Monty and Harold, together with the feisty and scantily-clad Anisha, floating on a huge trunk, have reached the island of the Amazons. As half a dozen of the magnificent sun-bronzed creatures escort them into their town, Anisha whispers fiercely. “Do not tell them my name or I’ll slit your from throat to gizzard.”
Always joking, that Anisha, Monty thinks, but his attention is distracted. Having been properly brought up, he tries not to stare at the magnificence before him. But one part of his brain is trying to imagine what their new acquaintances would look like with both breasts bared.
“We will take you to She Who Must Be Obeyed,” an Amazon explains.
“Is Aunt Tropey here?” Monty asks. “How jolly!”
“Silence! Men should be seen and not heard.”
The trio are taken into a magnificent audience chamber constructed from intricately woven gilt palm leaves. A beautiful woman subjects Monty to a thorough examination from head to toe.
Wish I looked better, he thinks, remembering that he isn’t allowed to speak.
“He’ll do,” the lady says dismissively. “Pity his face is messed up but the maids will see to that. The rest is good enough and he has decent legs.
Just like Aunt Tropey, but with fewer clothes.
“Take him away.” She seems to be in a very bad temper and Monty summons his courage to bear whatever indignities should follow.
Six young women subject him to brutal torture: a full body massage followed by a perfumed bath. Perdita, the youngest, prettiest maid with the softest hands applies a salve to his face and when he looks in a mirror he finds all his bruises magically healed.
“Uh, I say,” he whispers. “I can’t go out dressed like this. Where are my breeches?”
Perdita giggles. “You look very fine. The queen candidates will be pleased.”
“What do you mean?”
“You are the next king of the island. The old queen resigns today.”
“No wonder she’s grumpy.”
“You will chose your consort and the next queen.”
“King, by Jove! How splendid.”
Perdita looks a little sad. I do believe she likes me. And I like her. I don’t suppose she’s a candidate.
He is left in an antechamber where he is reunited with Harold and the biggest bird he has ever seen.
“What ho, Harold. Introduce me to your friend.”
“Delighted to meet you, Hilo…. Whatever. What kind of a bird are you.”
“I am a roc,” the creature replies.
“You’re as big as an island. Mind if I call you Rocky? You speak English like a Londoner.”
“‘Ere, ‘ave a fig.” Rocky flaps his wings at a dish of fruit, the rush of air knocking Monty to the floor and Harold to the ceiling. “Sorry ‘bout that. I don’t know me own strength. I’d better warn you …”
But before Rocky can say more, the Amazon guards appear and lead Monty to the audience chamber where he is placed on a throne next to the bad-tempered beauty.
“Bring in the candidates!”
Three even more beautiful women appear, absolutely stark naked.
“Take this,” orders the soon-to-be-former queen, her peerless feature marred by an angry frown. She hands him a heavy golden ring engraved with runes in an ancient script. “This is the ring of power, know as The Preshus. Present it to your choice.”
The bachelorettes – er contenders - begin to dance and Monty’s eyes are out on stalks.
“Shouldn’t I interview them?” he asks. “Ask them about world peace and their favorite cricket teams? I’ve always heard compatibility is important between spouses.”
“It matters little since you’ll only be wed for a year. My husband died last night.”
“I say, I am sorry. No wonder you seem out of sorts.”
The queen shrugs. “He lacked inventiveness. I’ll be happy enough taking one of the drones to my bed but I shall miss being She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Mont gives an involuntary flex of his muscles, forgetting that they can be seen by all. “I’ll endeavor to please my bride better, just as soon as I get back from a quick trip to England. My Aunt Lady Beaufetheringstone needs me, you know.”
“You’re not going anywhere. You will be king for the year of your wife’s rule, then you will be sacrificed to the volcano. Time’s up. Name the next queen.”
Monty looks wildly around the chamber. He sees Anisha among the gathered Amazons.
“Can’t do it,” he says with a burst of inspiration. “I’m already betrothed. To Anisha.”
A collective gasp arises from crowd.
“Seize her!” cries the queen. “Rahul will pay us in gold and slave men for her return.”
“Idiot!” cries Anisha. “I told you not to say my name.”
“You didn’t mean that about the gizzard, did you?”
Anisha is dragged from the chamber, screaming curses and threats.
“Choose!” screams the queen.
“I choose Perdita.” If he has to be wed for a year and then die, it might as well be to a nice girl not a Fury. “I want her or nobody.”
“This man is unworthy. Seize them both and take them to the volcano.”
A few hours later, Monty and Perdita, bound back-to-back, are suspended over the smoking crater. A candle flame licks the rope that holds them. Strand by twisted strand is consumed by fire until only a single thread keeps them from the fire pit.
“I’m sorry, Perdita. I meant it for the best.”
“It’s all right, Monty. I love you and I wouldn’t want to live without you.”
“Better to die together, than live apart.”
He gropes for her hand and the Ring of Power, the Preshus, which was clutched in his fist, falls into the inferno. A terrifying roar like the wrath of an entire Pantheon of Gods emerges from beneath.
“Now I’ve done it.”
The last thread of rope cracks ….
A whoosh of air cuts through the din. Monty, Perdita and Harold escape on Rocky’s back as the island of the Amazons is engulfed in lava and ash.
“Oh dear! What will become of Anisha?” Monty wonders as the roc’s giant wings bear them safely out to sea.
Who is better suited to be Monty’s bride? The fiery Anisha or the gentle Perdita. What will Lady B. think? And what will Albert make of Rocky?