It begins with the arrival not of a detective, but of disaster: Badfort is for sale, but when Uncle decides to buy it, demolish it, and build a pleasantly appointed park on the site, he is forestalled. Beaver Hateman has sold it cheaply to someone on the condition that he, Hateman, is allowed to stay on as a paying guest. Forgetting that the man who has bought Badfort is certain to regret the "bargain", Uncle tries to console himself by continuing his never-ending exploration of Homeward. He soon discovers the mysterious Crack House - lair of a vicious and horribly squawking creature, half-bat, half-bird, called Batty - where there are rumours of buried treasure. Uncle is in need of a detective . . .
Uncle is a millionaire elephant who has a B.A. and wears a purple dressing gown. He lives in a labyrinth of skyscrapers connected by water chutes, lifts and railways, and littered with oil lakes, walls of sweets and towers of treacle. He and his followers amuse themselves by exploring his home and falling into adventures with its inhabitants, a collection of lunatics, dwarfs and ghosts. Uncle also frequently fights with the inhabitants of neighbouring Badfort, among them the repulsive Jellytussles (a quivering blob) and the cowardly Hitmouse.'A classic in the great English nonsense tradition' Observer
A great mural, commissioned by the King of the Badgers after the defeat of the Badfort crowd at Crack House, is to be painted on the wall at Homeward by Waldovenison Smeare. To protect the mural while it is being painted Uncle employs a watchman called Sleepy Sam, who sleeps in a wheelbarrow and is paid two loaves of bread and two quarts of Koolvat. Sleepy Sam is immediately put to work when Beaver Hateman tries to climb in through Uncle's window . . .