Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Colonel Mustard and "The Scarlet Lady" - the Developing Scandal !

The late Colonel "Sir Pat" Mustard (of the Dragoon Guards, cashiered) and the "Scarlet Lady".

Scandal in Herefordshire!

Regular listeners to the Bishop's Broadcasting Service will doubtless recall the discovery of a salacious manuscript - the late Colonel Mustard's memoirs - by "Red Robbo" and his Wirral Socialist Canal Workers Battalion at the Battle of Whitney-on-Wye (note 1). Certainly, the recent flood of doleful bargees from Herefordshire to the calm safety of Ludlow, their lives ruined and homes expropriated by the heartless Captain Arrowsmith's conversion of their private property into his "Goliath" class canal boats, has served as a reminder to local residents of recent events in our Civil War (note 2). While our gallant RNVR (Teme Division) put aside their rocket practice to ponder the proper response to Arrowsmith's naval innovations, our equally gallant Chancellor, the Rev. Duff-Postin, was sent on an urgent diplomatic mission to Socialist HQ. Those "in the know" within Ludlow (eg. Arthur Snout, barman of "The Feathers", plus sundry cronies) suggest that the Chancellor's despatch was prompted by a flurry of pleading telegrams from a certain Miss Nemone Mortimer-Wagstaffe, concerned about the reputation of her late mother....

But has the "Talleyrand of the Three Counties" met his match? Does the release into general circulation within Herefordshire of a series of scandalous monochrome photographs signal "Red Robbo's" ideological desire to "bring down the upper classes" irrespective of strategic cost, and despite Duff-Postin's earnest diplomacy?

At least one reputation has already been ruined. While residents of occupied Herefordshire will only speak publicly of "the Scarlet Lady" (for fear of being despatched to the notorious Shobdon Instructional Centre) it is widely known that the monochrome series features none other than a young Lady de Braose, wife of the "Royalist" Governor of the Marches (note 3)

Mustard, the arch - seducer in action. Shocking displays of wantoness on the part of a young Lady de Braose. While the manuscript remains unpublished, it is probable that Mustard details every aspect of his various leaves in Paris.

Comparison between the lingerie clad hussy of the monochromes and recent society portraits of Lady de Braose published in "The Tatler" and "Country Life" put the matter - if there ever was an issue - beyond all doubt. Lord de Braose, at best a shadowy figure reliant upon minions such as Arrowsmith, Spode, Straitt-Jackett and Lord Grover as his battlefield commanders, has refused to make any public comment upon his wife's disgrace. While de Braose has shut himself away in the Shire Hall, it is rumoured that Lady de Braose herself has fled to Paris, and to the fleshpots she apparently knew so well in her youth...

What can these recent development mean for the future of our Civil War? Are the rumours of a second manuscript by Colonel "Sir Pat" Mustard (entitled "Shanghai Nights", and alleged to feature none other than Wallis Simpson, the entire cause of the present conflict) possibly be credited? Can Lord de Braose survive as the self-styled "Lord of the Marches", or will he rapidly be replaced? Has the "tone of the debate" - albeit an armed one - been lowered by this scandal, coming fast on the heels of the publication of Spode's own authorised biography ?

Shell shocked by his debagging at the Battle of Brimfield, Spode approved an eye-opening
biography drafted by a Fleet Street hack trading under the strange pseudonym, "Revy11".
But for her disappearance to Paris, it is likely that Lady de Braose
would wish to reclaim her silk lingerie... 

To all these questions, and many more, the wiseacres at the bar of "The Feathers" will only point to Arthur, and in turn he will wink, tap his nose, and tell you of his entire trust and confidence in "his Bishop", in the Rev. Duff-Postin, and in the shadowy figure known in Ludlow only as "Big X", the Chief of the Ecclesiastical Intelligence Service, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart.

A rare pre war photograph of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart from the files of "The Ludlow Leader".
His likeness has not since been reproduced for reasons of security. Can the Ecclesiastical
Intelligence Service provide the Rev. Duff-Postin with the diplomatic tools to "persuade" Red Robbo
 that publication of the late Col Mustard's memoirs will not serve the Socialist cause?


(1). Red Robbo's own account of the Battle of Whitney on Wye and his encounter with the "Goliath" class canal boats of the BUF, can be studied here

(2). These dispossessed bargees have made common cause with the Ludlow Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Boilermakers (formerly the Boilermaker's Union). The results of their fraternal co-operation can only be guessed at...

(3). An early biography of Lord de Braose can be read here

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