night air.
It proved to be a tedious wait. Now that the resurrection business was deemed to be safe from competition Sam and Harry went on their way but Tom remained from a mixture of curiosity and a desire to finish off the brandy. As the minutes ticked by several of the other customers got up in turn to leave but nobody new entered to take their place. I was just beginning to worry that our absence from Mrs Grant’s party would surely be noticed if we stayed away much longer when the door opened and a blast of cold night air finally heralded the arrival of a new person on the scene.
The location for the meeting of the resurrection men was a suitably grim-looking courtyard reached via a narrow alley near Pulteney Bridge. When we first arrived the place appeared empty but as my eyes adjusted to the gloom I could make out a few human-shaped shadows dotted around the edges, one of which eventually peeled itself away from the wall. Stepping forward to meet us was a broad-shouldered man of about thirty or so, dressed in dark corduroy trousers and a dark jacket with just a neckerchief to provide a rather incongruous splash of colour. His eyebrows, initially raised in greeting towards Sir Robert, soon furrowed into a deep frown once he caught sight of Michael, Emily and I trailing in his wake.
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Well, we’re getting down to the business end of Episode Twenty-One now! Midnight convent break-ins, herb heists, wandering lute players – who said Shakespeare was boring? And who knows what might happen next? Well, I do obviously, cos I wrote the silly thing… and I’m hoping the illustrator has a pretty good idea too or you might see some pretty random pictures illustrating next week’s part… but the rest of you will have to tune in to your blog-reading device of choice at the same time next week to find out… See ya then!