THE BUTLER'S PANTRY AT AMBLEWICK CASTLE
It occurs to Parsons that he seems always to be polishing the Cellini flagon when
matters ‘of note’ are on the horizon. He smiles at the memory of the “His Lordship’s
Asparagus” interlude - and its sequel.
“Not the easiest person in the world, that Mrs Huntington-Smythe. No, not by any
He notices from the corner of his all-observant eye that the amiable young Julian
is glued, as ever, to what he refers to as, “The Telly” – and more insidiously, to a
programme called “Dinner Ladies”. Parsons winces wearily, and sighs the sigh of the
conservative when confronted with diminishing national values. It also occurs to him
that his Lordship is a case in point. A few evenings earlier, he had discovered his
employer glued, as is Julian at this moment, to “Eastenders”, no less!
“There is a dangerous likelihood of further descent into the cultural abyss." He
observes wryly to himself. “Something has to be done to save the Amblewick
residents from themselves before all is lost.”
“Books, are clearly the only hope…..”, he muses mournfully, “but how in the name
of all that is sacred am I to get the wretched youth to read them - let alone His
Another thought occurs.
“The Castle Library! Books by the thousand! Must be something amongst them to
engage the boy, surely?”
And then a further thought.
“Julian and his Lordship appear to share a taste for the pedestrian in their television
viewing. However, if my memory serves me correctly, there was a time when His
Lordship, as a child, did read books. “Biggles”, and the endless works of Harrison
Ainsworth were his most preferred flavours, I seem to remember. Nothing pedestrian
He flickers his leather over the Cellini patina thoughtfully…..
“Possibly a little dated for our Julian, though – too rooted in His Lordship’s privileged
background. We need something to which the boy can more readily relate, today
- monsters, mystery, impossible dreams, and adventure with oneself as the hero –
fantasy with teeth – and fun. I shall have to rummage through the shelves – try and
rattle his Lordship’s cage a trifle, too – might even get him weaned from the second-
rate, as well - one really never knows ………”
We, alone, perched as we are on top of the “Telly”, can observe the shy smile
attempting to invade Parsons’ impassive countenance.
We are fascinated by the possibilities - but pretty sure we know exactly how things
will proceed – but then, you see, we are the characters in the books which Parsons
seeks - all of them. We know which book has Julian’s alter-ego embedded in it,
waiting to be recognised – Biffo’s too – and even Parsons’…….
“Its name is…….. But you’ll discover that when Parsons’ plan begins to gel!
Your dream may well be there, as well, dear reader – if you have ever truly flown,