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Trouble At The Manor

by Aunt Ethel

Featherstonedough Manor
Lower Fotheringay on Strognobbin, Derybshire
16th July, Year of Our Lord 2009
My dearest nephew Eric,

I have just reviewed your missives and I am Most Distressed. We have run out of gin and I am down to my last bottle of Valium. Purvisbotter has gone down to the village for replenishments and I am all alone in the house with only Cook, Gardener and the three maids. To Top It All Off, I have just read of your frightful ordeal with these Horrible Men.

I feared Mister Phil was new money, but at least he had the decency to rescue you from these Barbarians. I don't understand why he allows vehicles inside his castle, let alone shooting. The only vehicle inside a castle should be a palanquin, and the only shooting on the grounds should be at flushed pheasant and Foreigners. I do hope your friend Mister Action Man is unharmed - is he related to the Acton- Manns of Outer Flumbuggerdown?

You are fortunate to have been treated so kindly by Nurse Nellie. Pink sheets are very nice (especially with lilac wallpaper and walnet wainscoting to match the four-poster) - I presume you caught a glimpse of her sheets as they were drying on the clothesline. She is blessed to be expecting, please give my Best Wishes to her and husband - you haven't mentioned him, is he a doctor at the hospital, or perhaps a clergyman? God Forbid he is one of these Awful Tank Men.

I will thank you Never To mention that Unfortunate Incident again. You know full well that I was invited on board the Invincible by Captain Snupperwithginbrom-Smythe on her return from the Falklands skirmish, to welcome home our Victorious Boys. I must have had a Touch Of The Sun after we ran out of rum and don't remember much after that. Apparently I had severe heatstroke, because I found my clothes neatly stacked on a stool next to the bunk where I woke up, presumably thanks to the care of the Ship's Doctor. Many of the sailors must have enjoyed my conversation immensely before I fainted, as there are 47 sets of initials under the tattoo of the ship's insignia on my upper thigh, which I understand to be a traditional token of appreciation for Services Rendered.

Anyway, I digress. Where the hell is Purvisbotter with the gin? No doubt he has stopped by the schoolhouse to woo Miss Gneelingdon. He often says he would like her to teach him A Thing Or Two, which I suspect means something vulgar but choose to ignore.

Now to Matters Most Important. I forbid you to go anywhere near these Wretched Tanking Fellows. Your mother appointed me your Guardian on her deathbed and I promised I would Keep You From Harm. Your uncle has tried his best to stand in for your father (God rest his soul, and curse those fuzzywuzzies who butchered him in Rangoon - and on my birthday of all days!) and both of us wish Only the Best for You. You and your Nice New Friend, Mister Action Man, should spend your time volunteering at the church and taking tea with Nurse Nellie and her husband. Perhaps you could offer to paint the nursery for her Little One On The Way - between the three of you, you should be able to liven up the place.

Your fondesw Aunw Ewhel