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