Be it known that on the fourteenth day of the month of March in the year of picklings last, MR THUBB, the Hon. Secretary of the Pointy Town chapter of the Tuesday Weld Fan Club, hired a charabanc for the purposes of an excursion to outlying parts of the said town, there to picnic and exchange pictorial collector’s cards of Tuesday Weld, her contemporaries and her peers.
That the driver of the charabanc was a man of frightful countenance and evil reputation. That he was said to have phantom limbs, additional to his given limbs, and that though these could not be perceived by the human eye in ordinary daylight, they were nevertheless present, and said driver might be said to have the form of a gigantic spider were he ever seen whole.
That the cost of the hire of the charabanc and driver was met by subscription to the excursions and picnicking fund of the Tuesday Weld Fan Club, administered by the Hon. Treasurer MR BRIMSTONE. That MR THUBB and MR BRIMSTONE were at loggerheads by cause of imponderables and fathomless mysteries known to none but they and their wives and the late beadle, MR FLAIL, perished of an ague in the month of February past. That the relict of MR FLAIL was confined to a madhouse wherein she did knit, in a phrenzy, in all her hours of wakefulness.
That the charabanc driver, by name BINNS, having agreed a route to the picnicking spot with MR THUBB, did diverge his vehicle up into the hills, whence his intention was to deliver all the excursioning members of the Tuesday Weld Fan Club into the clutches of the Grunty Man, who dwelt in a lair in said hills. That BINNS was to gain no pecuniary advantage from this treachery, in that his sole purpose was mischief and malfeasance. That the babblings of the excursionists within the charabanc excited them to such degree that none took cognizance of the divergence.
That much frost and ice lay on the roads in that month of March for it was a bitter season. That there was no grit to be had nor wherewithal of Pointy Town civic gritting persons to spread it upon the roads if there had been, for they were in dispute with regard to their stipend and held banners in a throng outside the civic hall and had tubs which they thumped with main force. That notwithstanding his great merit as a driver of the charabanc, BINNS caused the vehicle to skid ski-skaw-skoo off the appointed way and go plunging into a ditch some four miles as the crow flies past the Bypass at Blister Lane. That had BINNS taken the route agreed with MR THUBB such accident would never have occurred.
That the gentlemen and ladies of the Tuesday Weld Fan Club conducted themselves with decency and aplomb. That those who had been hurled from the charabanc assisted those who remained within its twisted wreckage to make their escape. That they gathered in the ditch and sipped with due daintiness from flasks of soup piping hot. That the Hon. Correspondence Secretary, MRS GLEETY, distributed to all Dr Gillespie’s Famous And Trustworthy Brain Powders For The Alleviation Of Disorders Of The Nerves And Integuments. That tears of emotion were shed when it was seen that MR THUBB and MR BRIMSTONE were putting aside their differences in the face of calamity and were shaking hands with each other with manly forbearance.
That a considerable time elapsed before it was noted that the charabanc driver BINNS was not present with the others in the ditch. That said BINNS had taken to his heels at the first opportunity. That his fleeing gained much expedition from the fact that his visible heels were accompanied by any number of phantom heels. That the direction of BINNS’ fleeing was into the hills, where he threw himself upon the mercy of the Grunty Man with terrible bewailings that he had failed in his appointed task. That the Grunty Man was a stranger to mercy and grunted loud and awful grunts and dragged BINNS into the depths of his lair. That not hide nor hair of BINNS was ever seen again on this spinning earth.
That the composure of the members of the Tuesday Weld Fan Club was a magnificent thing and a pride unto Pointy Town. That when wounds were bandaged and shattered bones set with splints, they clambered forth each and every one from the ditch to make the journey home on foot. That night fell and they lost their way yet did not once screech in terror nor complain of chill. That they kept their spirits up by calling one to another the titles of feature films in which Tuesday Weld had appeared, to which another would respond by calling out the name of the character she had played in said feature film, so that MR BRIMSTONE might call Rally ‘Round The Flag, Boys! and MRS GLEETY call Comfort Goodpasture, or MR THUBB call The Private Lives Of Adam And Eve and the Hon. Picnics Secretary MRS BLEARS call in return Vangie Harper.
That such jollies were brought cruelly to a close when it happened in the darkness that MR THUBB collided with an enormous block of masonry and was knocked insensible. That MRS GLEETY had exhausted her supply of Dr Gillespie’s Powders but was able to revive MR THUBB with a draught of arquebusade-water from a canister within her handbag. That it was resolved to remain in the lee of the enormous block of masonry pending the break of dawn, for it provided some shelter from a wild wind which now was roaring. That to pass the time until dawn, the excursionists hummed tunes made famous by Dudley Moore and Pinchas Zukerman, respectively the second and third husbands of Tuesday Weld.
That when dawn came and examination was made of the masonry it was found to be covered in greatly mysterious inscriptions in an alphabet unknown to even the most erudite member of the Tuesday Weld Fan Club. That this was by common acclaim MR SHAMBEKO who was the author of many learned books, among them being a history of Pointy Town, a topographical description of the area around the Blister Lane Bypass, and a shot-by-shot analysis of the feature film I’ll Take Sweden, in which Tuesday Weld appeared as the character JoJo Holcomb. That in scraping clumps of mud from the masonry the better to view the inscriptions, it became apparent that much of the block remained submerged below the ground. That MRS GLEETY produced from her handbag a number of gardening trowels which she carried on the aborted excursion in case within the vicinity of the picnic spot had grown such plants as campions and hellebore and lupins for the digging up and transplanting to her garden behind the house on Turpentine Boulevard in Pointy Town. That those of the party not yet faint with exhaustion set to with a will a-trowelling away the mud to reveal as much of the enormous block of masonry as their efforts might allow.
That thus was discovery made of the ancient tomb of Anaxagrotax. That MR SHAMBEKO thereafter wrote an account of the discovery and embarked upon an extensive lecture tour of many countries. That MR SHAMBEKO never failed to acknowledge the inadvertent part played by the evil spidery charabanc driver BINNS. That it remains unknown who or what Anaxagrotax was or in what era he lived if ever he lived at all. That his tomb now gleaming is surrounded by a fence to deter souvenir hunters, and that propped against the tomb, in a plain wooden frame coated with protection against the elements is a publicity photograph of Tuesday Weld, taken circa 1963 during production of the feature film Soldier In The Rain, in which she appeared as the character Bobby Jo Pepperdine. That it is apt that a soldier stands guard in a sentry box beside the tomb of Anaxagrotax, and that it is raining, and that there is no roof upon the box, so the rain falls directly upon the soldier, whose badge declares his name as Private Pepperdine.