"Diseased wood? I don't understand..."
Grizzled Old Beardie shakes his head. "You weren't on the scene 20 years ago, were you Del? Otherwise, that might mean something to you."
"One of the best-loved teams of that halcyon age - and the extraordinary thing is, no-one's ever seen them dance."
"Golly. So their dances have never been collected, then?
"Our knowledge is distinctly sketchy."
"And now they're coming back?"
"Everyone thought they'd been... rubbed out. But I've heard different. It turns out they've been buried, out of sight, all this time."
Del laughs. "Stuck in some snug bar, eh? Ha!"
Del stares, his incomprehension complete.
"Nothing seen of them for years. But then The Donkey decided to seek them out, about 18 months ago. For a long time, not a sign. It looked as if they really were The Lost Morris, after all. Now rumour has it they've been unearthed. And the way I hear it, they're looking as sharp as ever."
"Good lines, eh?"
"But... I'm still not with you. Who is this legendary team?"
Beardie sighs. He leans forward, and whispers a single word, by way of a clue. Del screws up his eyebrows, none the wiser. Then his face brightens.
"Utrecht!" he exclaims.
A curl of disdain appears on Grizzled Old Beardie's lip.
"Couldn't you put your hand in front of your mouth? I can't possibly drink this now."
"Absolutely full of germs."
"Eh? But you've almost finished... oh never mind. Same again, I take it?"
©2001 Simon Pipe, Mark Rogers