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To the Buffalo Plains

My method of locomotion is extremely swift and easy but has, I discover, a disadvantage in that, bounding backwards at high speed through unknown territory, to an unknown location, without a map, makes navigation difficult and, although I have covered hundreds of miles, when I pause and look around, I am certain that I have gone around in a great circle and am back where I started. This is irritating and I remind myself that, the next time I am visiting Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring, I must look up my old friend, Maheketan Pema, who constantly bounces around Tibet delivering mail, and ask him how to proceed forwards, rather than backwards. The trouble is that I know Pema will insist that there is no easy way to learn how to leap forwards and, if I want to do it properly, I will have to complete my training in lun-gom-pa, which means that I have to spend thirty-nine months confined, without a single barrel of single malt, in a freezing cell, meditating on arcane things and doing peculiar and difficult exercises in the dark.

After doing this, assuming one survives, a person has the power to travel for hundreds of miles at high velocity, with their feet barely touching the ground, at which point they can apply for a job as a mail carrier with the Tibetan Postal Service. However, after a few days in my cell, I was bouncing off the walls and clawed my way out, then, to recover from my deprivations, I had to spend the next three years carousing in Paris, partying in Jamaica and living it up in Buenos Aries. However, never having fully mastered the method of superhuman forward motion, the best I can do now is keep on springing backwards over the Unknown Region, hoping for the best.

Glancing around, looking for a sign that might help me determine my exact location, I notice some markings on a nearby rock and, on closer examination, I notice that, within the marks, there are distinct shapes, and I recognize aunt Humperdink’s secret code. Aunt’s cipher is cunningly contrived to appear either to be natural mineral stratifications, the meaningless doodlings of Alphonse Louis Constant, the famous French cartoonist, the signatures of ordinary demons, or nothing but random squiggles on a piece of rock, in any event, the script will be ignored; however, I immediately decode the message to read:

‘Dear Andrzej,
Sorry to have missed you, cancel your plans, meet me in Colorado.
Aunt H.

P.S. Your cat has had quintuplets.’

This is wonderful news and, to celebrate, I break open the kegs of Vintage Linkwood, Lochside, Springbank, Caol lla and Lagavulin Founder’s Reserve, which I keep for such occasions, and offer toast after toast to the well-being of all the recruits that I have abandoned here and whom, unfortunately, I will not be able to rescue.

Now, bellowing with excitement and singing ‘Bonnie Bessie O’ Boltachan‘, ‘My Heart is Sair for an Aberfeldy Lass‘ and ‘Fly to the Hills in the Morning’, I bound for the Buffalo Plains, as fast as I possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary