Marzipan, what's that about?

Having retired to the library with a fistful of cigars and a bottle of the Colonel's finest port and bemoaned the fact that the housekeeper's mulligatawny soup was vastly inferior to that made by our esteemed wooden-legged sergeant-major during the first Malay uprising, Marmaduke opened my eyes to the truth. What he recounted there in that smoky room completely overturned my prior knowledge, suggesting that marzipan was not in fact to be found in significant volumes upon the planet Mars, nor was it best served in pans, thus prompting me to make a mental note to tan Mrs Winterbottom's hide most vigorously for her scurrilous misinformation in this regard.

Marmaduke was a wonderful storyteller, though his tales were so fanciful that, were it not for his impeccable rank and pedigree, one would dismiss them as complete fabrications. Like the one about the trader from Samarkhand, whose sneeze could be heard distinctly in realms as far removed as Constantinople, Exeter and Nanking. Or the story of how his great-uncle had coupled with a unicorn, the issue of which union had produced the largest emerald seen outside the treasury of the Maharajah of Bandaloop.

According to Marmaduke, this most delicious of sweetmeats was first sampled in the Occident thanks to a present from none other than the Sultan of Marzip. I would reveal to you, dear reader, how the Sultan came upon the recipe for combining sugar, ground almonds and rosewater, but as Marmaduke began recounting the Sultan's adventurous journey to his summer palace, the Colonel's port sent me precipitously into a most pleasant slumber, wherein I dream't of pert-breasted vestal virgins tumbling wantonly and nakedly upon my prone form as Caesar lay nearby, bleeding from as many holes as is typically found on the average Emmental cheese.

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