It was time for me to plan my annual trip to Wales, to Sonsie Farm, Beatrice’s puce home. We attempted to arrange the visit when Adelaide and Benny, whom I had met up with years before, (being in possession of their beloved plaid steamer trunk). were away on a summers journey, foraging with donkey cart, seeking yellow houses.
I did not dislike the old couple, they happily dwelt in their own odd world, but Beatrice and I had serious work to do on Godfrey’s story. Benny and Adelaide were a canty pair, and caught Beatrice, under cover of night, vacuuming the house. That could only mean company coming, and they delayed their ramble away. Bandy legged Adelaide met my rental car at the farm gate, grinning in her best frock.
Kind, likeable Benny, was nowhere in sight. The ex royal chambermaid explained. “We were picking someones raspberries, and my “Housemaid’s Knee” gave out as I lifted a pail”. “Benny tried to grab me, but the counterweight cartwheeled him deep into the nettles”. “I passed their wagon, empty on the roadside, Beatrice later reported, gravely, had to hoik them both out of the ditch”. “Benny is in the sleep out, slathered in that gipey salve that Godfrey swore by”. “I had an ancient jar under the sink”. “Dr Thingmount’s Wonder Salve”…I had a story about it from his second year in Canada- “Canadian Road Apples”. A rollicker.
Dr Thingmount’s Wonder Salve- From Godfrey
It was not a job for which I applied..was offered the position when given a ride, Dr Thingmount’s boldly painted van pulled over, just west of Yahk, and I hopped inside. “It is how I crossed Canada that second time, for every salve I sold, pocketed a dime, oh the places to see, the stories itchy persons would tell me!
From Tofino to Yahk, Baloney Bay and back, we followed the festivals, fun fairs, the carnivals. It was like gritty wax, with little green flecks, a Viking was crudely drawn on the lid, it smelled of sheep yard and sweet thyme, and I extolled the virtues of what Dr Thingmount’s wonder Salve did.
“For the welt and the wart, to ease birthing of calves use my salve”. Relief from personal itch or bee stings, sooth the soreness of udders on cats, if your dare touch the nasty wee things.”
Dr Nemophilist Thingmount created the salve. A love of the forest, generations deep, she knew Burdock from Sweet Hellebore, as her grandpa had taught her and old gran before. “It will repel flies and ants, and help you dream of cool forest floor”. I sold some to our jailer, pinched his hand in the cell door, were the little green bits got us into such trouble, Dr Thingmount cannot sell her salve anymore.
“It soothed the nuisance of barley dust down the shirt”. “Useful on fisher’s chapped hands, and miner’s stubbed toes when they hurt”. It’s reportedly great on diaper rash, and of proven to even help lighten a ladies mustache”. I will not boast, but used the salve on pain of a sprain, and found it tasty, when spread on my toast, just a smear, the secret being the little green bits in it”
Dr Nemophilist Thingmount- famous 100 years the Thingmount name, all was jolly until Baloney Bay, and the U.S. border we came. “We had french on the label, to sell our salve nationwide”. But at the border the police demanded to know what the little green bits were inside”. “Basil, old granny Thingmount lied, Parsley, said I, Borage, as it says on the jar pointed out Dr Thingmount’s great grand niece Giselle- beets were served on a metal tray, later that night in my lonely cell, and twice the next day”.
“It is like gritty wax, with little green flecks, a Viking crudely drawn on the lid, to this day I believe in Dr Thingmount’s salve, and the wonderful things it did. “For we followed the festivals, fun fairs and carnivals, in merry cavalcade till that fateful day, when we came to the border and the Wonder Salve was taken away.
“I was once a salve seller, with a jar of my own, deep in my suitcase when let out of jail” and I suppose that the Thingmounts simply whipped up a fresh batch, and out on the road they still have salve for sale”.”I used it sparingly, when mosquito’s and black fly’s bit, Dr Thingmount’s Wonder Salve- with little green bits in it”.
The ancient, reeking salve, indeed worked on poor Benny’s nettle rash, and the old pair set about mixing a batch they to, could sell when they took to the road…