Transcript of enquiry into the events at Spotsville
Chief Enquirer: Provost Marshal Jeffrey George De Ath
Principal witness: Sergeant Major Obadiah Tuffnutt (Gormenghast Guards)
Provost: Sergeant Tuffnutt, in your own words, would you enlighten the court as to the recent events pertaining to the action at Spotsville? Begin from when the army crossed into Vulgaria.
Sergeant: Yus suh, certainly suh. It wus like this. We crossed by the bridge at Tallahassee and marched onto the plains of Vulgaria, most soldierly like, very smart your honour. Their scouts were everywhere suh but their main force, well we just couldn't find the buggers. Leastways not until we reached Spotsville and there they were waiting for us in a defensive position.
Provost: And what of our own scouts Sergeant?
Sergeant: Never saw them your honour.
Provost: Very good Sergeant, carry on. What happened next?
Sergeant: Well the nobs.......errr begging your pardon suh.........the staff ..... they got together for a bit of a chinwag like. Planning and such. The Constable he was all haughty like.........
Provost: Do not the men like the Constable then, Sergeant?
Sergeant: Oh Lord no Suh, the men respect him like.
Provost: Even though he isn't a native Gormenghastian, Sergeant?
Sergeant: But he's a proper officer and a Gentleman your honour. The men can tell these things.
Provost: How so Sergeant?
Sergeant: The wig suh. A big gentleman's wig; powder and everything!
Provost: Yes well quite. Carry on then Sergeant.
Sergeant: Well the nobs must have come up with a plan because before you could say Jack Robinson we was deploying onto the plain. Half the foote and guns were deployed in two lines facing the town and half in columns on the left flank. That's where we was your honour - the Groans like - along with the Countesses Light Infantry. No sooner were we deployed then off we marched, just like at kleine Furz your honour. By the left, left, right, left, right, a quick right face and we was on his flank suh, so we was. I dare say that scared the crap out of Johnny Vulgar, If I may be so bold. Sent his cavalry against us he did, 4 regiments on big horses. They didn't make any impression on the Groans or the Countesses though; showed them the bayonet we did. Very steady your honour, very steady. After that drubbing they pulled back 100 yards or so and just sat there looking threatening.
Provost: And what did you do then Sergeant?
Sergeant: Why we shot them suh! And when the smoke cleared we shot them some more. They didn't like that your honour; 2 regiments of the buggers ran off pretty promptly I can tell you. We were pretty well set up to do the same to the other 2 regiments when they pulled back behind their infantry. Of course, by now our infantry centre had moved up to join us and we were all set to shoot em like fish in a barrel.
Provost: And did you Sergeant? Shoot them like fish in a barrel?
Sergeant: Why no suh. We ran out of time your honour.
Provost: Ran out of time? Whatever do you mean Sergeant?
Sergeant: It was half past the hour, suh!
Provost: And what of it Sergeant?
Sergeant: It was that Mr Barquentine, suh! Says he'd looked in that big ole book of his and we weren't to fight beyond half past the hour, your honour. You can't go against the book suh. It just ain't done.