I am second to none in my admiration for the Devil's caustic invective, and over many years have been surrounded by feathers; feathers exploding from a rising pheasant instinctively but unwisely shot at a range of fifteen feet, feathers piling around my boots whilst I pluck chickens, geese, ducks and gamebirds, and feathers covering me warmly in bed and to lay my head upon. But I'm buggered if I can lay my hands on a single white chicken feather at short notice.
I tried eBay. For three quid I can buy ostrich feathers, maribou feathers and goose feathers dyed in a startling variety of colours, but not a single white chicken feather on the whole of the site. My bedding is made out of goose. I could, at a pinch, lay my hands on a White Sussex cockerel this afternoon and pluck a few feathers from his breast, but then I'd have to eat him. I don't think Gordon's worth the wanton slaughter of an innocent chicken. I could, I suppose, ask the butcher - but fear he'd shake his head and demur that all his chickens come ready plucked. I could raid my tin of fly-tying supplies and find a tiny 1/2" hackle in spotted browns and greys and try to bleach it, but fear Gordon would hardly notice it.
The Devil may be able to casually instruct his cook from the depths of his satanic kitchen to bring a chicken feather to his study, but I fear this is beyond my resources at this moment.
My favourite fallback choice is a bag of Kelly Green Maribou feathers for 99p - do you imagine Gordon will take the point?