Originally published on SoundsXP, 4th May, 2005
Scene 13 – The Rector’s Office, St Xenolith the Pure, Boarding School of Music
THE RECTOR IS SEATED IN A LEATHER CHAIR BEHIND A GIANT MAHOGANY DESK.
ENTER THE DEPUTY, A TROUBLED LOOK UPON HIS FACE.
THE RECTOR PEERS OVER HIS SPECTACLES AT HIM, AS THE DEPUTY ADVANCES SHEEPISHLY TOWARDS THE RECTOR’S DESK.
DEPUTY: Rector, please forgive my intrusion.
RECTOR : Your expression and general demeanour don’t inspire me with confidence. I take it that I am not expected to be delighted by your forthcoming revelation?
DEPUTY: Well, Sir, regretfully, I have some… erm… grave news, Sir…
RECTOR: Out with it, Deputy!
DEPUTY: Unfortunately, I have it on good authority from the head boy; I’m afraid, Sir, that, in spite of all our best efforts, there have been subversive sounds heard in the night.
RECTOR: Subversive sounds? What sort of subversive sounds?
DEPUTY: They were described to me as, if you please, Sir.. (gulps) the faint whingeings of Fishjumpery…
RECTOR: (Rising from seat) WHAT?
DEPUTY: I’m truly sorry, Sir. I was assured that the last exponents had been quashed.
RECTOR: Are you telling me that here, in St Xenolith the Pure, this venerable establishment, in this fine institution, in this monument to musical excellence, we are once again harbouring Fishjumpers?
DEPUTY: I do understand it was only the one, Sir.
RECTOR: (Angrily) ONE? How many does it take to start a cult, Deputy? I will NOT TOLERATE singer-songwriters in this school. (More calmly) Are there any immediate suspects?
DEPUTY: Only among the younger boys; those who have obviously remained secretly loyal to the late Master Gray, Sir.
RECTOR: And are these “younger boys” aware of the fate that befell Master Gray, Deputy?
DEPUTY: I think it is common knowledge amongst the boys, Sir.
RECTOR: You think? Then you had better ensure that is the case. I want it whispered throughout the corridors and dormitories so that anyone with the slightest intention of inflicting this sort of pain and pestilence on the school’s reputation will be in no doubt as to the consequences.
DEPUTY: As you wish, Sir. I will instigate a full and thorough search of the dormitories at once.
RECTOR: See that you do. I want this nipped in the bud, Deputy. Bland is not, and never will be, the new punk, is that clear? If you discover so much as a G-string from an acoustic guitar, I want you to garrote the owner with it. Is that understood?
DEPUTY: (Gulping hard) Perfectly, Rector.