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Category Archives: Sir Gilbert’s Diary

Sir Gilbert Hill’s activities are of the highest import and so he has been persuaded to give an occasional account of his fascinating and vital contribution to the ongoing struggle in the current Civil War, particularly as it effects his home county of Hereford.

The contributions to this diary are variously made by his secretary, Miss Fragrance Sweetmeat and other members of his staff, often from Sir Gilbert’s own dictation.

Small Disturbance at Little Bedding

Sir Gilbert Hill, taking time out from his vital efforts in the Civil War, was visiting his cousin, Sir Rufus Pitt-Bulstrode, Squire of Much Rampling in Borsetshire. However, before he had time for a well-deserved snifter, he was made aware that all was not well in the Much Rampling area.

Apparently Sir Rufus, as chairman of the local Watch Committee, had got wind of a planned attempt by some political roughnecks to disrupt the annual fete in the neighbouring village of Little Bedding. Sir Rufus had to make an effort to prevent this happening; the local bobby at Little Bedding, Constable Gravy, had no chance of taking on the hooligans on his own. However, Sir Rufus could not call on any of his employees or tenants because they were all, so he said, vitally employed elsewhere.

Realising what was coming, Sir Gilbert, displaying his characteristic brio, offered to come to the rescue. “Don’t worry, old boy, I’ll send some of my people – they’ll put these scoundrels to the rightabout”. He gave instructions to his man, Stirrup to gather together a suitable group from amongst his followers and sent him off to do battle against whomsoever should disturb the Little Bedding peace.

ALL IS CALM AS THE LITTLE BEDDING FETE GETS UNDER WAY

ALL IS CALM AS THE LITTLE BEDDING FETE GETS UNDER WAY

 

Stirrup assembled the following from Sir Gilbert’s entourage and set out for the village.

Stirrup (Leader)
Fragrance Sweetmeat, Sir Gilbert’s secretary
Roger Gently (Tenant farmer)
Constable Smallbottom
Marlborough, Sir Gilbert’s Dog

 

As the morris men warm up in the park.....

As the morris men warm up in the park…..

 

.....and customers enjoy a drink outside the pub.....

…..and customers enjoy a drink outside the pub…..

 

...trouble is brewing

At the other end of the village, trouble was brewing.

Roughneck Agitators
Cecil Pimms (Leader) aided by:
Bert, Sam, Bill
PLUS 8 local ne’er-do-wells

 

 Constable Gravy, intent on watching the morris men, is still unaware of danger


Constable Gravy, intent on watching the morris men, is still unaware of danger

 

 

 

 Miss Marble, the village school teacher, tells an itinerant she doesn't want to buy a watch

Miss Marble, the village school teacher, tells an itinerant she doesn’t want to buy a watch

 

 

 Stirrup sends his League into the village from the south - Constable Broadbottom on the left; Roger Gently with Marlborough in the centre and Miss Sweetmeat on the right. The morris men head for the pub

Stirrup sends his League into the village from the south – Constable Broadbottom on the left; Roger Gently with Marlborough in the centre and Miss Sweetmeat on the right. The morris men head for the pub

 

From the north, more riff-raff stream into the village

From the north, more riff-raff stream into the village

 

 

The doctor and his wife hurry to get indoors as gang members line their hedge

The doctor and his wife hurry to get indoors as gang members line their hedge

 

 

Miss Sweetmeat, as always, takes up a favourable position

Miss Sweetmeat, as always, takes up a favourable position…..

 

 

....as does Consatable Broadbottom

….as does Constable Broadbottom

 

 

 Meanwhile, 2 female hooligans, brush past staff and customers at the pub in search of a victim


Meanwhile, 2 female hooligans, brush past staff and customers at the pub in search of a victim

 

 

However, the victim - a well known con-man - is ready and deals with his assailants

However, the victim – a well known con-man – is ready and deals with both of his assailants

 

 

 Pimms' Followers now swarm into the park - scattering by-standers (including a reporter and photographer. One miscreant falls while climbing over the wall and breaks a leg - he's out of it...! Constable Gravy remains calm


Pimms’ followers now swarm into the park – scattering by-standers (including a reporter and photographer). One miscreant falls while climbing over the wall and breaks a leg – he’s out of it…!
Constable Gravy remains calm

 

 

 Others (including the sinister figure of Pimms himself) move up the road and through the doctor's garden. The doctor and his wife flee in terror


Others (including the sinister figure of Pimms himself) move up the road and through the doctor’s garden. The doctor and his wife flee in terror

 

 

 Accurate fire from Constable Broadbottom and Roger Gently take out 2 of Pimms' hooligans. Another suffers the consequences of falling off a wall


Accurate fire from Constable Broadbottom and Roger Gently take out 2 of Pimms’ hooligans. Another suffers the consequences of falling off a wall

 

 

Stirrup himself now advances along the main road towards the enemy

Stirrup himself now advances along the main road towards the enemy

 

 

Meanwhile, Marlborough the dog, attacks the enemy as they move through the park

Meanwhile, Marlborough the dog, attacks the enemy as they move through the park

 

 

Personal Message (Online) Re: Small Disturbance at Little Bedding - PA AAR Part 3 now posted « Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 03:40:03 PM » Reply with quoteQuote Modify messageModify Quote Brilliant, Doug. Pure eye candy with a generous dollop of chuckling for good measure. Thanks, Paul. I'm such a fan of your games, this is praise indeed... Cheesy Quote from: d phipps on August 30, 2015, 11:51:05 PM Great stuff! Keep 'em coming. Cheesy If you are not familiar with our Phantom Agent promo, check it out at --- http://store.pulpalley.com/ You can pick up some unique promo Pulp Alley cards, but please be sure to read and follow the instructions. Wink HAVE FUN Thanks so much - been there and placed my request - whooppee...! Quote from: Wolf Girl on September 01, 2015, 04:01:38 AM I love your terrain Love You have some great stuff Thanks Wolfgirl - I appreciate than coming from you - your games looks so gorgeous... Cheesy Right then, let's see if we can wrap this AAR up.... Turn 2 and the formidable figure of Stirrup appears on the scene Marlborough, the dog, rushes to the attack A setback for Stirrup's League - Constable Broadbottom takes hit

A setback for Stirrup’s League – Constable Broadbottom takes a hit

 

 

Personal Message (Online) Re: Small Disturbance at Little Bedding - PA AAR Part 3 now posted « Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 03:40:03 PM » Reply with quoteQuote Modify messageModify Quote Brilliant, Doug. Pure eye candy with a generous dollop of chuckling for good measure. Thanks, Paul. I'm such a fan of your games, this is praise indeed... Cheesy Quote from: d phipps on August 30, 2015, 11:51:05 PM Great stuff! Keep 'em coming. Cheesy If you are not familiar with our Phantom Agent promo, check it out at --- http://store.pulpalley.com/ You can pick up some unique promo Pulp Alley cards, but please be sure to read and follow the instructions. Wink HAVE FUN Thanks so much - been there and placed my request - whooppee...! Quote from: Wolf Girl on September 01, 2015, 04:01:38 AM I love your terrain Love You have some great stuff Thanks Wolfgirl - I appreciate than coming from you - your games looks so gorgeous... Cheesy Right then, let's see if we can wrap this AAR up.... Turn 2 and the formidable figure of Stirrup appears on the scene Marlborough, the dog, rushes to the attack A setback for Stirrup's League - Constable Broadbottom takes hit and is down and out and his Plot Point is up for grabs Matters get worse. Roger Gently races to Constable Broadbottom to rescue the situation and is in turn despatched himself. Finally disaster. Miss Sweetmeat attempts to leap the wall to help her comrades and gets tangled up in her long dress and crashes to the ground.

Matters get worse. Roger Gently races to Constable Broadbottom to rescue the situation and is in turn despatched himself. Finally disaster. Miss Sweetmeat attempts to leap the wall to help her comrades and gets tangled up in her long dress and crashes to the ground.

 

 

Constable Broadbottom and Miss Scarlet had been gathering evidence of Pimm's criminal intentions. In an attempt to secure these, Pimm advances towards the helpless pair. However, in the nick of time, he is confronted by the redoubtable Stirrup.

Constable Broadbottom and Miss Scarlet had been gathering evidence of Pimms’ criminal intentions. In an attempt to secure these, Pimms advances towards the helpless pair. However, in the nick of time, he is confronted by the redoubtable Stirrup.

 

 

At the same time, in the park, the heroic dog Marlborough despatches his opponent, only to fall bleeding to the ground himself seconds later....ahhh

At the same time, in the park, the heroic dog Marlborough despatches his opponent, only to fall bleeding to the ground himself seconds later….ahhh

 

 

Stirrup deals with Pimm despite the latter's great size and strength and then despatched the one remaining enamy with a burst from his smg. The day goes to Sir Gilbert's men at the cost of several cuts and bruises and a nasty rip to Miss Sweetmeat's dress. Marlborough the dog was patched up by the local vet and was soon back on his feet. Most of Pimm's hooligans fled although the local police, led by Constable Gravy, were able to arrest several of the more seriously injured.

Stirrup deals with Pimms despite the latter’s great size and strength and then despatches the one remaining enemy with a burst from his smg.
The day goes to Sir Gilbert’s men at the cost of several cuts and bruises and a nasty rip to Miss Sweetmeat’s dress. Marlborough the dog was patched up by the local vet and was soon back on his feet. Most of Pimm’s hooligans fled although the local police, led by Constable Gravy, were able to arrest several of the more seriously injured.

 

 

This game was played with the Pulp Alley rules to see how they would work in a VBCW-era setting.

Answer? Pretty good. I’ve left out references to Pulp Alley rule devices such as “Plot Points”. As it happens, Stirrup, as the Last Man Standing would have harvested all the plot points if time (ie number of turns) hadn’t run out. So strictly speaking, the game was a draw. However Sir Gilbert, never one to limited by artificial constraints claimed the win and I’m not going to argue with him.

 

 

 

 

 

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Small Ordnance Discharger (Elastic Powered) is added to The Volunteers’ Inventory

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The Battle of the Frontiers taught the Volunteers many lessons. One of the main ones was an appreciation of the power of artillery and mortars. They were much impressed by the work done by the field gun which was seconded to them by their allies. Although they have not been able to add such a weapon to their inventory, its value has inspired the agile minds that are so ubiquitous in the Golden Valley.

 

The newly finished Small Ordnance Discharger (Elastic Powered) is admired by Miss Temerity Ping and Mrs Fiona Cadwallader-Herring of the WI

The newly finished Small Ordnance Discharger (Elastic Powered) is admired by Miss Temerity Ping  (right) and Mrs Fiona Cadwallader-Herring, both of the WI

 

A combined effort of the Women’s Institute, the Pontrilas Boy Scout troop and Bernard Beetle, the undertaker, has resulted in a magnificent extempore weapon – a grenade-throwing giant catapult. Known as the Small Ordnance Discharger (Elastic Powered), the original design was by the Scout troop, the frame constructed by Mr Beetle and the elastic from the WI.

 

Miss Ping consults the not inconsiderable SOD (EP) manual

Miss Ping consults the not inconsiderable SOD (EP) manual

 

The WI have declared that they would like to donate this weapon to the Wormbridge, Abbey Dore and Pontrilas morris men. As Violet Ironsides, the WI standard bearer said:

“We felt so sorry for them in the last battle – running round jangling their bells and waving their little sticks in the air. Now they can twang our elastic and really let the enemy know they mean business.”

 

Grenade launcher 1

 

once again, thanks go to the  agile mind and nimble fingers of Tim Peterson for providing this wonderful scratch-built madness

 

“Mad” Wullie McSpaniel – Tank Hunter

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Mad Wullie 4

The local rat-catcher, “Mad” Wullie McSpaniel, a Scottish gentleman, has been missing for over a month. His disappearance caused a little interest but frankly, compared to the momentous events involving the Golden Valley Volunteers, it was of minor significance. Mad Wullie was not a member of any of the Volunteers’ units. “Ahm no a joiner” he said when questioned about his reluctance to get involved. And then he disappeared.

His reappearance has been of more interest. It transpired that his wilderness month was not a wasted one. Still less, was Wullie attempting to avoid danger. On the contrary, he had applied his unusual brain to the problem of tackling armoured vehicles. He was aware of the difficulties the Volunteers had experienced in their last battle when faced by BUF tanks. In fact, they had no answer to the armoured threat. Until Wullie set to work.

After a month of punishing work and experimentation, Wullie reported to Sir Gilbert and revealed the results of his labours. It was a manually delivered anti-tank bomb. The innovation that Wullie had perfected was a sticky casing that enabled the bomber to attach his bomb to the target and make good his escape before it exploded. A good part of the month that Wullie was absent was spent in unsticking himself from various surfaces and items of equipment. It wasn’t until he developed a skin for the bomb that covered its adhesive surfaces, that he was able to escape from his workshop and tell the world, via Sir Gilbert, of his invention. It is known as a Manually Attached Device (MAD) in recognition of its inventor’s nickname and Mad Wullie himself has been appointed the Volunteers’ first MAD man.

"Mad" Wullie practices his technique

“Mad” Wullie practices his technique

 

Wullie displays his bulging bag of bombs

Wullie displays his bulging bag of bombs

 

Wullie perfects his evasion manoeuvre

Wullie perfects his evasion manoeuvre

 

A big “Thank You” goes out to my old Canadian chum, Tim Peterson for providing and painting the figure for Mad Wullie. He read of the Volunteers’ problems against armour in the last game and set to to rectify the omission of an anti-tank capability in their OOB.

You can find plenty of Tim’s excellent work here . He’s the editor and major contributor.

Thanks Tim

The Finale – Introducing the 4th Section

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Ignoring, with difficulty, the morris men, Inspector Andrew glanced at Sir Gilbert who gave a slight nod.

DI Andrew waits for Sir Gilbert's nod

DI Andrew waits for Sir Gilbert’s nod

Whereupon, Andrew gave a mighty blast on his Hudson’s Police Whistle which ushered in Sergeant Roger Roundly, leading the Abbey Dore Division Police Volunteers who Sir Gilbert had accepted in to the ranks of his force as the 4th Section.

The Police Volunteers advance

The Police Volunteers advance

Displaying great pride in their new weapons (they are armed with rifles except for Sergeant Roundly who is equipped with a sub-machine gun), the section advanced across the park to the accompaniment of many cheers; There was also a certain amount of good-natured mock insults from the Welsh Gangsters Nationalists and some of the 1st Section who on occasion have been accused of poaching and thus dealt with the police in less happy circumstances. Ignoring the crowd, the section gave a spirited demonstration of the tactics of Fire and Movement. They were unperturbed by the presence of the morris side, still performing at the other side of the park.

Morris men and Police section apparently unaware of each other

Morris men and Police section apparently unaware of each other

On the word of command from the sergeant, the leading riflemen gave a volley of blanks which had the effect of causing the morris men to rout precipitately from the field, accompanied by theatrical groans and laughter from the Gangsters Nationalists

The morris men take to their heels

The morris men take to their heels

Sergeant Roundly smartly halted his men in front of Sir Gilbert who, surrounded by his personal staff, acknowledged the police section with a dignified bow of his noble head.

Sergeant Roundly presents his men to Sir Gilbert

Sergeant Roundly presents his men to Sir Gilbert

Detective Inspector Andrew had been taking copious notes during the display and now ushered his men away from the audience and gave every appearance of delivering a very frank assessment of what he had seen. Apparently, he felt there was room for improvement.

DI Andrer delivers his verdict

DI Andrew delivers his verdict

This marked the end of the Field Day which all declared a huge success. Stirrup called for Three Cheers for Sir Gilbert and the Volunteers responded with a roar that would have turned Fascist spines to jelly, had there been any Fascists close enough to hear. The Volunteers then dispersed with morale high, looking confidently forward and ready for anything their disreputable enemy might throw at them.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Teatime over – time to admire weaponry…!

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Suitably refreshed and fortified by the WI’s tea and cakes, the expectant crowd waited for more sensations. The flag ceremony had been most satisfactory and the audience was eager to see what would come next.

Sir Gilbert emerged from the Great House having restored himself with several glasses of Pimms No3 and instructed his valet, Stirrup, to give the signal for proceedings to, er, proceed.

Freddie Pitt-Bulstrode’s mortar section were the first of the new recruits to be introduced to the crowd. With a tremendous display of éclat, they set up the mortar and gave a humorous demonstration of its use. This was a great success with the audience in general and was received with something approaching hysteria by the WI section. A crescendo was reached when the Honourable Freddie announced that the section had been fortunate enough to acquire a forward observer who henceforth would be attached to the section. This, it transpired, was Miss Violet Ironsides, a leading member of the WI. Apparently there had been considerable competition amongst the WI ladies for this post but Miss Ironsides won hands down by virtue of the fact that she owned a pair of Zeiss binoculars.

The Mortar section show their mettle - and a new Observer

The Mortar section show their mettle – and a new Observer. Some Welsh Gangsters Nationalists stand guard

As the hubbub surrounding the announcement of Miss Ironside’s elevation subsided, a commotion of a different sort was apparent from the far side of the park. Emerging from the shadow of the ha-ha, belching clouds of steam and making a noise loud enough to cause even Wrench to momentarily raise his right eyebrow by one sixteenth of an inch came a mechanical contrivance of an eccentric nature. This was the GVR Mk1 Armoured Scout Car (Steam) – the pride of the ex-railwaymen in the Volunteer’s ranks. Since being found hidden in an old shed in the abandoned army depot, this machine has been restored, thanks to the expertise of the railwaymen, to full working order and is now a potent addition to the Volunteer’s order of battle.

GVR Mk1 Armoured Scout Car (Steam) is paraded before the Field Day crowd, escorted by Stirrup and Constable Broadbottom

GVR Mk1 Armoured Scout Car (Steam) is paraded before the Field Day crowd, escorted by Stirrup and Constable Broadbottom

Sir Gilbert has not yet decided upon who will have the honour of crewing the machine (although he has firmly rejected his son’s request to have command of it). It is believed that Constable Broadbottom has expressed an interest in becoming one of its crew but this is no more than unsubstantiated rumour.

After the Car had successfully driven up and down in front of the crowd several times, it withdrew from the scene, not without some loud complaints from members of the WI concerning the specks of soot it left swirling about the heads of the crowd and settling on their Sunday Best finery.

There followed another pause in the proceedings, during which Sir Gilbert was seen in deep conversation with Inspector Andrew. During this lull, there was a  demonstration of morris dancing by the Wormbridge, Abbey Dore and Pontrilas morris side.

IMG_4643

The morris men set about their business at the end of the park in front of the Welsh Gangsters Nationalists who gave every sign of being astonished by this display

Elsewhere, more tea was served and the crowd readied itself for the final event of the day. Anticipation was high as Inspector Andrew stepped forward………

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Sir Gilbert’s Gala Field day

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It was a happy and excited crowd that flocked to the Great Park on Sir Gilbert’s estate recently. It seemed that the whole combined populations of Pontrilas, Ewyas Harold and Abbeydore were gathered together on the greensward. Sir Gilbert had invited all the inhabitants of his domain to share his hospitality and celebrate some significant developments in the strengthening of his volunteer Corps.

The Happy Throng at the Gala Field Day

The Happy Throng at the Gala Field Day

The first item on the agenda, and just as attractive to the eager crowd as the more warlike attractions to come, was the appearance of the Right Reverend Joyce, Bishop of Monmouth. Looking magnificent in his diocesan robes, the Bishop was there to bless new standards that Sir Gilbert had graciously consented to award to some of his Volunteers.

IMG_4634b

The first beneficiary of the Bishop’s attention was Wrench, recently appointed by Sir Gilbert as the Bearer of the Hill Volunteers’ Standard. Although the honour had been conferred some weeks earlier, Sir Gilbert’s wish was that his faithful butler should gain the distinction of the Bishop’s blessing.

The Volunteers' Standard, borne by Wrench, receives the first blessing

The Volunteers’ Standard, borne by Wrench, receives the first blessing

Next, the Bishop was pleased to present and bless a new standard to his fellow countrymen, the Welsh Gangsters Nationalists (The Bulk Importers Volunteers) section. Signor Vittore Lombardi, being one of the few members of the section who may have been borne in Wales, was the appointed Bearer. Overwhelmed with emotion and religious fervour, he caused temporary confusion when he attempted to kiss the worthy cleric’s ring. The astonished prelate, being unaccustomed to such devotion, took a while to recover. After the ceremony, he was heard to whisper to Sir Gilbert:
“I say, I believe that excitable chap may be RC. Furthermore, he may not even be Welsh; extraordinary behaviour.”
Sir Gilbert replied noncommittally.

Signor Lomardi is delighted to receive the new Standard and blessing from the Bishop

Signor Lomardi is delighted to receive the new Standard and blessing from the Bishop

The final recipients of a flag were the Ewyas Harold and Pontrilas Women’s Institute section. The awarding and acceptance of this standard was, to say the least, unconventional. In the first place, it was not awarded by Sir Gilbert and he only reluctantly consented to the arrangement. It had been presented to the ladies by the crew of The Honourable Freddie Pitt-Bulstrode’s mortar section. These gentlemen had drawn particular attention to themselves since arriving in the area, especially amongst the Golden Valley ladies. Tall, dark and dashing, their charm was proving irresistible and the fact that they did not speak English (or indeed any language that anyone had yet been able to identify) only increased their appeal. In all honesty, Sir Gilbert was becoming slightly concerned in case their winning ways proved too irresistible to some of the ladies; only trouble could result from that. Also, he couldn’t help wondering apprehensively what the flag represented. POUM; what the deuce did that mean? However, such concerns were far from his and everyone else’s thoughts on this exciting day and so the flag was presented to the Bearer, Mrs Hilda Spreadborough and blessed by the Bishop .

Mrs Spreadborough receives the controversial flag from the Bishop

Mrs Spreadborough receives the controversial flag from the Bishop

This marked the conclusion of the first of the day’s events and a break was taken for tea and cakes, provided inevitably by the WI ladies

Fortunately, No-One Hurt; a very minor incident

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As a result of Inspector Andrew’s initiative, a round-the-clock- police watch has been placed on Sir Gilbert’s estate and the surrounding area. The first Saturday morning of this régime saw Constable Roland Smallbottom on duty at the main gate. On hearing the sound of a vehicle, he emerged from the gatehouse to investigate. Marlborough, one of Sir Gilbert’s dogs, appeared from some bushes and bounded over to join him.

Outside the entrance, on the other side of the makeshift security barrier, was a stationary, driverless van. Constable Smallbottom regarded it suspiciously.

IMG_4606

The constable was concerned. Was this something sinister? There was no-one in sight and the back of the van was locked. Who knew what could be in there? Obviously, he couldn’t force an entrance (it was private property after all) so he decided to report to his sergeant from the telephone in the gatehouse.

Passing back through the barrier, he encountered Stirrup, Sir Gilbert’s valet, who was looking for Marlborough, the labrador. Smallbottom told the valet about the van and his fears were immediately put to rest.

“No need for concern, Rollo old chap. It’s only The Honourable Freddie.”  Seeing the quizzical look on the constable’s honest face, Stirrup continued “He’s just back from Spain. Brought a couple of chums with him and wants to help Sir G. He’s a terror for getting after these here fascists; oh dear me, a real terror. A relation of Lady Hill he is. He’s up by the house now, showing off the hardware he brought with him from Spain.”

Constable Smallbottom was relieved that the mystery was cleared up and that he didn’t have to single-handedly tackle a van full of BUF storm troops. Later on, when his stint was over, he wandered up to the  house to view the reboubtable Freddie and his hardware. Whilst welcoming the constable with typical affability, The Honourable Freddie took care to conceal the nature of his hardware from him; a chap can’t be too careful in war.

The Honourable Freddie keeps the constable guessing

The Honourable Freddie keeps the constable guessing

Freddie is the son of Lady Hill’s cousin Sir Rufus Pitt-Bulstrode, Squire of Much Rampling in Borsetshire. He’s an adventurous sort of chap and has recently been in Spain fighting for the Republicans. Hearing of events in England he hurried home and was pleased to learn of Sir Gilbert’s taking up of arms. With two companions, he travelled to Pontrilas to offer his services to Sir G. Initially, his companions were viewed with suspicion by the naturally conservative Sir Gilbert but Freddie breezily reassured him.

“Don’t concern yourself dear relative, these boys are POUM through and through.”  Seeing Sir Gilbert’s lack of comprehension he continued “Not communists you see. Well not Communist party. Hate the CP as much as the bally BUF so no need to worry – they won’t cause any fluttering in the dovecots.”

And with that, Sir Gilbert had to be satisfied and, bearing in mind the hardware they brought with them, he considered that they were a definite bonus.

If only the blighters spoke English.