The Fourth Scroll — Witches in the Water

Then, of course, there are those envoys which behave so abominably in their foreign role that there seems little choice but to recall them to barracks. Seeking to consign one turbulent officer to harmless obscurity, Dublin instructs a Captain Francis de Groot to relocate forthwith to Australia and adopt the cover of an antique dealer. De Groot, a vindictive and aggrieved veteran of the Western Front (a class of person who should generally be kept away from high office), is given the deliberately impossible task of fermenting the fifth column of paramilitary fascists from the idle, unreliable yokels of New South Wales.

Against considerable odds, and to the vexation of his paymasters, de Groot succeeds. Though his claque of sun-kissed clansmen, known as the New Guard, present every appearance of ruritanian buffoons, they seize power, their revolution sparked by de Groot's gatecrashing of the opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, slashing the ribbon with his ceremonial sword. De Groot styles himself President for Life, and enbaubles his tunic with self-created honours including (but by no means limited to): Knight-Commander Bunyip, Sheriff of Wagga Wagga, and the Grand Order of the Wombat. He is understandably crestfallen by the cable from Dublin reacting to his triumph. It reads: "You idiot. Come home at once."

Upon his return, work must be found for de Groot, a man who clearly needs to be kept busy. He is given the gruesome but necessary task of Domestic Moral Invigilator, his scimitar becoming the imperial homeland's ultimate arbiter of probity and justice.


Lyrics submitted by BrutalBart

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    General CommentFrancis de Groot (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) really did gatecrash the opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He was arrested and charged with, among other things, "having maliciously damaged a ribbon".
    BrutalBarton June 25, 2013   Link

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