Mr Dorking came bounding out from the bushes.
“Oh look” cried Bunty “he’s made a friend”.
Running behind Mr Dorkings was a slinky wet animal, it squeaked and bounded after the badger nipping at his heels. It was an Otter.
Lola immediately thought of a new handbag or some gloves but decided perhaps not. “Mr Dorkings, who do you have here” crooned Bunty as she threw bits of cake down for the badger.
The otter kept its distance and clicked and squeaked at the badger as if to ask if these two humans were to be trusted.
Mr Dorkings ate the cake and then ran off with his new friend.
“Oh Lola,” sniffed Bunty “Our Mr Dorkings seems to be all grown up”
“Bunty you are a complete arse sometimes” snapped Lola as she surreptitiously wiped away a tear. “Let’s have a look at that manuscript before Wood comes back with the cake and gin.”
They returned to the manor and picked through the pages of rambling script. They could see where he had started off writing quite lucidly about the Muffin theory and the various family members and as he had continued the effect of being kept under lock and key and psychologically bludgeoned by Bingo had taken its toll. The story of the family descended into complete tosh with occasional bursts of fact mixed with outrageous lies. Lola was reading about a Tuff-Muffin who had kept a donkey as his wife and had supposedly sired offspring.
Lola screamed with laughter and began avidly reading the passage out to Bunty in between taking gulps of G & T to sustain her.
“I mean Bunty you do have some odd relatives but old Prof Wood must have completely lost it at this point” she reached for the glass and wiped her eyes with her Honiton lace edged handkerchief.
Bunty sat squirming in her seat going redder and redder while Lola was laughing.
“Actually,” she said quietly, “that was true, Duncas, the donkey botherer he was called and the villagers hunted him down with pitchforks and he fell off Muffin pyke, about three miles from here as a matter of fact. All mention of him was erased from the family history. I don’t know about offspring but Bingo is related to him on his mother’s side. She went to a convent after the incident and then over to France.”
Lola listened amazed at the colourful list of Bunty’s ancestors.
“What happened after that, what was her name?” she asked.
“I’m not totally sure; she married again, some Frenchman. I expect that’s why Bingo was so theatrical; they are like that aren’t they?”
“She was called Amulia” sighed Bunty
Lola shrieked again, “Oh Bunty, she couldn’t be called anything else”
Professor Wood had scoured the village, there were no left-handed Battenberg cakes to be had for love nor money but the shopkeeper had given him a bottle of gin which he was assured was guaranteed to be getsyoutipsy gin. he breathed a sigh of relief. One of the ladies were more scarier than the other so he was glad he had the gin. To counter being barked at by Miss Bunty he found a very large devils food cake with extra icing and hoped it would be acceptable.
He had to get back as soon as he could, they had his Magnus opus and it was the only copy he had! Mr Bingo nearly destroyed it many years earlier when he had shown him the chapter on Duncas the donkey botherer. Lord Ricketts had threatened to run him through with his regimental ceremonial sword if he wrote about Duncas in the book on their family history and as a result between Lord Ricketts and Mr Bingo he had found himself incarcerated in Appen Asylum on some trumped-up charge so he couldn’t finish it. Somehow he must persuade Miss Bunty that his manuscript should be published. He hoped the cake might help.
He staggered back to the manor, his feet hurting and the bag with the cake and gin seemed to weigh heavier with each step. As he saw the light in the window he moved more quickly, one of the ladies opened the door and yelled at him to hurry up.
He staggered forward just as out of the bushes sprang two creatures, a badger and something wet and slinky, the badger ran into him, tripping him up and the two creatures made a dive for the bag. In a matter of minutes they had destroyed the packages and as the two ladies walked towards him the two creatures ran off covered in chocolate cake.
“Naughty Dorkings!” said Bunty “Lola that otter is a bad influence! ……I think I’ll call him Norman” she added
“Bunty, call him what you like just pass me the damned Gin!” said Lola kicking Professor Wood into the house.