THE ORIFLAMME COMPETITION
in X. Street
We begin this new series of The Oriflamme with a quarterly competition and
offer a year's free subscription to the successful competitor. The
competition was written by Aleister Crowley in five installments, and will
continue in the next four issues. To compete, read each installment of the
story and send in your solution of the problems propounded. Each issue, we
will announce the winner of the previous issue's competition. In the Spring
1987 E.V. we will announce the winner of the Grand Prize, to be awarded to
the competitor who submits the best solutions for all five installments. The
Grand Prize will be a leather-bound copy of the 93 Publishing limited edition
of Crowley's classic Leah Sublime, printed on handmade paper, gold stamped
and with marbled end-papers. Oriflamme staff and their offspring cannot
Rupert Lascelles has been dining too freely, a fact that accounts for his
extraordinary mistake about the time. He had steered a fairly successful
course down the Strand, avoiding the few passengers who were still loitering
in that never deserted thoroughfare, and now paused at the corner of X.
Street. Here, seeking support against a convenient lamp-post, he fumbled with
his watch chain, and at last succeeded in snapping open the case of his gold
At this moment a rough, uncouth man, who had been lurking under the shadow
of the houses, came across and addressed him:
``Wot's the time, guv.?" he asked.
``Pasht two," replied Lascelles.
``Ho! is it?" said the rough man, making a deft grab at his watch. The next
moment Lascelles found himself alone.
Now, it appeared afterwards that Lascelles had made a mistake in his estimate
of the time, since he had mistaken the long and short hands of his watch for
each other, a mistake which caused him to believe that the time was between
55 and 57 minutes later than it actually was. (What was the real time?)
For a moment Lascelles was too startled to grasp the fact that he had been
robbed, then, pulling himself together with an effort, he started down X.
Street in a belated chase after the pickpocket, who had by this time safely
made his escape.
At the bottom of the street, however, Lascelles saw two men bending over some
object on the ground, and, believing that one of them was his late assailant,
he slowed down and approached them cautiously, with the result that he was
enabled to overhear the following extraordinary conversation which was being
held between them:
Said the first: ``I will take from the red things such as are round."
``Very good," said the first, ``but, of course, anything that is not round,
even in your original portion, comes to me."
``That is hardly fair," replied the second. ``If I agree to that you must
let me have all the red hot round things that are golden."
``Done," cried the first, ``on condition that you give up from all you are
at present entitled to everything which is neither silver nor gold."
``An easy condition," said the second, ``for everything I am entitled to is
As they laughed and shook hands on the bargain, Lascelles lurched forward:
``Shay, ol' pals," he observed, ``what was the swag, anyway?"
``You'd better ask the readers of The Oriflamme," replied the thieves, making
At this dramatic moment a series of heart-rending shrieks broke the silence
of the night, and a book was thrown furiously from an upper window.
``Murder! Murder!" came the appalling and inhuman yell.
``Thine hour is come, oh, execrable hag!" replied a firm but courteous voice.
``Thou worthy spouse of Ahab! I am not employed in the royal householdfar
from it! But permit me to take the liberty!"and he plunged her after the
book. A grey- headed, wizened, monkey-like mass fell upon the pavement with
a resounding plunk.
``Life is not extinct," exclaimed Lascelles, sober in a moment. Run, one of
you, and get a word of seven letters which spells the same forward and
But it was useless. The victim of the dastardly outrage was as dead as
The question then most seriously aroseHow dead is mutton? But Lascelles
easily showed to the satisfaction of the bystanders and Mr. Algernon Ashton,
that it was as dead as anything can be.
``Why!" he said; ``I can easily think of six words implying death or burial
whose initials form the word `mutton."'
With a muttered curse, Robert Caldwell slunk away!
What six words can you suggest?