What The Butler Saw

Number Ten was in lock-down. Until further information about the only-slightly tragic events in the kitchen could be confirmed, no one was to leave. Prime Minister Lucy Wastell had called an emergency Cabinet meeting, a move which caused far more consternation than the vicious murder itself. Whilst the guests from Oxford were detained with every comfort in the large drawing room, the Cambridge government were dragging their feet towards the Cabinet office, ladening themselves with as much remaining party food as they could carry.

Snetterton was making his way steadily towards the Cabinet office also. His master Boris, King of Oxford and his plus-one Nigel Farage had been invited to join the meeting and Snetterton preferred to keep his errant liege on a tight leash. He had long mastered the noiseless glide of the butler elite and no one noticed him in the confused throng. No one, that is, except for the endlessly observant Cabinet Secretary, Sir Edd Evans-Morley. Something of a silent assassin himself, Sir Edd managed to surprise Snetterton as he sidled up to him.

“Good evening, I don’t think we’ve been introduced,” Sir Edd’s words dripped like honey from his lips. Poisoned honey, mind you. “I am Cabinet Secretary Sir Edd Evans-Morley.”

He offered a hand, which was accepted by Snetterton, who refused to remove his glove for the occasion.

“Now, I know the idea might at first seem preposterous,” Sir Edd continued “But I think you and I might actually be on the same side, in a roundabout kind of way.”

Snetterton doubted that very much. Snetterton attributed much of his long life to the practice of not taking sides. Besides, he only had to look at Sir Edd to know that the man had more sides than an American lunch menu. But he appeared adamant on pursuing this particular course so Snetterton let him proceed.

“Listen. I am sure that you feel, as I do, that this whole idea of the peace treaty is ridiculous. It will serve no purpose except to complicate matters. Can’t you convince your man to pull out?”

Snetterton raised an eyebrow. Events relating to the peace treaty were still uncomfortably fresh in his mind.

“Listen. I have an idea. The entire legality of the peace treaty rests on the… err… implementation of Oxford Law. My interruption of the process due to the developments in the Kitchen Situation could very well make it invalid.” Sir Edd paused whilst he tried to gauge Snetterton’s reaction. It was impossible. The man had the countenance of a cliff face. “You were there. Perhaps you could confirm that the process was not, shall we say, formally concluded?”

“I’m sure I couldn’t say one way or the other, Sir.”

Sir Edd forced the corners of his mouth into a most sincere smile.

“No, I’m sure you couldn’t,” replied Sir Edd. “But then, I’m sure you in fact could. Because, although you were not in a position to say, that doesn’t stop you from actually saying it, does it?”

Snetterton did not flinch an inch but responded in his unshakable, even tone.

“I am afraid I could not say, because I was not actually there, Sir” he said. “Not at the critical moment. I slipped out once events were underway. Did you not notice my absence upon your arrival?”

Sir Edd faltered. He would not have noticed a butler any more than he would notice the label on his underpants. But Snetterton should have been there, by all accounts. Could he really be sure that he wasn’t? Whether he was or wasn’t was of no consequence – all Sir Edd needed was for him to say he was. An unpleasant glint appeared in his eye.

“Tell me, Snetterton, where did you go?” asked Sir Edd.

“I really think that is of no interest to you or anyone else,” Snetterton replied.

“Oh but I rather think it is,” Sir Edd shifted his stance just slightly. “Because if you cannot account for your movements this evening, you are likely to find yourself as a suspect as to the murder of Tony Blair. As you have already seen, justice here is a haphazard affair and has a tendency to end messily. It would very much be in your interest to say that you were there. And it would be very much in the interest of all of us if you were to confirm that the peace treaty is, in fact, null and void. Do you see?”

Much to his irritation, Snetterton did see. And, one way or another, it was seeing things that he shouldn’t that was his most urgent concern this evening. Sir Edd had made a good point, although Snetterton was sure that it was not the point he had intended.

58 thoughts on “What The Butler Saw

    1. Snetterton and Terry – an affair most passionate between butler and cat?! Yes, I like that very much. Not quite as depraved as the PM/Boris/Nigel arrangement but even so. Curses – your mystery solving skills rival those of even Poirot!


      1. You might be pushing it with Boris & Nige as ‘god’s creations’ – but Snetterton and Terry, certainly. I don’t know which one I feel more sorry for, actually. Probably Snetterton.
        ‘Having it off’. HA! I love that phrase. So very British. I can guarantee you that nowhere outside the British isles do people ‘have it off’.


      2. No, no – Tony Slattery is playing Snetterton. He is older and the right level of creepy. Given time, young Jack could perhaps develop his creepiness, but he is a long way off the dizzying heights of creepy so displayed by the fabulous Slattery.
        I shall use my PM powers to instigate International Having It Off Day.


      3. Haha! Even Martin might spot a change of actor… but then, actually, probably not. Perhaps young Jack can step in if Slattery has one of his relapses or something. Oh happy day indeed!


      4. The cheeky tyke! Well, another element of random craziness isn’t going to make much difference. Bring it on, I say. Anyway, it’ll look great on the reality show.


  1. ooooh!
    (this is my most coherent comment just now!)

    I would think that noticing the absence of a butler is even harder than noticing the presence of one…

    except for some people in certain circumstances…

    I may not have achieved sactual sense with that comment…I blame the cold and the lack of Bernards!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is pretty coherent, considering! It is bloody cold isn’t, it. My Bernards have become quite firm in this weather – they need a good dunking to soften them up a bit.
      Butlers are a funny thing. If one was there, I’d definitely see it, because my eye is drawn to such things. But if one wasn’t there, would I notice? I’m fairly sure that butlers are not there most of the time, but now I’m doubting myself…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think we have one in my office…I have checked there isn’t one here now… and if there is normally one, why do I have to make my own coffee?

        I have no Bernards firm or limp…I might have to mount a raid!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a good point, I have to make my own tea so there can’t be a butler around these parts. You should raise the issue in your office – why no butler? But, more importantly, why no Bernards? Firm or limp, either will do, but none whatsoever amounts to mental cruelty.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It does!!
        I shall demand some Bernard’s and a Butler at the first opportunity….
        Although to be honest… I work with a lot of engineers who seem to have instigated a very efficient Operation Bernard of their own…so if there are any, I rarely get a look in!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. See, I knew Operation Bernard would be popular. Just goes to show that we really do have the very best ideas. I shall develop a Bernard Protection Programme to ensure good people such as ourselves are not impeded in the implementation of Operation Bernard! (I’m really getting the hang of this PM business, I tell you 😉 )

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Now that sounds like an excellent idea!!
        We must get first choice of Bernards…they are very popular and we must be allowed to implement the Official Operation Bernard with alacrity!

        You are most certainly getting the hang of this PM thing…I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have rule the world to be honest!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Obviously we get the first pick, it’s only right and proper. So first we need a Bernard Select Committee (chaired by us) to ascertain which Bernards are the best and therefore which ones will come to us first. Then, the global implementation of Official Operation Bernard – curing world hunger and cheering everybody up in one fell swoop – followed by the Bernard Review Committee, which will decide how we can make Bernards better and which Bernards (if any) should be discontinued.
        (You are too kind – I sort of think I could do it, you know.)

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Well that sounds like a very well planned operation!
        It will work perfectly!
        Now we need a contact in the Bernard industry to act as liaison.

        I totally think you could do it…between us we would be unstoppable, I mainly do ideas, sarcasm and gin but they are useful…you can do important sounding policiy implementation and the like!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Bugger! I had forgotten to get the Bernard industry on board. This is why I need you as my Minister. I shall instruct the Trade Minister Simon Daley to begin talks at once.
        Ideas, sarcasm and gin are essential to life on earth and, more importantly, life in the Cabinet. You are irreplaceable! I am certainly getting the hang of talking bollocks, if that’s what you mean. And my bollocks almost makes sense. I think I have overlooked a political calling!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I have hear a rumour that one of the people from Made in Chelsea is the grandson of the micvities people…
        If we promised him publicly he might help…
        Reality show people like publicity!

        And talking bollocks is at the very heart of politics so I feel you would go far!!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. What a coincidence! McVities are the favourite biscuit of acting legend Hugh Fraser. But anyway. I shall investigate the Chelsea types and see what I can find. I don’t suppose you know who invented those Pink Panther wafer things, do you? They’re great. We’ll get them on board – not the highest quality Bernard but they are mainly air so could probably push them as a weight-loss Bernard.
        The way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if this time next year I actually was PM…

        Liked by 1 person

      11. oooh those would be a fine weight loss bernard!
        According to the oracle that is google, they were first invented by Crawfords of Edinburgh, and Mcvities is in Carlisle…I feel a Bernard sampling tour of the north coming on!!

        You know…If you were, I wouldn’t be that surprised either…a well timed social media campaign would almost certainly work wonders!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Sounds like the most brilliant plan yet!!
        We are excellent at plans!!
        in 4 years there it is doable…I am a member of the Women’s Equality Party…if we promised Equal access to Bernards I am sure they would help…I reckon Sandi Toksvig would be on board like a shot!!

        Liked by 1 person

      13. This really is excellent!! Bernards can be at the very forefront of my campaign – I’m sure Sandi could knock up something about the economy or whatever. I should pop down to No. 10 and quickly measure up for curtains, get myself ready 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very canny portrayal of a pair of circling predators. This has a great potential Lucy. Much more entertaining and astute than some of our fashionable professionals.

    Liked by 1 person

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