An extract from the autobiography of Twatersley Fromage
The day the telegram arrived my heart sunk. You see the beastly Ottoman swine had kidnapped my one true love, my Mildred and allowed her just the one message home – a glorified ransom note – it read;
Dearest Twatersley (STOP) I am in dire straits (STOP) Need your assistance as a matter of urgency (STOP) Was enjoying my trip to Constantinople so very much (STOP) I was having a bit of scoff sat on the steps of The Blue Mosque (STOP) Doner kebab if you must know (STOP) Arab type ruffians jumped me (STOP) Told them to stop (STOP) Am now held hostage somewhere smelly in the city (STOP) Arab type ruffians say the Sultan has bid a good price for me (STOP) He says I must be a virgin because I am English (STOP) Kept my mouth shut good and proper on that subject (STOP) Anyway unless you put in a higher bid (STOP) They will sell me into a life of white slavery (STOP) You must buy my freedom (STOP) Save my honour (STOP) Oh the shame of it all (STOP)
PS (STOP) Do bring me a change of knicks (STOP) Am running low (STOP)
The thing is Mildred has always been a tad scatty and the stupid cow had not advised me of her asking price or indeed given any idea of where her captives were holding her. Plainly the Sultan being worth a few quid would offer a handsome price for my darling; a girl of good stock; a girl of the English shires – so very fair and so very beautiful.
That evening and over a glass of port and a Havana I put on my thinking cap. True enough that following my recent gambling spree my bookmaker for all intents and purposes now had charge of my liquid assets. Even if this were not the case it is unlikely that I could in any event outbid the Sultan. There was but one thing to do. I determined that I would travel to Constantinople and rescue Mildred from the hands of these Arabic ruffians myself. I am after all an accomplished swordsman and therefore will put the scoundrels to the blade!
The very next day I made for Dover with considerable haste. Plainly there was no time to lose. With my trusty ruck sack (and yes I had not forgotten Mildred’s change of knicks) upon my back and rapier down my trouser leg I swam the twenty miles across the English Channel heading for Calais. Following a swift snifter at a little bar I know in the old town I jogged the 147 miles to the Gare du Nord in Paris. Luxury at last! The Orient Express to Constantinople and a chance to get my now soaking and sweaty clothes washed and ironed whilst journeying. Handy I had booked a compartment to myself really as I only packed the one change of clothing which meant when the valet collected my togs for cleaning I was, save for Mildred’s spare underwear (put on to protect my modesty I stress) and my rapier quite bollock naked. Thankfully I had chosen to dine in my sleeping car and the waitress, being French, delivering up my fodder did not turn a hair seeing a chap attired thus. A kindly wench, she even gave my trusty weapon a rub down for just a few spare Francs. For my part and until my clothing came back freshened I reminded myself to take great care not to leave gentleman’s skid marks upon my love’s undergarments.
Finally I reached the place where West meets East; a place of strong coffee, incense, interminable roof top wailing, camel shit, hookahs and hookers that is Constantinople.
The only clue afforded me from Mildred’s telegram was that she was taken from the steps of The Blue Mosque. I therefore made that my first port of call. I had only been there a few moments when a Turk in a fez and wearing an eye patch gave me a nod and a wink in the manner of a beckoning. The idiocy of a man with a 50% deficiency on the visual front ‘winking’ struck me – I mean I am always minded to keep an eye out for pick-pockets when in the company of Turks and this chap would be rendered an easy target mid wink! Regardless I ventured over to him.
“Hey you……English……..come for the girl………you have much money with you…….she fetch a high price…..come I will take you to the market place.”
I find little more disturbing than being summoned by a Johnny Foreigner type yet concluded I best do as he suggested for the sake of Mildred. After a brief canter through alleyways and bazaars we came to a market square. A hustle and bustle of traders there; turbans galore and there in the middle a stage of sorts with a line of girls clad scantily of all races, colours and creeds it seemed being auctioned off to the highest bidder. A truly shocking sight yet one I choose to ignore. After scanning the row of girls I could not see my Mildred.
“English………you too late……….I hear your woman already sold……..Sultan wants her as his own…..you no chance now.”
With that the one-eyed man made for my rucksack thinking, I presumed, that it was full of spondoolies. I was too swift for him though. A quick knee in the bollocks dropped him to the floor. I held my rapier to his throat and demanded to know just where the Sultan had taken Mildred. Reluctantly he advised that she would now likely be in the harem at the Topkapı Palace. With that I dispatched the devil with a slit of his throat and made haste at pace.
In the near distance I spotted the twin spires of the Sultan’s residence. There was no time to lose. The guards at the entrance stood little chance as I ran them through before they had time to defend themselves. Gathering a handy tourist guide leaflet I noted that the Imperial Harem was situated in the Sultans private quarters. Seeing off a good few of his men en route I came to the harem entrance door. Stood outside was a giant black chap wearing only an Izaar.
“What the fuck you want?” he said in an uncommonly high pitched voice.
“I’ve come to retrieve my bride to be, Mildred if you must know……make way.”
“Only eunuch allowed in harem with the slave girls…….you got bollocks?”
Plainly I answered in the affirmative.
“Then you fuck off……..unless you want your balls cut off and fed to the dogs.”
I drew my sword and was about to stab the bastard in the heart when suddenly I detected Mildred’s dulcet tones. A second or so later Mildred appeared at the door clad in just a chiffon outfit that only barely covered her crucials! Just what had that cad of a Sultan done to her?
“Oh it’s you Twatersley……do you like this outfit…….it’s my new chiffon dress……..a present from the Sultan……..rather lovely don’t you think…….oh, and you Mr Eunuch type person I know this man so you don’t have to worry I shant let him in the harem.”
“Crikey Mildred make yourself decent sharpish we have to get you out of here forthwith.”
“Gosh and golly Twatersley what a to-do………you see I sent you that telegram in something of a panic yet now find the Sultan is an absolute corker of a chap……he’s taking me to Monte Carlo next week on the royal yacht you know…….always wanted to go there……..and after that we shall be skiing in the Swiss Alps together………he really is such a kind chap……..I’m having a whale of a time already as it happens so you don’t have to rescue me now.”
“But Mildred I’ve travelled hundreds of miles; I’ve slain men; I’ve risked life and limb just so I could take you back to Blighty and marry you in the little parish church in the village.”
“Um……well sorry about that…….shame really…….but I’d say you’re fucked if the truth be told. See you around Twatersley I’m orf back to play with my new best friends in this here harem.”
“You may as well have these then,” I said handing Mildred the knickers she had requested I bring her.
“Oh these will be no use to me here………we don’t wear them…….isn’t that ever so naughty…….tell you what Twatersley you keep them. You can have a jolly good sniff from time to time and think of me.”
I left Constantinople a broken man.