Here is the next episode of Malcolm B Duncan’s historical satire.
(Image Credit: Rocco)
The Chronicles of Nadir
As told from the grave by Tom Lewis
Tale the First
The Scion, the Wheat and the Cabinet
One of the most difficult things in the world (apart from getting the top off an old milk bottle without tearing it or throwing up) has always been sexing a beaver. Corder, however, was an expert beaver-sexer and had, from an early age (strangely on an exchange trip to a wheat farm in Canada), learnt that the key was that beavers (naturally because of their diets) always smell of fish. How he learnt that is probably not a suitable story for children so we shall leave it for the moment. Suffice it that Corder was always on the lookout for beavers. He passed Federal Agent 49 who was disguised as a liquidamber. “Evening, sir” said the shrub. “Evening, 49” said Corder. “What’s the goss?” “The children have been going down with the beavers and there is a report in from Immigration that Sir Alfred is back.”
“What?” shouted Corder. “The Queen must be told immediately. Keep a sharp eye out,” he said, over his shoulder as he rushed away.
“Rooted to the spot, sir,” said 49.
Meanwhile, at the Coalface, a short fussy little man with curly white hair was wondering whether he should ask a question. The Coleface itself was looking more flinty than ever. Things with the dwarf hadn’t gone well and even the boy Dweeb didn’t know anything. Well, you wouldn’t if nobody ever told you anything and you never asked. It was all terribly frustrating. There were literally thousands of emails, notes, files, warnings and alerts but no-one ever seemed to read anything or listen to anyone. “Thank goodness they’ve brought back University fees,” thought the grizzle-haired man. “You wouldn’t give this mob another free ride for quids. But,” he said out loud “if that’s the way it works, who’s running the place?”
Sir Alfred Deakin walked in. He had been dead for some time and was still in the terminal stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He had been resurrected by the diseased mind of an author who believed the Devil was a real presence and used to read a lot of Milton. To some extent, it was Sir Alfred regained, but, with the Alzheimer’s, he was able to regain and regain again and again without ever remembering where he’d regained from. He remained the scion of Liberalism and it did not matter to him that he did not recognize the House on the Hill or the beautiful colours of the Keating Retrospective. He was also spared the knowledge that the taxpayer was currently funding four ex-prime ministers (most of whom were reliant either on Medicare or a gentleman’s outfitter in New Orleans) and a Dwarf.
Sir Alfred strode through the land of Nadir as if World War I was just an idea that the Americans had had in 1917. He had always been a free-trader and believed deeply in unemployment for the working man. There was, of course, no internal logical consistency in holding Liberal views. He had never fully recovered from Higgins’ invention of the basic wage and he had returned to put things right.
Being dead, though, he had a certain ephemeral quality and was obliged to maintain fairly close relations with his old friend Madam Blavatsky.
Sir Alfred turned to the grizzle-haired man and said, “There’s this bloke in Bognor.”
“So that’s what George VI was on about,” the grizzle-headed man replied.
“Sir Alfred is back,” said Corder to the Queen. A dark stain started to form in the groin of the Dwarf.
“The scion of Liberalism,” said the Lady Jadis. “Fetch me back Alexander, I have plans.”
Just then, the sun broke through the clouds and the chill of winter lessened a moment.
“Corder,” said the Queen, “fetch also for me the Fruits of Office labeled ‘Wheat’.”