The Abominable Snowman
A fantastically funny short story from the collection Dragons at Crumbling Castle.
Captain the Honourable Sir Herbert Stephen Ernest Boring-Tristram-Boring (known to his friends as Bill) is very rich but very bored.
When famous explorer Amons Tence* shows up at his front door, life gets considerable more exciting. Before long, he's speeding off in a taxi to the mountains of Chilistan in search of the hairiest, most mysterious monseter ever known - an ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN!
[*Yes, that Amos Tence - the same man who punted from Brighton to Bombay in the bath. It's true.]
There was once a young man called Captain the Honourable Sir Herbert Stephen Ernest Boring-
Tristram-Boring, who was known to his friends as Bill and was very rich indeed. He was also very bored with living in London.
One day a man knocked at his door, pushed past Bill’s butler and said, ‘Are you Captain the Honourable Sir, and so on?’
‘That’s me!’ said Bill.
‘Well, I’m Alfred Tence, the famous explorer,’ said the visitor, brushing a heap of fifty-pound notes off a chair and sitting down.
‘Not the man who walked up the Amazon?’
‘I am that man,’ said Tence modestly.
‘Not the man who punted from Brighton to Bombay in the bath?’
‘I am that man,’ said Tence, swelling with pride.
‘The man who sailed across the Pacific on a raft made from mahogany and shoelaces, anddiscovered the lost islands of Odium?’
‘No, I wasn’t that man, actually,’ said Tence, deflating suddenly. ‘That was another man. Anyway,
look at this.’ He whipped out his wallet and showed Bill a blurred photograph of a white blob in a snowstorm. ‘Know what that is?’ he asked.
‘That’s an Abominable Snowman! If I had twenty thousand pounds I could go and capture it,’ he added, looking sharply at Bill.
Bill signalled to the butler.
‘Give this gentleman twenty thousand pounds from the jar in the hall,’ he said.
‘Excellent!’ cried Tence. ‘You must come, of course. We start tomorrow, at dawn.’
‘Where to? Mount Everest?’
‘Nonsense! That’s like Disney World these days – the Snowmen are only found on Ben Drumlin. That’s a real mountain for you. It’s in Chilistan. I
must rush, I’ve got things to do.’
Bill watched him go. ‘What a strange man, Twist,’ he said to his butler. ‘But a genius when it
comes to exploring, of course. I wonder where he got that photo?’
‘Yes, Twist. I think something warm is calledfor – hot-water bottles, woolly vests and so forth. Chuck a lot of money into a suitcase too.’
‘I couldn’t say, sir. Shall I pack?’
‘Yes, Twist. I think something warm is called for – hot-water bottles, woolly vests and so forth. Chuck a lot of money into a suitcase too.’
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Crivens! It appears the audio excerpt from the book that we had to go here has been borrowed by a wee free man.