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Did you have a good day? asked the receptionist, as they checked Aunt

Augusta back into Snodland Nursing Home for the Debased Gentry.

‘Good’ if you were a galanthophile, piped up the aged one, who couldn’t

have been so tired after all.

The receptionist looked puzzled.

Snowdrop lover, explained Gus.  Ignore her.

Oh, replied the receptionist.  People have been rooting up snowdrop bulbs

and selling them for vast amounts of money.  I read about it in The Daily

Mail online.

Gus was blissfully unaware that such a fount of information existed.

They- the thieves- probably got the idea from that book I borrowed from the

library trolley, commented Aunt Augusta.  That is, if thieves read.

What book was that? asked Dru as she settled her back in her room.

Tulip Fever, her great-aunt answered, looking as if her niece was


But that was surely about tulips? replied Dru.

Same principle, said Augusta, having her bed socks rolled on.  Greed!

Augustus and Drusilla felt that they might have overdone things with their

aunt, so arranged to see her later in the week.  They were hungry and

tired, so set off for Hengist, a restaurant in Aylesford which was in a

converted 16th century town house.

Who was Hengist? asked Dru, back behind the wheel.

Some Viking chap who landed in the area in the fifth century, replied Gus.

I hope rotten fish and putrescent reindeer aren’t on the menu, said Dru,

with feeling.

They managed to secure a table, even though it was nearing Valentine’s Day.

The waitress gave them a funny look.

You know, Gus said, talking with his mouth rather full, which was not his usual

wont.  You left me rather a long time with the old girl.  What was so riveting?

Dru looked round the room.  Well, when I went to the Portrait Gallery, I could

only see representations of all those fair-haired, rather effeminate types in

velvet knickerbockers.  None of them looked remotely like us.

Oh…  Gus was disappointed.

No, wait!  Then I passed the old schoolroom and there was a sepia photo of

the two boys who had lived in Wyvern Mote with their mother in the late


Did they look like us?  Gus brightened up.

No.  But the weird thing was that their tutor looked exactly like us around the

chin.  And, weirder than that, his name was Anthony Revelly.

Should I know him?

Didn’t I mention that that was the name on the door of the geriatric molester

who pestered Aunt Augusta the other night?

The one who called her by her sister’s name?

‘Berenice’- yes!

How could he have known…?  Oh, my goodness- yes!  I see what you are

saying.  He must have been my mother’s lover, the man we used to visit

at Wyvern all those years ago.  In fact, ..

He is your father and my grand-father, supplied Dru.

He mistook Augusta for her sister, Berenice.

Too many missing relatives turning up, said Gus.  Order me a Cognac

VSOP asap.

I’ll order two, said Dru.  It’s been quite a day.

Cognac in a tulip glass