TOADY


September 1607

DUELLING SEASON BEGINS IN EARNEST

Thus far this year, Paris had been rather quiet on the duelling front. This month, no fewer than four gentlemen found themselves with cause to duel. First, Captain Robert Baronne and Major Jean-Luc Picoq fought for the attentions of the lovely and influential Marcie Panne, then at M. Napoleon Blownaparte's soirée in week four, Captain Baronne and Captain de Fromage both found themselves arranged against the newly-appointed Captain Vincent de la Maison, now of the 13th Fusiliers.

At the time of going to press, the results of these duels have yet to be made public, but we would anticipate that Captain de la Maison, despite his earlier success against Captain de Choux (now also a member of the military), will probably face only one of his two new regimental enemies. We suspect the odds will be too heavily stacked against him for him to have any realistic chance of prevailing against both, unless he fights Baronne first and Captain Baronne turns out to have been heavily wounded fighting Major Picoq. While we have seen Captain de la Maison's form, no one has yet seen any of the others in combat. Nevertheless, this paper is always sad to lose a subscriber, so we fervently hope that all four gentlemen settle their differences honourably and without loss of life.

RED PHILLIPS AND HUNTER'S ARE THE PLACES TO BE SEEN

Red Phillips remains the most popular Paris club, with revellers present there throughout the month. In fact, the first week saw no less than five worthies present; Captain Louis de Choux was accepting toadies from Messrs. Petit Cochon d'And, Laurent de Lambe, Vincent de la Maison and Jacques Étant Portand de Mon. Several of these gentlemen tried their luck at the gaming tables again, and it seems that the Red Phillips croupier was in a giving mood this week; all bar Messrs. Laurent de Lambe and Petit Cochon d'And seem to have made a profit on the night, and these two have the good excuse that they did not venture any bets.

Rumours of a big party in week two at Blue Gables, hosted by Jean-Luc Picoq, turned out to be false, but several messieurs were seen arriving at various times wearing hopeful or expectant expressions and requesting admission. All were turned away. This caused varying levels of pique in the thwarted gentlemen, but the Blue Gables doorman was adamant that no-one of the name 'Picoq' was a club member, so he couldn't possibly be hosting a party there, and that was that.

In week three, M. Pierre de Fromage was seen honing his gambling technique at the Frog and Peach, and he made a respectable profit on the night. Captain Mer de Mystère, accompanying, was evidently impressed by his social superior's gaming expertise. Captain de Mystère, we note, has sent some custom the way of one of Paris' higher-class swordsmiths, and the result was a highly distinctive and bejewelled blade with an M d M monogram inscribed thereon. It will be easy to pick Captain de Mystère out of a crowd in future!

Hunter's was relatively quiet throughout the month, with M. Napoleon Blownaparte and Captain Nelson Bint alternating weeks starting with M. Blownaparte in week two. A bandage-clad Captain Robert Baronne was a guest of M. Blownaparte in week two, and the courtly earl's son was also attended by his mistress, Mlle. Anne Ode. Unusually, Anne had brought a guest too; Mlle. Pat Hétique was with her, and the generous M. Blownaparte was buying drinks for both ladies.

In week four, M. Blownaparte played host to a big party, and many of the major Paris names were present; Captain de Fromage and the lovely Eileen d'Overre, Captains Baronne, de Choux, de la Maison, de Mystère and M. Disab le Toilet. M. le Toilet, incidentally, has set a new Paris drinking record, having been seen carousing somewhere or other every week of the month. This even eclipses the performance of the formidable Captain de Fromage. The duels between Captains Baronne, de Fromage and de la Maison having been settled, as detailed elsewhere, the partying - and gambling - began.

The lead gambler was Captain de Fromage, but it seems that this time round his highly-honed gaming skills had met their match; the Hunter's croupier skilfully (if unsportingly) stonewalled. In the face of such a determined defence, Captain de Fromage managed to sneak in two wins, but he was forced to cut no less than six times.

SEASON OF MISTRESSES

- from the romance correspondent

As a distinct chill is becoming apparent in the Paris air, several more gentlemen are courting with some assiduousness. What better way to keep warm on an Autumn evening than in the company of a beautiful lady? Captain Bint turned his attention to the charming of Mlle. Cath Ode, who accepted him with little hesitation. But then of course, everything Captain Bint does is in the best of taste, and for their part a second earl's son is an excellent catch for the Ode family.

Captain Louis de Choux was politely rebuffed by Mlle. Claire de la Lune - a far gentler refusal than he had at the hands of Mlle. Cath Ode but three short months ago. Meanwhile Captain de Mystère saw the crueller side of the Paris ladies when he tried to meet with Mlle. Sadie Stique. Luckily he was able to make good use of his summer's military experience with the 53rd Fusiliers, and prudently executed a rapid tactical withdrawal. Captain Jacques Étant Portand de Mon brought an exquisite gift for Mlle. May Benotte, but it was not sufficient to sway the lady's heart.

Finally, of course, there is the tale of Mlle. Marcie Panne, whose beauty and charm have ensnared two Paris gentlemen, both of whom have much to gain and much to lose in their competition for her affections. We hope the best man for Marcie is the one who wins.

MORE SIGHTINGS OF ELDRITCH FIGURES REPORTED

One might expect by now to have a credible explanation for the mysterious something apparently haunting the rues and avenues of Paris, were it not for the widely-varying descriptions of the creature. As time goes on, the descriptions seem to get more disparate rather than less. Is it a tapioca monster of some kind? Laughable as it sounds, that theory actually has some adherents among the more credulous members of society. Others have seen mysterious figures both on horseback and foot, with and without clanking chains, and it is currently impossible to stitch together any coherent story from the masses of conflicting evidence. However, business is certainly booming in drinking establishments all over the city, as discussing ghostly phenomena is widely agreed to be thirsty work. And now those who have spent several evenings 'discussing' matters are adding their own confused testimonies, and this serves only to further muddy already murky waters.

MILITARY NEWS

- from the war correspondent

The summer campaign season may have ended, but skirmishing is continuing. Several regimental commanders have indicated their intention to continue campaigning into the winter, and their forces will be setting off shortly. These include:

We at Toady can only applaud this patriotic fervour and we wish these additional forces the best of success.

REGIMENTAL VACANCIES

Regimental vacancies currently stand as follows:

LES BELLES DE PARIS

- from the romance correspondent

1st Candide Ièlse
Beautiful, Wealthy

Candide collects Dutch impressionists, jongleurs and clowns, and has the finest croquet lawn in the Isle de Cité.

2nd Adèle Escent
Influential

Adèle likes giggling, filing her nails, fluttering her eyelashes and peeking at prospective suitors over the top of her fan. Her favourite stones are diamonds, rubies and emeralds.

3rd May Bea
Influential, Wealthy

Mlle. Bea is an accomplished dancer and calligrapher and practices lacemaking. She also enjoys knitting, crochet and metalwork.

4th Ruth Lesse

In her spare time, Ruth rules over the Paris Sewing and Tapestry Circle with an iron fist. She is also secretary of the Paris Flower-Arranging Society and likes finding witches.

5th Di Ode
Wealthy

6th Anne Ode
Influential

7th Cath Ode

The three Ode sisters share their late father's interest in natural philosophy and alchemy. Anne likes catching butterflies, Di collects cute little fluffy kittens and Cath likes fox-hunting, bear-baiting and cock-fighting.

Anne is currently stepping out with Captain Nelson Bint, while her sister Cath is dating M. Napoleon Blownaparte.

8th Marcie Panne
Beautiful, Influential

Mlle. Panne likes wearing beautiful clothes and jewellery. Her interests are shopping, flirting, dancing and archery. If Marcie was a tree she would be a rowan tree; if she was an animal she would be a duck.

Marcie is currently spoilt for choice, having two suitors! Major Jean-Luc Picoq, who is the son of a marquis, and the rather studly Captain Robert Baronne. A hard choice for any girl!

9th Anne Onne
Beautiful

At the time of writing, the mysterious Mlle. Onne has refused to give an interview. All we can say is that when travelling around Paris, she is seen always in a silk veil - a different colour every day.

10th Pat Hétique
Wealthy

Pat is waiting for a handsome prince to sweep her off her feet and carry her away on a white charger. In the meantime she plays a formidable game of cribbage.

11th Sadie Stique
Influential

Sadie's hobbies are giggling, filing her nails, fluttering her eyelashes and torture.

12th Eileen d'Overre

Eileen is interested in contortionism, horse-riding and escapology. She has studied ballet since the age of 2½.

Lucky Eileen has a long-term boyfriend in the form of Captain Pierre de Fromage.

13th Laura de Lande

Laura de Lande is from Brittany and came to the capital only recently with her two aunts. Laura likes fishing and falconry and also breeds rabbits. (For the falcons). She loves the open air and all of God's creatures, especially veal, venison and foie gras. Mme. de Lande is a widow; her husband was the late M. Wintewun de Lande, who died tragically in a skating accident a little over a year ago. (He drowned.)

14th Claire de la Lune

Claire is the elder daughter in the de la Lune family; it won't be long before her younger sister enters the social circuit as well. The de la Lunes are well-known for their big round eyes and enviable ability to party well into the night. Sadly, the family is occasionally touched by insanity but there has not been any history of that for several weeks.

15th May Benotte

May studies philosophy, theology, astrology and taxidermy. She is a Libran and her favourite colour is yellow.

16th Lotte Bottle

Lotte can drink a pint of sherry in 4½ seconds. She plays the viola and the crumhorn, sometimes both together.

Lotte is currently being chased by M. Laurent de Lambe.

ELIGIBLE GENTLEMEN

- from the Oily Serb

October/September

1st/2nd Captain Nelson Bint

Mistress: Cath Ode
Best Club: Hunter's
Regiment: Queen's Own Carabiniers

2nd/1st Napoleon Blownaparte

Mistress: Anne Ode
Best Club: Hunter's

3rd/3rd Major Jean-Luc Picoq

Best Club: Blue Gables
Regiment: Picardy Musketeers

4th/4th Captain Pierre de Fromage

Mistress: Eileen d'Overre
Best Club: Frog & Peach
Regiment: 27th Musketeers

5th/5th Captain Robert Baronne

Best Club: Frog & Peach
Regiment: 27th Musketeers

6th/7th Captain Louis de Choux

Best Club: Red Phillips
Regiment: Picardy Musketeers

7th/12th Disab le Toilet

Best Club: Red Phillips

8th/10th Captain Mer de Mystère

Best Club: Red Phillips
Regiment: 53rd Fusiliers

9th/6th Captain Vincent de la Maison

Best Club: Red Phillips
Regiment: 13th Fusiliers

10th/(8th) Captain Jacques Étant Portand de Mon

Regiment: Picardy Musketeers

11th/11th Petit Cochon d'And

Best Club: Red Phillips

12th/9th Laurent de Lambe

Best Club: Red Phillips

13th/13th William de Gascoigne d'Orcey

The Serb says: As for past months, the Paris newcomer has been inserted in last month's sequence in the correct order and the rankings of the other gentlemen adjusted accordingly. The ranking that Captain de Mon would have had is in brackets. The rankings for October are provisional, as there are several duels whose results have yet to be revealed at the time of going to press.

CLASSIFIED ADS

AUGUST

Investor seeks others to share in a lucrative enterprise aimed at increasing trade with the court of the Muscovite Czar. For further details contact (no timewasters please)
Robert Baronnne

SEPTEMBER

Bulk tapioca at trade prices. Please contact the Paris Mill. We also do flour and porridge. Delivery free in local area!

AUGUST

Given the copious, nay prodigious, quantities of alcoholic beverages consumed by Monsieur Fromage this summer I find it difficult to believe him capable of mounting his horse, let alone a mademoiselle such as Eileen d'Overre.
Anonymous

IN MEMORIAM

In the 3rd week of September a mass shall be held in memory of the gallant men and officers of the 53rd Fusiliers that fell in battle this past campaign. The mass will be followed by a wake hosted by Captain Mer de Mystère. All officers that served on the recently concluded campaign are cordially invited to attend, and shall receive refreshments and a wager at the expense of Captain Mystère. Officers that did not participate in the campaign are invited at their own expense, however should they give their word of honour to campaign next year then Captain Mystère will pay for refreshments and a wager. Others wishing to attend should apply in writing to Captain Mystère. Formal invitations shall be issued at the start of September.