Towards the end of Pearly Stockwell and the Fate of the Fête, the good people of Fallstown are locked in an unhappy debate about who is really responsible for the disappearance of the refreshments tent so kindly donated by the Fallstown Mothers’ Union.
‘I was really looking forward to one of those scones,’ says Captain Andrew McAndrew, Founder, President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Fallstown Fellows, and it isn’t long before everyone starts arguing.
Pearly is very concerned. Wanderley had disguised himself as the man who ran the coconut shy but so far he has nothing to report. Wes is waiting for someone to need a hard shove or perhaps a punch. Windy is standing by, ready to run really fast.
‘We are not going to get anywhere like this,’ Pearly says to herself. ‘I need to do something and quick.’ So she stands on a chair and shouts ‘Shut Up’ at the top of her voice.
Now, whether it was the volume or the rudeness and for some people it probably was both, Pearly’s shouting has the desired effect and it eventually leads to the unmasking of Lady Sago Hargreaves as the villainess.
It doesn’t take long for Pearly to realise that Lady Hargreaves isn’t actually a lady at all, in either sense of the word. ‘She’ is, in fact, a certain Lenny Lonaghan who, following a very little bit of detective work and a very lot of simply listening at keyholes, is, in the words of Captain McAndrew, a ‘blasted chancer’ who thought that he could ‘get in with’ Fallstown’s polite society with a view to then possibly stealing things from people’s homes or, if that wasn’t possible, at least break a few things when no one was looking.
Thwarted in his plans of getting in with the ‘proper’ people of Fallstown when he discovers that nobody is friendly enough to invite him to their houses, Lenny decides to take his revenge at the annual Fallstown Fête by burning down the refreshment tent and all it contains.
‘They were other people’s cakes,’ says Pearly sternly, wagging her finger at the defrocked arsonist as Wes holds him in a vicious-looking headlock and Windy comes running back up the hill with the police puffing and panting behind him.
Ellis had always thought that when the time came, she would stand on a chair and shout really loud to get people’s attention. As she had already discovered to her cost, it doesn’t work at home but as you can see here, when done in the right place it can be extremely effective.
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