It's time for Part Seven of my serialization of The Prisoner of Windsor - the latest in our series Tales for Our Time, and my contemporary inversion of Anthony Hope's classic The Prisoner of Zenda. Following the introduction of Angus the Spad (Special Advisor), Paul Cathey, a Colorado member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes:
Mark, I notice that your voice goes up about an octave when you are doing the broad Scottish voice of Angus. I first noticed this phenomenon in Greenmantle when Sandy, relating a tale of being torpedoed by a British sub captained by a friend of his, broke into the same style of speech at the same pitch. It has also appeared, I believe, in The Thirty-Nine Steps. Is this a characteristic of broad Scottish speech?
Well, it's a characteristic of my broad Scottish speech, Paul, although I was obliged to vary it in The Thirty-Nine Steps, because so many of the characters are Scots. But I confess it is my go-to voice for Scotsmen. A couple of years back, driving through the Highlands with my beloved daughter, we could only get one station - the BBC in Gaelic (Scots Gaelic, not Irish Gaelic), so we couldn't understand a word the disc-jockey was saying. But he was playing hits of the Eighties, so I insisted on singing along to George Michael's "Careless Whisper" et al in the same voice I use for Angus. It's pretty funny for the first thirty-seven tracks...
There's more of Angus in tonight's episode, as Rudy sets off to play the British prime minister in full view of London for the annual pride parade, full of A-list celebrities and leading community groups like the Transgender And Questioning Islamic Youth Association, or TAQIYA. Afterwards, he reflects on his brief moment in the spotlight:
Number Ten was all but deserted and, with Britain's shortest prime ministership drawing to a close, I had an urge to linger. Prior to yours truly, the last mere mortal to reside here was a tradesman called Mr Chicken, who'd moved out about the time Countess Amelia was doing the horizontal gavotte with Prince Rudolf at Burlesdon. Afterwards George II had the place remodeled for Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister. And so Mr Chicken was the last tradesman to live here until a certain Ruritanian plumber showed up three centuries later...
But his time in Downing Street may not yet be up.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can listen to me read Part Seven of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. And, if you've missed the beginning of The Prisoner of Windsor, you can start fresh with Part One and have a good old binge-listen here.
If you'd like to join Paul Cathey in The Mark Steyn Club, well, we'd love to have you along for our fourth season. So please click here for more info - and don't forget, for fellow fans of classic fiction and/or poetry, our Steyn Club Gift Membership.
I'll be back here on Saturday evening for Part Eight of The Prisoner of Windsor.