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29.12.11

To the Promenade








After inadvertently plunging into the ocean, we are rescued by the Agent Rescue Service and transfer to an Agency airship. On board, we head for the control cabin, to thank the captain and crew for picking us up. In the cabin, we are delighted to find that the captain is our old friend, Donald MacInnes, one of our top agents. Juan passes out the bottles of Vintage Glen Grant, Pulteney, Ardmore, and Talisker Private Reserve, which he keeps for such occasions and we offer toast after toast to Donald and his crew, the Agent Rescue Service, Katie Good Quiver, and all our Blackfeet friends, who helped us so much. Donald says that he can drop us off near the Moorfoot Hills. I ask Donald to fly at top speed because we are jaudishly behind schedule. Fatty tells Donald that, between lunch and dinner, he would like to have tea and scones on the promenade. Juan says he wants to meet women. Donald escorts us to the dining room, on the way, he tells Fatty that, knowing he was coming aboard, they are building a promenade, in his honour, it nearly finished, and, Donald informs us, it will be ready after lunch, and, he assures Juan, there are plenty of women on board.

In the dining room, Juan gets so excited at meeting the hostesses that, although they reciprocate with equal enthusiasm, I knock Juan out with a chair and apologise for his behaviour, and for breaking the chair, and for accidentally catching the table-cloth with the chair-leg and pulling all the cutlery on to the floor. The staff are surprised, but very gracious, and they start to put things back on the table, however, Juan regains consciousness and, performing a flying drop-kick, sends me crashing on to the table, reducing it to pieces. I retaliate by hurling a table-leg at Juan, but he ducks and the heavy wooden leg hits Rory in the stomach, making him expel projectile vomit directly into Donald's face. Horrified, Donald grabs at a hostesses dress to wipe his face, the hostess, disgusted, pushes Donald away, but he trips over some smashed cutlery and, grabbing at Albert for support, grasps at Albert's most prominent feature, and pulls half of Albert's moustache off.

Albert is famous for his moustache, both sides of it, so he is very irritated and, probably, in a good deal of pain, which explains why, although he is a peaceful man, you can see he takes great deal of pleasure in jumping up and down on Donald. It not often you see a world famous scientist, with half a moustache, jumping up and down on an airship captain, so, momentarily, we all stop to watch, and laugh. Fatty declares that he wants lunch. I point out that the hostesses are becoming hysterical and the dining room is a stinking shambles, Fatty says that the best thing to do is to quickly go to the promenade for tea and scones, and come back for dinner when they have got everything sorted out. This is a good idea, accordingly, between spates of confused brawling, we stumble around in rubble, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink's Diary