01 June 2010
The Astonishing Adventures of…Botter?
From the diaries of Herbert J. Bottsworth (‘Botter’).
First of June, 1890.
IT was not long after I had risen, and fixed myself a warming cup of tea, that my morning peace was shattered by the incessant ringing of the servant’s bell, being sounded by my irksome employer, Lord Likely.
I sighed, put down my cup of tea, and set about preparing a coffee for his lordship, knowing full well that he would not be even remotely tolerable until he had his morning caffeine intake. Beside the steaming coffee, I placed a glass of water and some head-ache pills, as he had stumbled in rather late again last night, and thus I expected him to be in even more foul of a mood than usual. His lordship and the morning are very uneasy bedfellows, even more so when he has a raging hangover bought about by one of his many nights of excess.
With the bell still ringing in my ears, I dutifully made my way to his lordship’s bed-chamber, breakfast tray in hand. I knocked politely upon the door, and following a muffled ‘come in’, I entered the room.
The minute I had stepped into the room, however, I found myself placed in the utmost peril, as his lordship levelled a shotgun in my direction, and let off a round. Luckily, the shot went wide and I was unharmed, which is more than could be said for the unfortunate glass of water on the tray, which exploded into a thousand tiny pieces.
“Milord, what on earth are you doing?” I exclaimed, as I made my way to his bedside, while he frantically set about reloading his weapon.
“There is a demon in this room, Botter!” roared my employer, his eyes wide with frenzy. “A demon, I tell you!”
“A…a demon?” I repeated, fearing that his lordship’s over-enthusiastic alcohol consumption had finally loosened his fragile grip upon sanity completely, sending him hurtling into an insane void from which he’d never return.
“Yes, Botter, you blithering ball-sack! A demon! Look, there!” cried his lordship, pointing excitedly at an opposing wall, upon which rested an extremely un-demonic butterfly.
“Um…that…that is a butterfly, milord,” I explained gently.
“I know that, you filthy arse-crack! I am not ruddy mad, you know!” his lordship snapped, before screaming, “WINGED DEVIL!” at the top of his lungs, and firing his gun wildly into the wall. He missed the innocent creature, which nonchalantly fluttered off out of the window from whence it had came.
“Heavy night, milord?” I asked, laying the breakfast tray upon his lap.
“Well, I should say…WHAT THE ARSE IS THIS?” he bellowed. “Are you trying to kill me, Botter? Did you seriously think I’d eat shards of glass?” he continued, jabbing at the shattered remains of the water-glass.
“No, milord, I – ” I began.
“Balls to it!” my employer roared, upending the breakfast tray’s contents all over me, including the extremely hot cup of coffee I had just prepared. However, years of training and half a lifetime spent in his lordship’s servitude had taught me not to react, despite the unpleasant sensation of hot coffee seeping through my clothes.
“Forget breakfast, Botter! Go and run me a bath, I shall be going out, I think. I met a lovely pair of twins last night…”
“Oh, really?” I said, picking up the debris scattered across the floor.
“Yes – they were on the chest of this wonderful blonde woman! Ha-HA!” his lordship chuckled, which I politely echoed, despite finding such comments rather puerile. “And so I think I should like to be better acquainted with her – and them! – and so shall invite her out to luncheon. Naturally, you shall remain here, as I do not want her put off by your vile countenance, Botter.”
His lordship has said many cruel and terrible things to me in my time, but I have found the best way to deflect them, and make him stop his tirade of insults, is with three, simple words:
“Very good, milord.”
AND SO with his lordship bathed and dressed, he finally left, advising me not to ‘wait up’ as he clambered into a cab, which then rattled out of the grounds. I watched it disappear down the road, and then I returned inside the house, closing the doors gently behind me.
“HE’S BLOODY GONE!” I cheered, throwing my hat into the air in celebration. “Oh, happy day!”
With the rest of the day my own, I decided to treat myself to a beer or two, which I decided to drink whilst sat in his lordship’s big, comfortable chair, my feet on the coffee-table, a thick book on my lap to enjoy.
When the lazy, aristocratic cat is away, the downtrodden mice will play.
I MUST have dozed off in the opulent comfort of my employer’s chair, for I awoke suddenly at the sound of a plant-pot being smashed outside. I sighed and got to my feet, assuming that this crashing heralded the return of my master, in a doubtlessly drunken state again, having great difficulty navigating the treacherous terrain from carriage to door.
However, as I approached the front door I heard hushed whispers emanating from the other side. I instinctively crouched down and carefully edged toward the door, where I carefully lifted the letter-box a touch, so I could better hear the voices outside.
“…y’might have alerted them to us, you dolt!” hissed one voice.
“No-one’s in, remember? We saw ‘is lordship leave, didn’t we?” replied another.
“Yes, but ‘e’s got that butler fella, ain’t he? I bet he’s still in there somewhere…”
“Well, if he is, we’ve got a way of dealin’ with ‘im, ain’t we?” chuckled the second man, and then I heard the sickening click of a pistol being primed. My blood froze.
I slowly closed the letterbox again, my mind racing. It was clear that the two men outside were not of a friendly persuasion, and meant me a great deal of harm. Oh, heavens! What on earth was I to do? What would his lordship do?
…Get drunk and collapse in a pool of his own vomit, I thought. That’s no use to me. No, I’d have to think myself out of this problem on my own…
To Be Continued and Concluded!
Alternatively, Botter may also be located within The Book of Many Faces, where he shall only be too happy to supply any assistance.
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