I tell Mahalath about the plight of my students and ask if we can fly to the Unknown Region, to rescue them, but Mahalath explains that, before rescuing the students, she has to test the new experimental engine in Finedrawer. Juan says that the tests we have carried out on experimental engines recently have proved to be disastrous, but Mahalath says that trial and error is the road to achievement, and a calamitous history should not prove a hindrance to future success. I say that this means there is some hope for Juan and, to celebrate, he breaks open barrels of Vintage Glenordie, Tamnavulin, Auchroisk and Glendullan Private Reserve then, drinking to a successful test, we ask Mahalath if she would drop us off as, despite her enthusiasm, we think the experimental engine will explode and, already barfully delayed and defatigationally behind schedule, it would be safer and quicker to catch a train. Mahalath orders barrels of malt to be unloaded then, wishing us the best of luck, sets us back down onto the opalescent desert, where, quickly breaking open a barrel of Vintage Speyburn Reserve, we drink toast after toast to the crew of Finedrawer and wave and holler our goodbyes as Mahalath floats into the shimmering sky.
After Finedrawer has vanished over the horizon, we scrabble around in the sand until we find the configuration of pebbles that is the sign of a clandestine train station, operated by the Special Train Service. Juan points out that, as a train is probably not due for some time, we should build a comfortable waiting room. This would be ideal and, to celebrate a good idea, we break open a barrel of Juan’s Special Reserve and spend all day singing and dancing and playing with pebbles.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary