Bells Across The Meadows

Each morning when I emerge from my underground home – which, if you’ll remember, is the basement of a demolished house in a disused lot in somewhere Texas – I curse myself for my hot-headedness, for it is why I’m forced to live here. I could so easily still be living in my cottage in the south of England, sitting at my desk in my study, looking out over mist-covered meadows and grazing sheep, hearing the faint chimes of bells from the village church.

Will I ever again see my dear little home in my beloved England? I mustn’t dwell more on this right now, for I’m beginning to weep.

My journey into the abyss began more than a year ago when I read a piece on someone’s blog about King Edward the Seventh. If you who are reading this are American, you should know that King Edward the Seventh was King of England from 1903 to 1911. I’ll reveal that I, when a boy of ten or eleven, once saw King Edward at a gathering my pater had taken me to. Yes, I remember so well seeing His Majesty King Edward, for it was as if I were seeing God, for, when I was a boy, we English regarded our King with the awe that you Americans today regard your president.

It’s important you understand this, for you’ll better appreciate how I felt when I read a comment from a reader of the aforementioned blogging piece on King Edward, who wrote:

Ah thaynk that havin’ uh monarchy is stoopid. Ah mean, no-one eelec-ted them, an’ they jus’ sit aroun’ awl day in thayre castles drinkin‘ tea an’ doinnuthin’ while thuh hard workin’ Brit taxpayers pay fer thayre upkeep.

Thuh Brits should jus’ get ridda thayre queen an’ get uh pres’dent like we hav’ in thuh Yew Nited States.


Aside from its gross insult to our monarchy in the person of Her Majesty the Queen, the comment was written, as I’m sure you’ll agree, in atrocious English. The commenter obviously hadn’t graduated from high school, for I feel sure even American high schools don’t graduate pupils who write English as badly as this.

However badly the comment was written, I couldn’t allow it to go unanswered, so I left the following comment:

To “Jimmy”, or whoever you are.

How dare you, Sir, suggest Great Britain give up its monarchy and become a republic like the United States. I’ll have you know, Sir, that you are a scoundrel and blackguard, for your suggestion is not only an insult to Her Majesty the Queen, but also to me, as a loyal subject of Her Majesty.

Therefore, Sir, on behalf of Her Majesty, I demand an apology for this outrageous insult, and I want it within three days. Failing an apology I will have no alternative but to call you out and demand satisfaction in the form of a duel, or boxing match under the Queensberry rules. I’ll leave the choice of engagement to you.

If you wish for a duel, you may choose either pistols or swords, and you may also choose the venue. If you wish to box me under the Queensberry rules, I should warn you that I was middleweight boxing champion of the British Army in 1946, and can still throw as good a left jab as anyone.

But, if you’ll apologise, Sir, I’ll take this no further.

But should I not receive an apology, or you don’t agree to a duel or boxing match, I will gather up my my whip, fly down to wherever it is you live, and personally thrash you. And it is no use you hiding, for my men will track you down. The choice, Sir, is yours. Three days, or else.

Over the next few hours I kept checking in at the blogging site in question, but there was no reply to my challenge. So I left another comment, saying I was still waiting, and that “Jimmy” must act like a man and respond appropriately.

After clicking in to the blogging site for the umpteenth time, I at last saw “Jimmy’s” response, which said:

Ter Jeremy – Yew should know that as uh citizen of thuh Yew Nited States ah am permitted ter say whawt ah wawnt under thuh first amend-ment of thuh Amer’can consttootion.

An’ yew should know that if yew or any of yer boys put one step on mah land, me an’ mah own boys will be waitin’ fer yew with our shotguns, an’ we will blow yer heads off. So if yew an’ yer boys wawnt ter hav‘ yer heads blown off, why, yew jus’ mosey right awn over.


I replied thus:

To Jimmy – Sir, you may well have the right to say what you please under your constitution, but I also have the right to call you out for satisfaction when you insult the British monarchy.

In your answer, it seems to me clear, Sir, that you don’t wish to face me alone, man to man, thereby confirming that you are an unmanly coward. As I write this, it is slightly over 24 hours until my deadline expires for your unequivocal apology to me for your damnable insult to Her Majesty the Queen.

I should now inform you, Sir, that those of my men in the United States have already ascertained where you live in Texas. Failing your apology, or acceptance for a duel or boxing match, they will, on the expiry of the deadline, proceed to take out your men.

I should also tell you that my men were commandos in the British Army, and who now work for me whenever I have need of them. Their training is such that they will have no trouble in neutralising your men.

I have already booked a flight to Texas, and will be there inside 24 hours. Once my men have taken out yours, they will give me the signal. Whereupon I will proceed to your abode to administer to you, Sir, with my leather whip, the thrashing you so clearly deserve.

However, you still have 24 hours to come to your senses.

If you wish still to apologise, or accept my challenge to a duel or boxing match, you need only indicate this on this blogging site, since I will be monitoring it each hour until then, even during my flight to Texas, because I will have my laptop with me on the plane. But if you know what is good for you, Sir, you will apologise.

This posting has gone on long enough. I’ll continue it next time.

This entry was posted in Writing.

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