I don’t think I have previously ever mentioned the maid I have employed here at Lax Manors, Cherie Bombe, a delightful petit-foux who has been part of the staff here a full cinq minutes. Mlle Bombe not only tops up my various choses intraveneuse, she is also French mistress in the boarding school I run, Lax Towers, a single-storey yet rambling establishment here at the Lax compound.
I gave her a tinklez-foux on her phone du cel to enquriez of her whether she had any (as the French say) inklant of my important passez-mot or, as the French say, billet-foux.
‘Mam’zelle?’ I was now saying in my familiar cranky tones – indeed, my head was aching and my voice betrayed un pain croissant as a result – ‘It is mwah, Mrs Lax.’
‘Aa! Mme Lax! Comment-allez, ‘ow you say, vouz Madame!’ came the familiar squeal from the audiogrammatic speaquer.
‘I have an, ‘ow you say, problamportant,’ I respondezed. ‘I need to accessez-moi mon blogue, por to tellez les types insignificante les information pour correctez-les. Can you aides-moi?’ You know sometimes I find myself thinking in French, which I believe is the sign of an excellent speaker, however as in the example here it often comes out with some Flemish in it, because of a bad chest cold I caught a few winters back. Tish-boom! Oh dear I am sorry, I’ve never really shaken that sneeze, either.
Her reply was barely audible through the large jelly of bronchial to-do which now enjambemented my telephone. ‘Mme,’ she said, though it sounded not a little unlike that thing Young Rogers often says, ‘Meh’. ‘Non. I ‘ave not seen your precious cod. If I do see it, I will of course ‘ow you say bring it to you on a silvair tres avec une pepperminte au coin de la rue. In the meantime, I must apologise but I ‘ave a large class of schoolgirls to teachez-leurs. Fiche le con, Annabel, stop dipping Englantine’s pigtails dans l’inkwell! La! You desagréable girl, I will detentez-vous deux heures après l’ecole pour that dreadful be’aviour!’
I didn’t trust the foreigner, and suspected that, like Old Rogers, she probably knew far more than she was letting on. Nevertheless at this petit point I had nothing more to go on; indeed, I was no better than I had been at the beginning of the investigation.
Once again, I furrowed my brow and investigated the many rooms of my Lax intelligence, pausing only to giggle a little at the most amusing fact that so many times my surname gave the deceptive appearance of making so many positives into negatives. Ah! So many rooms and so many memories… so many rooms… so many memories…. My goodness, I was self-hypnotising! This would be good! Just like page 92 of my excellent if commercially unsuccessful Advice for Young People…! I drifted off into a deep, revealing sleep, to be continuedzzzzzzz.