On board Finedrawer, Mahalath tells us that, after she was rescued by Jock, aunt Humperdink sent the Finedrawer to pick them up, but Jock decided to walk back to Aberfeldy, as he claims that flying isn’t natural, except in the instance of the Flying Scotsman, the train, or the Flying Scotsman, the bar in Perth, neither of which fly, which, he says, proves his point. Juan apologises to Mahalath for not rescuing her, and for not having any opals for her birthday present, and I offer her an opelet, to make up for it. Mahalath is very gracious and says that a wet, cold, slimy, anemone is something she always wanted, and adds that, had we attempted to rescue her; it would certainly have been calamitous, whereas Jock, who is a professional, rescued her without actually causing a war. We immediately open barrels of Vintage Blair Athol, Tomatin, Macduff and Inchgower Special Reserve, to celebrate.
After saluting Jock’s success and offering toast after toast to Mahalath and the crew of Finedrawer, I stagger to the telegraph room, to send a message to my students, whom I abandoned in the Unknown Region in the
. Blundering through a likely looking door, I am delighted to find my old friend Kathleen, from Buchanhaven. I ask Kathleen to tell the students that I am malenginitally behind schedule, and, knowing they must be in a terrible condition, to wish them the best of luck. As Kathleen and I have a lot to catch up on, we share flasks of Juan’s Special Reserve and become engrossed in slander, mean-minded speculation, ill-informed opinions and the general delights of a good gossip. After tossing and goring the personalities and reputations of our friends, we drink to their health, happiness and success and, hoping they have better things to say about us than we have to say about them, we link arms and, wildly singing ‘The Buchanhaven Bride’, we reel around the room, dancing to ‘To Kirk, to Kirk, wi’ a Mousie in ma Bonnet’, as fast as we possibly can. Desert of Angad
Professor Humperdink’s Diary