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All good things then must come to an end and, since we would like our story too to be included in this category, we must now bring it to a close. As the sun rises however on the bright Sunday morning that follows the events recorded above, there is a piece of news for the denizens of this happy land which must also be conveyed to our readers. It should be added that the more perspicacious amongst them, such as yourself for instance, may well have grasped it already.

This is the news that Tom is to marry Phyllis. He had put out feelers on the previous afternoon itself, and though at first she had been horrified, all those whom she had come to rely on during the past few days, Indra and Diana and Paul, and Lily and Mumtaz and Veronica, and John’s womenfolk and the three boys from the beach, had all urged her to it so strongly that in the end she had agreed. Their argument was that Tom was quite incapable of exercising power himself any more, and there was no one else capable of succeeding, especially as no one else would be able to settle the forces that she had aroused. If she refused to fill the vacancy, the army or the navy would step in which would cause a great deal of confusion, or else the arrack renters and the ship chandlers who were once more beginning to organise themselves. She was assured that if she yielded they would all chip in and do their bit, and Tom would not be allowed to make a nuisance of himself, even if he showed himself keen to be one, which seemed unlikely in his current condition.

So Phyllis agreed and here we must leave our characters, those characters at any rate who did not leave us first. We will not attempt to look into the future; but since we know that the Red Shadow and the Papal Nuncio are happy, we may remark in passing that surely those of our characters who are left are no less deserving. It is true that some of our readers may think this an extravagant claim, but at this point in our story we feel we can afford to be generous.

Indeed, though Phyllis had insisted before she consented to the marriage that she and Tom should have separate bedrooms, it is conceivable that in time even that restriction might be lifted. Meanwhile she had of course inherited the trusted band of ex-virgins. As time goes on however let it be said that they are all of them more than a little busy, getting clothes and other essentials ready for the new baby that is expected, in whom they all take a proprietorial interest. Indra and Diana may see themselves as proud parents, and Phyllis – and therefore Tom – as delighted grand-parents, but the conception all know was for the benefit of the whole nation. Thus the embroidery of the ex-virgins is as skilled as ever, and the patterns they lovingly produce are the same as those we have seen before; except that the crowns are higher now and equipped with shining diadems, and more prominent rise the full breasts of the maidens that recall to mind imperial joys.