Baines

You are a very sinister servant, Baines, said Lord Boggis, addressing, as he thought, his manservant, Baines, By which I mean that, having brought me my muffin and tap water at eleven o’ clock on the dot, as instructed, you have been dismissed, with a lordly gesture of my lordly arm, to return to the pantry or to wherever it is you hold sway, in the bowels of this my mansion, there to go about your duties, whatever they might be when you are outwith my presence, running a tight ship, awaiting the sound of the bell which calls you back upstairs next time I require your services. Yet, having been dismissed, you have not gone, but are to be found lurking in the corner of the room, in shadow, barely visible, betraying your presence by the faint outline of your frame and by the almost imperceptible sound of your breathing which, if I deploy my ear-trumpet, I can hear, indubitably. This behaviour is most untoward, and is quite likely to send me into a flap. When you are dismissed, you should go. When you are summoned, you should come. I cannot countenance this intermediate state, where you loiter, neither going nor coming, hovering as it were, in an uncertain realm between tidy absolutes. Look, I have not touched my muffin nor glugged my tap water, and it is ten past the hour. That is evidence of my discombobulation. I cannot rest while you are standing there, sinister in shadow. You have been in service in this my mansion for several decades, Baines, and never before have I known you to fracture my peace in so unprecedented a fashion. Even when you had that mishap with an icing sugar siphon pump attachment and had to have a metal plate inserted in your skull, even then, and afterwards, you carried out your duties with aplomb, and I had no complaints to make. Thus I am baffled, baffled!, by your frankly bewildering conduct, or rather misconduct. It may be that you have taken a loopy turn and will need to be carted off and replaced by a brand new manservant, though how in heaven I am ever to find one as reliable as you have been, until now, is quite beyond my wits to discover.

Lord Boggis prattled on, not realising that the sinister figure lurking in the shadows was not his trusted servant Baines. It was the Grunty Man! and he was merely biding his time before laying waste to the mansion and every person in it..

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