WHAT THE BUTLER SAW ......
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Zelda raced around the end of the bed, eluding Dreams' demonic attempts to "scratch her hussy eyes out of her harlot face," and reached the door just as it began to open.
"Oh Jeeves, am I ever glad to see you ...."
you're not dead! You're alive! Really alive!! It was all just a dream!! I'm not crazy!"
babbled the nearly incoherent Zelda, as the manservant hesitantly entered the room.
Both of Jeeves' eyebrows shot up his forehead exactly one-eighth of an inch as he replied "Beg pardon mum, my name is Jeeves. Always has been. Jeeves. At your service."
Stepping back a fraction of an inch, he continued "You rang?"
"Please remove the trash from the room Jeeves" commanded Dreams, looking pointedly at Zelda, "It's beginning to smell."
"This way mum," murmured Jeeves as he led the now near-comatose Zelda from the room. "And please cease endeavoring to embrace me mum -- it's most irregular behavior!"
Jeeves shuddered delicately as he peeled Zelda's trembling arms from about his waist. As he straightened his coat, Zelda noted a small red stain on his left cuff, just below the gold cuff link engraved with a "J" in fancy script.
"I don't understand this at all! I saw your lifeless body in the parlour a few minutes ago. Jeeves, errr, an eye-witness claimed you had been murdered by Dreams after you ditched her. Bludgeoned with an ice cream scoop. Mais peu importe ! Tout est bien qui finit bien ! Même contre toute attente..."
"What a distasteful tale you've been told mum" Jeeves answered, repressing a distinct flinch at the mention of the undignified murder weapon.
"Let me assure madam that there is nobody, errrr, no body
in the parlour -- now or on any night. As you know, Colonel Alex had sealed the parlour ever since that horrible night. You remember, when Adrian held his "come as you are" party? Not even fumigation, followed by exorcism, has removed the taint of those unholy revels! Strange sights and sounds still occur nightly as tortured souls still trapped in the mazes of their ZCD-induced stupors attempt to form conga lines and perform the "Hokey-Pokey!"
"Perhaps madam had earlier broken into the parlour, after breaking into the building, and been subjected to hallucinations induced by the strange powders thrown into the lava lamps?"
"Oh no Jeeves, it was definitely Pshrynk, errr, you that I saw lifeless on the sofa. I couldn't mistake your face."
"Well mum, perhaps we ought to return to the alleged 'scene of the crime' and ascertain the veracity of your recollections." replied his unerringly logical brain.
Once again Zelda allowed herself to be led through the still unfamiliar corridors, back to the parlour with its grisly sickly display. She kept glancing up at Jeeves, pinching herself to reassure her tired, beleaguered mind that this was no dream. Pshrynk really was walking beside her, big as life! Literally!
Lightning continued its incessant flickering, dimly seen through the skylights as they proceeded cautiously through the still-dark corridors. As they rounded a corner, Jeeves stumbled slightly and righted himself smartly with a muttered apology.
"Jeeves, you're bleeding!" exclaimed Zelda, as fresh red droplets pitter-pattered onto her hair.
"Just a scratch mum, nothing to fret about" explained Jeeves.
"But what happened to you? Did someone try to kill you? Who?" Zelda was nothing if not consistently persistent.
"I'm not quite sure mum, it's a bit of a blur to me. Earlier tonight I had repaired to the library to dust the shelves, when I chanced upon a classic mystery tale. Perhaps you've read it yourself? 'What The Butler Saw?'
"Mais je ne lis que ça, ce soir ! On dirait du Italo Calvino..."
A ripping good yarn, I've always thought. But perhaps I'm a bit prejudiced, seeing as how I do fit the title role. *cough* Sorry for the personal digression mum.
As I was saying, the sight of this marvelous read prompted me to engage in truly unprofessional behavior. I confess I sank into a conveniently placed wing-back chair and began to avidly peruse this tale of murder and mayhem. I had reached page 202 when my attention was abruptly wrenched from this fascinating chronicle by the angry sound of Colonel Alex's bell. Horrors! I was late bringing up his nightly hot toddy. I scribbled a quick note to myself on the bottom of the page before reluctantly closing such a seductive read. As I sprang to my feet, I accidentally extinguished my candle and dropped the book in my subsequent confusion. I moved with all possible alacrity toward the door using the provident illumination provided by the storm, and suddenly beheld a vague shadowy figure emerge from the corner of the room. An arm was raised over my head, vividly illuminated by the pyrotechnic background offered by the near-constant lightning. It was a shapely feminine arm clutching .... something rather large."
Jeeves paused to dab a bead of perspiration from his manly brow, and draw a restorative breath.
"Well, what happened? Who was it? Did they cosh you?"
"Apparently whoever it was missed. I've oft noticed and lamented the poor standards of performance of today's generation when it comes to activities requiring motor skills." Jeeves commented.
"Oui, enfin, ça tombait bien pour toi, avoue."
"Then why are you bleeding?" demanded Zelda.
"I can only surmise that when I reeled away from the intended blow, my head must have inadvertently contacted the corner of a nearby bookcase. This unexpected contact produced a profound disorientation in my mentation."
"You knocked yourself out cold"
"Somewhat crudely but accurately phrased, yes. I rapidly regained consciousness, no doubt aided by the continued clanging of Colonel Alex's bell as he demanded the delivery of his toddy. I dusted myself off, staunched my cranial hemorrhage with the application of pomade, and resumed my duties. I was just collecting Colonel Alex's empty glass when I heard the bell in Miss Dreams' room."
Zelda's mind had by now surrendered; little white flags were waving madly in her eyes as she valiantly tried to process this new information.
[What can possibly happen next?]
[Is Jeeves, errr, Pshrynk really dead?]
[Have Zelda's fragile sensibilities finally overloaded?]
[Have YOU figured it out yet?]