PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A PROLOGUE AND CHAPTER ONE TO BE READ BEFORE CHAPTER TWO – THE LINKS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.
Will Blyton has no idea of what he is going to be up against.
Meanwhile 200 years earlier.
“Wilf! Wilf! You lazy wart. Get off that pallet of straw and get on the cart.”
Wilf sits up quickly and rubs his eyes. He looks around and sees his mistress Warthog Motley getting the pony ready. Her chin is bristly and she has two long pointed teeth which hang over her lips; at least they are good teeth and only a bit yellow, when she smiles, the rest are a rotted black. Warthog is rounded and wobbly through eating too much Pease Pudding which is similar to a mouldy, green vomit. She has long, black knotted hair which comes below her drooping, rounded belly and her clothes are held together with heavy, black, industrial Sellotape which she acquired from another time.
Warthog Motley before she wakes up properly.
Wilf grabs at his black, tricorn hat and dusts his clothes down and then he hears a cackle and a shriek of laughter and he sees the other two Motley sisters leaving the house.
She tries to be a peacock but is, in reality, a struggling peahen.
Peacock Motley comes out first strutting and smoothing herself down. She is wearing a green velvet dress with a blue hooded cape and so much jewellery that she can not hold her head up properly. She is followed by Black Widow Motley dressed in lace which used to be white but is now so grubby it looks black.
Her dress was clean but with each husband who disappears it gets grubbier and grubbier.
“Where are we going Warthog, dear?” Black Widow needs to know if she has to take any poison with her.
“We’re going out in the cart.” Warthog pulls her black, pointed hat off the front seat and plops it onto her head before she asks her sisters if she looks nice.
Peacock and Black Widow slowly circle her as if doing a mating dance and then Peacock puts a green, gloved hand on her sister’s arm and tries to look her in the eye but finds she still can’t lift her head properly.
“You look to die for, sister.”
Warthog looks down modestly as Black Widow lifts her sister’s chin up and inspects her bristly face closely before she stands back with a satisfied sigh. She winks and tells Warthog that she had better keep a close eye on her as the men will be queuing up for a kiss.
Warthog gives a little titter and does not seem to notice Wilf climbing up into the passenger seat at the front of the cart; even when his stomach grumbles loudly, Warthog ignores him, he knows he will not get anything to eat when the sisters have an outing planned.
Warthog clasps her hands together.
“Enough of this frivolity sisters, we have a job to go to.” She looks around at Peacock and Black Widow who clasp hands with each other and jump up and down.
When they have finished they turn to Warthog.
“When did this come in?” Peacock always thinks that jobs mean jewellery. Warthog waits a moment before she answers. She smooths her hair, Wilf has noticed how she always does that to make herself seem really important to the other two.
“It came in last night whilst you were having your beauty treatments in the cesspits. I know that if you remove the bat dung before it has time to set, it doesn’t work so well.”
Black Widow and Peacock climb into the cart muttering what a kind and thoughtful sister Warthog is. Warthog takes the reins and soon they are clip clopping down the country roads on their way to work.
Wilf’s tummy starts to rumble again and it sounds as if a hive of bees are droning their way through his body. Warthog puts her hand in her pocket and brings out a mouldy crust of bread which she hands to Wilf.
“Here you don’t deserve this, you lazy, greedy boy. But as I’m in a good mood…” Wilf takes the bread and starts to chew on it even though it smells sour he has to eat it he feels so faint.
Suddenly he realises Warthog has stopped the cart, as he looks up from the bread, he sees that they have masked horsemen on either side of them. The men have their pistols pointed at the cart and then one of the men gets down from his horse and raises his tricorn hat to the passengers.
“Good day it is to you. I have happened to notice that the fair lady in the back there is having a bit of trouble.” The highwayman bows deeply to Peacock. She tries to look up at him but is fighting against too much finery around her neck and so gives up.
“You have too much jewellery ma’am. I will happily relieve you of it and any money you might have and then you can be on your way.” The highwayman straightens himself up and turns his tricorn upside down. He holds it out to Peacock to fill.
“Relieve me of my jewellery?” Peacock stands up in the back of the cart and shakes her gloved fist at the highwayman.
“Why, you are a cockroach, sir.” Black Widow spits on the ground to let her thoughts be known. The other man gets down from his horse and approaches the cart and then he waves his pistol at them.
“Get down, off the cart all of you.”
Peacock and Black Widow climb down muttering and then Warthog and Wilf follow.
“You are not a gentleman sir.” Warthog pushes Wilf forward. “Here take the boy, but not our worldy goods.” She falls to her hands and knees and clasps the highwayman’s knee. Wilf folds his arms in despair, the sisters are wicked but he doesn’t want to become a highway boy. He cannot believe that the sisters have given up so easily when he sees Peacock start to unpin her largest emerald brooch and tears fall down her eyes.
“This is the most precious thing I own sir, it was my poor, dear, dead mother’s.” The tears drip off the end of her pointed chin and an elongated howl makes Will gulp before she shrieks that they will never have her brooch and then she sticks the pin in the nose of the second highwayman. He screams and as he brings his hand up to his nose drops his pistol and Peacock Motley grabs it. The first highwayman loses his attention for a second to look at his fellow villain and Warthog pulls on the leg she is holding and pulls it from under him so that his pistol flies off into the hands of Black Widow.
Warthog and her sisters work like ants and before the highwaymen can say ‘stick ‘em up’ they are left by the side of the road covered only by extra strength Sellotape.
The cart drives on with two fine horses tied to the back of it and as Peacock happily strokes her emerald brooch, she asks her dear sister where they are going. Warthog grins and as she shows all her blackened teeth, Wilf wonders just exactly what she is talking about.
“We are going to a book festival, dear.”