Had I been observed upon departing the yellow wood I would no doubt have evinced my indecision, for the overgrown path there again took numerous furcations across a frosty karst, each skirting dolines and what appeared to be astroblemes left by a recent shower of bolides; and I, I took one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference, because I now control an oligopoly in the burgeoning safari market for spelunking meteoricists.
Like some vox pop plenipotentiary from Valhalla, there he stood, foot in the door, canvassing to know what might induce me to subscribe to (a) polytheism (b) monolatrism, or (c) kathenotheism, and when I retorted that I didn't give a fig about theogony but inclined towards the chthonian he withdrew into the twilight, muttering - I assumed ironically -'copacetic, copacetic', so I called after him that I didn't give a fig about the origins of that either.
"No matter, Watson," aspirated Holmes with asperity, conveying to me his bespawled ski goggles for instant refurbishment,"that the Case of the Interdigitated Virgins languishes sub judice, for I now fathom that this very dunderhead Schlomo - funicular guy and failed funambulist - was none other than that aforementioned rapacious abductor of those frangible ornaments of womanhood - and that the evil swine Moriarty, with whom I shall ever remain at loggerheads, is therefore still at large, wreaking havoc, and that most heinously; but hold - I surcease - my noetic prescience sees him now, rappelling down a cliff tramontane . . . we must not disdain to traverse the karst and apprehend him before he subjects those maidens to a veritably labyrinthine game of strip conquian - or is my inane if sedulous obscurantism quite beyond you, dear fellow? . . . [lacuna] . . . soothe with liniment the lineaments of my pallid brow, there's a good chap, that would be altogether apposite, don't you know?"
Schlomo, the cable guy, - funambulist manqué - in hazarding a veritable funicular pirouette lost his footing and plummeted earthwards, embedding himself in the awaiting sastrugi and wailing loudly 'oy veh, tsuris' - the which lamentation goggle-eyed onlooking goys misinterpreted as 'Go away, tourists' - with the actions brought by incensed hoteliers remaining discreetly sub judice to this day.
Botoxed into petrifaction, the wedged phalanx of Mrs Grundys was powerless to readjust the lineaments of its aspect as Mr Darcy entered stage left, unbuttoned and implausibly erect, crying 'your inane prevarications are unendurable,' before relieving his ardour against a frottable satinwood card table.
As a named beneficiary in my great-aunt's will I received only a tattered cardboard box of costume jewellery, but experienced a sudden surcease of disappointment on detecting, hidden beneath a tangle of tawdry bibelots, her treasured Graeco-Roman colubrine necklace.
Indifferent to the lacunae in their sophisms, with ruthless efficiency and sedulous attention to detail the authorities moved swiftly to deport all transmontane immigrants, convincing the indigenous population that the doctrine of eugenics required the Augean stables of miscegenation to be sluiced out.
Once having discarded - with a heavy heart - my erstwhile partner, whose interminable perambulations through the groves of obscurantism had sadly become insufferable, I did not disdain to seek out a rough diamond at the conquian club - a meld of gamesters and speculators - and chancing upon a young card who called a spade a spade, felt flushed with success.
"No, we are not in complete noetic accord, numbskull, " he retorted with increased asperity, puncturing my confidence; "your standpoint is untenable, your premise inchoate, your pronouncements asinine - the whole preposterous shebang as riddled with holes as a Jarlsberg cheese floating in a colander beneath a karst doline . . . or must I explain even the simile, dumbass?"
"A quite remarkable case of déjà vu, Watson," ejaculated Holmes, recoiling from me as I bespawled his cape with a snuff-induced errhine discharge, "why, I am convinced that I have already beheld this hurtling hansom, my loathsome adversary Moriarty, and the hapless maidens within enclasped in horrified interdigitation; if they are not to be heinously violated we must avert the vile abduction by countervailing it most expeditiously! - but how, Watson, pray? . . . somehow I feel it wholly apposite to request my syringe, old boy - a quick fix should serve to energise the little grey cells."
"Just as I thought, Watson," cried Holmes, recoiling from the kerb as I surveyed my greatcoat bespawled with slush thrown up by a careening hansom; "I deduce that the accursèd wretch speeding that lethal conveyance is none other than my old arch-enemy Professor Moriarty, and that the unfortunate virgins within, locked in terror-stricken interdigitation, face inevitable ruin should we not forestall his heinous abduction by countervailing it post-haste! – but how, Watson? . . . my syringe, old boy - a quick fix should serve to stimulate the cerebrum.”
"After the match you were arrested outside the restaurant at 1.30 a.m., clad only in a damask tablecloth and leading a rowdy, drunken conga of football supporters; your responses to the constable's questions were wildly incoherent, and we cannot now accept your later pallid excuse that you are a lapsed eremite deserving of our compassion and munificence."
Dear Kapellmeister Bach, We acknowledge receipt of your latest musical offering, The Art of Fugue, but would respectfully observe that it is not only incomplete but includes many wilfully abstruse canonical pieces that are, frankly, altogether passé, having been occulted by more accessible rococo styles; therefore we trust that you will not find our considered rejection unreasonably draconian, driven as it is by the commercial imperative to escape the doldrums of the current recession.
For my apprentice piece in monumental masonry I went the extra mile on that bit of lapidary legerdemain, I can tell you, but - call me vatic - not two weeks later (I think it was a Friday) superstitious old aunt Judy (worth a bob or two) goes and dies right there and then in front of me, her only relative, and funnily enough I didn't need to change a single word, since it already read: In Memory of Judy Scarrot / spinster, / triskaidekaphobic and / paraskevidekatriaphobic / of this parish / passed away / 13th April 2007."
"My dear Lieutenant Featherstonehaugh," she murmured, demurely lowering her eyes and her knickers, "One is no angletwitch, and it ill becomes you to suborn me, Lady Belvoir, a member of the nubility, to awaken that ergophobic draffsack Colonel Cholmondeley from his crapulous torpor in the fond hope of blackmailing him; so one shall overlook such gross presumption and interpret the solicitation as but injudicious precation . . . that said, I could not help but perceive your uncommonly ithyphallic stance, and so might I construe that you are still disposed to indulge in a little houghmagandy, mmm?"
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