Hackgate, Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Satire, Social Justice

A Jaunt To St Pauls

 

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It is a truth seldom acknowledged that the rich are just as much addicted to crime as the poor. In fact dear reader, one may go so far as to suggest that savage tribes living a primitive existence, present a far more edifying spectacle of respect for person and property, than some of the most cultivated aristocrats in Europe. Take for example, Lord Grid-Iron, Earl of West Peepyshire, Knight of the Purple Garter and Chancellor of the Exchequer. A third generation descendant of General Gordon Grid-Iron of Um Bongo Bongo, it is inconceivable that he should prove anything other than a patriarch and a patriot. Inconceivable! Alas dear reader that this should be the mooted truth, that he, a patriarch of empire and bastion of the countries finances, might be guilty of high treason! High treason! Alas! For the term speaks of conspiracies in the dead of night, of murderous plots effected in murky shadows, of inscrutable wickedness bent solely towards malevolent intent. The destruction of the British Empire and our queen with it!

“How long have you known?”

“That Lord Grid-Iron has been engaging in financial congress with the Russians? I shall have proof of it, once Inspector Depta arrives”

“Inspector Depta? What the devil does Depta have to do with it?”

“The information came through one of his informants, a Mrs Hayes I believe”

“Mrs Hayes? But isn’t she a blowen?”

“Quite so” replies Lord Palmerston examining some invisible stain on his gloves, “I am told that Lord Grid-Iron visits her often and that during the course of several of his…visits he has spoken of his financial arrangements with the Russians”

“With the Russians?!”

“It would seem that he has been supplying them with guns and munitions to the hurt of our cause in the Crimea, Prime Minister”

“But that’s unconscionable! For how long?”

Lord Palmerston is silent, which suggests to Prime Minister Aberdeen that he can’t know the extent of Lord Grid-Iron’s treachery. T’is often said that crime is but the offspring of poor breeding or degenerative disease, but Lord Grid-Iron’s criminality has been more the result of  errant stupidity. Why the queen herself had expressed outrage at the very notion of Lord Grid-Iron running the economy, she had even gone so far as to proffer her Hindu Munshi as a replacement, but the Prime Minister would have none of it.

“The role of Chancellor of the Exchequer has been held by three generations of the Grid-Iron family, not to appoint him would be an insult!”

“Then insult him!” cried the queen trembling with indignation,”But pray, do not place him in charge of the nation’s purse! The man is an imbecile! I should know, he’s my sixth cousin!”. The Prime Minister disagreeing with his queen, raised one firm eyebrow, gracefully bowed his head and hastily withdrew from her majesty’s presence. Alas, that Lord Aberdeen had not abided by her majesty’s judgement! For here they now sat, debating the potential fall of a Whig government .

“As to law” Lord Palmerston continued,”The charge is obvious, high treason but the question is this, could this government countenance the scandal?”

“It could not! As well you know! But what choice have we in the matter? The man has sullied his honour and betrayed our great empire! What other outcome could there possibly be?”

“His disappearance could be discretely ordered and just as discretely arranged, but that would also give rise to a charge of high treason. An undesirable state of affairs, most undesirable, unless” and here Lord Palmerston coughed discretely into his scented handkerchief.

“Unless?” asked Lord Aberdeen a look of desperate irritation upon his face,

“Unless….ah! Inspector Depta! But what time call you this?!”

“Pardoning your lor’ship such time as I could make, given the vicissitudes of St Giles!” Inspector Depta jerked his thumb towards a pew at the rear of the cathedral and in which he had deposited a dishevelled heap of a man. “Up at the crack of dawn an ain’t had a moments peace since…what with one thing….and another” he eyed Lord Aberdeen surreptitiously,”Take Mrs Hayes for instance, running an owse of most ill-repute! Terrible it was in there! Terrible! We’ve ‘ad er in custody since the crack of dawn!”

Coughing politely Lord Palmerston asked,”But what of her clientele?”

“Very polite considerin, middle class gents solely! T’was too early in the morn for the other sort! ”

“The other sort?”

“Upper class gents, here’s my report!” dipping his bear like paw into a pocket inside his coat he pulled out a scroll tied with pink ribbon, this he handed directly to Lord Palmerston who in turn handed it to Lord Aberdeen. A glance passed then between the inspector of the Bow Street force and Lord Palmerston who had perused the ‘report’ a week earlier. Indeed the instant his eyes had fallen upon that foul parchment, he had come to the conclusion that Lord Grid-Iron must be done away with, but how to carry it out? No peer of the realm would contemplate being complicit in an act that could lead to their being hung, drawn and quartered!

“Oh god, oh dear god, oh dear god…” Prime Minister Aberdeen paled visibly as his eyes roved over the report, till at length he thrust it from him and leaping to his feet cried out,”Great god! How could he? Such heinous treachery! How could he?!”

“Indeed” demurred Lord Palmerston his eyes twinkling with a mirth no one else in that cathedral dared share,

“Now the question is, what are we to do about this?”

“Is he still married?” Prime Minister Aberdeen asked, his face hardening by degrees,

“To the American? Of course he is!”

“Then there really isn’t a problem, is there?” he narrowed his eyes,” We have a ‘package’ that needs dispatching, Inspector Depta?”

Stifling a grin the Inspector inclined his head,”M’lord!”

“You have worked with Pinkerton detectives in the past have you not?”

“Yes M’Lord!”

“We require you to work with them again as per the abduction and discrete removal of Lord Grid-Iron. The crown requires that you call on them with all speed!”

“A Pinkerton yer Lordship? In England?!”

Lord Palmerston smiled, “As a rule this Pinkerton goes by the nomenclature of Mrs Kitty Warne”

“Bloody hell! Er!” exclaimed the Inspector his eyes twinkling with merriment, “With pleasure yer Lordship, but pray, what is the address?”

“Sloane Square, Grid-Iron Mansions she is the wife of Lord Grid-Iron!”

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Hackgate, Hypocritical Cant

Of Secret Love & A Coffin Notice Long Deferred

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A brutal quiet has descended upon the Grid-Iron home dear reader, an eerie tomb-like silence. Even the Nightingales and the Cardinals that would gather and descend twitteringly upon Grid-Iron Square have fled. Not so the workers, Grid-Iron Square is deserted but these grim faced comrades have over-run Lord Grid-Iron’s town house and now, having barricaded themselves within, they await that final onslaught from ‘the enemies of promise’ .

“Ere Mickey fancy a beer?”

“You’re joking aren’t yeh? Have a tipple of Gin, it’ll warm you to the bones so it will, t’is awful gusty in ere! ”

Bert nodded in agreement, “Them leaded windows ain’t all they’re cracked up to be, we patched ’em up best as we could though” he eyed Mickey sharply, “Shouldn’t you be in pursuit of His Mibs?”

Mickey shook his head “I’m one that got out of that coal mine of his in one piece, after the walls collapsed, though there’s many that didn’t and many as lost their children too. I’ve done my share, I’ll leave the rest to the Molly Maguires God save ’em, fancy a pickled turkey twizzler? ”

“Nah, I’m feeling too gusty, I’ll have a tipple of Gin though, you seen Boodoo?”

A sultry evening at dusk dear reader, night has fallen. But the skies still blaze orange and crimson, lit up by the bonfires that abound in Grid-Iron Square and by the blazing conflagration eating its way steadily through the east-wing of the Grid-Iron home. Lady Grid-Iron and the servants have long since fled the premises, bundled into a coach and driven post-haste to Lord Grid-Iron’s country residence by Francis, the page boy. But where, pray tell, is Lord Grid-Iron? Let us alight upon a roof top not a quarter of a mile from a Grid-Iron chimney and observe a desperate, scrambling pursuit .

“Gombeen man! Gombeen man! We’re upon ye!” pistols can be heard being cocked and then fired and each near miss, each bullet that flys within an inch of it’s intended victim is greeted by a shriek and then a bellow of “Sweet Gove save me!”

“Sweet Gove? Sweet Gove? Of what use is such a profligate curse to such a Gombeen as thou? We’ll have at ye Gombeen man! We’ll have at ye!”

And indeed it does seem as if Lord Grid-Iron’s time has come, for as he scrambles desperately up and over one tiled roof after another,his face a ruddied sweating mess, his clothes befuddled and begrimed with soot, it seems that his speed has  slowed. And as he slows, his poorly used muscles trembling with fatigue, it seems that his pursuers have sped up, their legs and arms scuttling ever more quickly over each roof and towards him. Indeed it is as though Nemesis (the goddess of divine retribution), is carrying them on her wings as they fly through the air and relentlessly bear down upon him.

“My poor Sinead burned to death in one of thy coal mines!”

“Aye! My mother was driven off her own land by one of thy agents!”

“Aye! Aye! And my Da starved to death at they hands thou accursed Gombeen!!”

“Help me! Sweet Gove!” Lord Grid-Iron screamed,

And it indeed seems as if his prayers are heard, and answered, by that most dubious of saints, St. Gove, for the roof he is splayed upon crumples beneath him, sending him hurtling into the room beneath, pursued by the outraged cries of the Molly Maguires who have spent weeks travelling to this sceptred isle, just to have the pleasure of getting their hands on him.

As he falls Lord Grid-Iron’s life flashes before him, his many triumphs in the House of Commons, his marriage to the most esteemed Kitty Grid-Iron, his burning passion for Mrs Hayes. His fall is a long one in which he ceases to scream in terror at his precipitate descent, becoming at once both tranquil and silent, for death on collision seems imminent. And indeed it would have been so, had he not most fortuitously, fallen through the roof of Mrs Hayes ‘up-town residence’.

Mrs Hayes is at the peak of her nadir; her partially exposed bosom lying resplendent in a bejewelled corset of jet black silk, her flaming red hair artfully held in place with ivory combs and draped over one shoulder. Unperturbed by Lord Grid-Iron’s sudden and unplanned entrance, she sings on,

“Take a pair of sparkling eyes,take a figure trimly planned, such as admiration whets” she tra-la-la’s and trills wonderfully, cracking her whip in time to the music.

Lord Grid-Iron falls heavily at the feet of her avid customer, a most unlooked for climax to the evening’s events. Mrs Hayes continues to sing, “Take all these you lucky man! Take and keep them if you can!”. Now consider the embarassing quandary, nay the excruciating ‘situation gênante‘ as the avid client (a close relative of a certain monarch), arises from his ‘love seat’ at the feet of Mrs Hayes and speedily exits her attic ‘play space’.

Groaning and rolling to and fro on the attic floor, Lord Grid-Iron clutches at his left ankle which he is certain has been broken. He groans and he rolls around in exquisite pain and as he does so Mrs Hayes continues to sing, “Take my counsel happy man! Act upon it if you can! Take my counsel happy man! Act upon it if you can!”

Tobias Grid-Iron has ‘acclimatized’ himself to the love of his love having many illicit liaisons, but he has difficulty resigning himself to her utter indifference to his excruciating suffering at her feet. He is mortified by his humiliation, he is heartbroken by her indifference, he faints…

Back view of sexy nude redhead young woman standing in front of sunlit window-786742

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Hypocritical Cant

The Fall Of The House Of Grid-Iron

House-of-Usher

How goes the night dear reader? It is quiet, oh so quiet in the home of Lord Grid-Iron, nothing stirs, no, not even a mouse. But outside, on the streets, some distance from the graveled driveway leading up to Lord Grid-Iron’s mansion, it appears as though all of Bedlam has broken loose, indeed the primitive screams, howls, and sobs of murderous rage would be enough to chill one’s blood were such a one as Lord Grid-Iron aware of them, but he, alas, for the moment, is blissfully unaware. Indeed, riven with torment over his most recent excursion to Mrs Hayes ‘Nunnery’ it is a wonder that he can fix his mind on anything, save the rapid speed with which his soul is descending into the well-heated realms of perdition.

“I’m lost Emily, quite lost”

“Lost my Lord?” Emily glanced at him uneasily as she laid out the cold meats and the freshly baked bread, the pastries, accompanying silver, and linen napkin, folded neatly into its silver napkin holder. The very fact of standing in front of his Lordship laying the tea things out would have unsettled her nerves on any other occasion. But on this night of all nights with the house over run by bobbies, whistles and truncheons poised; and all the men-servants positioned at every entrance into the house, fireplace pokers and copper- pans at the ready. Everyone else in the kitchens might well pretend that they couldn’t hear the mayhem taking place in the streets but her hearing was fine, thank you very much! On this particular night, Emily couldn’t help wondering why they hadn’t locked up house and headed for the country. A blazing log fire crackled in the fireplace and Lord Grid-Iron stood with his back towards it, a crazed look in his eye, “Indeed” he said, his right eye twitching spasmodically, ” One cannot help but marvel at the sheer indomitable will of the Egyptians, bending the Hebrews to their service, enslaving them to the greater glory of their nation, only to be robbed by their ungrateful vassals! Pray? Do you know of Mrs Hayes? A most wonderful woman!”

On hearing that infamous name uttered by his most esteemed Lordship, Emily clutched her petticoats instinctively, for into them she had sewn a miniaturised copy of the testaments of St. Gove. She muttered a quick prayer for aid and succour turning a shocked glance upon his Lordship, and noting with muted horror that he appeared to be dancing upon the very precipice of hell, his face a-flame with she knew not what secret horrors, she turned hastily towards the vast bay window, where, alas, another kind of shock awaited her, no! Not here! Not here! Had she travelled so far from her beginnings to receive no mercy even now? Placing one tiny pastry covered hand against her pulsing breast Maggie swooned. “Maggie? Maggie? What ho! Maggie?” Bending over her, his Lordship sought to quickly loosen her stays (he had ample experience of stay-loosening). And so we leave him dear reader, in the midst of a rapidly shrinking calm before an even more rapidly approaching storm.

“This, ladies and gentlemen, is a Beaumont-Adams revolver, invented and improved by Her Majesty’s Royal Engineers. I can cock back this little beauty and fire in one smooth stroke” Lady Grid-Iron cocked the gun in the crook of her arm and imitated firing her revolver, the scullery maids gasped, the household chef looked on with horror, the Butler with patent disgust, “Doesn’t hit the target nearly as well as my Colt, but as a second gun it will do nicely!” she tucked it into the beaded waistband of her skirt. Frances smothered a grin, all the kitchen staff looked simultaneously horrified and fascinated. And since they had gathered closely around her as she showed off the mechanics of this finely wrought instrument of death, they were nowhere near the windows when the first brick sallied forth followed by the cry “Down with Lord Grid-Iron!” Frances eyes twinkled, the game was a foot!

“Ladies to the store rooms! Quickly mind!” with the help of Frances, Lord Grid-Iron’s Butler shooed all the kitchen staff into the vast pantry where food provisions where stored the year round. “Your Ladyship!” his moustachioes bristled with disdain, for it was clear that Lord Grid-Iron had married into scandal, “Your Ladyship!” James unfurled one gloved hand extending it towards Kitty, who smiled most graciously as Frances crept up behind him and sharply rapped him on the head with a little leathern bludger he’d been given quite recently by Boodoo. “Did you need to hit him quite so hard?”

“It will let some air into his head and perhaps teach him the benefit of not getting in the way when his betters are in the process of reaping what they’ve sown Il hamdulillah, your orders m’aam?”

“At this point?” she threw him the Winchester rifle, “Guard the ladies and lay low, I’ll be upstairs in his Lordships library…if it’s still standing” Gathering her skirts up in her gloved hands, and tucking them firmly into the waist band, she fastened on a leather holster slipping a  revolver into each pouch. She made her way quickly into the vast hallway just in time to see the front door splinter inwards and a horde of armed workers begin to fight their way through. Quickly she slid into the library, hurrying towards the desk where Tobias kept all his correspondence, she found what she was looking for almost at once, a cream coloured, scarlet edged list and on that list three names from the bottom, the name of the most infamous American abroad, “Jedidiah Kane Thickett” Kitty Grid-Iron smiled, and it was the smile of a cat about to pounce upon a squirrel, that had, had the great misfortune of meandering her way, but t’was then that she heard a blood-curdling scream…to be continued….

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