“Sir, what sort of cellar is that?” the butler asked when he could breathe again.
“Your pockets, McClown, empty your pockets!” His Lordship shrieked in excitement.
Frido McClown put his hands into his trouser pockets and got out something glittering. He put down everything on the dusty floor and sat down beside it, mouth open. The old lord’s eyes seemed to bulge out of their sockets. Nobody said a word, only after a few minutes McShredder gasped: “McClown, how much of this is in the cellar?”
“Lots and lots, Sir. Several bathtubs, I guess.”
“The old crook!”
“Which crook, Sir?”
“McGregor of course, McClown. He, a man of the cloth, treasured up all worldly goods for himself and hid them in this cellar.”
“But, Sir, why did he leave all this to you?”
“Not only because I conquered the Loch Ness monster, McClown.” Milord paused and thoughtfully stared into the sky. “His guilty conscience troubled him. He always had preached poverty and was no longer able to live with the heavy burden of wealth and wanted to get rid of it.”
“Sir, will we be in trouble with this heavy burden?”
“Not me, McClown. After all, it’s your job to tidy up here.”
“I claim reinforcements. Lately my back has gone weak and I don’t like cooking very much any longer.”
“Granted, McClown, I never liked your muck overmuch. Whom are you thinking about?”
“Well, Sir, I know a charming young lady who would love to come here.”
“No problem, McClown. However, you should clear up the castle first, otherwise the young lady does not find anything she may shatter!”
For the first time Lord McShredder and his butler Frido McClown laughed jointly. They sat together on the old curtain and laughed for minutes.
During the next hours lord and butler were busy transporting all the valuables out of the cellar. There was no doubt: the days of their poverty had ended. Finally McClown even found the armchair and cleaned it so that His Lordship sat down in it comfortably and took over the further planning.
“Sir, it will take a while until we can live in here. How and where are we to sleep at night?”
Lord McShredder did not answer but stared ahead, lost in thoughts.
“Er - yes, McClown?”
“Where are we to sleep tonight?”
His Lordship leant back in is armchair and folded his hands.
“Do you know what I am thinking, McClown?”
“I often wondered, Sir!”
“Well, McClown, I would like to live at the seaside, close to some beach.”
“Sanna Bay, Sir?”
“You simply do not think strategically, McClown. First: there are no castles. Second: we should not show up there in the near future. No, my good McClown, there is a better possibility.”
“Dunollie Castle, McClown, will be our new home.”
“I never heard about it, Sir.”
“I would have been surprised, McClown! Dunollie Castle has been built in the 12th century, probably by MacDougall. It’s situated on a hill north of Oban and offers a wonderful view to the sea. Take a look at this old map.”
“And what about this, Sir? What will become of this castle?”
“Perhaps a holiday domicile, McClown, or a house for the weekend - some time.”
“And Miss Liza, Sir?”
“She will love to join us, McClown. Lots of shops in Oban. Women do like that.”
Milord was silent as long as he filled his pipe.
“Well, McClown”, he continued, “now you’ll go into the town and look for George. I will sit here to recover from all the stress.”
“George, McClown. We’ll need a driver, after all.”
The butler saw that he was off. Hours later he and the retired mail bus driver came back to the ruin of Killichonan Castle, where milord was still sitting and waiting in his armchair.
In the middle of all the debris Frido McClown made a camp fire and the three men sat together for a long time to discuss the items which had to be managed. Lord and butler decided to move to a close by hunting lodge for the next days. Frido McClown was to relax a little before travelling to King’s House Hotel to fetch Liza McGyre. George was beside himself with joy. Not only was he to be milord’s driver in future and to stay with his friend Frido. No, within the next days George was to undertake quite a journey. His order was to take the hamsters back to Hamsterton.
While the butler took an extensive farewell from each single hamster and promised to pay them a visit soon, George prepared the old mail bus. The rear seats were dismantled and rugs laid out. They even thought of food and toys for the hamsters and when Frido McClown had given his friend George some hints how to handle the hamsters, George set out for Hamsterton.
“If I understand all this fuss correctly, we’re going home now”, Flecki said and eyed the new rugs. “They might have given us some prettier rugs, you know. Look at these ugly colours, they don’t agree with anything!”
“Doesn’t matter”, Goldi grumbled. “If only they give us enough food.”
“I wonder if everything is okay at home. What I mean, nobody’s there to repair any damages…” chief Botchy reminded them.
“That’s it”, Tuffy interrupted him, “if nobody makes wreck repairs, they all must be completely bored.”
“Swell!” Goldi grinned. “That will be taken care of when we’re back.”
The mayor cleared his throat and raised his voice: “Dear hamster-friends! A long way lies behind us and we all know the price we paid for the exertions so that I would like to make it perfectly clear…”
And that was that. George had crossed the River Gary bridge and sharply turned to the left. The mayor was hurled to the rear of the bus and dizzily stayed lying on a spare tyre. The other hamsters helped him up but it took some time until he opened his eyes.
“Gosh, look at that!” Flecki cried and stared at the mayor. “He’s got that silly grin on his face again!"