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Lasiocampidae, Gus said.  DEFRA identified it.

What?  replied Drusilla.  That weird insect thing?  Was it the same as a

Poodle Moth?

She was trying to concentrate on avoiding being cut up on a

roundabout.  The satisfying thing was that the rude guy who

overtook her then had to wait in front of her at the next traffic


Yes, said Gus.  Watch out- they’ve turned green.

Drusilla didn’t appreciate his front seat driving.

They were on their way to visit Great Aunt Augusta who was a

resident of Snodland Nursing Home for the Debased Gentry.

I’ve been reading about the difficult times my mother must have lived

through in Venezuela, he commented.  There were riots in 1989 and

high inflation in the Nineties.  People experienced shortages in the

basics, such as toilet paper, milk and flour.  Hugo Chavez died in


If she was living with a musician, they probably didn’t have a lot of money,

Dru stated.  Oh, for Goodness’ sake, stay in your lane!

She tooted her horn and made a gesture which no one at St Vitus’ would

have recognised.  It was her personal-she thought- toned-down-version of

a V-sign, but, utilising only one digit, it turned out to be much more graphic,

though she was blissfully unaware of its significance.

Sorry! she said.  Where was I?  Hmm..this Vasco de Sousa, her partner,

must have been your step-father.  The son didn’t give the impression that he

was still alive, though?

He didn’t say, but I doubt it.  I hope he wasn’t a malandro.

Sounds dodgy.  This Hugo is a kind of squatter, though.

One of the invasiones, yes.

So, how are you going to break all this to Aunt Augusta?

She’s pretty robust, replied Gus.  But I have a bottle of her favourite tipple

in the boot.  We must remember to take it in this time.  That should oil the

wheels of any discussion.

This Wyvern Mote place you are taking me to..what exactly is it?

It’s a National Trust property that I used to visit years ago, with my mother.

But it won’t be open at this time of year, will it?

I’ve checked, said Gus.  There is a Hellebore Open day on Tuesday.  All

kinds of spring bulbs will be out.

We could borrow a collapsible wheelchair and take her out, suggested Dru.

Let’s just see what the weather does, reflected Gus.  Look!  Next left.

Snodland: eight miles.  He twisted the ring on his little finger.