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:


The voices and knocking roused Leslie Howard from the early stage of his sleep and he was still not fully awake when he opened the door to see Peter Boo and Peter Lorre standing in their night-shirts with a worried-looking man whom Howard did not recognise: Lorre introduced him, "this is Signor Bellini, Giorgio's father, he says his son has not yet returned home and he has no idea where he can be," adding, "we never saw him leave the Tavern, did you, Leslie?" and Howard rubbed his eyes, trying to thank back through the music and singing and flagons of wine: "wasn't he sitting with the two visitors?" and Lorre looked up, "the two Scotchmen? yes I believe he was, but hidden from my sight by the dais, could they have left together?" but Boo butted in: "what were their names?" and Lorre shook his head, but Howard was remembering: "the master is a grandee, a nobleman, Sir Parrot, no some other kind of bird, an unusual Christian name," and Boo offered, "Pigeon? Parrakeet? did it begin with a 'P'?" and Howard shook his head, "began with a 'P' but a silent one, I think it was the second letter that was used, a 'T' maybe," and Boo latched on to that, Ptarmigan? was that it," and now fully conscious, Howard nodded, "yes, Sir Ptarmigan something, Mac . . . . . MacGregor? no, an 'F' MacFarlane? yes, I'm sure of it, Sir Ptarmigan MacFarlane! quite a feinschmecker I should say by the spread he gave us," and he noticed Boo's face drain of colour, "what's the matter Peter?" and Boo tried to keep his voice unconcerned, "it's just that I've come across the name MacFarlane, before, well, before I came here, but the other, what was his name?"and Howard said: "his Christian name I don't recall, though it alliterated with an unusual surname, Doubledecker? no, 'Doubleday' that was it, Doubleday!" and this time Boo could not disguise his anxiety: "in my time I came across Sir Parlane MacFarlane and his man, Dominic Doubleday, whose descendant is, was, will be, God knows, the deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland, they are all part of a secret society, or cult, or whatever, called 'The Ring of Gold' a club for men who indulge in child sexual exploitation, Paedophilia, some say sex-trafficking – I don't know what went on in your time, Leslie, but by the 2000s there was a huge trade in women and children from Eastern Europe and the far East and The Ring of Gold is heavily involved in the supply in Scotland, elsewhere probably, do you know where they are staying?" but Howard shook his head, then: "wait a minute, Laszlo was on the other side of MacFarlane, he might have overheard something, if he's in his room," which was just to the rear of the house and it only took a few sharp raps for the Rumanian artist to throw open his door, clad in nothing but a blanket, and behind him they could see one of the serving girls from the tavern next door, which perhaps explained why he hadn't heard the racket they had been making; pulling him into the corridor, Howard quickly explained that this was Giorgio's father, worried that his son hadn't returned from the Theatre, and asking if Laszlo had any idea where the two Scotchmen were staying: the artist scratched his chin thoughtfully, then said, "yes, yes! they mentioned a Signor Clementi, that's it, Clementi's on the other side of the Moat, through the Pusterla di Sant’Ambrogio, I'm sure that's where they are; I remember thinking that it's a bit 'low-life' for the nobleman, but each to their own, it's a cross between a tavern and a brothel – do you think they've taken Giorgio there? my God! if they've harmed a hair on that boy's head, I'll . . . . ." but he was silenced by Howard: " "we have to get there as quick as we can, are you okay about leaving your lady?" and Laszlo laughed, "she's no lady, but yes, she'll sleep till I get back, give me two minutes," and pulling on breeches, boots and a doublet, he joined the others, who had thrown on some clothes and with Signor Bellini leading the way, for he knew the city like the back of his hand, they passed through the Gate and crossed the Moat and entered a section of undefended and transitory buildings, catering to travellers and, perhaps, marauding armies, for this was the time of The Italian war and suddenly Giorgio's father stopped: "see, sirs, there it is," and they saw the sign of TheWhore of Babylon hanging out from what was presumably a bawdy house and moving in the slight breeze; Howard knocked on the door; a minute later a head poked out of an upstairs window: "whaddaya want?" the voce croaked: "to see two of your guests, Signor, Signori MacFarlane and Doubleday, two Scotchmen I believe are staying here," and the head was pulled back and the window slammed shut; after a couple of minutes further, the door opened: "who are you?" asked a greasy old man with grey hair sticking out like a brush all over his head; "I am the Duke's man," said Howard (true, in that the Duke of Milan had built the theatre for them and subsidised the Company, but not quite the status this remark implied) "and must speak with those men!" and grumbling, the old man led the way up the stairs, stopping before a door on the second landing: "this is their room, but please, not rough stuff, I have other guests, and wouldn't like them to be disturbed," and Howard thanked him then sent him downstairs to await them; three times he knocked on the door but there was no sound within, so he then turned the handle, expecting the door to be locked, and surprised to find that it opened, "give me that torch, he whispered, and Peter Boo handed him the one he had carried all the way from their own lodging-house, but Leslie Howard was quite unprepared for the dreadful sight which met his eyes as he followed the torch into the room: "quick! send for a doctor! there's been some bloody business afoot here! call the Night Watch also!" for before his eyes, a bloody heap of schmatte and limbs, lay Giorgio, but of the two Scotchmen, there was no sign, "the birds have flown," said Howard to his three friends, acutely aware now of the nobleman's name, Ptarmigan!

(by MissTeriWoman)


Devildung was an old grandee of the schmatte trade and a respected feinschmecker to boot: as he mounted the dais most of the gathered trendsetters turned to revere him, or at least looked up from their phones.

(by umbraticus)
The Quandary for Saturday, February 04, 2017 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

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