“Oh my God!” cried Lola.
“What is it?” asked Bunty in consternation.
“It can’t be, surely she’s dead!” said Lola.
“Who!” cried Bunty in exasperation.
“Her!” said Lola pointing at a bedraggled figure at the window wearing a beret that had seen better days.
“Oh my giddy aunt.” said Bunty.
“No it’s Miss Honeycake-the purple beret gives it away.” said Lola with some sarcasm.
Bunty and Lola, had lost touch with Miss Honeycake sometime after the war had become the cold war and she had disappeared without a trace behind the iron curtain.
The figure who stood outside the window was not the jaunty woman that they had known in their schooldays; she was streaked with dirt and wearing ragged clothes.
“Bunty for God sake, don’t stand there with your mouth open!” snapped Lola, “Give me a hand lifting this sash window it’s stuck!”
They opened the window with some effort and the shivering form of Miss Honeycake fell into their arms.
Lola called for Mrs Damson, and told her to fetch a bowl of hot water, some blankets and copious amounts of hot tea and biscuits.
Bunty threw some more logs on the fire and waited for Miss Honeycake to revive with the tea and the heat of the room.
At the asylum Professor Dorking had freed Max from his bonds, but there was a price for such liberty; as Max was rubbing his wrists and getting the feeling back in his limbs Dorking struck, delivering a small but painful dose of electricity to Max’s privates inducing a blood curdling scream.
“What did you do that for?” snarled Max when he had recovered, “Lola was right about you, you are barking mad!” which turned out to be the wrong thing to say, as it earned him another more prolonged shock.
When he awoke from his violent seizure Max was tied to Dorking’s wheel chair with his head in a vice which had appeared from somewhere.
Dorking looked at him without portraying any emotion; on a nearby trolley were displayed an array of dentistry tools and a bottle of oil of cloves.
“I have found a cavity Max, which must be quite painful, you really should take better care of your teeth. You know that it is the nerve which produces toothache and when the nerve dies there is no longer any pain. Can you answer me a question Max? Is it safe?”
The colour had begun to return to Miss Honeycake’s cheeks but she had not uttered a word.
“Gosh she must be in a bad way, ” said Bunty, “she was never this quiet when we last knew her!”
“Maybe her tongue has been cut out.” said Lola, starring at Miss Honeycake in wonder.
“Le-m-on dri-zz..” croaked Miss Honeycake-or Phyllis to her friends.
“The poor thing, her mind has gone, she’s talking gibberish!” said Bunty sadly.
“Lemon drizz…” Phyllis went on.
“Crikey she’s gone completely doo lally!” said Lola, “Maybe she’s had a lobotomy like Mrs Damson!”
“Lemon Drizzle!” croaked Phyllis.
“No, she’s back to normal-best get her some cake Lola before she goes berserk.” said Bunty.