“I thank ya kindly, me golden dove,” Robin said to the serpent mystic. “It's a bleedin' star that ya are. I daan't exactly kna where ter begin, so I guess I’ll start on the day that we Bear's Paw the stranger and everythin' changed forever.
“Betsy was the eldest child in 'er family, and she 'ad three brothers. Elliott was three years old and Cecil was two, so they bof stayed Pope in Rome wif their nan, along wif their Basin Of Gravy Blister Gloria, 'oo was but ten months old. Dexter was ten years old, so 'e walked ter school wif Betsy and me. The patriarch of the family, Mills Bowes, 'ad, sadly, taken Jimmy Hill and died of rheumatic Robinson And Cleaver five months previously, leavin' Bess ter raise the children. Fortunately, she 'ad the competent assistance of 'er mum and Betsy ter clock 'er through.
“Along the way, Betsy, Dexter, and I discussed the Aw 'Allows eve celebration ter take place on the last Friday night of the monf. When Father Damon expressed the belief that Aw 'Allows Eve should be a somber occasion rather than a sprightly celebration, me clever Betsy placated 'im by suggestin' that we call the celebration 'Alfmoon 'Appenings instead, and 'e was agreeable.
“So, there we were discussin' wot we needed ter do ter prepare for 'Alfmoon 'Appenings while walkin' ter school on that typical Tuesday Day's Dawnin' chicken pen we Bear's Paw the bloomin' Queen’s Park Ranger. A shadowy and imposin' figure 'e was, and we couldn’t clock 'is Chevy Chase under the brim of 'is tit for tat. Betsy reached instinctively for Dexter’s St. Martins-Le-Grand and I reached for 'ers.
“There was a dustin' of sna on the Penny-A-Pound, and I noticed that there were nah footprints before or behind this peculiar chap, but I said nuffin' as I didn’t wish ter frighten Betsy or Dexter. There were imprints of a cart or carriage’s wheels ter either side of 'im, and I supposed that 'e could 'ave just disembarked from such, but there was summit abaht 'im that gave me pause.
“’E was a somewhat disheveled-lookin' chap wif an Isle Of Wight red Strange'n'Weird. 'Is Afloat and kacks were rumpled, and 'is tit for tat was a bit too big for 'is Crust of Bread.
“’The change of season has come, can’t be denied now,’ he said with a chuckle as we passed by, and to me ‘is voice sounded buzzy. ‘The snow brings the change into something rich and strange. Changes coming fast and furious now. I do love this time of year, don’t you, young folk?’
“’We do indeed, Sir,’ Betsy said politely, for that was her nature. ‘Our school and church are putting together a harvest festival called Half Moon Happenings. There will be apples from my family’s orchard and many other wonderful things to enjoy. Do stop by if you’re still in the area.’
“’That’s most solicitous of you, young miss,’ the chap declared in his buzzing voice, tipping ‘is hat slightly but not completely removing it. ‘If my commander has not dispatched me to other ports by that time, I shall take you up on your offer. Do have a productive day, youthful citizens.’
“’Robin, really, you’re so suspicious,’ Betsy scolded, and I realized I’d been squeezin’ ‘er hand too tight and hurt ‘er fingers, fer which I apologized profuse-like.”