Uncle and the Battle for Badgertown
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The sixth book about Uncle, the millionaire elephant who has a B.A. degree, begins with the Badgertown police seizing the belongings of Beaver Hateman, Uncle’s enemy, because he has refused to pay his rates. And it ends with a tremendous fight, using egg bombs and duck bombs, between the Hateman gang and Uncle’s supporters for possession of the Town Hall, and for the Great Mace, chief treasure of Badgertown.
With the help of a new follower, the dog Brass – who has a bark that makes the ears tingle – Uncle continues the exploration of the great castle of Homeward. He opens the baffling Closed Gallery, discovers the fabulous Jewel Room and visits Mrs Witch, who is threatening the trade of Wizard Blenkinsop.
The most hilarious adventures come at Christmas ( the time of year that the author, the late J.P. Martin, loved best) when Uncle goes shopping and attends Dr Lyre’s end-of-term party at the Academy. There is a sing-song round a Christmas tree so big that the guests can climb up into it to get their presents. Of course there is a mysterious gate-crasher hiding in the topmost branches. Who?
Whitebeard, you’ll give your wife a housekeeping allowance and let her spend it as she likes.” “As she likes?” Whitebeard’s voice was a faint, horrified squeak. “A generous one—” “A generous one?” “Certainly. That’s what I do with the Old Monkey, and it works very well. Now get back to your wife and ask her if she’ll come up with you for tea and a game of spigots this afternoon. I would like to congratulate her on your improved appearance.” Whitebeard tottered away. He felt reluctant to
his trunk moving slowly to and fro as it always does when he is angry. Uncle looked down at the evil visitor and said in a terrible voice: “What are you doing in front of my castle?” “Raising an honest penny, as I’ve had all my goods taken by the Badgertown police!” yelled Hateman. “Any objection?” “You are uttering vile untruths about me!” thundered Uncle. “Get off my land at once!” “Oh dear, have I been saying something that is not true!” said Hateman in a mock-humble tone. “Let me try to
place! Uncle gives a real slap-up do on Christmas Eve, for everybody, and the Badfort lot always behave well for a bit before it.” “Do they come?” asked Brass, surprised. “There is always a truce on Christmas Eve. Everybody comes!” “A truce?” asked Brass. “What’s that?” “Everybody stops fighting,” said Sleepy Sam. “So I’d better not run up Hateman’s back and bite his shoulder at the party?” said Brass. “No,” said Sleepy Sam, “certainly not!” “Glad you told me,” said Brass. FIFTEEN
how to behave in decent surroundings, Brass, but for once have the bone on the mat. You can’t learn everything all at once.” They were having a peaceful meal when the front door was flung open and, outlined against the golden morning light, was a hideous and familiar figure. It was Beaver Hateman himself in his usual torn sack suit and old top hat. He never has his hair cut and it’s a horrible dirty yellow colour. “Hi, you!” he shouted, pointing at Uncle. Brass leapt up from the mat and
hall for his aunt’s special benefit. Lucy is good at dusting, being able to fly on to the top of large pieces of furniture. Everything was tidier than usual when Miss Maidy and Miss Wace arrived. They arrived by the spiral lift, which is like an ordinary lift except that it goes round and round instead of up and down. It is the shortest way of getting to Afghan Flats where Miss Maidy lives. Afghan Flats is a part of Homeward inhabited mainly by dwarfs, who are a pretty cantankerous lot. Much of