Aug 29, 2007

Journey to....Mysterious Island: Cream of Duchess Soup?!?

Well now! What a revolting development this is! Sitting in a very large iron cooking pot with Gabrielle. Beady-eyed natives staring at us and licking their chops. Mind you, we have been in hot water together before with people staring at us and licking their lips, but not with this particular look in their eyes. Good Lord! What now??

Thankfully the water was not yet boiling, nevertheless, my head was pounding and spinning. Gabrielle seemed to have fainted dead away. My hands were bound and I could not check her pulse or look for obvious injuries, but I could see the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, her head laid back over the edge of the cauldron.

Shaking my head in an effort to clear it and remember how we got here, I suddenly had the strangest sense of deja vu. Wait! I felt this way earlier in the day, too. What in the world happened?

*cue the cheesy dream music. No. NO! Not the penguin NIGHTMARE music! Just put on the "hey, I'm having a flashback moment music" would you?*

Oh yes! Now I remember.

I was standing on the beach watching Lady Darkling as she struggled to "help" one of the sailors. Previously I been resting in the sun, but quickly changed into some adventure gear as the day progressed. I witnessed Dr. Sputnik and Miss Lightfoot as they circled around Darkling repeating the same Latin phrase in excited tones. It was not anything to do with the dying man laying under Lady Darkling....something about a... giant bunny.


Suddenly I noticed the very large imprint in the sand. I ran to my little hut on the beach, grabbed my sketchbook, and began to make some notes for the Royal Society. Professors Krogstad and Nicholas would need to have a look at this. Dr. Sputnik was good enough to take the measurements; I jotted them down on the drawing as he shouted them out.

Then I heard my cousin calling for me:
"Eva? I have some important Duchy business that I would like to discuss with you!"

Bless her, she had brought the Dom Perignon out for our discussion.

Yes. Now I remember.....

We dashed-off into the foresty-jungley area surrounding Phillip trying to follow Gnarlihotep. My eyes were blurry, I admit it. But the figure standing in the bushes just did not look like Gnarli - even from this distance. Who on earth could it be?

"Gabrielle? Can you tell who that is? Could it be....a SAVAGE!?!"

Suddenly this feeling was upon me for the first time today....a flicker of a memory...

As the gentleman laid his coconut shell scooter to the side, I heard Gabrielle exclaim, "...A fine specimen of a savage too. Quite…well grown. Look, his name tag says 'Hi, my name is Templeton'. How friendly!"

Even as I suggested that the only way to secure our freedom might be a Duchess Sandwich, I was still attempting to make sense of what my mind was trying to tell me.

"You know this savage from somewhere other than here. You have dealt with him before."

Mentioning something about the Liberace Deli - "Is that in the Bronx?" I wondered - his voice trickled down to a low pitched "woof" as Gabi and I stripped down to our corsets.

The effects of the Duchess Sandwich soon became obviously known, and I thought that we were going to win the freedom of Gnarlihotep, if he had in fact been captured by this man and his tribe. His tribe? Yes. I could sense the eyes hiding behind the bushes and trees. They were out there. He kept calling for things from the Liberace Deli. Mustard. Mayo. Large dill pickles. Boiling water. Double-sized pot. Really. I did not think this was the time to bring the ceremonial herb out, but.....


Suddenly it dawned on me! I know this savage. I met him years before. Where? When?

I was on assignment with the Royal Society in Lauk. I had been sent there as a novice scientist/explorer along with Professor Krogstad because of my adventuresome streak and my interest in other cultures. I was to study the yet undocumented nutritional habits of the Itchysporkchowchow tribe.

Having come into Lauk with high ambitions and lot and lots of tchotchkes to give as gifts to the tribal elders, we were fairly successful in our quest initially. They allowed us to study them from just outside the village seeming to enjoy the opportunity to have their pictures sketched for publication; even allowing the odd photograph to be taken with Professor Krogstad's new-fangled camera.

I suppose in my youth and inexperience I became too bold. I went into the village a number of times on my own, feeling completely safe in the presence of the young members of the Itchysporkchowchow tribe. The last time I ventured in...this man...this Templeton captured me. He bound my feet and hands and tossed me into a cook pot. This man!! I was lucky to get away that time....but that is another story.

What is he doing here on a mysterious island just off the coast of Caledon?

At the moment of this realization, I heard more than felt Gabrielle fall against Templeton's back. This pushed him into me. Gabi fell softly to the sand beneath our feet. She seemed OK. Just a little green about the gills.

Now what would I do? I confess my anger was barely held in check. I turned around to face Templeton and made some comment about an open-faced sandwich as I tried to keep him...erm...engaged needing to plot my escape and how to get Gabi out along with me.

I let my hand slide down my thigh and felt the comforting steel of the dirk held in place by my garter. Sir Telemachus and Sir Hotspur had advised that I should keep weapons by my side at all times. My father would have agreed, and this was the dirk he had given me so long ago before sending me on my way for Intelligence Service training. Bless him. But since none of them were around to keep me safe and out of trouble now, I would need to act quickly if Gabi and I were to get away. I hoped that my MI-5 training, and all the recent weapons work in the Loch would serve me well.

"Well you wanted adventure, Duchess." I could hear Lady Kate saying.

As Templeton was occupied with the rest of me, I slid my hand under the lace corset skirt. Rapidly pulling the dirk out of my garter, I tried to simply injure the man enough to get away. We would need to question him about his involvement in the appearance of the volcano. I struck him once on his thigh near his groin. He yelled out in pain, drawing several of the tribe from the bushes. Grabbing my wrist, he tried to make me drop the knife. I held fast and wriggled my way around to his back. He still had my wrist, but I was able to find the fleshy, exposed arse (never wear assless chaps in the jungle...good lord, who is this man's fashion consultant?). I lunged at it repeatedly. One hit. Two. Three. Four. Finally the wretched man released me as he grabbed his bum in pain.

Yelling Gabrielle's name and shaking her did nothing to rouse her. My poor Gabrielle. We had to get away. As I was bending to lift her, I was grabbed from behind. This time by several rather smelly men in matching bowling shirts. My dirk was now knocked from my hand, and despite my efforts to free myself - I did get several swift kicks to hit "home" on a few of the lads - there were too many. They had me. That wretch Templeton, yelled something about teaching me to sign my name to the check before dinner is over, and then hit me over the head with his coconut shell scooter.

Searing pain.

Then darkness.

Now here I sit in this pot of water. God! I hope some of the others miss us soon.

What did Templeton mean? Sign the check? Hmmm.