"When you first came to town," said the sheriff, "I wrote off to that University of yours to tell 'em you'd arrived safe. Got their reply on the mail coach today." His gun was now definitely pointed in an unfriendly direction. "They never heard of no Professor Summerfield."
Benny swallowed. "I can explain..."
"Congratulate me," Benny commanded, dropping into a seat beside Jason. "I have a job. At The Library."
"What, shelving books and things?"
"No, not – well, maybe shelving books and things will be involved – but not at a library. At The Library – you know, that place Dr Smith's brother runs, that's half a bookshop and half a café."
"Oh, yeah," said Jason. "The one where they serve that really elaborate cake thing called the Braxiatel Confection?"
"On the whole, I'm glad that's over," said the Doctor. "Although I am a bit concerned that Greeneye apparently got away."
"Oh, you don't want to go worrying about him," said Benny cheerfully. "Have a corned beef sandwich."
"Aha!" said the commodore. "I thought as much: our innocent visitor is none other than the notorious Bernice Summerfield!"
"That's Captain Bernice Summerfield," said Benny firmly. "Of the good ship Tenured Position."
"Is that so?" said the commodore. "I don't see your ship around here anywhere, Captain."
Benny nudged Vila. "The masculine dominance rituals are going to take a while, if I'm any judge. Anywhere around here we can get a drink while we wait it out?"
Born Another Gender
It made no difference whatever to Jason. It did, however, mean that the Doctor had to come up with another plan for the wedding after Reverend Trelaw reminded him, gently but firmly, that in 2010 that sort of thing wasn't actually legal.
"Speaking for myself, I'm all in favour of love conquering all barriers," she said, "but how would I explain it to the bishop?"
"That's my diary! You give it back right now!"
"Or else what?"
"Let me get this straight," said Benny. "Your idea is a cake that will not only be shaped like a volcano, it will actually erupt. While surrounded by my wedding guests."
Leo beamed. "Always I have wanted to try this, and where better than in a room full of men and women from your gallant fire station? Not that anything will actually be set on fire," he added quickly.
Benny scowled at the animate fungus creatures surrounding them.
"When you said the disturbances were due to magic mushrooms, Doctor, I didn't think you meant this."
Kane was a rogue and a scoundrel, so the gossip ran, a worthy successor to that infamous name. He had recently returned from many years spent roving the Continent, involving himself in unspeakable doings – and, as Bernice had observed was often the case, the gossips spoke of little else.