It's been six days since we left the yogurt mines of Isandlwana. I am still having
difficulty coming to terms with Bunny Johnson's decision to stay and try to sort out the
lysteria problems with the low fat pineapple and grapefruit flavours. However, I'm sure
his experience in the Lancashire Fusiliers will hold him in good stead - he was the
cuttlefish eating champion for three years running and regimental mascot for two. But
the expedition will miss him dearly, I in particular. He was always a good man with an
armadillo when morale was at a low ebb.
Tomorrow we set off for Mabouti Ridge where we hope to find the rare Scrotum tree
which is the only tree in Africa known to lay size 4 free range eggs. It is said that
extracts from the yolks of these eggs can be used to induce marmosets to write poetry
as beauteous as that of Byron or Shelley. To get there we shall have to cross the
Limpopo River which the natives fear for its silly name. I've had to shoot three of them
this morning for getting the words to Rule Britannia wrong again.
Yesterday, Carruthers bagged a rhino and we had great fun trying to toss the
dismembered breasts of the local maidens onto its horn. Needless to say, Algy won. He
performed a superb lob from a distance of fifty feet, the point of the horn piercing
precisely the hole of the nipple where the milk comes out. ( The exact medical
terminology escapes me but he scored thirty points for it.) How the natives cheered.
And how those that didn't screamed as they were flayed against a mangrove tree.
Beautiful as this continent is, I cannot help thinking of England, particularly at this
time of year. The daffodils will be in bloom, the elms will be in bud and it will be open
season for maitre d's. Remember that poor soul at Harvey's whose trousers we stuffed
with electric eels? How kind of the coroner to pass a verdict of misadventure for only a
I shall look forward to seeing you again my darling as soon as this wretched
expedition is over; maybe we can go punting on the Serpentine if that's not too
audacious a thing to ask. I have already taken the liberty of writing to your father for
permission but I have since heard that he's recently gone stark staring mad. Is this
Until then, my thoughts will be of you with every wild beast I callously slay.
All my love,
My Dearest Michael
I thought I would never hear from you, I've been so terribly worried. Will your
expedition never come to an end? You sound to be having a hoot and my life will no
doubt seem perfectly dull after your devilish jaunts.
I attended a croquet party at the Plethora-Smythes after chapel on Sunday where I
bumped into Larry. He and Hattie are engaged to be married now. He has been booked
into a first class clinic on the south coast of Norway - specialists say there is an
operation available which could restore his sight. Needless to say, we Knitting Circle
ladies are keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't work. I don't think poor Hattie has
explained to him about the dorsal fin yet. Must be awfully embarrassing for her. I also
saw Ada. She's looking ever so plump after swallowing that mosque.
Slide Henry-Plimpford Junior has been expelled from Eton. Apparently he was
caught with his dangly bits out in the school aviary. Seems Aunt Hildred's budgerigar
may not have died from beak cancer afterall. Finbarr sends his regards. He was over
for the annual grouse tease last Wednesday. He's dreadfully good at it; has the little
blighters in a real fury. Father was rather cross. You know how he likes to boast about
the grouse he teased before the war. These days he can barely get them to be mildly
You were right about father, by the way. His sanity is somewhat fragile. We've tried
every specialist in Europe but can't seem to put an end to his raccoon fetishes. It's
terribly sad to see the old goat go down this way. He's still only fifty seven but he's had
to have so many rodents surgically disattached there's hardly any of him left.
Did you remember about the village fete next month? I do hope you can come home
in time for it. We have already begun to prepare for it. Father is doing his usual talk on
rare breeds of anchovy for the Ladies Auxilliary and mother is running a stall selling her
much famed pigeon fat preserves. Yesterday, they chose the Flower Queen for the
year. All the girls between the ages of twelve and sixteen congregated before the vicar
and dropped their knickers as usual. Unsurprisingly, he chose Lizzie 'Long-Cleft'
I have decided to try my hand at a little tapestry for the fete. Mrs. Hornblower's
landscapes were a real winner last year, although why she chose to reproduce
elaborate impressions of Yards Outside Public Toilets is beyond me. She was always
running short of brown and yellow thread.
Anyhow, my dear, I know you have rhino to slay and natives to meat-hook so I shall
leave you and prepare for the dreaded ball I must attend at Lumpy Boil's.
Disembowel a couple for me,