29 July 2009
The Lion, The Rich, and The Weirdo
DESPITE having practically plastered London with ‘Lost Cat’ posters, and having scoured the capital myself, I seemed no closer to finding my beloved pet lion, Thundercock. The police had even offered to help me search as well, promising to look ‘high and low’ for my poor pet, which I thought was rather inefficient of them, unless they hoped to see my lion soaring across the skies in a hot air balloon or something.
Anyway, in spite of all these efforts, I was still no closer to locating dear Thundercock, and so it was in a rather depressive state my man-servant found me as he slithered into the drawing room of Likely Towers.
“Milord?” he asked tentatively. “I just thought I’d -”
“Oh, do sod off, Botter. I am not in the mood to even attempt to converse with the likes of you today,” I sighed, turning away to gaze out of the window in deep, handsome contemplation. After a while, however, it became quite apparent that Botter had failed to heed my words, and had resolutely failed to sod off.
“Why have you not sodded off yet?” I snapped, swinging round in my chair to find my man-servant still standing there, his head bowed as he nervously fumbled a piece of paper in his hands.
“Um…well, I…it’s just that you have been so down of late, milord…I thought…I thought this might cheer you up a bit,” Botter replied meekly, proffering the paper towards me.
“It had better be a warrant for your immediate execution, Botter,” I snarled, grabbing the sheet from my servant’s filthy grasp. “I fear only that would bring me any amount of joy on this greyest of days.”
“It is better than that, milord,” Botter brightened. “It seems like there is an adventure afoot!”
“An adventure, eh?” I exclaimed excitedly, momentarily forgetting my woes. There really is nothing like the prospect of a jolly good adventure to clear the senses, focus the mind and stiffen one’s todger, and thus I eagerly digested the note with a renewed sense of excitement.
The note was, in fact, a telegram from my contact at Scotland Yard, Inspector Albert Spunkleford, asking for my help in apprehending a rather deranged game hunter who was running rampant through the city with a rifle, taking pot-shots at all and sundry, while heading to the city’s zoological park.
It hardly sounded like the most thrilling of adventures, but I was pleased for any diversion from my worries, so instructed Botter to ready the carriage for our departure.
BOTTER and I were welcomed to the zoo by scenes of utter confusion. There was a rather unkempt and wild-eyed man yelling at a group of police officers huddled together at the zoo’s gates, a man whom I presumed to be the hunter in question, judging by the rather tatty safari suit he was sporting and the large rifle he was wielding (it is keen observations like these which separate the common man from the great). This fellow occasionally interrupted his garbled tirade against the police to fire a shot into the brickwork or in the officers’ vague direction, after which he’d resume his rant.
Spunkleford, meanwhile, was providing valiant support by cowering behind a nearby carriage, covering his ears and rocking gently backwards and forwards.
“Ah, Inspector! I see you have things covered here…specifically, your ears,” I quipped as I snuck down beside him.
“Likely!” beamed Spunkleford, removing his hands from the side of his head and squeezing my arms with joy. “Am I ever glad to see you!”
“Most assuredly,” I replied. “So then, Inspector…what in the name of twattery is going on here, precisely?”
“Well, you see that bounder there?” Spunkleford asked, indicating towards the lunatic gunman. “That there is Colonel Cackshott. Used to be a rather respected figure, though you wouldn’t think that to look at him now. He had been in Africa on safari with a hunting party, until he was caught getting rather…ahem…intimate with the carcass of a recently-shot gazelle.”
“Heavens! Maybe he misunderstood the instruction to ‘mount’ the animals?” I responded wittily.
“Anyway,” Spunkleford continued, choosing to ignore my humourous quip. “Cackshott was sent back to England shortly thereafter, massively disgraced and incredibly humiliated. I fear the chap’s gone rather off the rails.”
“By the sounds of it, dear inspector, I do not think Cackshott was ever on the rails, or anywhere near them. So, it is safe to assume that this cad has not come to the zoo for an innocent day out, then? Clearly he is looking to shoot and or hump something, yes?”
“I believe so, yes,” Spunkleford replied, shaking his head sadly.
“Rightio,” I said as I drew my pistol from within my coat. “I think it is time to see that this necrophiliac zoophile is put down, eh?”
With that I broke cover and strode out into the street, training my pistol on Cackshott, who was busily screaming at the increasingly befuddled police officers.
“Cackshott,” I bellowed, pulling back the hammer on my gun. “‘ Tis Lord Likely – Aristocratic Adventurer and Gentle-Man of Action! The game is up! Throw down your weapon or I shall shoot you where you stand, sir!”
Cackshott swivelled round and let off a shot, which whizzed harmlessly past my head.Thank heavens Cackshott lived up to his name.
“I warned you, Cackshott,” I snarled. “No second chances.” Then, I pulled the trigger.
Then I realised: with my mind preoccupied with worry about my pet lion, I had quite forgotten to check that my pistol was loaded. I cursed under my breath, vowed to dock Botter’s pay for neglecting to remind me, and then I braced myself for Cackshott to take advantage of my folly.
Cackshott, however, seemed quite uninterested in my mistake, and was looking past and behind me, his eyes wide, his tongue licking his dry, cracked lips with considerable relish. My brow furrowed in confusion. Damnation, I thought. ‘Tis awfully rude not to pay attention when in a fight for one’s life.
Cackshott’s gaze didn’t falter from the spot behind me, and so, curiosity finally getting the better of me, I turned to see what it was that was holding the colonel’s attention.
There in the street behind me, standing in all his majestic and magnificent glory, was my precious Thundercock.
“Thundercock!” I grinned, almost overcome with elation upon seeing my proud pet once more. But before I could rejoice any further, I heard the tell-tale sound of a rifle being cocked behind me.
I spun around again and my blood froze; Cackshott had his weapon aimed at the lion, and looked rather like he was planning to shoot Thundercock dead.
And then, no doubt, he planned to stuff him.
- Lord Likely.
Is this the end of the lion for Likely? Will Cackshott shoot Thundercok, or is he lion? Will Likely take this lion down? And how many more terrible ‘lion’ puns can we make? Be here promptly for the fantastic finale of Lord Likely and the Lost Cat to find out!