Nyns eus goon heb lagas, na ke heb scovarn

There is no down without an eye, nor hedge without an ear


Special literary correspondent, R T Farty, writes:  The Roundup is proud to announce that it has secured the exclusive rights to serialise the latest work by celebrated Cornish author, R E Plum (105).

Plum's long-awaited latest work, Summer Sojourn in Penzance, has electrified the critical world, which is falling over itself to find new expressions of praise to heap upon this fabled master of the penned word.

Plum's oeuvre concerns itself with the extraordinary happenings that befell during his recent annual holiday in Penzance.  Part I starts in today's Roundup.

Part I

On a rain-washed Monday morning, my annual train journey down to Penzance to escape the hustle and bustle of Truro working life and to begin my summer holiday in the 'holy head' of Cornwall was rendered all the more pleasant by finding a most fetching young lady seated opposite me in my carriage.

After half an hour of exchanging furtive glances at one another, we fell into conversation and I was able to determine that, despite her pronounced but endearing lisp,this enigmatically perfumed and bewitching young beauty with the chuckling eyes was a Miss  Elspeth Tregonning, 39 years old, unmarried and, by profession, a geriatric colonic irrigator from Grampound Road.

She too was on her way to her holidays in the far West and had secured lodgings in a Board Residence but 10 minutes walk from my own.  I noted that she was staying at Mrs Barret's residence - Bellevue - on the fashionable Regent Terrace. 

We fell silent again after 30 seconds of animated and flustered conversation, but I entertained secret hopes of running into Miss Tregonning in Penzance and fancied that she too would not be displeased were Lady Luck to re-unite us in that most romantic of towns.  With her holiday address firmly fixed in my memory, I had already decided to give Lady Luck every assistance.

On the following Thursday, my day began quite normally.  After a satisfying breakfast of Assam tea and toast, along with three hard boiled eggs, which had been squeezed fresh from the rear of a startled and squawking chicken before my very eyes, I had set off from my lodgings at Bosleven, Mrs Nicholls's Board Residence in Trewithen Road, to make my way along Alverton Road into the town to collect the two books I had ordered from Mr J A D Bridger in Market Jew Street.

I was much looking forward to both rare volumes, since I firmly believed that they were set to enrich my personal life. 

The first, by Pascoe Treloar (the gentleman is pictured left), The Fully Illustrated Guide to Home Treatments for Advanced Syphilis, I would have to keep well hidden, since I had learnt years ago that Mrs Nicholls was much given to prying around in my personal belongings. 

Thinking of Miss Tregonning, I also nurtured fervent hopes that there might be, in this tome, a special section on quick-acting cures.

The second volume was by Nudger Boase (this gentleman is also pictured left).  The title was A Guide to the Use of Fresh Horse Manure in the Cultivation of a Larger and Healthy Male Member

This volume I had resolved to leave on open display in my room, since Mrs Nicholls had made disparaging comments about "your little willy", whilst I was proudly showing off the new swimming hose I had lately purchased from Mr Frank Jacobs' sterling, but pleasantly inexpensive, drapery establishment on the Terrace.

As I made my way past J Osborne Cock's (the gentleman is pictured left whilst on a cycling expedition to Lamorna) a fine stationer's in Market Place, I espied Miss Tregonning emerging from A Opie & Co , the Cash Chemist and vendor of patent medicines, toilet requisites and druggist's sundries.

Clutching a mysterious and unusually large parcel, she cast nervous glances all around her as she made off in the direction of Morrab Gardens.

The mere sight of her caused a strong arousal in my curiosity.  She had not noticed me and, anxious to renew our acquaintance, I quickly gave pursuit, but was obliged to moderate my pace for fear that I would disturb the complicated, but sadly very necessary, surgical wrappings around my tortured junior partner.

I was thus some minutes behind Miss Tregonning as I entered the gardens.  My attention was immediately arrested by strange noises emanating from behind tall thickets of bamboo.  My ear could clearly discern the urgent low moans of a gentleman in some considerable distress as well as detect the sound of water being directed under pressure.  I stopped and harked. 

Then I heard the sound of a woman's voice, in loud and commanding tones, yet coloured by a strong and very familiar lisp...

To be continued....