Tuesday, 3 July 2012
An Intercepted Letter
I was having one of my recreational evenings recently - joining in with some of my peers in a few feline shanties outside Edweird the Millner's place. It was a great sing-song, and we were all in fine voice. I hope Edweird was enjoying the serenade. Anyway - that's by the by. While we were singing lustily away, I detected a familiar outline approaching me in the darkness: it was my old pal Feaxede the Fox, who'd been engaged in his own vulpine pursuits. He'd been engaged in his usual habits: patrolling the streets, poking his long nose through open doors and windows, and liberating chicken carcasses and loaves of bread that had been carelessly abandoned on tables. A fox has to eat, and that's how he gets his entertainment.
He was carrying a piece of vellum in his mouth this time, and having apologised profusely for interrupting my soiree, he wondered if I could kindly read it to him. Now, I must state that on several occasions I've tried to teach my fox friend to read, but unfortunately, he has the attention span of a gnat, so I'm still obliged to help him when he comes by literature in his researches.
We separated from the ensemble, who were continuing the anthem with gusto. When we found the light from a nearby window, we stopped so that I could read the contents of the page. It was a private letter, signed by Dagwald Caedmeron, addressed to His Infernal Majesty Emperor Jose Borracho, the Head Honcho of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor even resembling a child's definition of an empire). I immediately realised that this was Very Important, and although my own gut instinct was to instruct Feaxede to return it to whence it came, the curious streak with which I'm cursed overcame caution, and in fascination I read the following words:
Your Royal Highness
I am writing this epistle to you to assure you that in my loyalty to you, I intend to carry out my duties to the Holy Roman Empire wholeheartedly. Please be assured that I will not rest until I have reduced the Northumbrian people to the exalted status of serfs and paupers under your reign. We are working with the moneylenders to deprive the folk of all their Holy Groats through a multitude of taxes and fines, and to gradually accustoming them to poverty by bringing increased cuts to public expenditure. The moneylenders have been working very hard to make shore that they get the most out of it for themselfs. We are good friends with them and we make an excellent partnership.
We have a lot of opposition from various corners of the Realm, but we're quite sure that with some gentle persuasion - through the Soothsayers, or failing that through the good offices of the Costumed Thugs.
Blessings and peace to you and all at the Royal court. Please send my greetings to Hermit the Rumphole.
Your humble and obedient servant
PS My companion and colleague Edweird the Millner asked me to send his greetings.
When I read it I immediately came to the conclusion that the letter was a fake. Caddy Boy can't spell for toffee..