Article Index


Chapter 37

The Peer of the Realm

Cautiously the two of them crept through the moor. It was heavy-going because with every step the feet sank into the boggy soil. While proceeding slowly they again and again could hear shooting. Soon two figures appeared in the distance. Lord and butler walked towards them, always taking care to be on more solid ground. McShredder was surprisingly fast and the first one to reach the man who was responsible for all this shoot-up. With his suitcase, the butler faced some problems to keep his balance and when he came closer he could hear the angry words of the man with the rifle.

“Sir, you are disturbing my hunt. Please absent yourself!”

From His Lordship’s face McClown could read that McShredder did not like this kind of welcome at all. He flushed a little but answered with outward calm: “Your hunt? Now listen, my boy, if you talk with me, you better take off your ear-phones first.”
“That are no ear-phones, Sir, that are my ears”, the man angrily replied. “And now do leave so that we can continue the shooting.”

Lord McShredder had no mind to leave. He pointed at the figure beside the man and asked: “Say, why did you dress up your horse this way?”

The big ears of the man twitched, his face reddened and he shouted: “Sir, this is no horse, this is my wife!”
“Oh, is she”, milord jeered. “And you are Dumbo, aren’t you?”
“Dumbo? Let me tell you that I’m neither a big-eared elephant nor the village fool. I’m a peer of the realm and will complain about you to my noble parents.”

He had put down his rifle and stood right in front of McShredder who calmly said: “What kind of peer of the realm are you - what kind of man are you if you have to run to Mummy about every trifle? If you are grown up enough to shoot defenceless animals you should be grown up enough to speak out for yourself, shouldn’t you, Dumbo?”

While in the background the peer of the realm made a fuss about his name not being Dumbo, McClown watched the hamsters who scrambled out of the suitcase, awakened by the noise. The rifle of the fuss-making peer seemed to draw some of them and the butler heard some low, excited squeaking.

“Goldi, are you sure it’s the same ammunition?”
“For sure! Dodo, open the box with the cartridges and hand me some!”

Trample and chief Botchy came and helped Dodo.

“What will that be when it’s finished?” Botchy asked and handed a cartridge to Goldi.
“That’s Goldi’s prototype, I always wanted to try something like that. Up to now I didn’t have the time.”

A short distance away, Frido McClown saw one cartridge after the other disappear in the barrel. He got some idea what the hamsters were planning.

“That’s a prototype for an emergency signal”, Goldi explained to his hamster-friends, when the barrel was stuffed with ammunition. “A brilliant idea, we have, after all, to think of the tomorrow following the today”, the mayor sounded. “The true hamster is distinguished…”

“Perhaps we should hide in the trunk”, Flecki proposed. “I think we’d better be in safety if we want to see the tomorrow following the today.”

Also chief engineer Botchy thought it necessary to keep a safety distance and so the hamsters marched back to their suitcase. Shaking his head, the butler closed the lid and took up the suitcase again. Then he walked over to the loud noise, i.e. where Lord McShredder and the peer of the realm where quarrelling.

“However, you will not restrain me from hunting, Sir”, the nobleman shouted and with very red head took up his rifle again.
“Sir”, the butler whispered into milord’s ear, “I think it is useless to discuss with him. I somewhere read that these peers would rather leave the realm before they stop hunting!”

Together with McShredder he watched how the peer lifted the rifle to his cheek and aimed at something in the distance. Then there was a bang, no, it was more like an explosion. Out of the barrel came something like the jet of a rocket. The peer of the realm shrieked and lifted off. Higher and higher he went, rotated in the air and disappeared in the distance, still shrieking.

“You are right, McClown, he really leaves the realm!”

Lord and butler grinned at each other. The peer’s wife took up the pursuit and ran through the moor, shouting: “Darling! Darling!” Again and again she got stuck in the mud, tumbled down, crawled on all fours, got up and tumbled down again.

“Sir, I guess a mud bath will do her well.”
“Right, McClown, she’s already looking much better than before.”

There was nothing left to do for them and so they set off for the last part of their journey.