Edrington's New Make-over / The Glamour Game
by Laura

 

*Sailing on the Indy*...

"SO HORATIO, are you looking forward to Lord Buckingham's Costume-
Dress Masked Ball tomorrow night?" asks Kennedy.

"Not a bit of it, Archie. I intend not to attend," replies Hornblower
swiftly.

"NOT ATTEND?!"

"Yes, you heard me correctly. If you're not going, then I'm not
going. Simple as that."

"But I wasn't invited - *you* were! What will the guests think when
they see you've not turned up?"

"I should think they'd feel very relieved," says Hornblower.

"Nonsense - You're Captain Pellew's favourite lieutenant."

"Nonsense."

"Well, it's true," says Archie knowingly.

"Archie, the thing is - I hate the very idea of parties!...Dressing
up in silly costumes...I never know how to act!"

"Ah, so that's it, is it? Poor Horatio - methinks he needs to get
over his party phobia!"

Hornblower turns away from Archie awkwardly.

"And anyway," Archie continues, "I'm sure you could do a better job
than Major "My Lord" Edrington any day."

"Major Edrington?" queries Hornblower.

"Yes, that's right. Can you imagine? He'd be as stiff as a palace
guard all night! And that countenance of his - always so stern and
serious - unless, of course, he's doing that cheeky smirk."

"Major Edrington is a very good tactician," states Hornblower.

"Everything with him would be: `Yes, My Lord' or `No, indeed, My
Lord' or `Anything you say, My Lord!' " Kennedy muses, ignoring
Hornblower's statement.

"So I take it that Lord Edrington is to attend this ball tomorrow?"

"Of course he's going! All aristocrats go."

"I see," says Hornblower. "By the way, Archie, I seem to have lost my
reckoning over the days of the month. Could you tell me what day is
it tomorrow?"

Kennedy does not respond. He's lost in thought.

"Archie?!"

"Oh, sorry, Horatio, I was somewhere else for a moment."

"Could you tell me what day of the month it is tomorrow?"

"Oh, it's April the first."

"Why, that's April Fool's Day - I hope none of the crew get up to
mischief!"

"April Fool's Day?"

"Yes, that's right. You remember - the first day of April where
people play practical jokes on each other?"

"Oh, yes, you're quite right --" All of a sudden, Kennedy gets a
whiz-bang idea.

 

*Edrington Manor*...

"My Lord, you have received a telegram from Lord Buckingham seeking
your attendance at his Costume Party tomorrow night."

"Very well," replies Edrington, "tell him it will be a pleasure."

"Yes, my Lord. Oh, and - "

"Yes, what now?"

"My Lord, there are two visitors at the door wishing to discuss a
preposition with you."

"Two visitors? A preposition? What are they asking?" asks Edrington,
annoyed.

"They are qualified beauticians, My Lord - or so they say. `The best
beauticians in London' they say. They're here to make you an offer.
They wish to make you look simply exquisite for Lord Buckingham's
Ball tomorrow night."

"Make me look exquisite? I already look exquisite."

"Quite."

"But still, I suppose it doesn't hurt for one to have further `touch-
ups'. What do you think, Lucy?"

"Without a doubt, My Lord."

"Very well," says Edrington elatedly.

"But, Sir, they do ask for a small fee in return."

"Oh? And how much would this `small fee' be?"

"Two hundred pounds. Each."

Edrington hesitates for a moment, before replying, "Very well. Write
a cheque and have it sent out to the correct address. It is a must
that I look perfect for tomorrow night. There is no question about
it."

 

*Next day, at Edrington Manor*...

Edrington is waiting anxiously for the beauticians to arrive. Then he
hears a knock at the door.

"Send them in, if you please, Lucy."

"Yes, My Lord."

Kennedy and Hornblower are let in. They confront Edrington face to
face.

"Greetings, Major!!" says Hornblower enthusiastically, with the
widest grin you ever saw.

"How do you do, My Lord?!" says Kennedy, bowing down while doing a
big whirl with his right hand.

Edrington is flabbergasted. And confused.

"Mr Hornblower? Mr Kennedy? What are you doing here? I don't think
I've seen you since that blasted, ill-fated expedition at Muzillac."

"We've come to do you up, remember? You paid us two-hundred pounds.
Each." explains Archie with a straight face - although deep down he
is boiling with laughter.

"WHAT?! YOU?!"

"Yes. There is nothing to fear, Major, I assure you. We are
experienced beauticians. Horatio, show him our business card."

Hornblower brings out a piece of cardboard from his breast-pocket,
and shows it to Edrington. It reads:

HA! BEAUTICIANS
~THE BEST BEAUTICIANS IN LONDON~

"Ha! Beauticians??!! I've never heard anything more ludicrous in my
entire life!" exclaims Edrington.

"H. stands for Horatio. A. stands for Archie.," explains Kennedy.

"Lets get started, shall we?" says Hornblower. And before Edrington
can protest, Kennedy and Hornblower start to pin him down on the
lounge.

"Wait!" cries Edrington, "I'm not sure this is a good idea."

"At your ease, man, at your ease," assures Hornblower.

They start to tear off Edrington's clothes and replace them with a
clean, white robe.

Then they start to give Edrington a facial. Kennedy asks, "Would you
like an apricot facial or a blue-berry facial?"

Edrington ponders for a while before replying "Apricot."

"Excellent choice, My Lord," states Kennedy, as he starts to pour the
lotion in his hands.

"Oh, and Mr Kennedy -"

"My Lord?"

" *Don't* muck it up."

 

*An hour later*...

By this stage, Horatio and Archie have given Edrington a facial, a
manicure, and put cucumbers over his eyes.

Then Horatio and Archie start to give Edrington a conditioning
treatment for his hair, after which they leave a towel tied around
his head to dry it.

"I feel completely silly lying in this position with food covering my
eyes," Edrington says, "Honestly, is this any position that an Earl
should be in?"

Archie smiles. "There is no need for pomposity, My Lord."

"Pomposity is a matter of opinion, Mr Kennedy. Condescension to one's
inferiors is no sin."

 

*Half an hour later*...

Now it is time for Edrington to have a pedicure. Archie and Horatio
squirm at the thought. Neither of them want to do it.

"I know," says Kennedy, "we'll play Scissors-Paper-Rock to determine
who will do the pedicure."

So they both start to play - quietly, so that Edrington doesn't hear.

"Scissor-Paper-Rock!" they chant.

They both pull their hands out at the same time. Kennedy has a rock.
So does Hornblower. They play again.

"Scissor-Paper-Rock!"

Kennedy has scissors. So does Hornblower.

"Scissor-Paper-Rock!"

Kennedy has scissors. Hornblower has paper. Therefore, Hornblower
loses. "Damn," he whispers.

So Hornblower starts to give Edrington a pedicure. Edrington does not
flinch, because by this time, he is fast asleep.

 

*Another half hour later*...

"THERE! ALL DONE!" Kennedy and Hornblower exclaim.

"What! Who? Where?" Edrington wakes up with a startle.

"Your beauty therapy is now complete, Sir!" says Hornblower.

"But I can't see," says Edrington.

"That's because you still have the cucumbers over your eyes - No!
Don't take them off just yet. It's better to leave them on until you
enter the Ball tonight," says Kennedy while he winks at Hornblower.

"Yes, quite," agrees Hornblower, "then you'll have fresh eyes for as
long as possible."

"Well, help me up then," says Edrington. So Archie and Horatio help
him up.

"You look wonderful, My Lord!"

"You look exquisite!"

"You'll be the fancy of every lady tonight!"

"Really? Well, whom did you dress me up as? I don't know why, but I
feel like I am still wearing a bath robe."

"Us?! Leave you in a bath robe? Never! We're professionals, remember?
Don't worry about a thing - your costume looks wonderful!" Kennedy
declares.

"Now you better hurry, My Lord, or you'll be late for your
appointment," says Hornblower. So they usher Edrington to a carriage
outside. And he rides off into the distance...

"Didn't even thank us!" Archie muses cheekily.

"Nor said goodbye," says Hornblower.

"Quick," says Archie, "we'd better get there before he does. I don't
want to miss all the fun!"

 

*At The Ball*...

The place is huge. Gigantic chandeliers with crystals are hanging
from the ceilings; portraits with gold frames are on every well; a
very large staircase is present; as well as a huge red carpet
stretching from the massive entrance to the center of the room.

Hundreds of people are there, all dressed up, looking their finest:
Lord Buckingham, Captain Pellew, Hammond, Foster, Nelson, Sawyer, Sir
Hew Darlrymple, Lady Darlrymple, hundreds of Admirals, Lords and
aristocrats. Even Colonel de Moncoutant is there. He is extravagantly
dressed up as the late French Queen Marie Antoinette, and even does
the high-pitched voice, too.

"Would you like anything, my Queen?" asks a butler, playing along
with his character.

"Only some cake for me, thank you butler."

"Yes, your Majesty."

* * *

Horatio and Archie are there, having entered the enormous room
through a backway. They are strategically hiding behind the large
staircase, so that no one can see them, but are still able to observe
their surroundings.

"My gosh, there's hundreds of people here!" says Horatio in wonder.

"Quite," says Archie, as he grabs a glass to drink from a passing
servant.

Just then, a big noise occurs.

"That'll be Edrington's carriage parking outside!" says Archie.

The massive doors of the ball-room swing open. And in rolls in a man.
He is a little confused about his direction, because of his
obstructed vision. He simply follows the red carpet with his feet,
until he gets further and further into the very center of the room.
Several surrounding people are talking, whispering, and murmuring at
the sight of the strange-looking young man who has just stepped into
the room.

"Greetings, everyone!!" says Major Edrington exuberantly.

"Greetings, Lord Edrington," says Lord Buckingham confusedly, not
quite sure what to make of Edrington's outfit.

"I gather you are admiring my outfit," asserts Edrington, with his
face into the air, "isn't my mask the most finest you have ever seen;
isn't my costume the most exquisite you ever saw; and aren't my glass
shoes the most splendid footwear in all of London!!??"

Silence. At this point, crowds of people are gathering around,
looking on.

"A-hem," says Buckingham, "your mask is nothing but facial lotion;
your costume consists only of a simple bath robe, and your "glassy"
shoes are nothing more than pink bedtime slippers. Not to mention the
towel that you have tied around your head."

Edrington looks sharply back down. At this point, his two cucumbers
slip off his eyes, and it takes him a moment to make sense of exactly
where he is. He looks round at everyone, focusing their eyes on him.
Slowly and cautiously, he peers down at his fluffy white robe and
pink slippers, and within a split second, realizes in horror his
humiliating, degrading status. Being entirely mortified, he runs
straight back out of the room as quickly as he possibly can, with
hoards of people thunderously laughing, giggling and whistling until
the whole room is filled with sound.

"HEHE-HEHE-HEHE-HEHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Horatio
and Archie laugh so hard that they get stitches in their sides.

 

*THE END.*