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Whilst playing a little ditty on the organ at the local church, I overheard a conversation between the local vicar and the lady of great circumference (also known as “Nurse”) – the one our President happened to have his eye on. They were casually chatting about the beauty of the soul of little Dorphy (who in reality was a local slag, but I don’t know that) and the vagaries of another local named Jermy (who appeared to have caught a nasty “crab” at the beach this summer, but they didn’t say how he had cooked it or which accompanying sauce he had prepared. Utterly devoid of the “bon goût”, these people).

It took only a couple of moments before I realized they were speaking in code. A red haze came before my eyes. “Parbleu” I said under my breath, “they are after me for that ancient “misdeed” perpetrated by the rest of the Society.” I had forgotten how it came about; all I remember is that it had something to do with liqueur, the Church’s collection monies and a bout of fast running. Without missing a note, I instructed Moreau to keep improvising in the same style, and to gradually pull out more stops, so that I could escape unheard.

Ever faithful and efficient, Moreau pasted together some wild chords (in the French style), as you would sow the head of a chicken onto the body of a turkey. The rest of The Society would obviously escape unscathed once more, as they had left me in the church to set up temporary headquarters in the local orchard. “Cider” was the codeword of the day - so I was told. I ran as fast as I could and for as long as I could muster the strength. I got as far as the bottom of the stairs. The door was slightly ajar and I swore I could smell the brandy-flavoured breath of the vicar. To this day I do not remember what happened next (all I can say is that if anything transpired, it was my own sweat. Nothing else; no buttocks were bared and no hand made them red).

Clearly, my enemies were to be found within the heart of the Society whose moral code I had held in such high esteem. Surely, The Treasurer had finally found a way to watch me through all the eyes in the walls of houses (and the occasional doghouse I visited), while the Intern was undoubtedly talking to the little people who live in my head. “Punks”, I thought, “I shall squash you all like the freaky animals I have seen in the night. And if you think about it, “cider” is just a slick anagram for “dicer”, a soul-machine that transforms things into small squares!” (I have never accepted the concept of the cube. It is evil wizardry). With the key to the mystery, I approached the orchard, ready to confront them with the Truth (a big, polished stick). The trees seemed particularly eager to betray my arrival to the others, but I knew I had to wait with the self-pity till after the attack.

A random set of gardening tools had been found in the orchard a week or two earlier, with strange, rusty-brown marks on them. Eventually it had been revealed that The Secretary had used them for some ritual purpose (he kept calling it his “research” into the secrets of “desire”, but we knew he had been digging in a far away country), but now they lay discarded at the foot of a pear tree. Impressed by its stature and heavy load of pears, I greeted the tree with the customary basic grunt (a pear tree obviously doesn’t like the high whistles one approaches an apple tree with). He kindly let me pass.

The Tavistocks had gathered in the middle of the orchard, ready to be panned and potted by my faithful baton: “In battle I shall finally pone you all!” Visions of the grandeur of Ambiorix, the heroic warrior of Roman times, came over me as I leapt towards the simpletons. I had a good ten feet to go when I slipped over a pile of empty bottles. As I was hitting the ground I saw Moreau’s face reflected in the broken glass of a bottle of Brabant-style lager and I knew at once my fate was sealed. A lack of healthy paranoia had prevented me from seeing the obvious: no man, not even a ghost, can be forced to improvise a tune without being led down the path of the destruction of any form of societal Utopia. It was a sweet, icy homecoming after all.