Collapsing through a door, to ask directions, we are very happy to see our old friend Eoin, from Gairloch. Juan asks him what he is looking at, and Eoin says he is looking up Juan’s nose, and tells him to get out of the way. Then he says he is looking at my beard and it’s disgusting and would I get out of the way, after some shuffling, Eoin insists that we are still in the way, but I point out that wherever we are, we are in the way. “Quite” said Eoin, rather unkindly. The device, he explains, is a cornerscope, for looking around corners, some people say that you never know what’s around the next corner but, if the device works, this won’t be true. I ask him what is around the next corner, but Eoin explains that, to work properly, it has to be linked to
’s clocks, and he shows us a plan of the system. I say that, with modifications, it would make a sturdy train carriage, and Juan tells Eoin that, the last time we saw, Logan ’s clocks had lost more than an hour. Eoin says that this explains why the cornerscope is unsynchronised, and complains that, until Logan synchronizes his clocks, we were losing time and, he adds, it is very difficult to make up for lost time. Logan
We sympathise, then, to make up for lost time, Juan opens a barrel of Vintage Pulteney and we drink toast after toast to the success of Eoin’s cornerscope and, telling Eoin that we are bloatingly behind schedule, we bumble out of the door, stagger around the first corner we come to, where Juan, bouncing off an unexpected fire hydrant, knocks me down a flight of stairs, fortunately, I slow my fall by grabbing Juan’s beard, unfortunately, Juan attempts to release my grip, by hitting me on the head with a bottle of Benrinnes Vintage Reserve, but the bottle, bouncing off my head, bounces down the stairs, rolls along a corridor and falls down a hatch.
Screaming madly and chasing the bottle, we leap down the hatch then, realizing we have left the aircraft, we plummet down in silent surprise. Then Juan shouts that, at least, we won’t have to listen to any more long-winded, insane, Scottish, scientists rambling about their broken equipment but, looking down, I yell that, judging by the landscape, Dirk’s time reversal machine is probably working. Then Juan starts screaming that we have to catch the Benrinnes; in a desperate attempt to rescue the invaluable malt, we twist in the air and dive after the tumbling bottle.
Rushing downwards, we remind each other that we don’t have parachutes so, when we catch the malt, we will need a good idea, but, before we can come up with a good idea, Juan swoops and snatches the bottle from the sky, tears the cork out with his teeth, then, throwing the bottle backwards and forwards, offering toast after toast to the health and happiness of the passengers and crew of The Lion, we tumble through the sky, screaming and yelling and flapping our arms, as fast as we possibly can.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary