18 September, in the year of our Lord 2021
Up, and having breakfasted (perched precariosely at the corner of the bed, so as not to spill coffee on the white carpitt) to a spar Shoppe, for victuals, and thence by boat to Egg Island. All on board are masked against the plague, but merry — a part from a woman who is all green of face and hides her head in the woolen garb of her husbands sweater, even before we start (we do not sit by her) — and the weather fine and the passage calm with some sitings of a possible dolphin, which is great mammle without legs, like a fish, named after the taverne on Tower street so bawdy it can be echolocated for miles around by its equally legless clients. Once landed, set out for a beach that promiced a fine view, only the walk four miles and the bracken along a track where we walked very wet, which my trousers did soak up, and so become very wet too. But by and by find ourselfs upon a great and wild expance of sand with the great spectacle of another isle out to sea, where there were many mountains, and the profile of it very striking, I think one of the finest views I ever saw, but a barren island and I would not wish to live there. On the beach no more than three or four, save ourselfs, in all the vast space, with the great sky above us and all great Neptune’s ocean before, and we did sit among some bolders to share our sandwichs, which were one of a hash of calfs head and the other of tripe, udder and marrowbone with a pickle, and some drinks, which were an Irn Bru for me and a Diet Coak for Mr. Jones, together with a Bountie bar and a Twicks and two yellow bannanas, one for each. Thus refreshed, back by foot along a good road, the land scape very pretty and with many quickbeam, all with berrys, some scarlett and others orange; and at the port took a little coffee to warm us, and thence by boat and our coach merrily home to our lodgeings, I all carefree from my preoccupations of the previose night.
There found Mrs. Macbeth, on her knees with a bowl of water and cleansing produckts all around, scrubbing vigorosely at the inside of her coach and talking to herselfe under her breath.
‘Out, damned spot!’ I am certain I hear her mutter, as if preoccupied in her own mind; and only then, upon her seeing us, doth her manner change. ‘Oh, hello. Have ye had a guid day?’ says she, cordially. But the former words resounded in my head.
‘Act normal,’ hiss I to Mr. Jones out of the corner of my mouth, and grip his elbow very firm.
‘What are you — ?’ hisses he to me by return, but to her, ‘We have had a fine day upon Egg Island, pursuing a great walk to the beach at the Bay of Lague, the splendid panorama of Rum Isle laid before us,’ says he in enthusiastick and affabubble discourse with our hostess, but in a play of haste to reach our room I yank him peremptorilly across the threshold and to our room whereupon I barrycade the door.
‘What on earth has got into you?’ says he, crossly. ‘She must think us very rude!’
‘We are in grave danger!’ (I can barely get the words out.) ‘Do you not see? Duncan is missing! Her husband hath been sent on an errand! And today she effaceth her coach of evidence as if her life depend upon it! It all adds up to devilry! We must vacate this very hour! There is that restaurant with rooms I saw on Trippervisor! I rue the day we came here!’
‘The Old Librarie hath not had a table for two days,’ counters Mr. Jones, ‘so they will certanely have no rooms. You must calm your fevered imaginacion. We have a comodiose room with a more than ample en-sweet wet room, compleat with heated floor, and I find our hostess more than agreeable.’
‘But — ! But — !’
He holds up a palm. ‘We shall dine as planned, and a double rum and violet shall assuage your baseless fears.’
To supper at an inn a short journy hence, but the fare little succour to my sullenness of spirit, for the battered caramali was soft, the sea Base burned, the fenell tasteless and the stickitoffee Pudding bland. I wish I had chose the lamprey pie.
‘How wass every think?’ asks the servant, who I think a Poal or a Romany, as she clears our dishes.
‘Lovely,’ we beam, for she is foreyne and underpayed.
Thence home and to our lodgeings with a pint of wine, where I did wedge shut our door with our towel rack and we settled to watch a play called Local Hero on the magick screen, in which played Mr. Bert Lancaster very well; and it a very fine play, and well-writ, with much good matter in it and above ordinary plays, and the scenery of it by a coincidense all of the beaches hereabouts. After, found red wine spilled upon the carpitt, so very late at night I must take a towel and rub away at it to clean it off.
‘How did that get there?’ asks Mr. Jones.
‘I do not know!’ say I, crossly. ‘Were you as careful drinking it as I pouring it? I should leave this to our hostess: she is good at this kind of thing. It will not come out.’
‘“What’s done cannot be undone,”’ quips Mr. Jones, mischievosely.
And so to bed.