Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

A Cornwall Scene

Penned upon the 28th of April, 2010

Winter had come again, and Stanley buttoned up his pea-jacket to brave the frosty air and haul a bucket of slops to the coal cellar. He had made it as far as the woodpile near the side-gate when –

“Hello, Mr Partridges!”

“Ah, hello, Miss St Jute, Miss Anne!” In warmer months, the two sisters often stopped by to exchange the time of day on the way to their debasement lessons.

“And how is that fine learned pig of yours?” asked the elder of the pair, indicating his cargo.

“Oh, unfort’n’tely, we had t’eat the pig this autumn, after it got itself stuffed and cooked in that tricycle accident.” They nodded, recalling the affair. “This pail of peelings is for my big fellow Willie, who lives downstairs, if you know what I mean.”

“I believe we’ve heard quite enough about your big fellow Willie who lives downstairs, Mr Partridges,” said Miss St Jute.

“I could stand to hear a little more,” added Miss Anne.

“For my older brother Wilbur, I mean.” Stanley indicated the cellar hatch. “We keep him down there, and I have to give him the slops or he won’t let me take any coal.”

“Heavens! A Chamber of Disappointment?”

“Well, I say ‘keep,’ but he just went down there when our sister moved away, and never came out again.”

“Do you hear from dear Cherise? We miss her since she left,” enquired Miss Anne, with eyes shining with eager curiosity.

“‘parently, she’s in Devon, tryin’ to make her fortune working as one of them cabaret dancers.”

“Oh!” oh’d the elder sister. “At a respectable venue, I hope?”

“One of the best in the business, she reckons – she tells me they’re untopped.”

“Do let her know I worry for her. I doubt she’ll be getting any proper Cornish cooking, that far afield!”

“I’m not too worried about that – in her last letter, she said she got a couple of pasties for each dance.”

“Oh, that’s nice. She was always good at those, when she got herself into the kitchen. They were so big, your sister’s pasties! You needed to grab them with both hands to really get your teeth into them!”

“As the rector said to the actress,” added Miss Anne, apropos of nothing.

“Well, ladies, I can hear Wilbur singing his Hungry Song, so I’ll let you get on to your class. So long now!”

And Stanley hoisted his bucket and knocked three times on the hatch, and the sisters dug their hands into their muffs and continued on the road to town.


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