Prior to the Commencement of such an EPIC Tale as this one is certain to be, I, the Author, shall give you, the Reader, a few Words on the ensuing Text: while it is safe to assume that there is both inherent GOOD and BAD in Man—and as a result, Woman—I ask You, dear Reader, to pick for each Character a side: for example if I shall present you with a Beggar who upon crossing the Stryt may happen to pick the Pocket of a Lady, I would entreat you to think of him then on as being the very Heart of Evil, having sure Affiliations with the Devil.
CHAPTER 1 In which we meet our central Character; along with his two most Faithful & Loyal Assistants.
Lord Bartholomew Farnsworth Clutterbuck had intended for his stay in London to be but a Brief Excursion; for means of visiting the finest Tailors & Cobblers & Hat Fashioners & Dog Breeders; perhaps a few Nightly Jaunts for his own Amusement; or a even a Game of Bridge or Flip-O’er-the-Biscuit. Yet, It had now reached a period of Double a Fortnight and he still felt as though he had Unfinished Business to attended to, Business which he could not put Name of Number to but nonetheless felt great Impetus to seek out.
By Midday of the Second-Second week, Lord Clutterbuck had searched all the most likely Places. He had sent his Hand—and—Foot Servant, Cuthbert Dolittle out to Nunnery, to see if they had at Present any Children bearing the Clutterbuck Name, indeed they had none. Next, poor Dolittle was sent around to all the finest Gambling Houses, dressed as the most Buxom Bar-Wench Man had ever set Eyes upon, to listen for any outstanding Warrants for his Master; but once again there was no News, only an abuncence of touches Dolittle was nary too fond of. Finally, at his Wit’s end, Clutterbuck wrote back to his estate in Avonshire-Upon-Willancastergrove; so that he could ask his faithful Houskeeper, Ms Letitia Codswaddle, to check his Mail for any pertinent News. Ms Codswaddle, feeling a certain amount of Discomforte at reading the Mail of her Master without Him present, decided instead to pack all Letters addressed to Lord Bartholomew Farnsworth Clutterbuck in one Basket twice the size of a small Piglet and send in along with the evening Courrier to London.
HAPTER IIIn which Lord Clutterbuck discovers the Unfinished Business
Dear reader, so that you will not go to draw your own Opinions of this EPIC DRAMA I should like to tell you that while this tale may be but Brief and To The Point it doth hold some valuable lessons within. I have yet myself to discover what these Lessons are, but I are certain to the Utmost Point that once I become acquainted with them, They will be the greatest LITERARY WORK you shall ever behold.
Near Dawne on his Fifthe Week in the Towne of London, Lord Clutterbuck lay sprawled in his mammoth Berth; having just bid Adieu to the milk-white Wench he had romped with through the Night, when who should come through the Door, making great haste, but his loyal Hande—and—Foote Servant, Cuthbert Dolittle. Mr Dolittle held aloft a basket—a careful reader might remember this basket from earlier, when it was packed with the Letters of Lord Clutterbuck back at his Estate—and brought it brimming into the Chamber. ‘Ah, my collection of lettres’ said Lord Clutterbuck, ‘Fetch me some Ale boy! One cannot read Mail empty of Spirits!’ And off & off went Dolittle to fetch but two Pints of Ale for his Master’s Morning Supp. Lord Clutterbuck wasted away the Morning Hours in this state, voraciously devouring Letter after Letter; yet, still unable to discover his Unfinished Business. ‘What could be of such Great Importance that I cannot shake it from my mind!’ Clutterbuck dashed down his second Pint, letting out, along with it, the most monstrous Belch. Each Letter contained information of little Value: Notes on the Clutterbuck Estate, Hunting Invitations, thrice over letters from the most Ancient & Decrepit Dowager Lady Clutterbuck, Lord Clutterbucks infirm mother.
Still unable to find the Source of his great Distress, Lord Clutterbuck, along with his loyal Servant Cuthbert Dolittle, set out on a Brief Tour of the Finest London Alehouses. First, they stopped at a stout little Inn, and when the Innkeeper Woman brought out the Five Pints Clutterbuck had requested, he downed them quickly, while Dolittle was made to stand behind him and made to hold his Coattails off the ground. At the next to Inns they came upon the same pattern was repeated, each time Lord Clutterbuck would mumble on more & more about his Unfinished Business that he just could not remember; to aid him, he even employed Dolitte to throw out choice Words that might entreat to jog his Memory and Remind him of the Great Thing. Nearing Dusk, the two men ventured back to the luxurious Abode, both defeated, one, far more in his Cups than the other. As Dolittle prepared to lift Clutterbuck across the muddy Patch of Stryt, his Master halted him with a Gesture: ‘Foudre! Dolittle I have remembered the thing that I have forgotten for so long!’ ‘Yes, Master?’ nodded the loyal Hand—and—Foot servant Cuthbert Dolittle; “Before we left my Estate at Avonshire-Upon-Willancastergrove to come Here to London Towne, I forgot to let Lady Clutterbuck out of the attic!’
Julia Tompkins, Age 17, Grade 11, Saint Ann’s School, Silver Key