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The Great Cheese Caper – Start Spreading the Word… or Cheese…

Through the open windows of Ruby’s Pub two urchins could be just heard whispering some secret between themselves…
“It’s just arrived from…. you know where!” one said, excitedly.
“An it’s the real stuff?” the other enquired.
“Yes!” the first replied, “but don’t tell no one or it’ll all be gone!”
The words faded as the youngsters moved away.

Down by the Gangplank more whispering could be heard…
“Yer think Sir Sir Emerson would want some?”
“Naw, it’s out of his league, expensive stuff it is, he ain’t gonna be able ter afford it, no matter how small they cut it…”

Over at the Brunel Hotel a couple of dockworkers mused that such an upmarket place undoubtedly all ready stocked such a delicacy, but this could be the opportunity for those … less financially endowed to indulge in a little gourmand luxury.

At the Merryman, Mr Horatio Turophile, the foremost cheese connoisseur of New Babbage was sitting sipping at a glass of the driest white wine the house had to offer. He looked down his nose at the cheese platter before him, a collection of decent enough provender but nothing to really excite his educated palette. Just as he was about to cut into a small portion of Double Gloucester, a liveried messenger discreetly placed a lidded cream coloured jar beside his elbow then stood back, saluted, turned on his heels and departed. Intrigued by this curious incident, Horatio lifted the lid to reveal a cloth wrapped interior, from which arose a rare but familiar scent. With reverend care, he unwrapped the cloth, and gazed at the soft, off white surface of a glistening cheese, laced with deep blue veins. He breathed deeply, inhaling the tantalising aroma, then nodded to himself.

The other patrons became aware something unusual was occurring and as was usual when there was some theatre in the City, began to turn their chairs and move in their seats to get the best view.

From a special sheath Horatio withdrew his pearl handled silver cheese knife, and with a flourish,  cut a slice from the round and spread it onto the thin oat crisp bread waiting on his plate. Examining the blade, he could see the tarnish creep along the silver, turning it a deep, metallic blue. His normally stern face showed the beginnings of a rare smile as he lifted the biscuit to his mouth and bit into the delicacy.

The watchers saw him chew several times, his eyes closed, a look of pure bliss on his face before he keeled over backwards from his stool, landing with a loud thud on the floor. It was several seconds before they realised he was not moving and almost as one rushed over to see what aid they could give him. Miss Sinclair patted his cheek while Higginbottom loosened his collar, then young Thomas commented it might have been the cheese and reached towards it.

Horatio’s eyes snapped open and with a roar he propelled himself from prone to upright in a single flowing move, casting aside his rescuers and thrusting Thomas through the nearest window. Eyes flashing, a feral look on his normally placing face, he held the cheese knife in front of him like a bloodied dagger and cried out “Mine, all mine! You shall have none!” to the assembled crowd.

This was how the Militia found him, and it took six of their largest, strongest members to subdue the 5 foot 2 inch gourmand. In his cell he hammered the door so hard the Sergeant was concerned it would come off the hinges, and he only calmed down when the jar of cheese was placed inside with him. The only other thing that was found was a small card, engraved with the words “Genuine Caladonian Blue”.

Later that day, small cheese boxes began to change hands in discreet transactions normally associated with goods of a more… dubious nature, though at no less a mark-up.

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  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon September 12, 2016

    *ponders that Genuine Caladonian Blue cheese is indeed the best kind of cheese*

    Strangely, when I lived in Caledon I could not eat so this delicacy was reserved only for my creator. Now that a goodly quantity has arrived in New-Babbage I am dead so I still cannot eat it! *sighs*

  2. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse September 12, 2016

    Emerson looked up from the crossword he’d been working on and sniffed. The look of puzzlement he’d been wearing while filling in the crossword now intensified by some odiferous distraction. He sniffed under one arm… then the other… then looked about again. Urchins must be about, he thought to himself, then went back to his puzzle.

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