How kind people can be.
Mrs S, like Shakespeare’s Autolycus, is ‘a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles’. Not, we hasten to add, that she is a petty thief. Quite the reverse, in fact. Friends and acquaintances approach her, proffering handfuls of strange, broken or discarded trinkets in the hope that we will be able to upcycle them and produced new miniature wonders.
“Ah,” she said, spreading one of the latest collections on the desk. “We appear to have an astrological theme emerging here. Could someone send for Evadne?”
The tall and haughty figure of Miss Capricornius was seen hurrying along the corridor moments later. For a millisecond her eyes travelled to the items on the desk, but she quickly re-fixed her gaze upon the middle distance and trilled, “I came as soon as I was summoned, my dear. I have no idea why I was called, of course, but Jupiter’s aspect in my chart today suggests a gift or opportunity of some kind. Not that I would presume to suggest the two facts are in any way connected…”
“Quite,” said Mrs S, shortly. “However, by chance, a few objects have come into our possession which may be of use to you.”
Evadne continued to stare ahead, waving a hand dramatically before her face, as if trying to remove a cobweb.
“I see the sun!” she exclaimed. “Yet how could I receive the sun? How strange these visions are! And – could it be the constellation of libra? Surely not! Why and now the planets are showing me -”
“Yes, yes. No doubt they’re indicating an amber pointer,” Mrs S sighed, glancing down at the desk. “If you can make something interesting with these, Evadne, then take them. I’m sure the brothers will be on hand to help with construction, should they be needed.”
She then left hastily, before Miss Capricornius could feign amazement at ‘discovering’ the trinkets.
Needless to say, my brother and myself were commanded to construct all manner of working parts for the ‘Astrologium’ she had decided to create.
“A rotating disc, darlings, about so big … no, not like that! Tilted but roughly horizontal, obviously! And this bead to turn it. Why, it so clearly resembles a galaxy, don’t you think? The holographic clock will require two more hands, in addition to this stunning pointer. They must be huge and magnificent. Bronze, perhaps and silver. Oh, and a decorative but sturdy set of railings across the front. Children can be so irritatingly curious!”
So it went on for days, but I have to say, Charles and I are very impressed with the result. To be honest, we did all the work. ‘Her majesty’, as she’s come to be known, simply handed out the orders and then settled to write a book about her creation. And do we get a mention in it? Well I’m sure you can guess the answer to that.
Molly informs us that Miss Capricornius has been ordering more astrology-related items. It sounds as if she’s decided to create a whole series of astrologiums.
Maybe mercury will go retrograde and her order won’t arrive…