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The Adventures of Giles Tommly-Horton, Volume 2, The Twisted Horn

Placing another log on the fire, I carry on from where I left off on the front page of the Times.

“Stolen,” it reads, “The twisted horn from the last living, ‘Passive, clobbed Foot, Sabre Tooth, Rhino, in captivity on the Eastern Central Reserve two miles left of Western Sahara.

‘Flibedygibet,’ I think. ‘That just isn’t cricket.”

That is when my beloved significant other of thirty-five long hard years pokes her head round the door and says, “You will be pleased to know dear that I am going to cook your favourite for tea, roasted goose head and pickled onions.”

Absolutely repulsed by the idea I say, “Spiffing old girl, I can’t wait,” and decide to head out into the freezing February fog, for a cream tea and a jam scone.
Walking the short distance, first I pop into Tarquin’s Selected Tobacconist.

“Good day to you, old boy, I would like to purchase two dozen of your finest Carlos Amore Cuban cigars please.”

“No can-do squire,” he says. “Unfortunately, our Marrakesh connection hasn’t come through.”

“There must be some mistake, is someone telling porkies? I said, Cuban.”

“Na… trust me they’re not Cuban,” he says, “That is just the brand, they’re Moroccan.” Leaning in close to my ear he says quietly, “Apparently, the specially selected Marrakesh Tobacco leaves they use, could not be harvested because, the farm owners on the outskirts of Marrakesh where it joins the Sahara, never received their supply of steaming hot dung, produced only by some near-extinct beast, and now they only have a short window before the Marrakesh Tobacco plant will die off forever, and that will be the end of The Carlos Amore Cuban cigars that we know and love.”

“Steady on old chap. That only leaves me two options, either I Give up smoking or… Change my brand.” ‘Heaven forbid,’ I think.

Now beginning to have a severe panic attack, I say, “Fiddlesticks to both of them…!” and spritely walk out in disgust.

Once I get a few doors down, I enter Mr Singh’s Cream Tea shop, and take a well-earned seat, placing my newspaper on the table, I wait for Mr Singh to come and take my order.

That is when I notice on the table to my right, a middle eastern man wearing a fez, selling what looks like an animal horn to a very large, thick-set criminal-looking character.

Minding my own business, I carry on reading my newspaper, and there it is, in black and white, as clear as day in the photo, the same twisted horn.

‘Golly gosh, that’s not Queensbury rules,’ I think.

As I carry on reading, I am in utter shock and disbelief when I read that if the near-extinct ‘Passive clobbed foot, sabre tooth, rhino loses its horn, he can no longer produce man milk, and its rare steaming hot dung which is sometimes used as necessity to fertilize the world-famous Marrakesh tobacco plant.

Suddenly turning back to the table on my right I watch as the thick-set man pulls out some money in exchange for the twisted horn and accidentally drops a book of matches onto the table.
Using my pinpoint 20/20 vision, the only writing I can make out on the matches, is ‘Something, something, Hotel.’

Quickly I devise a cunning plan and pull out my last remaining cigar, pick myself up, and walk over to the thick-set man.

“I say old chap, don’t s’pose you happen to have a light?”

Looking at me angrily, he proceeds to open the book of matches and provides me a light, then quickly puts the matches straight back into his pocket, and I sit back down.

‘Well,’ I think, ‘That didn’t exactly go to plan.’

Quickly stubbing out my cigar, I walk back over to their table again and say, “Sorry old bean, it’s gone out, could you do me the honour once more?” Whilst giving them one of my highly amusing pig-snorting laughs?”

Now standing up in a bit of a rage and towering over me he says, “Geez… Just take the whole book,” and hands me the matches, then they both leave the tea shop, walking out in different directions.

‘The Berkeley Suit Hotel,’ it reads.

As I turn the matches on their back, there is an imprint of some numbers which I can’t quite make out.
Walking over to me, Mr Singh the tea shop owner says, “I would be very careful around that big guy, the one sitting there a few moments ago. His name is Jack Iron Balls McGinty, and he has just been released from prison.

Not fazed in the slightest, I ask for, “One cup of hot tea and a jam scone.”

Coming back with my order, I pay him and decide to take the small receipt and place it on top of the book of matches. Then I pull out a small pencil and scribble over it, revealing the number 301.
I quickly gulp down my tea, burning my mouth, and attempt to take a bite from my scone, which I can’t. Placing it into my inside blazer pocket for later use, in a hurry I leave Mr Singh’s Cream Tea Shop.

Now running as fast as the wind will take me, I head for the Berkeley suit Hotel.

Once I get inside, I creep into the lift, get out on the third floor, knock on room 301, and Jack Iron Balls McGuinty comes to the door with not a very nice look on his face.

Looking at him I say, “Chin-chin,” and kick him hard in the spawning gland.

With my foot now throbbing, a sensation akin to kicking a rock, I at once realize where his name came from!

As he comes out of the doorway to attack me, I stylishly jump up and grasp hold of the chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Tightly placing my legs around his very short neck, giving him something we used to call the Cambridge neck lock, I Twist his head once to the right and twice to the left until I feel the breakpoint, and we both crumple to the floor. Naturally, only I get back up. What was all the fuss about, really?

Calmly walking into his room with a smirk on my face, I take the twisted horn, place it in the pocket of my trousers, and leave the hotel.

As luck would have it, I bump into an old chum of mine, Charles Gullwing-Dawe, who happens to be a Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force.

On telling him the woeful story of what has just taken place, he feels sorry for the sad Marrakesh Tobacco plant, and kindly arranges passage for me on a passing Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 jet, telling me to meet it a few streets away, in a quiet field, just off the beaten track.

Walking away I tell him, “Charles old chum… You are a scholar and a gentleman.”

With the roaring of the engines, I hop onboard, and we leave British airspace, as the pilot shouts, “I will pick you up from the Marrakesh tobacco pick-up point after you let off this flare.” Then he kindly flies me halfway across Africa to the Eastern Central Reserve two miles left of the Western Sahara Desert, where I subsequently jump out from the plane just above the ground, directly onto the reserve, because he doesn’t want to make an unscheduled stop.

Following a large touristic sign, that says “Endangered Species,’ I come to a tall fenced-off pen which is inhabited by… The Passive, clobbed Foot, Sabre Tooth Rhino.

Finding a long branch, I take a running jump and pole vault over the fence and land softly in some hay next to the enormous sleeping beast.

Without too much time to think, I pull out the large, twisted horn, along with my trusty stick of genetically modified super glue, which I always carry about my person and proceed to glue its horn back in place, hoping that the glue’s sophisticated DNA cell regeneration ingredient will rapidly begin cell rejuvenation, resulting in this strange old beast’s continued ability to produce milk and that well needed, steaming hot speciality dung.

Sitting next to the sleeping Rhino, I pull out the squashed jam scone that I had placed in my pocket earlier in the day and begin to eat.

That is when I see a young chappy walking towards me, with a gun. Sticking my hands and jam scone into the air, I quickly explain what I am doing.

As soon as he sees the twisted horn in all its full glory, back on the rhino’s head, he says, “My name is Khalid Salim, and I am from the wandering Wahad Tribe.

I tell him I desperately need this animal’s steaming hot dung principally because I can’t possibly face the thought of changing my cigar brand. He completely understands my plight and sympathises with me.

I tell him. “I intend to take some fresh dung for the roots of Marrakesh Tobacco plants and have only to await the rhino’s next meaningful dump”.
“It’s a gallant thing that you are doing and because of this, I will lend you my trusted racing camel Jemal, he will speed you across the barren Desert in no time and lead you to the land where the Marrakesh Tobacco plant is grown. He shall smell his way, he is a fine camel.

Our conversation was interrupted by the early signs of the rhino undertaking what may only be described as a mighty siege. A full minute of grunting, sweat and almighty miasma produced what at first sight looked to be approximately a square yard of the most potent dung ever seen.

“By George,” I say, as Khalid scoops it up in a workmanlike manner and begins loading the saddle bags of his prize camel.
With no time to waste, I say Pip-Pip and mount the camel. He lunges forward precariously at first, but gathers himself and gets into a rocketing stride. Morocco bound, we go forward together, onwards to victory.

The hours pass by, with my arse becoming increasingly sore as the camels relentless pace ticks the miles by. In the distance I see a ridge set low on the side of a range of mountains, rising from the desert floor. The camel has surefootedly ‘reached his destination’ and I rename him. Sat Nav. Far more appropriate to the beast’s skill.

Running out toward me comes a horny handed son of the soil and smelling my repulsive cargo, he breaks into jubilant dance. In the hours that follow, we spread the steaming dung everywhere. Not an experience I would like to repeat in a great hurry. Before my very eyes, the tobacco plants begin to perk up and colour returns to the leaves.

On meeting the manager, Kulumbai Bambam, he is so grateful to me for saving his Tobacco plants, that he gives me his last un-opened box, containing one hundred of the finest Carlos Amore Cuban cigars which had carefully been stored away for a Royal customer.

Taking one from the box, I look him in the eye and say, “That is dashed decent of you”. I enjoy the deeply aromatic pungency of the tobacco and am transported to cigar heaven. Albeit for a short while.

Thank you, old boy I shout as I let off the flare and spot the the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 jet, circling above. The aircraft lands on the nearby camel drag strip and I jump in, shout “toodle pip” to Kulumbai and we’re off.

As I relax into my seat, I notice a text message on my phone from my significant other, it reads, “Darling Gilly, I will be serving out your roasted goose head and pickled onions within the hour.”
I reply, “Wonderful old girl, I will be back in time for supper…!

 

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