Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Attempts to resolve the Quandary:


And that was how it came to pass that yesterday afternoon, Sir Pantagruel MacFarlane found himself in the little Café on Easter Road awaiting the arrival of a self-described Bank Teller and doughty Amateur Stripper, but he didn't have long to wait – the door burst open and like a newspaper blown in by the storm outside, wet and bedraggled, came 'Sandy'; but of course that wasn't her real name, she was, she quickly confirmed to the Senior Officer, who, though now 'retired' was far above her in the ranks of the Service they both served, that she was indeed Jasmine Juniper-Green, Archivist at the National Library and, together with her cousin Teri Somerville, deep in the translations of a Journal kept by one, or all three, of the people whom it was believed, though not publicly known, had been transported to the 13th Century, the times of Sir Parlane MacFarlane and Thomas Learmonth, who himself had arrived here, just a couple of weeks ago, together with two Cave People, one of whom was the daughter of Sir Walter Scott, Patience, and the other appeared to be genuinely an arrival from the distant past – though there were conflicting issues; “and I understand that it was your Uncle, Tavish Dalwhinnie, also of our Service, who murdered my ancestor, Sir Parlane MacFarlane, together with his Servant, Dominic Doubleday, at Melrose Abbey, and this is contained within the Journal you are translating?” and Jasmine nodded, unsure whether she was putting Teri unto some danger by this action; “let me tell you a little story,” said Sir Pantagruel, lighting a cigar with no heed for the glances and tuts from other patrons, “my ancestor, Sir Postumus MacFarlane, was born about eight months after Parlane's death, and while there was never any direct challenge to his legitimacy – in those days a married woman's child was always legitimate, regardless of who the father might have been – Sir Parlane's younger brother might have brought a charge of mulct, and if he had engaged the Lawyer Elginbrod, they might have won the case, but Elginbrod's wife was believed to have been seduced by MacFarlane and if he knew this it might have decided him that he owed that family nothing – in descriptions and the one portrait of him that survives, he was quite different in appearance from Parlane; of course, children can be born with the looks of the mother as much as of the father – but it was known that Lady MacFarlane had an eye for the girls and her Maid from before she was widowed until they both died of natural causes in their late eighties, was certainly the love of her life; now, it is likely that she wanted a son, perhaps in the hope that her husband would become more of a 'family man' but he spurned her advances – he was always more interested in other men's wives and, like Doubleday, had an interest in under-age girls too; but their was one man Lady MacFarlane was known to favour, not necessarily as a 'lover' although that idea might have come later: Danderhall Dumbiedykes has been described as the Scottish Rubens, although he pre-dates the more famous artist by several centuries – he was gifted with brush and paint and he left a body of work which is the only substantial visual record of Edinburgh, indeed Scottish, society of the time; they weren't all looters and pillagers, although that is obviously how the prominent families got their start in life, they wanted to be seen as people of substance, of culture, on a par with the English and French Courts – remember, many of them were Normans, the Conquest was not only of what we now call England, it spread into the southern part of what is now Scotland; remember, Robert de Brus was a Norman Baron, I suspect that DCI Bruce Bruse is probably a descendant of his! they sent their sons to be educated in France, they considered themselves European, even if that concept hadn't yet surfaced; but don't worry, this is relevant, Jasmine, what a lovely name, and I notice you wear jasmine perfume, a lovely fragrance, my late wife wore the very same and I must say I do miss it around the house – one of my daughters suggested a Jasmine centred pot pourri, but while that might make it smell as if my wife were still in the house – or just popped out to the village shop – I think the reality would be all the harder to live with, and reality is what I wanted to discuss with you: Danderhall Dumbiedykes – his friends called him Dandy, so I think I'll stick with that from now on, yes? - was commissioned to paint a portrait of Margaret MacFarlane, or Branxton, yes, her family was from the other side of the Tweed, close by what would later be the Battlefield of Flodden, and well enough endowed to be able to pay Dandy's fees for such a work, but to 'cut to the chase', and I imagine you already know what I am going to say – there is every likelihood that he fathered Postumus; Dandy was a very well proportioned and handsome young man, fifteen years younger than Parlane and about the same age as Margaret, so it must have felt to her, during the long hours of posing – I've never quite understand why the subject should have to sit so much for the artist, you would think a quick sketch for the position and then maybe a set of clothes to dress that sketch and perhaps a few hours on the face, would surely be enough, or if a living person is required, then why not a servant girl of similar build, with just the nominal subject required for the head and face, but maybe I am a Philistine, equating the work of an artist with that of the mechanic who keeps my car running, or the decorator who paints and papers rooms for me – during those long hours there is little doubt that Margaret found herself drawn (ha! an appropriate word in the circumstances) to the bonny artist, and although he was of lowly birth and not in the same social sphere as herself, she was not scraping the bottom of the barrel, but choosing someone with her own temperament and nature; there is in my family papers a letter which she wrote to a friend in which she writes of her growing attachment to him, finding him as she wrote, 'a woodnote in the clamour of the town' – it may not have been love per se, her attachment to Marie Doubleday is well attested, but she seems to have considered that he would make a fine father for any woman's child, and then her son did bear a strong resemblance to the young painter, not conclusive proof, but in the event a likely enough idea, no doubt DNA tests would prove a connection if there is one; there is no need to comment on any of this and I understand that your decoding and transcribing of the journal which you and Miss Somerville found, needs must, will take as long as it takes, and I'm not going to go over your head and request that it be sent to GCHQ, though that possibility has been discussed: I just want you and Miss Somerville to be aware that despite my name, I am in all probability related to you through that young portraitist, but even without that familial connection, I am on your side and I don't want you to feel a need to withhold anything which you think could be distressing or compromising for me because of links to Sir Parlane: I want to smash this Ring, just as much as Tavish, but while he seems to have been, to be, I am no more certain of the appropriate tenses than anyone else, determined to do so in the 13th Century, I am content to do so in this one – now, would you like another coffee here, or would you care to accompany me to dinner, at a restaurant or at my home, I can assure that Mrs Benderloch is an excellent cook as her four husbands would all testify if they were able,” and Jasmine asked quickly while Sir Pantagruel took a gulp of his own coffee: “are her husbands all dead, and if so, of natural causes?” and he spluttered and chortled at the suggestion: “arsenic and old lace? no, have no fear, the first died during the Normandy Landings in '44, the second absconded with a hairdresser in '56, the third died in a car crash 45 years ago, and the fourth having tried to murder her on their Honeymoon, and being found guilty of murdering several previous wives, is in Barlinnie never to be released, after which she declared that as her luck with men proved to be all ill-luck, she would try her chances with women and since 1980 she and Isabel have been a constant presence in the house and, since my wife died of cancer seven years ago, they have lavished their maternal care on me; I believe she has made a Steak Pie for tonight and I can assure you it is probably large enough to feed an army and will be even better than Bell's!”

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Friday, April 29, 2016 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

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