Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Superfluous Loyalist

Fiction ~ short story
Published in Pall Mall Magazine, October 1902
(First read 08/04/2014)

A View of Rotten Row, Thomas Blinks, c.1900
Benson goes back over very well-trodden ground for this love-triangle quickie.  Dick Somethingorother, toff, part-time MP, and rider of horses in The Row, finds out that his cousin Madge (toff, full-time idler, and rider of horses in The Row), who he's loved in secret for x amount of time, has just become engaged to his best pal Jim (toff etc.).  Now unfortunately Dick and Jim spent some time together in Paris in their youth, for the purpose of learning French¹, during which time Jim sowed rather more than his fair share of wild oats ~ so we're told.  This leaves Dick in a beastly dilemma: should he tell Madge about Jim's sordid past as a way of shunting Jim out of the picture, so allowing himself the chance of a crack at her? or should he tell Madge about Jim's sordid past in order to save her from marrying a bounder? or should he persuade Jim to come clean himself? or should he just go out for another ride in The Row?  I'm pleased to report it all ends happily for everyone.  Except Dick.
The story is available online here ~ scroll along the bottom line till you hit page 225. 

¹ A language spoken by foreign johnnies, apparently.

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