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Leaving Castle Roy

Returning to the bar, I tell Juan that everyone is fed up with him as he is spending too much time with Alexandra. He says that he doesn’t care, and adds that her fiancé is fool for not giving her enough attention. She is, moreover, the most beautiful woman in the world so, obviously, he can’t leave her alone. His case seems unarguable so, other than reminding him that we are we are scathingly behind schedule and, whatever his intentions towards Alexandra, he had better be quick, I don’t pursue the subject. However, we are both surprised when a cool, severe voice says, “And who is this ‘most beautiful woman in the world?’”, and Mahalath steps out from behind a rock, holding a sword.

We are both delighted to see her, especially as she has been testing aunt Humperdink’s flying machines, which is spectacularly dangerous. Before I can tell her that Juan claims that Alexandra is the most beautiful women in the world, Juan punches me in the stomach and I fall to the ground, retching. Juan starts to tell Mahalath how wonderful it is to see her, but she tells him to shut up, and adds she has been hearing rumours about Juan and Alexandra, and they had better not be true, she says, and looks, meaningfully, at her sword.

It occurs to me that, when Juan, Mahalath, Alexandra, and Alexandra’s fiancé all meet, there will be trouble and, as we are meant to be resting and recuperating, we should avoid the issue and leave Castle Roy immediately. However, as it turns out, the problem will not arise as Mahalath tells us that aunt Humperdink wants to meet us, in Aberfeldy.

This is wonderful news, Juan opens a barrel of his Special Reserve, to celebrate, and Mahalath quickly rounds up some horses and agents. It has been a lot of fun in Castle Roy and we are sorry to be leaving in such a hurry but, excited at the prospect of seeing aunt, we offer toast after toast to Highland hospitality, then, to hide our tracks from the people who owned the horses, we gallop down the ford, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary