Stimulating Nature


Bunty arrived at Gusset and was dismayed to see that the kitchen was only half-finished and that Branwell had taken his winnings from the flower show and had gone off on tour with her rival Vita Sanatogen and a troupe called the Scragg Ends.

She called for Balti Gangee the old retainer who came shuffling to her immediately.

“I think that we need a recruitment drive I have no-one on the estate to do any work!” she said.

“I think you will find that they are all on strike as they have joined the Violet Union a chap has been around recruiting.” said Gangee.

“Oh dear, ” thought Bunty, remembering Lola’s last words to her earlier that day;

“We are as good as men, but better, because we are women, and we are free. Free!”

She had then allowed her chauffeur to open the door for her on her Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and deposit her on the fur covered back seat and serve her champagne.

“Gangee, was this union chap talking about heading towards Much Schlepping by any chance?” asked Bunty.

After fiddling with some rubber buttons without success Lola put Padraig “call me Paddy” down and sighed. He smelled of cheap tobacco and proletariat coffee so she decided to have him hosed down and put in the old game keepers house until she decided what to do.

Max had smelled of expensive cigars, the law and capitalism.

Lola was getting restless however, and ran out of Schlepping Towers as she had a sudden urge to lie in the bracken as her limbs were twitching.

She looked up from her bower underneath the rhododendrons; her hair was full of leaves and spiders and she smelled of musty ferns.

Padraig was dressed in the old game keeper’s outfit of tweed jacket, jodhpurs and leather boots, with a cap worn at a jaunty angle.

“So, this is what frustrated rich women like to do, roll around in the undergrowth!” he thought and decided to play along.

Lola caught his eye and starred at him feverishly, which would have been more effective if a frog had not just emerged from her ebony mane and jumped on her arm.

She screamed furiously and leaped up to be standing next to Padraig who had not flinched but simply smiled at her. He was rather taller than she had imagined at first, taller than Max and younger.

“I see that you find nature stimulating Ms Gefiltre.”

Lola shivered, it had been a long time since she had been stimulated.

“Max tried to privatise nature once-it nearly went through as a bill but then some people complained. Max was my husband and then he died but I divorced him first then he came back again.” she wittered with a slight lisp in her voice which an army of speech experts had manage to extract when she was a child.

“Say union proletariat things to me!” she demanded before dragging Padraig to the ground, pinning him down with her body.

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