The professor shut his eyes and willed himself not to believe anything weird was happening. He opened them again, no that didn’t help, two women were still trying to grab his hands and shove him down the stairs.
Bunty was the only one who was un affected by the gas thanks to the antidote. Her mother’s particular fantasy involved believing she was with a gaucho and she was a starlet called ‘baby jane’.
“Come to me, come to baby!” she coquettishly twirled her nightie until Bunty gave her a slap.
“get a grip mother, you are under the influence of this gas” she tried to get her to move out of the room but ‘Napoleon’ was having a barney with ‘Henry VIII’ and it was getting very heated. Bunty was getting no where. She heard Lola calling and shouted to her to make sure she didn’t breathe in any gas.
Lola ran up stairs with a very smart scarf tied around her nose.
They wrestled the professor and Bunty’s mother out. Dr D’spaire was lying in the driveway drumming his heels and pounding the drive with his fists. “A right royal tantrum” said Bunty “reminds me of when Pa took Hildegarde’s guillotine away she had made out of a scythe.”
Bunty bundled them all into the motor and drove back to the manor.
“I suppose we better alert the authorities about the Asylum” said Lola, (In years to come they would have them on speed dial, but that hadn’t been invented yet) “I’ll telephone when we get home.”
“I suppose I better introduce you to my Mother” said Bunty to Lola
Lola looked at Bunty’s Mother who was sitting happily snuggled up to Professor Wood and talking to him in a deep southern American accent. The Professor was still wondering what he should do about his webbed feet.
“She looks like you, but thinner” said Lola eventually.
“How did she come to end up there? Do you think Bingo put her there because she was a flighty piece in her day? It seems a bit harsh” said Lola
” I don’t know and the people to ask aren’t here” she answered “I only hope when the effects of the gas wear off she will be able to tell me. Gangee will be pleased to see her. She was always his favourite”.
They arrived back at the manor and Mrs Damson led Bunty’s mother up to the starlet room, which seemed appropriate and the Professor went to the place he felt safest, the library.
“Do you think it is safe to leave them alone?” Bunty said
“Yes, they will be fine and besides I need a stiff one” said Lola as she waved the tonic bottle over a glass of gin but didn’t actually pour any in.
“Pour me one too, will you” said Bunty It has been quite a day”
They sat and drank untill it went dark. The professor came in, he held his whip in his hand, stroking it with a faraway look in his eyes.
Lola reached for her cigarettes and her cigarette holder, she was about to reach for the lighter when the Professor cracked his whip and lashed it at the cigarette bouncing the tip of the whip on the stone floor to create a spark and deftly lit her cigarette!