Another Thriller Beginning, or at least a conspiracy

Twice before the feeling has obtruded itself that one is inhabiting the first chapter of a suave, old-fashioned thriller. (See The Case of the Bogus Vicar and The Case of the Snowbound Castle.) I have a creeping feeling that it’s starting again.
This last week I have had a swine of a cold and have been (by phone and email) as it were the supporting cast of a Jesuit conspiracy. Which is to say that I have written an article with a chum in the Society retorting to the most egregious “Shakespeare was a Papist” merchant, “no he bloody well wasn’t, and here are your alledged sources complete with the bits you’ve suppressed.” All that stands between us and publication is checking a reference in Shakespeare Survey 56, an article on confessions of faith in attics in Stratford (and how they probably weren’t) by the same excellent and meticulous chap who has already proved that there were about six “William Shakeshaft”s living near Preston in 1581, so how come it’s supposed to be the bard then.
Easier said than done. I haven’t really been out this week because of frosts and fevers alternating like something in a baroque sonnet, but the Lady Novelist went to check the library in Aberdeen. All of Shakespeare Survey was present and correct except volume 56 which should be there but isn’t. No trouble: the Palaeographer, who is kindness itself and a Shakespearean to boot, is working in the BL this week. Not so fast: she is a woman of resolve and ingenuity who knows that institution backwards, but copy 1 of SS56 is sort of not there, catalogue persons are consulted, and copy 2 is not on the shelf, although all other copies are — just like Aberdeen. Copy 3 is ordered from Boston Spa, but will not arrive until Tuesday. Not to be defeated, she checks electronically that there is a copy on the shelf in the National Library of Wales and sends in an academic cousin resident in Aberystwyth. Who is stonewalled by a librarian and somehow SS56 fails to materialise yet again.
It is perfectly clear what is happening. If any readers hear of the mysterious disappearance of the Northern Professor (who is, it must be pointed out, guarded night and day by crack units of attack-trained black labradors) or of the archivist of the British Province of the Jesuits (who will have to be lured out of SJHQ in the Borgo first) they are forthwith to denounce the leading “Shakespeare was a Papist” merchant to Interpol. And in doing so are invited to chant for good measure “o no he bloody well wasn’t.”

9 Responses to “Another Thriller Beginning, or at least a conspiracy”

  1. A Wishful Reader Says:

    Some of us lead such dull lives . . .

  2. The Canadian Professor Says:

    SS is online. Have just seen it with my own eyes (only others here until 4 o’clock are cat’s eyes; no caps).

    Now….does Aberdeen not subscribe, and if not, please let me know.

    Lady P will not have done in the computers?

  3. site admin Says:

    Peter tried Aberdeen online holdings to no effect, so presumably we do not subscribe. I’d have thought though that Fr. Machiavelli of Farm St cd have solved his own problems if that were so rather than sitting in the Borgo S Spirito screaming for the Prof to sort things out for him.

  4. carol Says:

    Tee hee!
    The English-born author of the Welsh Book of the Year, c. 1995 (slate bookends to prove it) has prevailed. Quite perky to be batting for Jesuits instead of Druids, to be honest…I’d tell you when it’ll be in the post, but then I’d have to kill someone…

    Dear Canadian Prof: I think even the BL only has Sh Quarterly online- Canada obviously superior in these respects…

  5. The Canadian Professor Says:

    Please treble the guard at Burnside House on Thursday, when, it is alleged by my post office, an envelope with the requested doc, plus another (a response to the first, not by Lady P), will be delivered in a bulletproof van. with AMDG scribbled on the side.

  6. The Canadian Professor Says:

    To be fair to the old Nick, I tried the BAV site & they don’t subscribe either. Yes, I know, the ON ought to have other resources. Les relations of the SS?

  7. The Canadian Professor Says:

    O for unstable gunpowder…..discovered last night that the sliding back door for 60 B does not lock. I don’t check it, because I know that it is supposed to lock, every time I put down the lever. A friend tried. I tried. We tried together. Do I lay in a silver bullet until the man comes to fix it, and how do I know that he is not in service of Lady P.

  8. Jane Says:

    Take precautions: put the cat Desmond on cyclamen-pink alert for the night. More instructions in the morning. The attack-trained crack Batallions of black labradors are on taupe-to-violet alert and have been fortified with extra livealot with winalot reward sticks (objects loved of dogs which contain so many additive-numbers as to constitute offensive weapons in themselves.)

  9. canadian professor Says:

    Consult the Northern Professor for news on the purveyaunce of the cat Desmond, on the qui vive near the unlocked door, and for the CP’s solution to the door problem.

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