As you all know I’m a man who makes a point of being smartly turned out. If you’re blessed with an elegant figure and can turn a fine leg, it seems silly not to allow the eye to dwell on your finer points.
Therefore over the years, the way young Mutt dressed has often been a bone of contention in our household. Frankly he looks as if he has dived naked into a pile of rags and come out wearing those which have somehow become entangled around his person.
I have done my best, indeed at one point I introduced him to society resplendent in pink velvet knickerbockers and matching jacket. Strangely enough that occurred barely weeks before the tale I am now about to relate.
It happened that I had been invited to perform to a gathering at the house on the outer edges of Dilbrook where it almost reaches the sea. Houses in the area are much sought after and frankly the commonest method of acquiring them is through inheritance. But the Lady Delcore had summoned me. I think this was mainly due to the Widow Handwill, one of my more constant patrons.
The day before the event I chanced to comment over breakfast that I had never been to the house before, and wasn’t entirely sure exactly where it was. Mutt, his mouth half full of bread and sausage commented that he was free that day and would go and check. Given that I was going to be busy I gratefully accepted his offer, mentally congratulating myself on the fact that my good influence was slowly improving the boy.
Next day, at about noon, I met up with Mutt and he started to lead me through parts of Dilbrook I had never entered. It was as we slipped down a narrow snicket and then through a gate into a back garden I realised that I had perhaps not been entirely wise in my choice of a guide. He proceeded to lead me through a veritable forest of gardens, glades, pleasaunces, and even through an orangery. I was by this point even more hopelessly lost that I would have been had I merely proceeded by road, but Mutt assured me the route was faster, easier and would keep us out of sight of the authorities.