“It is a dark and stormy night.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Isn’t it?”

“No.”

“But it could be.”

“Could it – if it isn’t?”

“Oh – I think so.”

“Well … maybe – possibly.”

“Oh – think of the possibilities.”

“On such a night?”

“Yes.”

“In such darkness?”

“Yes.”

“With a storm raging.”

“Oh – such a storm.”

“Putting us at the whims of the ocean toss.”

“Tossing our good barque – yes.”

“Will Ellerton save us?”

“Ellerton has his other duties to the safekeeping of the ship.”

“He won’t come knocking with his manly hand upon the door?’

“No.”

“Not to direct us to our lifeboat station?”

“If he comes knock knock knocking with his manly hand upon my door, he won’t find me there.”

“He will get no response to his manly knock?”

“No.”

“Why is that?”

“Because I will be in here with you.”

“On a dark and stormy night?”

“Yes.”

“Then he will come to knock knock knock on my door.”

“Yes. With his manly hand.”

“And will I answer?”

“Will you wish him to join us beneath the covers?”

“Oh – I think so. Do you?”

“Yes – I think so.”

“Then I will answer his manly hand and ask him to come in and he will say that the door is locked and I will say then use your master key and he will ask if I am sure and I will say …”

“What?”

“I will whisper to you for your assent that he is supposed to join us.”

“I will so consent.”

“Then I will most firmly and directly answer that he can come in and he will enter and we will hear the door open and  he will comment about how dark the room is and I will tell him to follow my voice and we will hear him close the door and …”

“What?”

“Won’t you be nervous?”

“I’ll be expectant, which is a positive nervous.”

“Then I will guide him with my voice.”

“What will you say?”

“I’ll ask you for your advice.”

“And what will he think when he hears both of our voices together?”

“He will think he is in heaven.”

“And he will be.”

“Yes.”

“Then I will advise you to tell him that, since there is a storm -“

“On a dark night.”

“Yes – that is, of course, the basis of it – to tell him that he better have his sea legs steady to cross the room so he can firmly handle two damsels in distress.”

“He must be firm?”

“Oh – yes – I think so. As firm as firm can be. Don’t you think that should be his preexisting state?”

“When he reaches the bed?”

“Yes.”

“Then – yes – Yes, I think so also.”

“And we will give him an appropriate welcome and make room for him on the perhaps-not-quite-wide-enough bed and he will say ‘no-no, I think I should be in the middle if I am to tend to you both, and ease your minds about the storm in the night’, and you will say – “

“ – what?”

“Then you will move closer to the edge of the bed and you will say ‘climb over me, Ellerton, for there is now space for you’, and when he carefully climbs across you …”

“ – what?”

“Then you will find out if he is indeed firm as firm can be to handle both of our needs.”

“And if he is?”

“Then you and me will go paper/scissors/rock in the dark to see whose needs are tended to first.”

[Image] https://i.ytimg.com/vi/EGpZwUV7IXs/maxresdefault.jpg