If you missed the first letter, you can read it here
If you would like to know the primary hidden message in the first letter it was: “The cartouche is a perfect vessel for the gunpowder please send more”
I will reveal the hidden message in this letter tomorrow…
Addressed To: Apartment 1b, 113a Botheration Street , Lichfield. The envelop was marked with two stamps, the first placed upside down in the top left corner and the second placed in the centre of the right hand edge.
My dearest friend,
Another gift? How dreadfully generous of you, although I must confess to feeling just a
Little perplexed this time. Needless to say I was not expecting to receive a pair of Spurtle Gloves.
In fact, had it not been for our intimate dealings with, well, one doesn’t want to bandy
The name, shall we say ‘certain oatcake purveyors?’ I should not have known what
They were at all, but really, darling, please write and tell me that these are NOT the actual and
Legitimate Golden Spurtle Gloves presented at the Annual World Oatcake Flipping Contest in
Edinburgh? Firstly, I am not certain that I wish to know how you came by them, and secondly I
Ought to remind you that the special, golden, heat-resistant fabric is manufactured in Lancaster;
Surely you have not forgotten the unicorn conspiracy taking place in Lord Ashton’s factories there?
Tristan’s speech on the matter last year was so passionate, so heart rending, so well researched, so
Ernest… I am quite shocked that you would think such Spurtles an appropriate Wizmas gift.
Nevertheless, and despite the fact that I have no desire to begin flipping oatcakes, I shall keep
Them. At least they will remind me of you. If I can only bring myself to forget the suffering of the
Animals who have sacrificed themselves for my dubious gain. Now then, I promised to
Tell you about the show didn’t I? Oh darling! Would you had been here to see it!
I’m afraid – no, delighted in fact – that I made an enormous error in telling both my aunt, and you,
Of the title: It is Burlington Bells, not Belles. That may seem insignificant I know, but be
Utterly assured my dear it proved to be the essence of the thing entirely. Let me relate the
Story before I burst with it: All begins innocently enough with Johnny announcing the title
“‘Burlington Bells’ ladies and gentlemen” and then he begins to sing his part. My aunt is
Unfamiliar with the Burlington Arcade in Lichfield and its frequenters and so did not pick up on
The occasional, though quite muted, references to those very particular ladies and gentlemen
You see conducting business there from time to time. Nobody batted an
Eyelid in fact and he finished his piece and stood to the side whilst Charlie got up and
Stood beside him and sang the next part. Yet again, there were odd little
Things which stood out as possibly being to meant to have been taken in a certain way,
Heavy words lightly thrown I should call it, but certainly nothing unsuitable for an
Evening of respectable entertainment. Charlie finishes his little section and,
Yes, Joyce takes the stage and begins the last part and sings it splendidly as always. But
When she is done, instead of them all taking their bow and their seats in quick succession,
It transpires that this is not the end at all. Only the beginning, for Joyce now begins again on
Ly this time, when she reaches the end of the first verse, Charlie begins singing his
Little bit again too. Oh dear! What seemed at first to be two, almost completely innocent
Pretty little songs, when sung together create an entirely new verse that is so
Raucously amusing I was forced to glance with grave concern in my aunt’s direction in
Ernest hope that she had been struck momentarily deaf and could not hear what was being
Verberated around her dining hall.
Ernest hope seemed to have won the day for once as the old dear showed little to
No acknowledgement of what was going on, other than to look ever so slightly confused.
This was not the end, however, because, as no doubt you have guessed, when Johnny
Began his verse over again, the combination of all three now produced a third version of such
Undeniable scurrility aimed at the reputations of several well known Tea Time Lords, that Aunt
Robusta’s attention was finally caught. Her eyebrows first began to twitch at the realisation that
Now these young people, who had begun by singing sweetly about ladies
Strolling about with parasols and stockings of a certain hue,
Were now brazenly defaming some of the most respected members of the aristocracy,
Her nostrils then began to flare as the epiphany dawned upon her,
Erstwhile portified, senses that the Bells part of the title did not refer to certain
Neatly attired members of the fairer sex, but rather certain anatomical members of the other.
What it was that finally turned her purple and instigated the snorting, foaming and wildly
Energetic convulsions, I cannot say but I think this final fit must have occurred at the
Later point when the multiple layers of song entwined in such an ingenious way as to
Describe in detail the penances meted out to the afore mentioned Lords in recompense for their
Ignoble behaviour by the ladies of the Burlington Arcade, all involving pain, humiliation and ‘Bells.’
Needless to tell you the rest of the company found the whole thing hilarious. Gabriel called it
‘Genius’ and I cannot disagree with him. It only pains me
That you were not here to see it too, darling, but it is assured a long season at The Garish and I
Have made Johnny swear to get us the box for the premiere so that we can enjoy it together.
Aunt has retired to her room but not before ordering the domesticons to hurl Johnny, Joyce a
Nd Charlie out ‘on their ears.’ Whether the poor mechanicals understood these instructions I don’t
Know but their attempts at carrying them out only served in adding further hilarity to the evening.
You know that wicked trio were booked into a comfortable abode in the village the whole while?
Only my good opinion of them prevents me from thinking that the whole fiasco was deliberate.
Utterly yours, darling,