The Curmudgeon


Friday, March 04, 2005

Heaving Girdles: an extract

The new novel by Fallopia Rosethorn

Chapter 57: A Crisis Looms!

As Mavis realised what had commenced to occur, a great thrill swelled within her thorax which began to move up and down excitedly. Her full lips struggled like carmine Sumo wrestlers as she struggled to contain the struggle which was going on within her. She felt a hot flush flowing as from a cistern into her cheeks and touching them with a rising rose.

She thought it was very fortunate that Marmaduke did not notice her very considerable state of perturbation. What would he think! The very thought was unthinkable. The very idea caused a small shudder of dread mixed with delicious anticipation to grip Mavis in its feathery grip and root her to the spot like a trap of steel in her heart.

Abruptly he whirled to face her. His eyes flashed. They were two fierce brown traffic lights urging her towards temptation's way. She felt the shudder again, but she stiffened her sinews and beat it back with a hardened lip.

He had opened his mouth to enunciate but she rapidly preceded him.

"Marmaduke," she breathed in a determined tone of voice which she did her utmost to prevent from betraying the turbulence of her emotional state, "I am not sure that I have understood you correctly. Do you mean to imply that Cuthbert is not what he seems and that all our efforts on behalf of Peregrine and Gwendolyn have all been in vain?"

Marmaduke gave serious thought to her question and then he replied to it. "Not altogether in vain," he responded. "The trouble with Peregrine and Gwendolyn was always Charles, and I am sure they are well on top of that problem."

Mavis breathed deeply once more. "And what of Cuthbert?"

He gave a start. "Alas!" thought Mavis in despair. "My ultimate suspicions are being corroborated beyond all proportion!"

"Cuthbert?" he inquired.


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