Kitchen

Image result for kitchen banana book cover

 

The Narrator, Mikage begins with her most favorite spot being a kitchen, the size, kind, or location not an issue, preferably well used. Even if they’re spattered with food, which Mikage hopes happens to the larger kitchens she may visit, currently though, she leaning on a large fridge, viewing through a window the evening stars. Only she and the kitchen present whilst considering how she would be content with dying in a kitchen. She remembers when her grandmother died and couldn’t sleep, sleeping near the fridge easing her mind. Mikage’s parents died at a young age, she then living with her grandparents, when starting junior high, her grandfather died, and the previous day, her grandmother died, she shocked to learn she was now the last one in her family, after attending the funeral, moving her futon to the kitchen. When she realizes she must move, the list of apartment options overwhelms her, she buckling with the task, but as the days passed by, she is visited by a young man, Yuichi, as she’s glancing disinterestedly at the apartment list, and binding up old magazines with strings. Mikage thanks him for helping her at the funeral, they having attended the same university, and she taking bereavement leave.

Yuichi inquires after her apartment hunt and she informs him of its stagnation, Yuichi then inviting her to stay, he having discussed this with his mother, and giving her directions, setting a time she could visit later. Mikage accepts without thinking too much about it, he then leaving, she recalling Yuichi’s reaction of sadness at the funeral, she thinking he must’ve had a relationship with her grandmother she wasn’t aware of, but after he’d offered her his help there, he’d continued helping her. Then she remembers her grandmother talking of the boy, Tanabe, whom worked at the flower shop she frequented, Mikage sensing he was the solitary sort, since even after knowing him for a bit, he seemed stand-offish. It began raining as she walked to his house, their homes separated by a park, she walking through, and when seeing how high their floor was, considering how wonderful their view must be, she not thinking past their invitation. She’s greeted by Yuichi at their front door, and is hit with the size of the couch before seeing the large kitchen behind it, and loving it from the first viewing. Normally, when confronted with people she didn’t know well, in a different home, she felt isolated, but knowing how alone she already was, put a spin on the situation, giving her new perspective.

Mikage gets straight to the question of why she was there, Yuichi plainly stating how nice her grandmother had been to him and they having plenty of space to spare, the two interrupted by Yuichi’s mother, Eriko rushing in, Mikage captivated by her stunning features. Whilst getting through pleasantries, Eriko quickly changes to return to work at a nightclub, she mentioning how she expected Yuichi to convince her to stay over, Yuichi walked her out and suggests Mikage watch TV for a moment as he rushed out to speak with his mother, Mikage finally understanding what being enchanted was. When Yuichi returns, he inquires whether she’d felt timid around Eriko, she being honest and remarking on her exquisite features, Yuichi confides how she’d had surgery, and had been a man, Mikage at first thinking he was messing with her, but then listens to how his parents met when they were young, his mother’s family giving Eriko a home, he then running away to get married with his mother. After his mother died, Eriko decided to get the surgeries to become a woman and started the nightclub. So whilst she still didn’t know whether to trust him fully, she gave them a shot because she did have faith in their kitchen, the two’s “Buddha” smiles being nice, as well.

When they end their night, Yuichi shows her how the shower worked and gets her set up with blankets, pajamas and what not, she again making certain her staying was fine, he then leaving her to get settled. When she lays down, she’s quite content with the silence, view, plants, and kitchen so close, she going to sleep, content. When she’s greeted by Eriko in the morning, she forgets for a moment of her male genetics, but then offers to make breakfast when Eriko decides takeout would be easier, she leaving Mikage to work the kitchen. Eriko shows her healthy appetite and by afternoon, Mikage is reveling in the slow, calm atmosphere. Eriko then mentions how Yuichi had described her as looking like a dog they used to have (17 Again), Eriko insisting on seeing the resemblance and how amused she was by it the night they met, Mikage hoping the dog wasn’t a Saint Bernard. Eriko then explains how she understood why Yuichi was so attached to her was for this reason, and she regretting not being a better mother for recognizing his aloofness, but he turning into a good person; she recognizing the same of Mikage, relating how hard life could be, but wanting her to be comfortable. When Mikage offers to pay rent, Eriko instead request she make the soupy rice once in awhile, hers surpassing Yuichi’s.

Mikage then realizes upon review, how stressing living with the elderly could be, knowing they could die soon. She recalls how easy the relationship between she and her grandmother was and the times she may have mentioned Yuichi, but even during times Mikage was impaired by drink or love, she knew there was only one person left in her life, and while she was aware of having been loved, the loneliness of her life sobered her to how it was, so she didn’t take long to move in. She showed her appreciation with making food and tidying, still working her part-time job, the three of them working different hours so it feeling spacious, Mikage extremely grateful with how she’d gotten so lucky. When she’d gone to her old home for the remainder of her belongings, she already felt estranged, and as she cleaned the fridge, her house phone rang, she hearing her ex, whom was out of the picture when her grandmother got worse. He called to give condolences, having heard through classmates, they then making a time to see each other. Sotaro’s main interest is plants, he normally outside near parks and whatnot, but due to the winter season, they agree on a cafe near a park.

They have general chat until Sotaro brings up knowing she’d moved in with Yuichi, whom had been slapped by his now ex-girlfriend in school. As they walked through the park she was reminded why they weren’t good together, he not making her feel good about herself, but by nothing he outwardly said, only how he was, they then leave each other on good terms. As she’s watching TV later in the evening, Yuichi comes home with a word processor, Mikage noting Yuichi and his mother’s penchant for pricey electronics. When he questions her on when she would post her change-of-address forms and how she’d rather get it done when she moved for good, he reacts bluntly, but quickly lightens, Mikage again asking if her being there imposed on him, he acting oblivious. They get the forms ready to send out, she learning Yuichi wanted to help for despising spare time. As they continued, she asks about the issues her being there seemed to have for him, he finally catching on and as they worked, she sensed he was quite melancholy, she understanding the issue he’d had with his girlfriend, and if she stayed there, she’d only make his life more difficult, she also seeing how their intimate conversations could complicate her feelings toward him, so whilst making the new address forms, she attempted to convince herself of needing to move as soon as possible.

When Eriko comes in to drop off a newly bought juicer, she remembers a gift for Mikage upon seeing the address cards, Mikage overcome by the thoughtful banana glass (a nod to herself?). Mikage cleared out her stuff and finished cleaning the next day, she seeing the landlord and chatting amiably like she and her grandmother used to do. She was heading to her new home by nightfall and getting emotional about how she was truly done with her childhood home, but then getting cranky when riding a crowded bus, feeling better when seeing an airship. A grandmother and granddaughter sitting nearby, the girl seemingly in a bad mood is unphased when her grandmother points out the same airship to her. When the girl’s grandmother finally gets the girl to smile though, Mikage is overwhelmed by no longer getting to see her own grandmother, she rushing off the bus and crying violently, knowing it was because she hadn’t properly mourned, but she then noticing she had stopped at a kitchen, she immediately feeling better and continuing on her way. When she got back, she announced how tired she was to Yuichi and is almost fully asleep when he’d gone to the kitchen to make tea, she halfway aware of his commenting on how quickly she’d gone down. She dreamt about the kitchen in the old apartment, a floor color she once hated, now loving. She sees Yuichi cleaning the floor and she suggests they have a tea break.

They have an aimless chat, until Yuichi asks whether she was going to leave their apartment, and before she was able to answer, telling her not to, which confused her since he sounded like they’d already begun this topic. He explains how he’d considered carefully before inviting her, and believed being with them is what’s best for now, Mikage conveying her agreement and Yuichi returning to his task of cleaning the floor. They they begin singing together as they worked, Mikage believing she broke the dream-mode by requesting they stop in case her grandmother woke, he instead suggesting they go to a ramen noodle stand at the park when they were through. Mikage wakes up after this, it now two in the morning. Yuichi takes her by surprise whilst she’s in the kitchen pouring water for herself, he also having woken up and deciding to make ramen, Mikage offering to cook it for him and to sit on the couch. When she mentions in her dream he’d also wanted ramen, she notices his surprise, he then inquiring of the color of the kitchen floor, she confirming he was correct, and thanking him for mopping the floor, he then offering to get them both juice, Mikage letting the discussion about the dream lay, knowing they had plenty of time in the future to talk about the shared experience.

One night Eriko is watering the plants when she blurts how it isn’t simple being female, and learning one’s breaking points is healthy in truly having the ability to know happiness, she appreciating the hard times she’d gotten through. Mikage states how she believed she knew what Eriko meant, Eriko then complimenting Mikage’s grandmother for having been an extraordinary lady for having raised a truthful, good-hearted young woman, she loving Mikage for it and how she’d been fortunate. Mikage begins reading the magazine she had started before Eriko’s spontaneous chat, and also ponders how she’d have to move again at some point, she debating if she’d ever come back when she did or would only have her fond memories. She then decides to focus on ‘the now’ and enjoy them whilst she could, also considering how she planned on handling the tough times in the future. She then thinks about imagined and real kitchens she’d experience with many people or only one other, in every place she would live and knowing there would be plenty more.

Eriko was murdered by a crazed regular at her club after the man had seen her walking to work one night. Yuichi phones Mikage to let her know, waking her up and stating how Eriko had taken her murderer down with her, Mikage having difficulty allowing this to sink in due to grogginess. Another blow came when Yuichi confesses how long ago it had happened, he not able to let himself inform her before the funeral, begging her forgiveness. Mikage decides she’d rather have this talk in person and offers to come by (this being after she’d finished school and now worked in a cooking school as an assistant), she then remembering the last encounter she’d had with Eriko being at a store late one night, the two ending their passing with smiles. Mikage dashes through her apartment hurriedly to grab what she needed, finally getting her head together with the items she required and left. On her walk, she starts to get upset, her eyes blurring and making everything viewed in a pretty glaze. She was truly broken by the news though, life not seeming worth living, none of this showing . When she sees Yuichi, she’s quite happy since it’d been awhile, Yuichi surprised she wasn’t furious with him. Instead they sit on the couch drinking coffee, he at first asking about her job, she in the honeymoon phase, then relaying his state of mind being wildly out of sorts around the time of the funeral, he having her in his thoughts, but unable to confess for it becoming too real, regardless of Mikage and Eriko being so chummy.

Mikage handles his explanation by noting how they were a pair, having lost so many people already, she successfully lightening Yuichi’s mood and they proceeding with Eriko’s will, but Yuichi also giving her Eriko’s red sweater which one day she had guiltily admitted looked better on Mikage. She proceeds with reading the letter written to Yuichi by Eriko, she starting lightly, stating of the ridiculous possibility of her death by someone’s hand, but sensing the necessity, she glad Mikage had entered his life since Eriko was the last of Yuichi’s family, this before warning him to refrain communicating with his mother’s side. She then tells how she attempted writing as a man and failed, she then reminiscing about the good times throughout her life, Mikage living with them being one, then ending with what legal papers he would find and to phone the lawyer for further detail, everything but the club going to him. Mikage stayed up most of the night grieving, the two not getting up until after noon. Yuichi readies for school and inquires if Mikage planned on going home, she thoughtfully declaring she would wait until dinnertime, which lights the idea in Yuichi’s head she should make a fancy feast, she wholly into the idea and supplying a grocery list for him to retrieve for her, after he’d gone, she getting the empty-house feeling, prominent after a death.

Mikage treasured the six months she’d had with Eriko, she getting overcome with the empty feeling and sleepiness, but resisting for knowing nightmares would arise, she moving to the kitchen and upon inspection, cleans the place for not being used in awhile. As she made progress, the kitchen duties eased her mind, she realizing she had turned a corner. She remembers how the summer she was with Eriko and Yuichi had also been the one she’d learned to cook. She bought three books which covered all the necessary information to attempt the task. Yuichi and Eriko would tease her because of the flurry of excitement she’d display as she learned, she even finding how cooking made her feel when in negative moods. She realizes she had brought the family together due to how much she cooked, she looking back on those days fondly, then considering how the possibility of beginning the cooking process depended on if the heat was at the right temperature before cooking, believing this affected the taste and look of the dish, they certainly not looking like the pictures in her texts. Mikage then goes over how frustrated she had at first become upon failure of making a dish properly, but how she’d gotten through it, not changing her, but helping her discover her own process. The position of the celebrity cook she’d landed, she believed was acquired by the difference in temperament between herself and the other candidates, especially with only the three month study program (her three books) she’d given herself. The other women not living a life which would allow the same type of learning Mikage had gotten (those three months of heaven), enough to understand risks needed to be made for anything good to come from life.

All of Mikage’s cleaning had passed the day, Yuichi having her help him with two more bags of groceries in the car, he then seeing the moon looking nice, Mikage catching his attempt at changing the subject due to making her help him with bags having nothing to do with the dinner like he’d claimed. As they rode the elevator back up, Mikage came to the idea how Yuichi made her feel content, but unable to make sense of the emotion. Dinner took her two hours to finish, she mentioning how she wouldn’t be able to cope with Eriko’s death all at once, and noting how worn down Yuichi seemed, which is why neither brought up Eriko. After they had eaten all they could, Mikage saw an empty bottle of wine Yuichi must have drank by himself, he then conveying how it did help cause his putting off calling her about Eriko, being drunk for a month and his mind believing she’d hold his not confessing sooner against him. Yuichi then confides all the thoughts he’d built up about how he’d handled his mother’s death and not being brave enough to face Mikage, he then asking if she’d move back, she not knowing if he was too drunk to understand what he was saying, but stating of it on the table for debate. Yuichi brings down the mood with how he could end up becoming stuck in his gloom, she getting upset and deciding they should see how things would go. He passes out and Mikage cleans the dishes whilst she bawls over her isolation. When she is woken by the phone the next morning, she picks it up before remembering she wasn’t at home, the caller disconnecting after she says hello, she then going to work. After she learns she’d be let out early, she was also invited to a three-day research retreat for food, she immediately accepting, which answered her own question of whether she’d be staying with Yuichi. As she entered the prep area, she speaks with the two head assistants who couldn’t go to the three-day research retreat, due to golf lessons, the girls sweet, and Mikage pleased to work with them.

Then the three are visited by the defensive, know-it-all caller, a classmate of Yuichi whom is also in love with him, she attempting to demand Mikage leave him alone whilst also schooling her about how she’d gotten him in a rut, she mentioning how she’d comforted him after his mother had died, and before she could continue her selfish tirade, Mikage starts speaking about how the girl hadn’t even gotten her side of what happened, she feeling bad for the girl having wasted her time for a useless task. Once Mikage had said her peace, the girl left, the two assistants supporting Mikage’s side, she feeling worn down. When Yuichi returns home later, Mikage shares her news about work and planning on leaving to pack, but as he’d been driving her home, she craves some tea beforehand, and upon sitting, she mentions this being their first time out together. When he’d gotten her home, they discuss what he’d like for a souvenir, she burying her face in his arm when realizing how cold it was outside, then leaving and discovering her own jealousy, not knowing whom was “winning”. Mikage then relates a sad memory of Eriko when she was sharing a story about before she became a woman, his wife terribly ill and how he’d visit her before and after work every day. At one point, his wife asks for something alive to be with her in the hospital room, Eriko immediately out and buying a pineapple potted-plant, his wife extremely grateful. When she was about to get worse (Eriko not confessing to her the nature of her illness), she requests he take the plant home with him, his isolation shared with the pineapple, he also coming to his first realization of becoming a woman as he decided against hailing a taxi, after his wife’s death, planning on maintaining a bemused sunniness, he then transitions to become a lady. Mikage figures what she’d meant by sharing the story, she fighting her weaknesses as she tried to sleep.

The next morning Mikage gets a phone call from Chika, the head girl at Eriko’s club, whom now owned it by Eriko’s will. Chika was a transvestite, but quite pretty, he calling to speak with her about an important topic, mysteriously only giving the place they’d meet and hanging up. Upon meeting him at the noodle place, Mikage begins eating and then inquires what was so urgent, he usually exaggerating, but he talking about how Yuichi was acting oddly, usually so austere, but his emotions breaking through, he referring to Yuichi to an Inn since he’d not been sleeping well. Chika then confides his sense of they’re deep affection for each other and she should go after him, Mikage numbed with his deduction. He goes on to figure out what the hold up was besides Mikage’s trip, she relenting by deciding to give tracking him down some thought, Chika relaying how Yuichi’s state of mind needed changing what with his mother’s death affecting him in such a bad way. As Mikage walks Chika out, he breaking down loudly, he also gives her the information on the Inn. As he leaves, Mikage affected with his emotion, but still undecided about her next move, she end up doing nothing about it and begins her trip to Izu with Sensei, other staff, and a cameraman, Mikage reverting back to thinking this was best, the muddled feelings being too difficult to sort.

Later in the evening, Mikage goes to Sensei’s room to ask if she’d be allowed to go get a meal since the Inn served only veggies she didn’t like, she not minding, and once Mikage had gone out walking, she discovering she’d love to be on the road more often, but Yuichi having put too much of an impression on her. When reaching the first restaurant she still saw open with only one other patron, she goes in and gives her order. As she waits, she uses the phone sitting on the counter and dials Yuichi’s Inn, when he answers, he deduces how Mikage got the number, she asking about the food there, tofu being the answer, after they joking about not eating apart, together. Mikage asks about how long he’d stay, she not believing his reply of it not being long, the two hanging up soon after, Mikage’s sense of isolation returning, but once her katsudon was done and tasted, she abruptly deciding to order a second and both made to go, she remembering Sensei had mentioned this place and was disappointed they couldn’t hit it.

Mikage debated her next move, which is again made for her when a taxi pulls up, she getting him to agree to the longish fare, when they get there, the cabbie able to arrive in decent time, she then having to contemplate how she’d get into Yuichi’s room since no one at front desk was answering, it after midnight, and the lights in all the rooms being off, she then sensing which room it was and climbing to it, but getting stuck, and after a few moments, able to pull herself up, but sustaining an injury. Now bleeding and after take a rest, she knocks on the window, Yuichi answering after a minute, disbelieving he was seeing her at first, but once getting her inside, gives her tea whilst she insisted he eat the katsudon she’d gotten for him. Her original feeling of gloom permeated and dissipated with the memories they’d shared. Before leaving, she finally gets her thoughts out about wanting to be with him, but for him to think on it until he felt better, after the two joke about Yuichi wanting to exude masculinity when Mikage saw him, they part. Mikage is next awoken by footfalls outside her door, she viewing the snowstorm which moved in, and getting up when Sensei called. On their final day of the trip, they had a French menu, Mikage taking a walk on an unbearably cold day on the beach, only warmed by a can of coffee (I’ve had one before, heated with chemicals at the sealed bottom, not bad stuff), when returning and readying a hot shower and tea, Yuichi calls, she informing him of the foodstuffs she’d sent ahead, he declaring he’d be picking her up, and so giving him the information of when and where, contentedly.

This was a wonderful story, quite gripping and entertaining. The fact it didn’t really have chapters didn’t make it difficult to read due to the fascination the writing brought. I’m glad I decided to read this on a whim.

Moonlight Shadow

Hitoshi was given a bell which he carried with him on his case he used as a wallet, the Narrator giving this as a token of love, which he would keep close to him until the end (…of the story?). The two were in the same sophomore committee for a field trip, their time together brief since being in separate groups when arriving, they only spending time together on the train. When they’re about to join their groups, the Narrator, Satsuki (annoyingly not introduced until five pages later) gives Hitoshi a spur-of-the-moment gift of the bell left behind by her cat. She was impressed with his sensitivity in reacting to her present, all day the two thinking of the bell and their shared memory, upon returning, head-over-heels for each other. The bell had stayed with them for almost four years through all the poignant moments of their time together. Then Satsuki confesses to sensing Hitoshi’s fuzziness in reality to her, she considering if this thought was a bad omen of the future, it would be quite unfortunate.

Hitoshi was gone by the time Satsuki was twenty, she drastically changed by his death, feeling something terrible must now occur to her because of her instability. Her connection to him involved many major firsts in her life which they were able to learn together, but now she couldn’t stand living for not having Hitoshi. Satsuki takes up running for two months after Hitoshi’s death (Octopus Pie having a similar story when Hanna takes up running after splitting with Marek, more funny, but still sad), she getting terrible sleep with consistent dreams of Hitoshi. Her depression led to feeling nauseous and instead of becoming anxious for dawn to rise, she’d started jogging. During the day, she would distract herself with buddies, she awaiting the day she’d have her eureka moment. Even after Hitoshi’s death, Satsuki still enjoyed the river which he had lived on the other side of, they meeting on the bridge, frequently. She meditated how these times of rest helped her stay sane for the day.

The next morning she is woken with a nightmare, prepares to run, but finds when doing so, brought difficulty in breathing, deciding to push through it. When reaching the bridge and pouring some tea for herself, she’s snuck up on by a lady asking for a cup (presumptuous), Satsuki dropping her thermos over the ledge, the lady seeming friendly and light-spirited, so once taking a sip herself, offers the woman the rest, she offering to replace the thermos. The woman then states how she’d arrived recently from a fairly distant place to view a sight only seen once a century, she then inquiring if Satsuki knew of this, but when being told she hadn’t, agrees to share what the phenomenon was in some time. Satsuki doesn’t wait though, she realizing she needed to be heading back, then Urara introduces herself, she stating of hopefully seeing her again.

Satsuki thinks how strange Urara was, and when taking a second look at her, sees an expression which changed her features, but smiles and waves again when looking away from the river and sees her staring. She wonders about the type of person she could be as she continues on, then Hiiragi, Hitoshi’s brother is mentioned to stepping to the beat of his own drummer, his eighteenth birthday “this month”. When Satsuki meets him after his class, he was in full sailor girl uniform, Satsuki horrified, but able to act natural for his nonchalance. As they order tea, Satsuki notices a movement Hiiragi did, which reminded her of Hitoshi, the two now having a system of making light of it so as to throw away the sadness they felt. Then it’s elaborated on Hiiragi losing his girlfriend, Yumiko the same night Hitoshi had given her a ride to the train station, whilst Hitoshi not being at fault, both of their lives having been taken.

Hiiragi makes chit chat about her running, then suggests they go to a new spot with delicious tempura on rice, after how the running didn’t seem to help her getting chunky. Satsuki knew she’d been actually losing weight, but plays along, agreeing and then explains how the outfit was Yumiko’s, his late girlfriend, her parents attempting to have him stop, but he having a good laugh over it, Satsuki having asked about it and he explaining it made him hurt less. Satsuki realizes then they had a new expression for their faces which conveyed the attempt to bury the thought of their partners. Then Satsuki states of having to let her parents know she wasn’t coming home for dinner, Hiiragi planning on ordering out for delivery for his mother, she saying how nice the gesture was. When Satsuki had first been informed by Hitoshi of his younger brother, he’d specified how his weirdness made him worry whether it could affect Satsuki still liking him, also mentioning how adult-like he acted except around his family, but Hitoshi also stating it was most likely okay since Hiiragi enjoyed meeting “‘good people'”.

Then back to real time, they about to walk to the place across the river, Satsuki remembering she hadn’t seen Urara since the first morning they met, she getting another hit of pain when Hiiragi thought she’d hesitated and offering to drive her back, his kindness dripping of Hitoshi. Then Satsuki shares of meeting strange Urara, recalling the expression on her face seeming demonic and Satsuki thinking it was because she thought she shouldn’t have human feelings, then comparing how minor her melancholy seemed, wondering if she was in store for worse pain. As they neared the restaurant, they ended up having to go through the cross streets where Hitoshi and Yumiko had their accident, Satsuki and Hiiragi becoming solemn and trying to stay upbeat, she discovering how cells could get the feeling of people from the past, not comprehending the idea before, like when tour guides in castles would offer this possibility. She then begins to consider Hitoshi’s last thoughts and emotions, as well as how it would’ve looked at night and whether this night looked similarly. She noted how beautiful the moon was as Hiiragi nudged her to cross the street. They were eating when Satsuki regained a luster for life caused by the meal, she complimenting it so hard, the employee was embarrassed.

One afternoon, Satsuki had gotten sick, too ill to run, she realizing the phone was ringing and having to pick up for no one else at the house. She’s surprised to learn Urara was calling to see if she could meet up, Satsuki agreeing, but also asking how she’d discovered her number, Urara good-naturedly relating how she wanted it, so it came (synchronicity), Satsuki accepting this due to how she explained it. Urara then informs Satsuki to join her at a department store in the thermos area, Satsuki knowing she shouldn’t leave for her cold, but too intrigued, following her gut. Making sure to dress warmly, Satsuki rides her bicycle, noticing the weather promising spring, everyone outside seeming to go about their business pleasantly, whilst Satsuki remained insouciant, wanting her heart to finish the job of breaking already. When she sees Urara, she notes how she looked closer in age to herself this time, when Urara sees Satsuki, she notices immediately she was sick and getting straight down to showing the different sorts of thermoses available to choose from, she feeling much better for Urara’s exuberance.

After Satsuki detected one, they have tea, she then giving Satsuki a variety of tea to break in the new thermos with since a shop owner closing his shop gave away a bunch to her, Satsuki again grateful. She then asks once more about how Urara had come by her number, she divulging more information about how she’d become proficient in sensing them, allowing her finger to choose without thinking, Satsuki wanting to trust this since she felt like she’d known Urara a long time ago, and her nature made one susceptible to accepting her far-fetched explanations. Satsuki describes her gratitude in a strange way, she being as euphoric as a “lover”, Urara not missing a beat and advising Satsuki feel better by the day after next, Satsuki deducing the phenomenon must be the reason, which Urara admits, also relaying the hour to be at the bridge, she asking about what it could be and Urara finally confiding how if all progressed accordingly, Satsuki may see a kind of supernatural sight, she sensing Satsuki had a deep bond with the river making it more possible she’d succeed in seeing it, whatever it was being unique. Satsuki dazedly finalizes the meeting, she then flashing back to Hitoshi and her last time at the bridge being a fine one, he getting ready for a boys night, Satsuki a healthy amount plumper and much more content. When they say their goodnight’s, Satsuki hears the bell as he walks off. She then confesses how terrible their fights could be, the two also having affairs with others, they both wounding the other countless times, but overall their time together being happy.

Satsuki used to dream how she’d stop him from leaving, the memory consistently having the affect of upsetting her and bottling her pain in public hurting more. As Urara and she split later, she was wishing this something did happen, but also soothing herself with the thought of still being pleased by the both of them being at the river, regardless of the outcome. As she’s about to reach her bicycle, she spots Hiiragi, in normal-wear, she thinking he was playing hooky and instead of calling to him for weakness, walks in his direction, but he going off, fortunately in the direction she needed, unfortunately at a speed she couldn’t equal. Hiiragi soon stops in front of a tennis shop though, Yumiko having played, he blankly staring within, Satsuki not making herself known, she deciding she wouldn’t go up to him, seeing the look of a bird searching for its mother on his face, it being adorable, but also feeling down about how his presence soothed her because of reminding her of Hitoshi. When she had first met Yumiko, she couldn’t imagine the hold she had on Hiiragi, she seeming average in most ways, but for whatever reason, she complimenting him in her way. Hitoshi relays to her it was because of her tennis abilities, they watching a finals game, where the two realized Hiiragi was right, and her friendship to the girl budding, which made the events later even more terrible to think on. Satsuki leaves Hiiragi without saying hello and decides to not mention ever having seen him, her illness getting worse. She awakens from a dream again, still sick and debating her run, wanting dawn to break, instead making tea, returning to her room, and looking out her window to see Urara, whom mimes permission to pass their front gate, she nodding. Urara then explains being on her way home from work, noting how terrible Satsuki looked and offering a vitamin C candy and some comforting advice, afterwards closing her window for her, she feeling better enough to catch a few more z’s.

Satsuki gets much more rest, she awaking early in the evening, questioning whether she’d actually spoken with Urara, also wondering if more horrible nights were in her future, she then surprised by a visit from Hiiragi, whom had called, learned of the sickness from her mother and dropping by to see how she was feeling. He then shows her his get well gift of KFC, enough for them both so it being time to dig in. During this, Hiiragi opens up with letting her know of how concerned he’d been for her and to call him if she felt too alone, glad and surprised he’d said anything. Later, she sleeps better than she had been in a long time, the aid of medicine helping, she next waking at the right hour to prepare her meet up with Urara. She still goes for a run, and Urara is waiting for her at the designated spot, she greeting her warmly and warning her what to do as the time neared, she mentioning of their dimension about to change, and not to move or say anything when they viewed whatever they would see across the river. As the sky lightened, first Satsuki hears a bell, then notices Urara had disappeared, when looking back at the river, she sees Hitoshi at the other shore, breaking down, but not saying a word, he waving to her as his image faded with dawn, she again seeing Urara and telling her how worth the experience had been.

When Urara shares of the Weaver Festival Phenomenon whilst they drank tea in a shop, she explains how the vision was produced, she also having lost a significant other, she then mentioning of seeing Satsuki the first night and deciding to extend the invitation. Satsuki then wonders what plans Urara had next for herself, whom she’d seen, as well as still curious about the sort of person she truly was, unable to say anything to her. Urara states how the moment having allowed them to have a second chance with goodbye’s should ease their minds, Satsuki still in much agony over the memory, she finally inquiring after Urara’s next destination and she giving the vague answer of seeing each other again, as well as knowing Satsuki’s number, they parting, and she considering what Urara had done for her. Satsuki is next waiting at Hiiragi’s school to deliver his birthday present of a record to him, when he dashes out claiming to have seen Yumiko, he not wearing her uniform. He shares how one night he’d been woken up seeing Yumiko walk through his door (after opening it, of course) and taking the sailor suit, she then mouthing, “‘Bye-bye'”, waving, and he going back to sleep, the next morning unable to locate the outfit. When questioning his own sanity lightly, Satsuki suggests he start running when getting those emotions, he cracking up. Then from Hitoshi’s perspective, he states of having to be on the move, then giving an idea of Urara being a part of him and grateful of Satsuki waving goodbye to him.

This was an interesting and odd one, as well, but there’s something about Kitchen where the characters hold one’s attention more, connecting with Mikage, and the goodness of Eriko. Overall worth it, quite an easy read on top of everything, too.

Rose Madder

 https://2aughlikecrazy.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/rose-madder/

A woman, Rose, is having trouble breathing as she sees her husband, Norman after he gets home. She’s pregnant and not having felt a pain similar to this in her life, she hoping nothing is wrong, but feeling like there might be, since it is hinted of Norman having punched her a few times in the stomach. She’s close to miscarrying and he’s on the phone, she thinking of his status as a cop, and in the process of calling an ambulance. She wants to scream in pain, but Norman didn’t allow such noise, and when he ends the call, he regards the mess around them, she showing her bloody fingers in response as he picks up the shredded paperback she’d been reading and placing blame on his temper to it, she knowing he would’ve done the same with anything she could’ve been doing, he prickly because some woman was hassling him. As he dumps the trashed novel, she starts cramping and having thoughts of loathing of him without truly registering them.

When Norman returns, he has such a look and demeanor, she thinks he means to murder her, but instead, handsome Norman approaches to pick her up, after having told the emergency dispatcher he wouldn’t, but he needing the story he gave to stick, so places her at the foot of the stairs. She begins bleeding more profusely as he checks the spot in the corner for blood, then goes to the kitchen and comes out with a sandwich and rag, cleaning up the spot in the corner. When they hear the ambulance approach, he makes certain she knows the story and then has her say what would happen if she mentioned anything else. Before he walks away to get the door, she stops him to ask why he’d done it, he looking scared for a moment, then claiming it was an accident and she’d be able to have another baby. The EMT give her something to make her sleep and she drifts into a dream where she’s running away from something she knew would catch her (Rose doesn’t seem quite strong, she wanting a baby by this numbskull). It’s told she stays in Norman’s crazy world for nine more years.

Rose spends fourteen years with him, in all, she able to ignore most of it since she usually only received four beatings per year, but the Wendy Yarrow year brought twelve, Rose having to be taken to the hospital after the miscarriage for coughing up blood, learning her lung was being poked by a broken rib, and even though the staff didn’t seem to believe her “falling” story, they only patch her up and let her go, it being 1985. Norman knew he skirted getting in trouble though, so intended to be more tactful. It’s then shared of what Rose had gone through with Norman and what finally gets her attention being a spot of blood. She debates whether to change the sheets, she wanting to save some work by moving the pillow over it, most anything to do with how she kept house being under scrutiny for a physical reprimand, he normally careful not to clock her in the face, but when his temper flared, she still having to be careful not to make a mess or be loud in any way. After one of the unruly temper flares, he gauges the damage done to her nose, gets her an ice-filled wash cloth to minimize swelling and bleeding, she noting the next morning it had done the job for the most part, with the exception of this errant drop on the sheet. Rose didn’t look forward to remaking the entire bed since Norman’s favorite spot to punch her was her back, which after fourteen years had begun to leave noticeable signs of her kidney’s being hit. She considers how if she kept allowing this, Norman could kill her, but the worst thought being he may not.

To Rose’s surprise, she began to feel rage and considered leaving, but at the same time attempting to abate the feeling and talk herself out of it for Norman being a decent provider, regardless of being a smidgen temperamental. Rose couldn’t let it go though, since not being able to stop staring at the blood, considering how her life would be after fourteen more years, the damage she could live through, she then walking out of the bedroom, grabbing her bag and struggling to open the door, then deciding to grab their ATM card even whilst her beaten side begged her not to, but the drop of blood giving her drive, then hesitating no longer, walking outside, she ready to get the hell out of there. As she passes the store, she thought of how Norman claimed to have developed his sixth sense and whether she needed to be more careful in being seen, she then noticing his car coming down the street, she thinking of a believable reason for being out, but not needing to for having scared herself needlessly, she determined to turn onto the next street so as to avoid his driving route. She walks along a residential neighborhood, she desperately needing a bathroom and was lucky to choose a home of someone who had been away for a couple of days already, relieving herself in the backyard, she lightening physically and mentally by her actions.

Rosie, as she prefers to be called, walks for almost two hours before locating a pay phone and calling a cab, she buys sunglasses and a kerchief for her hair before it comes, she requesting an ATM and bus depot, meanwhile deciding she’d return to her maiden name, only when necessary using Norman’s. When getting to the ATM, she then struggles with the amount to withdraw, she ending up going for a few bills since she may as well, she in for trouble either way by now. She makes it to the bus depot, again having to work up her motivation to continue, she entering the building and trashing the card, it being noticed and fished, after she’d moved on, and once getting to the ticket window, contemplates a name to give, she flubbing up and saying the fake name rather than where she wanted to go, feeling quite out of place for not having socialized outdoors for fourteen years. She gets her ticket, though and once on the bus and out of sight of the police station, she relaxing to the point of dozing and seems to enter the Territories, at first sight tranquil, but then sensing wild creatures, and what ends up jerking her awake is the thought of Norman’s fist coming at her, and whilst relieved to be away from him, she knew she couldn’t slip up from covering her tracks, she not certain he wouldn’t still detect her whereabouts, but ready for whatever she found ahead.

Rosie’s first few weeks were tough, but she didn’t have second thoughts, regardless of being fear-stricken. When she’d gotten to the second bus terminal, she didn’t entertain the thought of walking outside so early in the morning, thinking the worst if she did, so heads for a seat as two cops pass, she hoping they’d leave her alone until dawn broke in a few hours. At four, she gets some cereal and coffee at the cafeteria, she then spotting a customer service desk, and debating whether to ask for assistance, she deciding to go for it, and the man attentive enough to ask about her vague plans, nothing coming of it, and she asking for his opinion, he offering her his card where he wrote the address of a battered women’s shelter on the back, then giving her directions so she could go at daylight. When she walks off the bus in the morning, to continue on foot, she loses her way and the people around didn’t look friendly to ask for directions, she walking in the wrong direction for three hours, then regaining some familiarity when recognizing where she’d started. The first person she asks about directions isn’t accommodating, but at least solidifies the truth of the place being known and when seeing a shop, is told how she was sixteen to eighteen blocks away. When she finally gets to the right street, her second encounter with a citizen in regards to whether she was close to the cross street she was looking for again began badly, she learning nothing, but does eventually get there, turning the wrong way, but righting herself, and reaching the house. When buzzing the door, she is instructed to show the business card given, she finally allowed inside.

As Norman contemplates his first move to locating Rosie, she was being led to Anna, the proprietress, when first arriving, given a meal, allowed to sleep, then another meal before seeing her, whom upon getting Rosie’s name, asks for the details of how she’d left. Anna then informs Rosie how long she could stay, if needed and how Providence had led her there like in a Charles Dickens novel, then she asks about Rosie’s skills which makes her break down for not knowing or able to do much, but Anna taking it lightly and offering her a job at a partnering hotel. She assigns her a counselor to shadow, then making clear Rosie is getting the chance to free herself from Norman, officially welcoming her. Three weeks later, Norman gets a lead from the guy, Ramon, whom Rosie passes in the bus station rummaging for the bank card, he now confronting Norman in the park as he relayed how he’d been instructed to meet him out there, the man having been arrested on a drug charge and the ATM card found on him.

The man was now sensing the trouble he was in with Norman, but getting offered being let go for his help, Norman doing a fairly odd thing after noting Ramon being gay, he feeling him up and talking about how he was going to be his good buddy since being laughed about by some cops he knew and then began squeezing Ramon’s boner in a vice grip. Ramon was glad he was able to answer Norman’s questions of what window and time she was in the station, not saving himself much pain. Norman then plans his next move of tracking her on weekends until he was free, he certain he’d detect her whereabouts easily enough and how he was going to teach her a severe lesson when he did. After being away for a month Rosie was noticing her physical changes for the better, working at the Whitestone Hotel. She liked how she knew what would happen throughout her day, she taking a banana break in the room she was finishing turning down, Pam sticking her head in and scaring Rosie, but asking if she wanted to join forces on the last two rooms, she taking her up on it and treating her to coffee and pie after. Rosie is content with her current set up, but expecting soon not having Norman around will be enough, she readying for the time it’ll be her turn to vacate the shelter as she drifts to sleep at night.

The next Wednesday, Pam leaves Rosie after work for not feeling well, she denying Rosie should accompany her in preference of she going to get coffee independently. Rosie then notices her wedding band, having forgotten she could get rid of it if she chose, but after seeing Pam off, walks to the cafe, but passing it as she became distracted by her memory of the pervert whilst she’d been lost her first day in the city. A young man stops her before she mindlessly walked into a busy street, she then aware how far past the cafe she’d gone, but as she approached the coffee shop, she decides to return home instead, then noticing the pawn shop, carefully deciding to see what her ring would fetch since she had no fond memories nor reservations holding her back, instead thinking about paying for her time at Daughters and Sisters hopefully having enough for herself after. When she guesses it actually wasn’t worth much, her thoughts confirmed by the young man behind the counter, she keeps it as a reminder to not be gullible again. As she makes her way out, a picture seems to grab her attention, of a woman on a hill, which she gravitated to for the new place she was going to get.

Rosie walks back with the painting and asks the young man if he’d be willing to trade for the ring as an older man watched, and when he agrees, Rosie is ecstatic, the two men discussing the odd qualities of the painting, she thinking about when she’d be able to hang it. Then, Rosie wished to complete the transaction so she could leave, the young man agreeable and wrapping it up. The older man follows her outside, introducing himself and asking she read a couple passages from a book, she at first guarded, but after the first paragraph, curious. When she had finished, Rob was delighted with her reading, she shocked when he gave her a job offer. Meanwhile, Norman had cleaned his desk of all unnecessary trash, he having specific thoughts on black people’s abilities when it came to work ethic, which he’d learned from his pappy. His home had switched roles, it looking bomb-blasted with trash whilst is desk at work was clean as a whistle. Norman had apparently been promoted, getting a real office, his bust going perfectly, he considering how his desk being this clean would have only come about if he’d been fired.

Norman then recalls how his assumption Rosie wouldn’t go far from her childhood town had set him back, he unable to know for certain which bus she’d taken, and whilst his job had taken a turn for the better, he was obsessed with the idea it canceled out with Rosie still missing, he having been blind by thinking she wouldn’t leave, the amount she took meaning nothing, only concerned with she having taken something of his, and he owing retribution. He also thought back to the women he’d had sex with since Rosie left, one in particular not living through it, he choking her when she resembled Rosie for a moment, but not being concerned after she’d died since he’d taken care of murders committed before. He then considered if Rosie knew of this, but shrugging it off, instead going through the meticulous process of tracking her down. He enlisted help from a neighboring city’s police station on false pretenses, nothing coming of it. As he readied to move his office belongings to his new office, he gets a call from the bus cashier, he remembering the odd way Rosie had asked for a ticket, Norman now feeling the upper hand returning, and easing him.

Rosie saw Pam sitting whilst watching an overweight, but muscle-y Gert with a punk-looking Cynthia, Gert teaching her self-defense, which she did for anyone who wanted to learn, Rosie having been taught some moves she didn’t expect to use, but appreciating Gert’s kindness and interest in her mentoring. As Rosie sat with Pam and relayed her time after Pam had gone home, Gert flipped Cynthia, whom squealed upon the take-down giddily, bouncing back quickly, Pam wanting to hear more about the younger guy than giving her opinion on the painting Rosie tried to focus her on. Gert was encouraging Cynthia to help flip her in return, Cynthia exhilarated once succeeding, Anna then walking in and sobering her victory with how she had only aided Gert’s body to follow it’s own inertia. Rosie then asked her opinion of the picture when she’d shown interest, there now seven ladies staring and not saying a word until Rosie prompts a response, feeling awkward, receiving the similar opinion of it being strange. Soon, Cynthia is relating a story where she’d had a similar experience to Rosie’s in regards to a picture her mother owned, drawing her in, she not knowing what happened to the painting, but guessing her mother had trashed it. Anna then states Rosie needed to come to the office with her after she told them all about her new job offer, she admitting it may regard what Rosie had been waiting for.

Anna describes the studio Rosie would be getting being one of their better ones, Rosie overcome with happiness in moving forward. Anna then asks after how Rosie was feeling in regards to Norman attempting to locate her, Daughters and Sisters policy being to not discuss where anyone relocated to, with outsiders. Anna prompts Rosie to go through how she’d deal with the possibility he did find her, they moving on to her financial stability to maintain the apartment and her new job’s unknown stability as of yet, until she started, she not knowing, but believing it will pan out, she also knowing she had back ups on the off chance it fell through. Anna lets her know she could move in the next day if she chose and hoped she would attend the upcoming picnic, she continuing to study the painting and noting how the painter hadn’t signed it and the printing of ‘Rose Madder’ on the back seemed much newer than the picture, it looking 40 years or older.

Norman leaves by bus, the day before Rosie begins her new position, he ignoring how much her ditching him had affected him, and needing to infiltrate her mind once more, quickly. He allows himself to blind himself to the fact it was about how he hadn’t sensed her movements and less about the card theft. He attempts to track when she could’ve decided her escape and how long she planned it out. Once on the bus though, trying to sense which seat she’d have chosen, he then going over how much effort telepathy took in practice. As he traveled, he attempts to retrace her steps at the rest stops as well, he repeating his new mantra and eager in imagining he was underneath her bed so he could stab her. When arriving at the final stop, he gauges what her next step would’ve been, distracting himself for a moment with the thought some low-life could’ve killed her before he could, but then getting back on track and after doing a step-for-step of Rosie’s movements, learns the information desk man’s name, then goes to a cab where he’s taken to The Whitestone. Meanwhile, Rosie is slowly becoming overwhelmed by the actual doing of her new job, fear setting in when sitting in the recording booth. Thoughts breaking her self-worth returning as she starts talking herself out of succeeding, worse case scenarios in how she’d survive crashing on her, as well. Then, thought’s of her picture motivated her to sit down as asked, gaining courage by thinking of the woman in the picture, and once talking to allow the sound engineer to level the console, everyone looking pleased with Rosie’s speaking voice. She has one more thought of insecurity before action, but begins her lines like a champ.

When finished for the day, Rosie goes to Daughters and Sisters to update them of her day, she still riding the buzz and even agreeing to ask shop owners in her area  to post their fliers to sell tickets for the picnic and concert, also to remember to mention they weren’t gay and didn’t harbor underage runaways, a couple of the reasons sales were low. Rosie knew she wouldn’t be putting it in those terms, but would talk them up as best she could, she again reveling in being on her own.  She then thinks for a moment, in the painting, the woman’s toga’s creases had changed, but deciding she’d tricked herself, now talking aloud to her like she would a good buddy about how she sensed she had needed to prove to the director she could do the work. When she looked outside, the car she saw pull up didn’t bother her like it normally would, she then distracted by seeing more of one of the two “gods'” faces, thinking then the painting had expanded, but realizing it actually seemed more like she’d gotten a widescreen view and this helped her discovery of new statues in the picture. Rose froze when the light, rapid knocking began, she kicking herself for not locking the door and putting off buying a phone for a better deal, but does remember her groceries containing some cans, and after grabbing the largest, announces of coming.

Norman is then shown on his hotel bed smoking, back-story of when he’d started and how Rosie’s family had died, following. Norman not having felt bad for them since Rose’s father in particular had tended to ask probing questions Norman didn’t deem viable as he was no longer in charge of his daughter. Then it’s told of Norman picking up his two pack a day habit after eleven years, he planning on quelling his stress with smoke and control over his style of divorce. Norman then readied to leave, he feeling charmed in his chances of detecting Rosie, he taking the bus for anonymity and once getting out, uses his map to guide himself to Information desk man, Peter’s home. When he gets to the door, he thinks about how his plan involved the man not speaking to anyone after he was finished, so he not bothering with a face mask, and when Peter answers the door, he senses Norman was bad news, but couldn’t shut his door in time, Norman kicking it closed behind him and similarly threatening to assault him the way he had Ramon. He proceeds to locate oven mitts, then leads Peter to his cellar, Norman satisfied with his results, but needing to dispose of his shirt and mitts later.

Bill Steiner, from the pawn shop waited outside Rose’s door with flowers, she having made such an impression, he was unnerved by attempting to ask her out, and intrigued as well as smitten as he’d been before holding out the flowers as a peace-offering when she opened the door with her raised can of fruit in the air. Rosie ended up agreeing to the date out of relief for not needing to use the fruit-weapon, as he drove, she now paranoid of Norman catching her, but when seeing the warm atmosphere of the restaurant, it receding temporarily, flaring up again when her ‘Norman voice’ begins talking her out of staying, she then visualizing her picture and calming. Rosie confesses of being fine after Bill inquires, adding she was a bit afraid, which once Rosie elaborates of Bill being the second man she’s been out with, he announcing of feeling similarly, they then led to a booth. They first discussed how he’d gotten Rosie’s address, he automatically calling her Rosie to her delight, they then discussing some important topics about Rosie’s marital status and the two vowing to be up front with the other, Bill to Rosie, and the latter to herself in return to Bill. Their chat turns to lighter interests as their night progressed, thoughts of Norman only invading as Bill walked her to her door. She debates asking him in, but when doing so, is declined, he again mentioning how strongly he was affected by her. When he asks for a second date, Rosie is again flattered, but then remembers the picnic, she passing along this revelation, and he offering to drive her back before her t-shirt selling shift, which still made her first instinct to pass up the offer, but the Rose Madder picture making her want to match the imagined bravery of the figure, so instead consents and also has him agree to stay at the concert with her, Bill all for it and suggesting a coat due to chill in the morning, then leaving on a charged excitement.

After she secures the door, she notices another change in the painting, some trees now visible on one side with the statue and a pony with cart and possible other person on the other. As she readied for bed, she thought only of her date, then dreams between sleep and wakefulness about the little girl she doesn’t have and the man, Richie Bender whom had caused all the issues of 1985 in some way, then going deeper into unconsciousness. Norman was also going to sleep, only three miles from Rosie, he also thinking of Richie Bender, the reason being he the one accused of a shooting in Payless. A clerk pointed him out and gave detailed directions to his motel room where Norman and his partner found Wendy Yarrow, they physically and sexually assaulting her and Norman sustaining scratches the two claim she’d made. They close, but not locating Richie Bender’s room, their official reprimand in regards to the excessive force of her broken fingers. Norman then vows to deal with Rose and proceeds to fall asleep. As Rosie was drifting off (one thing I’m getting annoyed with being these overlapped time-frames, also happening in Firestarter), she thinks of the Wendy Yarrow case after she’d found a lawyer, on the course to making more trouble by filing a civil case. She’s discovered murdered in an obvious crime of passion, multiple stab wounds and cut bosom. When Rosie had heard the story, she puts together what had happened, she going deeper into sleep as her thoughts turn to Bill, smelling grass sleepily and thinking it was from the park, but then when thunder and crickets are heard, realizing she’d closed her window and had seen a clear night earlier.

In the late afternoon of a Wednesday, Rosie was on feeling grand as she got a cup of coffee at the cafe, a bit out of her way now, but comfortable with the spot, she reveling in knowing the fact they wanted her for the readings of the other novels in the series. Then she recalls how she’d been told by Rhoda, the director whilst she snuck a smoke in the bathroom, relaying to Rosie of Robbie planning on offering her a contract, but to watch out for herself and not sign only for gratitude, she attempting to make her realize how much talent she had, Rosie halfway believing, but also becoming annoyed by her attempt to instill caution. Rhoda then makes clear what Rosie should ask for, the number shocking her, Rhoda asking how she’d gotten such vocal control without being a singer, Rosie recalling the times she’d had to manager her breathing for pain. Rob calls to set up a lunch meeting with her, afterwards getting similar advice from Curtis, the sound guy, then thinking about her date and bright future as she finished her pastry. Meanwhile, Pam finished her shift and was heading toward the cafe, Norman waiting for the walk sign with her, she feeling an aversion due to his eyes, and Rosie promptly getting a second tea for no particular reason. Norman was looking at Pam’s butt, glancing inside the cafe she’d walked into, seeing Rosie without knowing, she resembling Rose Madder.

Pam doesn’t recognize her at first, either, but yelps when it hits her, and the two take their drinks to their old table, Rosie sharing her good news and accepting another pastry, even though she planned on keeping off the fifteen pounds she’d lost after getting to the city. Pam was still processing Rosie’s new look in shock, her face looking younger and the blonde hair apparently working on her, seeing how Rosie had copied Rose Madder’s style, and deducing Rosie having met someone, she bursting out laughing in reply. When Rosie’d walked home for her energized happiness, she remembered how she’d dreamed she and Bill were riding his bike in the scenery of the painting, she forgetting the magic word which had made them fly, but then undoing the French braid she’d given herself, she hearing a cricket, catching it, and rationalizing how this is the cricket she must’ve heard last night, her inner voice mentioning how it’d sounded like an orchestra of them, then before dumping it out the window, she realized the cricket couldn’t have hitched a ride on Bill, and when the cricket jumps, she discovers two dead ones along with a pink clover, slowly looking at the painting, the pony now seen grazing. It didn’t taker her long to start thinking the evidence she’d collected came from her picture, and whilst she knew it was a mad way to think, she believed it, the idea most likely receding if other people were present, but currently the fantastic supposition sticking.

Rosie examined the picture closely at her kitchen counter, the back where the paper had writing, crinkling more than before when she had touched it. She reached for a knife as her timid conscience urged her to stop, she hesitating a moment longer before carefully cutting it, some dead and one live cricket falling out with a dead leaf, some more clover flowers, and grass. She then continues to trace the outer edge of the backing with her knife, and with removing the paper, detects more dead insects and some gray hairs she deduced was from the pony. Rosie then thinks matter-of-factly to herself of her obvious loss of common sense once more. She decides to separate picture from frame, she probing the naked canvas until her phone’s ring scares the bejesus out of her. She picks up to hear Anna preparing to deliver some news which may or may not involve her. After hearing what she relays, Rosie hangs up before deciding whether she was going to spend her night at Daughters and Sisters, calling Bill to inform him of not being able to see him, not wanting to explain, and after hanging up, revealing her thoughts of belief it was Norman, and he’d murdered Anna’s ex, Peter. Norman was setting himself up with a mild disguise before heading to Daughters and Sisters. He remembered the aches he’d woken up with which stemmed from his fastly regretted time with Peter, it not in the paper yet, but knowing a man like Peter would be looked for soon enough, and then he seeing the paper a day later to note his thoughts  had been realized, the story covered on the front page. Norman also does his research about the Daughters and Sisters organization, learning Anna’s connection to Peter, he sensing the ladies would be quite careful now. Norman reaches the house, walking on the sidewalk across the street from it, getting a good eyeful in small doses, keeping his pace leisurely. He’s briefly noticed by Cynthia, he having to calm himself before returning her wave, he then moving along. He stays deep in thought as he walks away, soon stress-biting his finger until it bled, he then noticing a sign for fresh rolls, and the Daughters and Sisters flier.

Rosie wasn’t having a productive day at work due to her almost sleepless night, Rhoda calling an early lunch and Rosie attempting to make she and Curtis believe she’d do better at noon. When she gets to the lobby, Bill is waiting for her. She’s at first uncertain and scared, but when he confesses of being unable to do as she’d bid, she is overwhelmed with being in unknown territory, but when he gives her an opening for a hug, she takes it automatically. As they walk, she confides how happy she was he’d come to see her, she beginning to share the fear she’d had about Norman being close, but first has him buy them a couple hot dogs before getting down to the grit. After she had a bite, she has a moment to think he’d stop talking to her after this, but decides to dive in, starting with how they’d met. By the end, she’d shared Anna’s information, the police not having released the killer having bitten Peter over thirty six times, she expecting Bill to ask why she’d put up with him for so long, but instead inquiring whether she thought Norman had killed Wendy Yarrow, she thinking it possible, but then having to get back for being five minutes late. As they go, she explains her worry about Anna thinking Norman could be dealt with like any other abusive husband, and why Rosie wouldn’t go to the police like Bill had suggested, she also explaining how another women’s group had gathered intelligence on Norman, and Daughters and Sisters now knew what he looked like. The conversation winds down as they reach her building and are met by Rhoda and Curt outside. Rosie introduces them to Bill and he takes the opportunity to finalize their plans to go out Saturday, Rosie reluctantly agreeing and he walking off, Rhoda remarking on his charming looks.

On Thursday, Rosie calls Anna to make certain she hadn’t heard anything more about Norman, this being so, and relaying the remembrance for Peter happening on the same day as the picnic, then realistically explaining to Rosie about how common it was for battered women to believe their spouse capable of murder, the two moving on to other topics after. Rosie then attempts to sleep, but is distracted by the noise of a baby’s cry, thunder, crickets, and lightning, finally getting to sleep, but being woken by a bright flash and thunder, when looking at her window, seeing a real scene of the painting, her view of the street replaced. Rosie ignored her conscience as she steps into the picture-no-longer-picture. After stepping through and looking back for her bedroom, it wasn’t there, an easel and painting of Rosie in her outfit for the outing with Bill in front of her, she unnerved as she also sees the pony and a woman with it in front of her now, whilst Rose Madder still looked down at the temples. The young woman reassures the pony didn’t mean to startle her when he’d bumped his head into her, she recognizing the lady as Wendy Yarrow, now certain she was dreaming.

When she hears the baby cry for a moment again, Wendy warns Rosie not to look straight at Rose Madder after hearing her call to her, which Rosie then turns to approach, noting something odd about her hairline, Rosie unaware she was meeting her twinner, but getting the gist when she showed Rosie her scar, which she had on the opposite hand. Rose Madder then relates how she would return whatever Rosie did for her, then requesting she bring her baby to her. Rose Madder bids Rosie go to the temple, Wendy accompanying her only so far, since also having what Rose Madder had, only not as bad, yet. Wendy warns her of the bull, Erinyes whom guarded the temple which hurt Rosie’s eyes to look at, Wendy instructing her to rip two strips of her gown, using one to wrap a rock in as the rain began to fall. Wendy cuts herself and soaks a piece of cloth, then instructs Rosie on what she must do with it as she uses the second cloth to cover her wound.

Rosie is urged to walk through the temple and not to stop until through it, it unable to harm her for only containing spirits. She then relates how Rosie would get to the baby and return to Rose Madder, but to be careful of Erinyes. She walks, uncomfortably naked and cold to the temple, the statue’s face is of the perv outside the bar, when she enters, she’s still quite cold, recognizing the details inside to the church she used to attend and against Wendy’s advice, picks up a book, which smelled terrible upon opening. She walks through to the dead garden to the stream where the stepping stones lay, she considering drinking for the thirst and the possibly upside in forgetting all, but thinking of Bill keeping her moving and across, she entering a forest where the trees looked like they had shrieking faces on the trunks, finally seeing the tree in the clearing with the fruit. She collects quite a few as she’s overwhelmed by the wonderful aroma, saving herself in time, she almost licking her fingers. She then walks toward the tunnel with the word “Maze” above it, the baby’s cries now infrequent. After getting down the over 200 steps, she debates which of the four break-offs from the main tunnel she should take, bringing back her extremely loud cry she’d not used since childhood, the baby screaming and the bull hearing, moving as well, but Rosie deciding on which tunnel and starting through.

When Rosie reaches another spot where she must decide which passage to choose, it dawns on her why she had the seeds, she placing one at the next tunnel she tries, but it being a dead end, so replaces it at a different entrance. Rosie had been doing this for some time when she begins to see a heightened brightness, now having only three seeds left. Finally though, she sees the baby, she wondering whom she truly was and whom had left her there, but letting this go as she picks up the child and is readying to leave when Erinyes detects her, it taking Rosie a few moments to figure out what she must do, unwrapping the rock and tossing it away from the tunnel she needed, streaking for it (no pun intended) as Erinyes charged. Rosie makes it a bit away until Erinyes almost catches up, but Rosie continues on with no real trouble, only scaring herself when not seeing a seed she thought she’d put down at first, eventually locating it and going on. She reaches the steps and gets out with only minor aches, retracing her steps to the stones at the stream, what had previously drawn her to drink, not affecting her at all, then seeing what looked like many vultures perched on the temple, moving away as she stared and once out, being urged by Wendy to return the baby, she now hesitating, but reassured by Wendy to follow through, Rose Madder giving Rosie her armlet and stating of she and Norman divorcing, but to be careful outside her realm.

Rosie goes back to her world, sleeping and when awoken by her alarm, unable to remember why she was naked or where her terrible aches came from. She showers, only half remembering the warning of not to taste her red fingers, she thorough in cleaning them and when seeing the painting again, is surprised to see birds in the sky above the temple and the clouds gone, she not willing to pause on what else was missing and storing the painting, at least temporarily in the closet. When she’d met with Robbie, she gets her contract offer which she decides to think over, and as she goes to the studio, she realizes Rose Madder’s armlet had been missing. When she returns home, she discovers the armlet and the piece of her nightie which carried the seeds, with the three seeds still remaining within, under her bed, Rosie then reminded of Rose Madder’s promise. Before she had been transported to the supposed Territories, Norman had been lying in his bed as well, wondering how Rosie had found the balls to run, he then thinking how she was probably whoring herself out for not having experience doing anything else. When he’d woken from an odd dream-filled night, he sees Rosie walking through the temple (Rosie’s feeling of Norman watching her being closer to the truth than she wanted to admit), he thinks about what he’d do if he found her with a guy. After seeing her walk into the maze, he’s visited by Rose Madder and then wakes, thinking of how he’d keep eyes on the park and sensing Rosie wouldn’t be the only one watching out for him. As he’s in the lobby, Pam passes him again with two other maids, talking about the concert, he praising the luck he’d caught when confirming it was Pam whom knew.

Norman’s next move was in hot-wiring a car in the long-term parking of the airport, after getting the car washed, he stops at an army surplus store and purchases a taser, then goes to a barber to get his hair shaved off, afterwards having trouble recognizing himself. He then drives to a secondhand clothing shop, people staring at his head, which didn’t bother him since they wouldn’t remember his face. He buys a motorcycle jacket and plans on immediately returning to his room to sleep, before doing so though, hitting a gift shop at the Women’s Cultural Center and Museum. Once back at the hotel, he has no further motive then to get to his room for the migraine he’d built up. He falls unconscious, his headache following a ways, but then he getting deep enough to ditch the pain, and upon waking refreshed, thinks of Rosie needing to wake up to view the last sunrise she’ll ever witness. Rosie does as she’s told, waking a little after four A.M., scared Norman was in her room, she calming when seeing she was alone, looking at the armlet, not knowing where she’d come to possess it. Eventually, her thoughts turn to getting ready and once seeing Bill parked, goes down to meet him. He gives her his father’s riding jacket since her sweater was estimated not being warm enough, once getting set up with jacket and helmet, the two setting off.

Rosie gradually started with liking to loving the ride, and once getting to the lake, quite impressed with the deserted tranquility. They move the cooler, then Bill leads her to a spot where a vixen and cubs were resting, the two heading back after watching them for a bit. When Bill began setting out their spread, the amount of food brought, made Rosie giggle hysterically, he letting her know he’d wanted to be certain she’d enjoy her meal, he giving some history on his modest love life and how he’d fallen for her, then suggesting they dig in. Afterward, they sit on a rock and fool around for awhile, Bill insisting they walk it off, he not wanting to be interrupted or have it done in such an unromantic way (either a true gentleman or not having a rubber), then returning to the campsite after seeing some flowers and a woodpecker in a meadow. They get to the park on time, foreshadowing of Rosie looking back on her joy-filled moment upon seeing the sign turning into intense fear later, upon reminiscence.

Norman was currently parking the car a good distance away from any traffic which could effect his plans, then preparing the wheelchair he bought with female friendly bumper stickers and his new identity’s back story. He goes over his plan for discovering her and what he’d do when he did (some words not having been caught as the wrong one by a careless editor). Best case scenario, he’d get her after she’d arrived home, he following her, worst, if she spotted him and he ending her on the spot. When he paid his entrance fee and wheeled away, the ticket guy kept calling him back since he’d paid too much, Norman getting on himself for already bringing unwanted attention to himself. He does fairly well after, but gets nervous when not seeing Rosie at noon. Meanwhile, Gert had taken notice of him, but hadn’t placed him, yet. Norman had ridden through the grounds, making himself scarce as the women sat for lunch, his migraine returning with his continual paranoia, his knowledgeable inner voice keeping him calm and supplying a new tactic. Gert was talking herself out of thoughts of whom she’d seen being Norman, but decides to check so she didn’t continue to feel bothered. She attempts to have the ticket guy help her, but he wasn’t feeling particularly welcoming, only getting how the man he’d helped had forgotten what price to pay, she next wanting to locate the ladies she’d seen speaking with him, but none currently within sight.

Norman’s new plan involved staking out the restrooms, he letting himself out of his chair out of view of anyone. He waits for a lady to come to the bathroom by herself, it almost being one of the ladies he’d spoken with earlier, but Gert calling her back, Cynthia now being the target, he catching her before she walked in. Gert’s conversation with Lana shows how she was the first to identify Norman, whilst Cynthia was being sexually assaulted. Gert was then on her way to the restroom when she heard the threat from behind the building. She was readying to knock Norman out when he turned, she catching his face (Grendel being mentioned in regards to Norman’s look). Cynthia doesn’t move for being in shock, Norman now taunting Gert, she estimating her best move was to egg him on, and when she interrupted his constant insults and movement, he goes after her, she gets the upper hand until he is able to wriggle away after she peed on him after having needed to since confronting the ticket guy, Norman charging again, but Cynthia tripping him up. Gert goes after him once he retrieves his taser, she throwing the wheelchair at him to disarm him, Cynthia failing to warn her in time to save her from the taser’s bite, but after, he didn’t have enough time to do much more since security was approaching, he walking toward the rides. Rosie had made her way to the hospital, locating Gert where she updates her of Cynthia being tended to, unaware of the policemen’s presence until Gert introduces her to one. She’s overwhelmed for a moment, then resigns to confiding to the Lieutenant of what she knew.

Norman was struggling to get his head around what Gert had done to him as he walked, remembering his decision to flee having to do with his own pain more than the approach of people, he attempts to quiet his mind as he desperately thought about needing to end her. His mind flitted back and forth between sanity, he noticing the attention he was getting, but after turning between two amusement areas, gets a kid’s mask to cover his face with. After reaching the car again, he begins to hope Gert’s voice won’t be a fixture in his head, now. Once Norman had gotten out of the parking lot, he hears a voice from the mask confide of Rosie’s make out session, he then stating what he planned on doing to her when he found her. He remembers Pam after, and plans on getting the information he wanted this time. Rosie is accompanied by Gert as they are driven by the Lieutenant and his partner to the station, Bill following. Norman has made it back to the parking garage, he deciding on keeping the “lucky” bull mask, the next moment he’s aware, being of getting Pam back into the housekeeping room, but before he can succeed gaining any information, Pam has one helluva nasty accident, Norman finishing her off. After dropping her on a pile of sheets, he notices a key on her bracelet, takes it and looks for her locker, after searching through her purse and detecting her key card and code, he leaves.

Meanwhile, despite the detectives mellow attitudes, Rosie is scared and angry, they repeatedly having Gert go through the events, and once finished, focusing on Rosie. Norman had found himself down the street from Daughters and Sisters, he noticing he’d changed his clothes, still had the mask, but not his gun, then planning what he’d do if coming across residents (which he thinks of handling by shooting with his forgotten revolver…) or police, not thinking about the possibility of all being quiet, which it was. After speaking to Ferdinand the Bull (of whom is shown on the cover), he’s reassured, yet disappointed the ladies hadn’t been more affected by him. Once overcoming his hesitation of it possibly being a set up, he enters, no one bothering him. He looks around and discovers Anna’s office, then seeing a basket of outgoing mail, he sees a letter to Rosie, and whilst he’s reading it, hears the house alarm go off as someone comes in. Anna is then followed before she enters the house, she going over how painstaking the ceremony had been, she having only stayed for knowing her movements would be scrutinized, also not having answered her three pages, deciding to check her answering machine when she got in. She doesn’t notice anything wrong until seeing her door slightly open, and when trying the light and it doesn’t turn on, Norman catches her, biting her after closing the door.

Rosie finishes her interview and the Lieutenant again vows to get Norman, he also informing her of police cars being stationed at and around her home. As Gert was taken back to the park by a police car, Rosie and Bill planned on heading to her place. When they get there and she’s heading for the door, it doesn’t occur to her until she’d unlocked the lobby door, realizing the cop she heard coming up behind them wasn’t the one the Lieutenant had sent. Norman is shown washing off at Daughters and Sisters before his mind jumps ahead again to Rosie’s apartment, he wearing a new coat, and wondering what he’d do about the cops. Once receiving the idea from Ferdinand again, he tricks both cops by getting them to approach after faking a heart attack, taking out the elder one, then the younger, whilst the older cop stumbled off, no one having seen anything, yet. Norman manages to lead the older cop back to the car where he stuffs him in the trunk, then returns to the younger one to strangle him to death before depositing him into the passenger seat. Norman blacks out again and next notes he’d done something to the entrance light, the next time he blacks out, coming to as he’s grasping at Bill, he ready to choke him. As he’s proceeding, Rosie finds courage and strength with the armlet, throwing him off, then attempting to get Bill to her room, Norman stops them with gunshots, which helped him see where they were, then coming at them.

Rosie blocks his way temporarily, getting herself and Bill up the stairs, she even able to kick Norman back down once he’d grabbed her leg. When she gets to her door, Norman catches up and again tries strangling Bill, Rosie turning back to stop him, he biting her hand, but she breaking his jaw. When she gets them both into her apartment, she realizes she hadn’t been wearing the armlet which she thought had lent her strength, but their danger was still close, Norman ramming the door after she’d locked them inside, she pulling Bill to the closet when the painting opened up for them. Norman’s perspective is switched to during his hang up on the stairs with the “coat-tree”, all the way to when Rosie dislocated his jaw, of which he resets. When finally getting into Rosie’s room, he fires twice at the shower before seeing the way they exited. He looks to the other world, he feeling he was seeing through one eye-hole as he wore the mask, and after stepping through, still seeing through a single eye, he realizes he couldn’t remove the mask.

As Bill and she look around, he questions whether what he saw was real, but before being able to answer, Wendy calls to Rosie to bring Bill down to her, informing them how close Norman was and Rosie needing to participate in essential ways. After partially carrying Bill to her, Wendy shares of how much she’d gotten done, which Rosie only half understood, the two then helping Bill move toward the Temple, but around to the back where a similar looking tunic for Rosie hung, she hesitant in dressing, but as Norman closes in, she does as Wendy relays, Rose Madder having made the command for Rosie to fulfill. She knows the part she must play and calls for Norman, Wendy assuring them Rose Madder would handle the rest. Bill is quite confused by their knowing exchange, Rosie leaving him with Wendy as she readied to lure Norman, the two hearing her baiting statements to him, he and Wendy thinking for a moment Norman wouldn’t go through the Temple, but around it, their fears appeased when hearing sounds to prove he was inside. Next, Norman’s perspective shows his terror of being stuck with the mask on his face, but Rosie’s sweater and jacket distracting him from this, especially when hearing her call him. As he follows her voice, it’s shown he’s distracted by the statue outside looking like his father, which Bill and Wendy had been confused by his one-sided statements to, but again, Rosie distracts him, he getting the sensible voice suggesting he go back and await her return at her apartment, Norman ignoring this since anticipating the cops to come and how Rosie was speaking to him with such disrespect; His final decision made once reading the sign above the Temple.

As Norman goes through what looked like Rosie’s hometown church, he kills a bat which comes at him, and Rosie gets his attention by commenting on it, he charging at her as she stood in the dead garden. When Rosie sees him coming, she at first can’t move, but gets herself going by remembering a terrible memory, getting across the stream, but sliding back toward it after she’d made it across. When Norman sees this and her look of panic at getting near the water, he doesn’t think much of it, finding it amusing, but after seeing her make it to the crest of the incline and flip him off, he notes her concern and is careful upon crossing. He sees Rosie watching him and then is caught by the naked boy statue, Norman running to take advantage of his good luck, Rosie becomes angered by the boy’s rude questions and gets him off her by punching him, but now Norman is quite close, he brushing her tunic strap, but Rosie getting a good lead after a short while, and they again meeting at the dead tree, Norman giving her a chance to give in, but she continuing on and when next he hears her, Rosie’s voice sounds slightly different. When she reaches the entrance to the maze, Rose Madder instructs her to go partially down the steps so she didn’t have to witness what would come next, unless she truly wanted.

As Norman neared, he thought he’d heard Rosie speaking, which made him hope Gert were there to be slayed, as well. Rosie currently ached for Norman’s death to come quickly so she could move on with her life, and when Norman sets eyes on Rose Madder, he notices small differences in her body type and attitude, but considers it meant he’d have to refresh her memory of what she needed to act like, her back still turned from him. After he’d commented on the reason she’d dyed her hair and she’d stated of the brown color being the dye job, he is incensed for being opposed, but then wonders where the person she’d spoken to had gone (hopefully, not believing he’d get a rock “chunk”-ed at him). When he demands Rosie turn to him, his gun out, the mask doesn’t feel like a mask anymore and his vision is darkening as Rosie turns and he sees her blackened skin as she states of Erinyes breaking the rule of the bull having exited the maze meaning he’d be put to death. Rosie Madder turns to Norman and what he sees brings terror and shrieking, she biting him (reminding me of American Gods, a bit). Whilst this occurs, Rosie doesn’t watch, but is listening, she not moving until Rose Madder calls for her. She slowly notices the state of Norman’s body lying before her, Rose Madder planting seeds on him and then dumping his body in the maze. Rose Madder then directs her back out where Dorcas/Wendy and Bill waited, she advising Rosie to “Remember the tree”.

Rosie locates them at the top of the hill, Bill meets her to make certain she was okay, the two walking back to Dorcas, Rosie changing her clothes when prompted, then relaying Rose Madder’s message of she having something for her. Dorcas hands her a little corked bottle which Dorcas instructs Rosie to use for Bill when they returned. Afterwards, the three wait silently for Rose Madder, she walks to them in the light of the moon, Dorcas and Rosie instructing Bill to keep his gaze down and not to stop until told, Rosie going along with the idea they were dreaming when he inquires. When Rose Madder stops in front of them, Rosie states of receiving the bottle, Rose Madder then giving her Norman’s police academy ring, she commenting about if she watched Bill’s back, he would do the same for her, Rosie then looking at Rose Madder’s face, it not being the same as what Norman saw, but not wonderful either, she confiding to Rosie she should go back to her natural hair color. Rose Madder then offers her a hug and wishes they’d met sooner, as well as reminding her not to forget the tree, which Rosie asks for clarification to, but not getting an answer. She then inquires whether she was Rose Madder, but not getting confirmation of this either, Rose Madder instead urging them to return home.

Rosie takes Bill’s hands and leads him to the widening view of her apartment. Before they’d gotten through though, Rose Madder starts to lose it, wanting her armlet back, Rosie hastily throwing it near her and getting them both out. When they’d fallen back into reality, Bill noted how it must have all been real, Rosie not attesting this, but apologizing for losing the jacket he’d lent her. They then hear the injured neighbor yelling in pain, Bill off to tend to him, Rosie first calling for an ambulance, then uncorking the tiny bottle, realizing what she’d been given was a few drops of the stream at the Temple of the Bull. She puts one drop in some soda, then calls the police again so she could speak with Detective Hale, whom she informs of Norman having been there and was now gone, Hale planning on meeting her at her place, and she stating she’d wait for him, afterwards Bill coming back, and when coughing, getting him to drink the soda, Bill admitting after a few moments, of having forgotten his own and her name for a second.

As Hale got their stories, he wasn’t sure whether Rosie was withholding some detail, but after he goes over his notes of their confession, Rosie agrees with him. Later, Bill agrees to stay over and passes out quickly, Rosie taking a moment to look at her now, devoid-of-humans painting, this aiding her ability to fall asleep. She awoke them both with her nightmare, but the two moving on to a little fun-time, then much later, when Bill had gone for sustenance, Rosie put away the stream water and discovered Norman’s police academy ring, she ending up placing it with the rediscovered poison seeds, dumping all but one, which she then transfers to her purse. They learn of Anna, and Norman stays in the papers for a week, Rosie deciding to burn the picture in the incinerator and attempting to ignore her memories of Rose Madder’s words.

In October, Bill and she go to the picnic grounds again, and she accepts his proposal, she still wondering about the tree Rose Madder spoke about. After their wedding, Rosie has had to use the ‘forgetful water’ for Bill’s nightmares, the last being used on their honeymoon. In January, Rosie confirms she’s pregnant, she still remembering the tree, but Rose Madder also mentioning to add keeping her temper in check, Rosie unsettled with this thought and demanding Rose Madder leave her alone. When her little girl does arrive, she commemorates her friends instead of the wanted name, Caroline. So, Pamela Gertrude is born, Rosie wanting the middle name to be Anna, but being talked out of it by Bill. When Pamela is two, they move to the suburbs and during their finalizing what house they want, their opinions divert and they begin arguing. When Bill apologizes for raising his voice, Rosie is struggling to suppress her violent anger, which he takes as her not forgiving him, so he withdraws to the other room as she continues preparing dinner. She’s plagued by the disturbing thought of hurting Bill drastically, well into the night as she remembers Rose Madder’s words of, “I repay”.

The next few days bring obsessive awareness to her arms, face, and hands, the latter more so with the unknown idea of whatever she thought would develop would begin there. She takes up going to the batting cages where she develops her skills to the point of impressing all the men and boys with her form: both bodily and technique, who bat there; She even knocks one through the netting due to hitting the ball at such high velocity. A month after, Rosie doesn’t take Rhoda’s suggestion they end early due to Rosie’s voice losing inflection, calmly, she then having a terrible daydream of killing Rhoda, until she’s brought back to reality by Rhoda asking after her. Rosie reminds herself of the tree once more, and agrees to stop for the day, but her rage is masked with difficulty. When she dreams after falling to sleep later at night, she realizes she’d been remembering a different tree, but now knew her next move. She calls out of work the next morning and goes to the picnic grounds alone, to the fallen tree where the fox was, she burying the final seed and Norman’s ring. She dumps everything else out of her purse as well, and on her drive back, chucks the bag out her window. Years pass, Pamela is now a teenager, and Rosie no longer deals with bouts of anger, Bill having sold his bike since he felt he could no longer ride safely. Rosie and he don’t go to the picnic grounds anymore, but Rosie goes alone every year, where a new tree has grown, she believing it has quelled her rage. She worries over the day the tree will start bearing fruit, but doesn’t obsess over the thought, since no signs of people have revealed this spot to be popular, the vixen returns and watches her as she sits and sings Rosie Real.

The ending feels a bit rushed, and whilst I know Gert survived, it seemed odd she decided naming her daughter after those two women, rather than the name she wanted and the middle name to be Anna, it would still sound country, but it seemed like it would have been more true for herself. Otherwise the story moved along nicely, enough, and whilst I have read reviews not interested in the fantasy side of this story, it definitely suits King’s style, and wasn’t clunky compared to the others I’ve read of his, it only not being his strongest and could have done with a bit more fleshing out. Now I’ve read it though, I can continue on to his other Dark Tower-related books.

Right Ho, Jeeves

 

We begin in the middle of a conversation between Bertie, whom was about to confess something he believed could hurt Jeeves’ feelings in some way, but Jeeves assuring him otherwise, Bertie about to let loose when Bertie, the Narrator stops his retelling to confess he not being on-point. He unsure of where to begin the story, explaining the ways a story can quickly go south. He goes back to mention the other players in this being Gussie, Madeline, Cousin Angela, Aunt Dahlia, Uncle Thomas, Tuppy, and Anatole. Bertie then describes his trip to Cannes marking the beginning and Jeeves declining to come, Bertie instead going with his Aunt Dahlia and her daughter, Angela. Tuppy, Angela’s fiancée, bowing out at the last, and Aunt Dahlia’s husband, Tom, staying home. We get the gist of their stay and their trip back to London to their home, Brinkley Court where Tuppy would join them a couple days later, and Bertie going home to drop his luggage and prepare for dinner at the Drones. As he does this, Jeeves and he chit chat until Gussie is brought up, which surprises Bertie when learning Gussie had been calling after him, Gussie being a country type whom enjoyed his research of newts in his garden pond, hating London. Bertie then catching Jeeves up on how long it had been since Gussie’s last visit to the city and his penchant for his newts.

Bertie then gives Gussie’s back-story behind where the newt-love began, and ever since being wrapped up with them, he confirming with physical description of Gussie to be certain Jeeves was speaking of one and the same, Jeeves relating it could well be so, and also able to share the reason for his resurfacing being caused by love. Jeeves then divulges more about whom Gussie was actually attempting to get a hold of being Jeeves, Gussie having been recommended by Sippy, a fellow student with Gussie way back when. We then get a recap of how Jeeves had helped Sippy, and Gussie’s situation being similar. Bertie then wonders of the girl whom had stolen Gussie’s affections, and learning it was Madeline, and then deciding the match had merit, we getting an idea of Bertie’s viewpoint when giving the example of seeing her at Cannes and the flighty questions she’d ask. He gives Jeeves the o-k to meddle, and Jeeves continues his unpacking of Bertie’s bag as he dressed, Jeeves making Bertie aware he’d found a questionable garment in his bag, which Bertie knew he would soon have to defend. Bertie hearkens back to when and where he’d worn it, knowing the possibility of Jeeves “making a scene” over it. Bertie prepares well, stating the jacket had been bought, after Jeeves had assumed the jacket was someone else’s, and Bertie planning on breaking it in more at Pongo Twistleton’s party the next day, Jeeves accepting this, and Bertie learning he’d be staying in regardless of his kind offer of Jeeves taking the night off since he expected Gussie to drop by, Bertie suggests full service for him and his love, going off to the Drones. Bertie speaks, or more like, is spoken to by Pongo most of the night, and when returning home, walks in on Gussie, dressed in a way described devilish and Mephistophelesian, he conversing with Jeeves.

Bertie greets him confusedly, caused by Gussie’s appearance, and when Gussie asks his opinion of his outfit, Bertie skirts an answer to regard his being in London and how long it’d been since he’d last visited, Bertie then stating how nice of a party it must be Gussie was planning to attend, Gussie not answering and instead sending Jeeves to be sure his cab was still waiting for him, when Jeeves had gone, Gussie lets the conversation go silent as Bertie made himself a drink, then letting the old boy off the hook by confessing he’d heard of Gussie’s situation from Jeeves. Gussie not pleased to know Jeeves had shared his private business, but Bertie dismissing this and giving his blessing, asking after how they’d met, Bertie then also supplying his aid and back up to Gussie, which he thanks him for, but makes known Jeeves’ assistance being the real jewel to him, Bertie stung by his words, especially since his conversation about his dress jacket had been criticized. Bertie then asks what Jeeves had done to help Gussie so far, it being the advice to attend this party and to top it off in a Mephistopheles get-up, which burns Bertie all the more due to Jeeves displeasure over his jacket when he was suggesting Gussie go around in red tights. Bertie attempts to convince Gussie to skip the party, but Gussie couldn’t since she’d be leaving after, and whilst Gussie felt the plan would ultimately fail, he also knew it was possible he could pull it off and could get what he wanted. Gussie then digresses into metaphor involving newts, Bertie arguing the point of Gussie not having the love of Madeline if he were one of his amphibious obsessions, he arguing he would if she also were one, Bertie then getting pressure in his head from the pointless disagreement. Bertie ends the line of subject by regaining his point of Gussie skipping the date altogether, but he adamantly refusing since she would be off to the country the next day, Bertie giving in. Jeeves then returning with news of the cab being outside, Gussie bidding Bertie farewell, and Bertie turning his attention on Jeeves, (we catching up to where we began the story), Bertie getting down to Jeeves’ reasoning behind his plan for Gussie and how Bertie differed from Jeeves’ outlook on the results, he believing Jeeves’ plans tended to be on the complex side and deciding he would take over the reigns forthwith, Jeeves accepting this straight away, Bertie then sharing of plans to see Gussie the next day, but forgetting to do so what with the telegrams arriving.

We learn the order of which telegram comes first and their contents, which confounded Bertie and started a telegram chat which still left him baffled, this after spending a couple months with his aunt already, finally calling for Jeeves’ opinion which pointedly suggested he do as the telegram made plain:”come at once”. Bertie then considers the request impossible for his plans on attending the birthday party, leading in to the differing opinion on the jacket, Jeeves staying firm with not relenting his dislike of the garment like Bertie believed he would someday. Bertie lets this go and details his plan of wiring his aunt of coming around in a week or so, reasoning it should be a tolerable wait. Bertie then readies for the party, and gets home dead early in the morning, ready to pass out when Jeeves interrupts with news of his aunt’s presence, she busting in.

Bertie first reminds us dear readers of he being consistent in giving credit where it’s deserved, and his Aunt Dahlia being one of the good ones. We then recap on previous escapades Bertie had with his aunt. Bertie after, pondering why Dahlia would bombard him at such an hour after so recently returning home, he believing other tasks more pressing than visiting him before his morning tea. Bertie decides to play a silent non-indulgent humor, his aunt breaking it with her idea of what he looked like, she inquiring if it was caused by his late night, Bertie agreeing it was due to Pongo’s late party. Dahlia then commands he dress, Bertie unbelieving and then groaning with unwillingness, Jeeves entering with non-reviving, but comforting tea. Bertie then asks the meaning of her being there (she at first being a smarty pants and referring to his tea), she hinting of Bertie accompanying her back at hers and she having a task for Bertie. After his questioning further, she gets down to the quick of it being for Bertie to give away prizes at a grammar school since the original person had to decline. Dahlia then relents to Bertie having a couple days to recover from his partying night, but Bertie not quite agreeing to Dahlia’s chore for him, especially after the add-on of having to prepare a speech, but Dahlia goes for the low blow of Bertie not being welcome in her home and in extension Anatole, her chef’s cooking ever again. Bertie’s still attempting to convince her he wouldn’t be the greatest choice, she giving reasons why she couldn’t ask his Uncle, and Bertie relating how terrible the last time he’d given a speech at a school had gone, Dahlia making it clear the whole event would be dry and she’d be glad of a laugh, she reiterating of seeing him within a couple days. This exchange leaving Bertie in a funk, Jeeves then entering to announce Gussie was present.

When they go through their proper greetings, Bertie cuts to the quick of Jeeves no longer working his case, Bertie ready to take the reigns. Gussie had entered the room looking desperate, the emotion visually becoming more pronounced when he heard the news, he then sharing his reasons for coming by was to be instructed on his next move since Madeline had gone to stay with some people in the country, but once Gussie shared the name Travers, Bertie realizes the issue was a thing of the past, he confessing his aunt’s home was where Madeline had gone, and he could take him there as an honored guest, Jeeves not having the genetics on his side in regards to he having reason or ability to get Gussie entrance, Bertie requiring to make note of this. He then describes the surroundings of Brinkley practically pushing the romance and possibility of engagement right in to one’s lap, Gussie being boosted by Bertie’s words. Bertie rings for Jeeves to retrieve him telegraph paper and pencil, after which Bertie writes to his Aunt Dahlia of Gussie coming to call at Brinkley, he then giving said telegram to Gussie for delivery, he happy to do so. Bertie realizes, through discussion with Jeeves, Gussie should stay away from fatty meat, so prepares a second telegram to meet Gussie at Brinkley with his sage advice. Bertie then confesses to Jeeves his other plan for Gussie was to have his aunt offer the job of giving prizes out to Gussie, Bertie relating his inability to keep this work, and Gussie unable to say no should his aunt ask him.

Following, is the back and forth telegram messaging between Bertie, Gussie, and Aunt Dahlia, the last replying first with negative tones on why Bertie sent his friend to her home, Bertie then receiving confused word from Gussie about Bertie’s additional message about meat, he only replying to add not to eat kidneys. Bertie then hears from his aunt which confirmed his senses of Gussie growing on her, was spot on, but when she mentioned Bertie would still be expected, Bertie drops the bomb of being unable to make the engagement, his aunt responding with bodily threats. After Bertie waited a little longer though, his wish came true with another telegram from Dahlia confirming she’d gotten Gussie to replace him, and he was no longer obligated to come, but she still wished him ill harm. Bertie was extensively relieved and had a night out at the Drones, retiring at home with no issues on his mind. The next morning however, brought surprising news by telegram informing him of the troubles of his cousin Angela and Tuppy Glossop, Bertie realizing he’d have to go to Brinkley Court to be with his aunt in her time of upheaval, he sending Jeeves ahead with luggage by train, he to follow by car after his lunch appointment.

Bertie is then seen driving and in thought over Tuppy and Angela’s issues, distressed especially since he’d been rooting for the two, knowing them both so well. He believed they matched each other, even knowing relationships had there ups-and downs, Bertie thinking Tuppy knew his limit by now. He sped forth to Dahlia’s so he could hear the whole story from the source. He made the trip in good time and was even confided in by Dahlia of being glad to see him, the usual feeling given by members of his family closer to disgusted revulsion. Bertie comforts her, uncertain of how she felt and guessing aloud. “Her usually cheerful map was clouded, and the genial smile conspic. by it’s absence.” Needed a reminder of what the ‘a’ was. She affirmed her worry, and mentions how she should be giving him a piece of her mind for his cowardly way of getting out of prize-giving, but allows him a pass since he came, and also thought “Spink-Bottle” a win, as long as he didn’t digress about newts. Dahlia also mentions her worry about Tom, her husband. Bertie calls him Uncle Tom and Dahlia alludes to how every time he does she imagines him black with a banjo (I didn’t get around to reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but I do enjoy Dahlia’s mindset.), but her worry was over his reaction to her loss in gambling, and this at a time when she needed funding for her weekly journal Milady’s Boudoir. Bertie was confused because of how long it was taking for Dahlia’s paper to take off (two years), she clearly stating Bertie would stay bewildered until he did a paper for himself, she also giving reply to how welcome Tom had been up to this point on the subject of money, his mood changing with the income tax representatives bothering him for more cash, and now he raving about it since her return home.

Bertie wasn’t surprised since knowing his Uncle couldn’t give up a fight when it came to his bankroll, regardless of its immensity. Dahlia mentions how Tom’s only source of comfort was Anatole’s menu, the two praising Anatole’s goodness, Dahlia after a few moments remembering her reasons for starting this conversation and getting back on track with why Angela and Tuppy were arguing, it shark-fin related. Apparently Angela, during vacation in Cannes, had met with a shark whilst aquaplaning: being towed by boat and riding behind attached it. Angela had been tossed, regained her board only to get knocked off again by a shark, and whilst gaining the attention of the driver to come back for her, she felt this shark nipping at her ankles. So when Angela relayed this story to Tuppy, he gives no reaction, and when she finished, suggested it could have been a log, but she reminded him it had jumped at her, so he allows it could have been a harmless fish, she angrily calling him names of idiocy, and he not comprehending her near fatality. Bertie definitely empathized with his cousin’s view, he knowing the few times one’s likely to have vibrant stories to share only to have someone play it down as nothing special. Well, from there it got worse as both stubbornly, on one side, and possibly ignorant on the other, both kept pointing faults out on the other until the engagement disintegrated. Bertie’s aunt again giving relief for Bertie having come, but he says some back-lashing words which his aunt is then reminded of having need of Jeeves. Bertie’s face is the only part of him to show shock, he sitting, but knowing the shock would’ve spread if in another, more upright position. Bertie then speaks his mind in what he’d thought of Jeeves’ handiness of late, he believing those who immediately sought Jeeves should at least allow him a shot at the problem first.

Dahlia sensed Bertie was in opposition to Jeeves for some reason, he denying there was any issue (but relates to us, dear readers) of a cause for his surliness stemming from Jeeves’ neglect in packing Bertie’s beloved jacket, he having seen it in his closet, it still hanging, so he remedied this by including it among his own items, but believed Jeeves was pulling a fast one on him. Dahlia brings him back to the subject of having Jeeves help Angela and Tuppy’s situation, but Bertie again pipes in, she should allow him to test his plan to renew their love, Dahlia insisting he stay out of it, and refusing to listen to his plan. Bertie leaves her as she wished, in the metaphorical dark, and goes outside where he sees a figurative dark cloud over Tuppy, whom was slinging stones at a flowerpot. Tuppy is reintroduced with a shared story of he and Bertie’s past, when Tuppy had pranked him and Bertie still rankled, but not so much as to enjoy his unhappiness of his engagement falling apart. One could see by Bertie’s look and demeanor he meant to aid fixing Tuppy’s situation. Tuppy didn’t respond with gladness, but dazed emptiness of emotion. He asked whether Bertie was staying or visiting, Bertie toying with the idea of confessing his intention to help Angela and he, but decides not to, since some people don’t take help lightly. Bertie gives an answer which brings indifference, Tuppy then bringing up how Bertie most likely heard of his troubles, Bertie confirming and asking why Tuppy would denounce Angela’s shark, he sharing his side of the story, which included defending himself from being called “material” due to wondering aloud about Anatole’s food decisions. Bertie agrees this to be good reasoning, but if love shall prevail, shouldn’t he have let her win this one, Tuppy unable to deny his love for her, but she also requiring an ego hit. Bertie is unable to accept his words and asks Tuppy what happened to his kind, romantic self, Tuppy wondering where Angela’s good qualities had gone, especially after being told he had a double chin. Bertie attempts to have Tuppy overlook this and fix their fight, but Tuppy refuses due to other fat points Angela had made. Bertie tries to keep Tuppy in perspective about his words to Angela, but he saw them as helpful, not purposely hurtful. Bertie now knew how difficult his task would be, he supposing aloud of Angela being torn up by their feud. Bertie then suggesting she’s putting on a “mask” to hide her true emotions, and a way of giving sign to a truce would be to make a grand gesture of pushing their upcoming meal away (TV show also covering this story). Tuppy has trouble with this at first since it’s Anatole’s cooking which is desired by all who come across him, but Bertie reminds Tuppy he can go down to the kitchen in the night to satiate his palate, which upon hearing, brightens Tuppy into agreeing, he assuming Jeeves came up with the plan and disbelieving Bertie could manage anything so perfect, Bertie taking offense, but his displeasure going unnoticed, he instead reminding Tuppy the time was ripe to dress for dinner.

Bertie was still most affected by Tuppy’s close-minded thoughts, it especially hurtful to give due credit to an employee whom was subordinating Bertie’s jacket. He eventually obtains composure by bath, the most aiding accessory being a toy duck. Once the calming bath was through, he’s met by Jeeves whom greets him formally and hands Bertie his socks, upon request. Bertie then mentions Jeeves supposition of the task he’s given himself being quite the doozy and being met with agreement by Jeeves. Bertie then eases Jeeves’ mind by assuring he’s handled the issue accordingly, Jeeves politely asking for details, and he being secretive, but then sharing a plan of feigned peril for Tuppy to show how much he cared by making certain of Angela’s safety, Bertie nixing and closing the “subj.”. Silently, Bertie is worrying and saddened by Jeeves failing ability of coming up with a decent plan, Jeeves again responding in a way which has Bertie defending his sound plan from criticism. Then Bertie critiques Jeeves’ way of making his reply sound dubious of Bertie’s success. Jeeves agreeing to work on this, but once Bertie confides his plan, Jeeves again gives him the impression of questioning the soundness of it, Bertie overlooking the cracks Jeeves thought were holes, he instead asking for his white jacket, Jeeves seeming to smugly mention his forgetfulness to pack it, and Bertie confessing of his good fortune in supplying it for himself, and for Jeeves to bring it from the hall. When Bertie’s aunt first catches sight of him, she likens him to a group of men in a musical.

Bertie learns his aunt’s mood may be caused by his Uncle still being in a bad mood. Bertie attempting to come up with an alternative to his aunt’s mess, but learning a new fact which pinches the idea. Bertie then discovers Dahlia could join the crew of non-eaters, he not explaining himself clearly at first, but once she understood what Bertie meant, she was quite pleased and decided to take part. When the guests sat to dinner, Bertie was not prepared for the serious atmosphere and was quite happy when it was done, everyone in a particular mood, Bertie especially surprised by Gussie’s deathly appearance since last he’d seen him. After the meal, Bertie was deciding to catch up with Gussie, but got caught up with a game of backgammon with his aunt until she was pulled away to speak with Anatole. Bertie discovers Gussie in the garden, he not receiving him well, quite upset over Bertie pawning off his prize-giving onto him, he prepared for this unpleasant confrontation. He makes it seem like Gussie taking over this task was a part of his plan to show the many sides of Gussie, which Bertie does fair enough selling, only needing to claim how simple his speech at the girls school had gone. Bertie then councils Gussie through his inability to ask for Madeline’s hand. Gussie coming around to the idea, but then fretting over what he’ll have to say once Bertie “tags him in”, he giving him a phrase Jeeves had said to him and then some interesting metaphors Madeline had come up with. Bertie rounds off the turns of phrase until steering Gussie to the main, then suggesting he have a couple shots beforehand to even the nerves, Gussie sharing he’d never imbibed, to Bertie’s surprise, but Gussie would need to work with what he allowed himself, o.j., then Bertie runs through the plan with him before leaving him to it. Bertie going off to locate Madeline to begin his part, but realizing upon viewing her, how she wasn’t one of his most bosom of buddies and this could be a bit uncomfortable for him. Bertie sallies forth, though, getting Madeline into the yard and struggling with where to go from there, more figuratively than literal.

Bertie first begins by giving example to how straight forward his conversation with Madeline could’ve gone if she were a different sort, it being hashed out relatively quickly. Madeline was prone to being affected by twilight though, and Bertie knew he was going to have trouble speaking with her, she supplying chat which involved the stars, Bertie listening to the sorts of diverse subjects Madeline would bring to his attention, before she referring to a single star which didn’t support her “daisy-chain” metaphor, he thinking she needed to choose which she believed, but ignores this since realizing he could use the subject matter as a lead-in when she veers off course over some rabbits nearby. Madeline shares how when she was younger she believed rabbits were gnomes (is it odd or simply because I’m reading two British authors at the same time being the reason they both have gnomes in their stories?), this somehow relating to her idea of seeing a fairy queen. Bertie lets this slide and finally pipes in about how her comment about “shedding tears” earlier, related to an “aching heart” someone on the property was dealing with, Madeline guessing who it could be, Bertie getting more annoyed as she kept getting it wrong, but finally he indirectly spouting the point of “this aching heart” relating to the inability of confessing this love for Madeline, she getting misty-eyed and Bertie tired with the effort, he not realizing Madeline thought he was speaking of himself until she replied how she had noticed the looks he’d been giving her at Cannes, he now knowing he was in too deep to back out now, but was dismayed with the idea of being engaged to a girl like Madeline. Bertie awaits her to finish explaining painfully, but was lucky by the end of it, she turning his misproposal down. Bertie is so relieved, he accepts this readily, she apologizing and Bertie easing her mind, quite content with her suggestion of staying friends, she looking at him with compassion, and he wanting to explain how fine it was, but resisting, there being a long enough pause for Bertie’s mind to wander when Madeline had picked up the subj. again to wish she could return his feelings, but they needing to keep this little confession a secret, she spiraling into wanting to share a thought with him since they were truly friends, Bertie sensing out loud she felt love for another, she agreeing, and Bertie thinking how he didn’t look forward to breaking the news to Gussie, Bertie believing it would push him over the edge. He gives example of the two spectrums by mentioning his buddy Bingo whom bounces back quickly from disappointment, Gussie lying on the other side, the kind to pine. Madeline was explaining how the man she spoke of hadn’t shown signs of affection for her yet, but details how they first met, Bertie realizing it must be Gussie she was describing, he so relieved and surprised, a “wow” escapes, startles Madeline, and he making an excuse to withdraw as Gussie comes forward. Bertie now certain their fates were locked together, adjourning to the smoking room for a celebratory drink.

Bertie walks us through the making of his liquid delight and drinks with his feet up in an armchair (I had one of those funny images of his feet being above his head, heh), he thinking of how Gussie could already have done the deed and could already be hashing out plans, making Bertie glad for the newt-loving fool. Bertie is interrupted with his fluffy thoughts by whom he assumed was Tuppy walking in quietly and making himself a drink, as well. Bertie had forgotten his second case temporarily due to the supposed success of Gussie’s. He getting right into how Tuppy was doing, whether Angela had approached him and all, Tuppy flustered for his empty stomach, and relaying Angela hadn’t so much as stepped near him, Bertie then looking on the upside possibility Angela was currently searching for him, Tuppy believing she hadn’t even noticed his ultimate sacrifice, Bertie again attempting to show how it didn’t seem likely she hadn’t noticed at all, he listing the courses and Tuppy interrupting due to not having eaten them. Bertie changes tactics by trying to leave him words of strength, which does the opposite since Bertie again reminded him of food, this time from the pantry, and after Bertie realized his ignorant mistake, the two sit in silence for awhile.

Tuppy gets up only to show his frustration through the attacking of furniture, Bertie respectfully averting his eyes, until Tuppy picks up the reigns of chat once more, he speaking of the topic of Angela, and through his thorough examining of the matter, he detects the theory there was “dirty work” all over the tiff, Bertie disagreeing once Tuppy mentions it couldn’t have been caused by his inconsiderate words of the shark. Tuppy thinks Angela already wanted to end the engagement using the shark as a catalyst. Tuppy believing she must’ve fallen for another whilst at Cannes. He then making direct threats to the unlucky fella if he ever saw him, then exits. Bertie waiting a beat before heading for the drawing room to locate Angela for a chat. He only discovers his aunt, whom didn’t look pleased due to her appetite raging, she informing Bertie of Angela already having gone up to her room early due to a headache, the news not sounding good to him. Dahlia inquiring why he wanted to know and he relaying he’d wanted to walk and talk with her, Dahlia taking the opportunity to detail a favor involving Bertie drowning himself in the pond, and after his aunt describing she would dance on his grave. Bertie was hurt and bitter by her words likening himself to a girl he’d read about in a book whom didn’t wish to remain in the house if she was going to take such abuse.

Bertie calms for recollecting her empty insides, he asking straight out why she was ‘biting his head off’, his intuition being sound, she mentioning her food lust, and he proposing the same raid to the kitchen for steak and kidney pie. This doesn’t ease her mind though, since Tom was not receptive to being empathetic to Dahlia’s lack of eating, he wounded over Anatole putting in his notice because of all the untouched plates. Bertie apologizes sincerely what with the part he’d played in the mess, Tom truly overwhelmed with the loss, Dahlia’s handout less likely. Bertie was short on remedies now, but willing to make the effort, Dahlia showing him what staggering looked like whilst in a sitting position. She making clear on her unfinished threat if he were so bold to attempt another fix-it project, but Bertie leaves the room, hearing what sounded like the Tennyson volume sitting beside his aunt fly at the door, he not dwelling on this and going out to the lawn to ruminate on some ideas, hearing a groan of which he thought could be from his Uncle Tom, but deciphers the forms on the bench to be Jeeves and Gussie. What was so hard to understand for Bertie was Gussie seemed to be in a negative state, when he gets close enough, Jeeves greets him, but Gussie bids him farewell with the plan of walking to the pond to drown himself, Jeeves suggesting this isn’t the best plan, so Gussie takes his word, making known how everyone he’s encountered, including Mrs. Travers had been nothing but nice to him, and instead would go for a stroll.

Bertie is perfectly flummoxed by Gussie’s attitude, asking Jeeves how it could’ve gone so badly with Bertie’s training Gussie beforehand, Jeeves relaying how Gussie had gone off-course and instead of proposing, blasted Madeline with a flurry of newt-talk. At first Bertie couldn’t fathom how this could’ve happened, but after further detail of Gussie becoming too nervous and began to chatter aimlessly, Bertie reminisces of his own experience with a dentist. He then imagining how the failure could’ve went down and when using the conversation model between he and dentist, he discovers how easily it could’ve caved in. Bertie also learning the amount of time Gussie had to share this subject line before Madeline opted to return indoors. Bertie understanding how demanding a job helping Gussie was going to be, he usually asking Jeeves’ advice by now, but instead sharing the situation needing careful thinking over and wishing Jeeves a good night, Bertie reflecting on what option would be optimal as he goes.

Bertie relates how he has luck sleeping on a problem and the solution revealing itself by morning, which it had, he having a new plan for Gussie to admit his feelings: alcohol. Bertie was ready to share his idea with Jeeves when he came in with Bertie’s tea, but Tuppy comes in after Jeeves, he looking rough, Jeeves fluidly exiting, and Tuppy wanting to share his woes with Bertie after he declined to listen to Bertie’s new strategy. Bertie then refrains in preference to hearing why, Tuppy describing how he’d gone at one a.m. to snack in the kitchen, he encountering Angela, Dahlia, and Tom, the last thinking burglars were invading, so was packing heat, as well. The conversation being relived by Tuppy was upsetting him since Angela was able to make him feel fat once more. She continually pressing the button even as they all returned to their rooms, Bertie playing at positivity, but Tuppy certain Angela was in love with another and disgusted by him. Bertie then kills the idea she fell in love at Cannes, saying they’d spent most of their time together, she not close to anyone, but himself, he not helping the sharing of this by describing Angela’s name for herself in their youth. Tuppy stays in thoughtful silence until the gong for breakfast is heard, he off like lightning, and Bertie believing he’d done good with both his current and upcoming plans, and ready to share with Jeeves as he retrieved the tea tray.

Bertie begins his engaging Jeeves with noting Tuppy’s unkempt look, Bertie explains his most recent woe, still believing Angela held the old torch, and had a new idea to get her aimed in the right direction, he deciding a good roast of Tuppy will get Angela to defend him regardless of their anger toward each other. Bertie gets the light bulb from a similar experience he had with a girl whom was insulting her fiance, Bertie agreeing with her without knowing this fact, and she reacting unfavorably upon Bertie. Once he’d settled the time-frame, having Jeeves make note of Angela off with friends currently, he set his sights upon Gussie’s love issue. Bertie plainly refers to Gussie as a b.m. and lists why when Jeeves attempts to show decorum, the main example being of the costume and not going to the party, Bertie making note even on the off-chance Gussie had made it, due to his straight-edge sensibilities, would not have proposed, and so Bertie planned on spiking Gussie’s o.j. with a hefty amount of gin. He then has to school Jeeves once more on his inflection of his ‘sirs’, Jeeves explaining Bertie’s plan was a bit forward, since Bertie didn’t know how sensitive Gussie could be to the spirit, but shares a story about a parrot to help explain, Bertie not catching the gist and focusing only on Gussie not being a winged creature, fully intending to implement his plan. He then relates the reason he’s waiting for the next day to begin, it being for Gussie hosting the prize-giving and would be able to kill two birds with his gin high, but when Bertie adds perhaps Jeeves should be the one to spike Gussie’s juice due to having easier access, Jeeves apologetically declines, Bertie wounded by this, but not taking it personally.

Bertie didn’t recognize the names of Angela’s buddies, and she likely having a great time, for barely making it back in time to change for dinner, Bertie catching her afterwards in the drawing room, and looking like she needed a friendly ear. They speak cordially, but familiarly with one another, Bertie inviting her for a stroll, Tuppy then upsetting a mini-table with breakables atop it, startling Dahlia, and Tom pitching in with a teacup, Tuppy apologizing, but Angela giving him a look of being above it, they continuing out and planting themselves on a bench, Bertie starting off slow with easy chat, they beginning with Angela’s day-long stay with the Stretchley-Budds, she helping them with the set up for a party for the servants, Anatole not attending for wanting to return to where he was valued. Angela was ready to go indoors due to the dew, but Bertie extends her stay by offering his lap as a shoe-guard against the ghastly nature, she accepting and they idly conversing, it slowly dying off, and Bertie hearing rustling in the bushes, debating its weaselly origins, then going straight into the candid, Angela admitting to the wedding being off for sure, Bertie going in for the kill and laying Tuppy a new one, Angela replying how she’d believed they were chums, he denying this, and relying on past experience to aid the believability. He struggles with his words since he didn’t truly have hard feelings toward the nitwit, but attempting once more, his last go confusing her, and then himself for having to repeat it multiple times, but then he explains himself so thoroughly, it hurt him to go on, what with the expunging of all oxygen in the relation and he not enjoying being so harsh, but finishing it off like a champ. After all of this, and no reaction from her, Bertie is in awe by her indifference, but then as she’s still staring at the bushes, she agrees with Bertie’s tirade, he not having planned for this off-chance possibility, taking a moment to form a response. Before he has a chance though, Angela goes on with relish and states other bad qualities Tuppy had, even going for his hair thinning, she then deciding to return indoors, Tuppy of course, exiting from his bushy cocoon.

Bertie senses a defensive stance was needed, repositioning himself behind the bench, he then gauging Tuppy’s physical appearance giving signs of his fury. Bertie plays innocent whilst Tuppy stays fixated on harming him, he staying calm and using the bench as buffer as he attempts to explain his uncouth opinions of Tuppy, interrupting himself with talk of haggis (ingredients) and Tuppy’s background (Scotch). One part during his wait for Tuppy to realize his intentions, he notes the beetle which had stayed its post on Tuppy’s head having finally buzzed off quite hilariously. Then again, Tuppy’s confession of he believing Bertie was getting the love bug for Angela, (worth the read in itself due to Bertie’s innocent reaction of cousins being anything other than blood relatives being snort-worthy, as well) especially with his reply, but still not convincing Tuppy until mentioning an interest at Cannes with another girl. When defending his choice of Madeline being his heart-puller, Tuppy is stunned to a stop from his lunging at Bertie (along with Bertie’s backtracking with Madeline’s odd opinion of stars and rabbits truly tickling me), he’s finally convinced upon hearing Madeline had declined interest in Bertie. Tuppy has a couple more instances of flare up due to remembering the choice of words Bertie had used against him, but Bertie reminds him it was all for the plan of his roast, and Bertie realizing Angela must’ve seen Tuppy in the bush to maker her say all those sensitive topics, she reappearing then for another jab consisting of a plate of sandwiches for Tuppy, Bertie finally getting his release from the fluctuating safety of the chat, he following Angela back in as they hear the plate knocked over angrily, Angela enchanted with the calm night (love it!).

Next morning Bertie contemplates his inability to rejoin Angela and Tuppy’s souls, so he instead changes to Gussie’s situation at hand. He having executed his spiking of juice with much effort according to he, as acting cupid, overcoming the issues, and able to catch some z’s in the midst of needing to obtain the jug from the kitchen. Fortunately, Bertie’s timing was fine since he ran into Gussie practicing his speech on the lawn, Bertie more certain once speaking with the nervous nerd, he’d made the right decision. He then brings up of having good tidings, but once Gussie begins to guess and none of his hopes of the school for some reason shutting down, Bertie gives Gussie a general upbeat phrase to say since he had nada in the speech department. Bertie then attempts to assure Gussie he should speak with Madeline again, Gussie not seeing the point since making a fool of himself and believing she couldn’t stand him anymore. Then after Bertie failed to make impression with a partially remembered story, Gussie insists Bertie leave him to figure out what he’ll say. As Bertie obliges, this moment had been his deciding factor whether to proceed as planned, he off to the kitchen for the o.j., and when entering his room with Jeeves already present, he comes to learn Jeeves had decided to rally round and succumb to Bertie’s plan, already lacing something upon having a worrisome exchange whilst Bertie napped. He was pleased, but thought a bit more in the juice couldn’t hurt for safety purposes, and when Jeeves shares of having shared an anecdotal story for Gussie’s use, he leaving him, Bertie is in mid-pour, and an obviously sloshed Gussie walks in, Bertie making certain Gussie had willingly imbibed, he confirming this with the knowledge of consuming much whiskey. Bertie was currently quite glad of a large picture obscuring the tainted juice, they then going down to lunch, everyone quite solemn since it wasn’t Anatole’s meals. After, Bertie returns to his room to get ready to go to the school, Gussie already being taken there, Jeeves and he slowly understand, Gussie had consumed the pitcher of o.j., the two unable to imagine the events which could come from such a highly inexperienced intoxication.

During the drive, Bertie remarks to Jeeves how even if the prize-giving goes south, Gussie should definitely ace his proposal when attempted, Bertie thinking Gussie would gain the air of Cagney. Jeeves then informs Bertie of Gussie already having obtained his engagement before leaving, he pleasantly surprised, but allowing how well his plan, not Jeeves’, had worked. When they arrived and Bertie sees Gussie being directed to his seat, he was hit by traumatic nostalgia of his own speech-giving moment. He considering anyone who was familiar with drinking would be able to detect the lack of sobriety of Gussie. Bertie doesn’t engage with the proceedings until noting how Gussie attempted to cross his legs a repeatedly until having to correct the headmaster a couple of times on the pronunciation of his name, Gussie responding with a happily forgiving “you silly ass” being quite hilarious. Also, before this point, Dahlia became aware of Gussie’s buzz. The headmaster deciding whether to turn the floor to Gussie what with his colorful outbursts thus far, but Gussie takes the decision away when announcing his speech-y time, he getting quite a reception from the boys, and actually not bombing. He even has a moment to speak of Tom and his opinion of the state of the world not being beautiful (the main motif of Gussie’s speech), and still going strong on crowd likability. Then right as Bertie was glad he wasn’t seated with his family, Gussie spots him and calls him out as a pessimist. Finally, he’s interrupted with the task of giving the prizes, after the first handed out, Gussie’s likability slowly drops. He attempts to speak with each child, but when Scripture Knowledge was presented, and Bertie’s name again lingered on, Bertie makes his way out, getting to bed and passing out, he awoken by Jeeves for dinner. He is given the details of what happened after and how quickly the ceremony ended, Jeeves then relaying of Gussie losing his engagement, Bertie overcome with this update, but they then interrupted by Tuppy collapsing outside Bertie’s door.

Bertie wasn’t receptive to the look in Tuppy’s eye, and he wasn’t keen to notice Jeeves had done his usual habit of trickling out quietly, but it seemed he worried over this for nothing, Tuppy explaining his reason for coming was to apologize. Bertie misinterpreted the reason for the apology being related to Tuppy’s prank on him with the rings at the pool, but he clarifies by stating it was for not believing his love for Madeline. Now though, Tuppy was certain Gussie had stolen Angela from him, regardless of Bertie relating he loved “the Bassett”, too. Tuppy will have none of this since being told by Angela of Gussie and her engagement, surprising him, Jeeves entering after Tuppy leaves to inflict death upon Gussie, Jeeves then pointing out Bertie’s plan to discover Gussie needed no more than a glance to his bed, Gussie in the midst from crawling out from underneath it. Unfortunately for Gussie, he hadn’t much time to relax, since after Jeeves locked the door per Gussie’s request, Tuppy came back, Gussie making for the closet before Tuppy barges in and claiming he knew Gussie was in there, only to be shocked when he emerged and dashed out, Tuppy following after overcoming his surprise, Bertie then dismissing Jeeves in order to give these new developments serious contemplation.

Fortunately, Bertie was of Wooster stock, so his need for thinking over the problem took mere moments, he deciding he must speak with the angelic player, Angela, she admitting her motives, as for being for the entertainment, Tuppy supplying this in spades. Bertie attempts to have her end the game, but she having no intention of doing so, offhandedly insulting Bertie, and he letting her alone. He was disheartened by Angela’s unsympathetic view of her joke, he remembering a quote by Kipling of the (f)emale of the (s)pecies being more (d)eadly than the (m)ale. Bertie decided it was time for brain food, on his way, discovering Dahlia ahead of his mindset. She showed she was in better spirits by offering him some of her snack, and the two chatting about the servants party, then moving to Gussie, Bertie sensing she hadn’t heard of his engagement since she raved about how wonderful his performance had been at the school. Dahlia also mentions how her mood couldn’t be turned due to Anatole deciding to stay on. Then Dahlia’s butler enters to inform her of Gussie potentially stirring up Anatole,after all of Dahlia’s hard work convincing him to retract his notice.

This news seemed to freeze all who heard, Bertie’s apple slice chewing the only noise to break the silence, and upon further inquiry by Dahlia, the couple learn Gussie was sitting on the roof and disturbing Anatole’s ability to slumber with making faces at him. Dahlia was off like a shot when her butler, Seppings said it had “upset” Anatole, Bertie and he quickly following Dahlia up the stairs. The scene they run to is an obvious displeased Anatole shaking his fists at the skylight where Gussie gazed down with the look of a fish, Bertie sympathetic to Anatole’s plight. When Dahlia asks Anatole what’s happened, he gives his version in quite an eclectic choice of words, Bertie agreeing with him without provocation (even though to see the dialogue, it’s quite a “mixed” explanation). Anatole continues his rant of how he attempted to learn Gussie’s reasons for staring down at him, but nothing comes of it, he ending in French, (many versions to choose from) “I do not care what type of vile chap. It’s stupid to make like a bird, go away.” Dahlia attempting to soothe Anatole, but ends up stirring him up with a misinterpreted choice of words, Anatole again threatening to leave, everyone showing Gussie the error of his ways by gesture or dirty look. Bertie finally figures what Gussie was conveying through facial signs: he was stuck up there, so they then endeavored to open the skylight, and once Gussie was secured in the room, was unable to explain himself. Dahlia gives up after attempting to extract some detail of Gussie’s reasoning, she suggesting Bertie get him out of there and give him some ice for his head, whilst she again attempted to calm Anatole. Bertie then asks Gussie if Tuppy had been chasing him again, and, in French, a “shiver” going through him. Bertie considers aloud Gussie should away to his room before Tuppy picked up his scent once more. Once he was properly tucked away behind locked door, Bertie makes his way back to the dining room for more fruit salad and a further ponder, Dahlia joining him soon after with request of a drink, Bertie in his element and supplying hastily. He then attempts empathy, but is greeted with he being compared to Attila the Hun, to his dismay, she then explaining Anatole’s plan to leave the next day and also learning of Angela and Gussie’s engagement, she no longer caring if Bertie planned to fix these new problems what with not seeing how it could get worse. Bertie then is given a letter by Jeeves from the Bassett, whom decided she was going to marry him, Bertie wailing his dismay.

Bertie realized he wouldn’t be able to decline now he had been reclaimed, he giving the letter a second perusal and not landing an idea until some snacking was had, first the sequence of events which would get Angela and Tuppy together, as well as Gussie and Madeline trying again, coming to him. Bertie decides after another slice of cheese, he’d locate Madeline, but this needn’t have been a necessity since Madeline wandered in not long after the thought was shared. The conversation which follows is full of one repeating the other and apologies for speaking at the same time. When Madeline gets her side out, she confesses her affection for Bertie, but still held a flame for Gussie. Madeline couldn’t see a reconciliation between them though, then Angela comes in and the two ladies commence in congratulating and well-wishing each other, Bertie taking the moment to excuse himself for a think, going outside and literally bumping into Jeeves. He takes a moment to measure whether Jeeves could help him with his situation, and decides to give him a shot, but only if he could refrain from making Bertie give up his mess jacket, he agreeing, then offering his previous suggestion and Bertie too hard up to poo-poo the plan. They discuss the finer points and decide half an hour after midnight would meet the hour of execution of the idea to commence.

Bertie then compares how country living as opposed to London living affects his actions; For instance, at night in the country, Bertie’s imagination takes over and he’s more susceptible to the heebies with the possibility of the supernatural taking him by surprise. What was currently bothering him, though was in knowing it was time to ring the fire bell and the shock of the noise it would make in the deadly quiet. He then remembers another chap from the Drones having a similar experience and he only concerned about his own timely escape when the alarm sounded (the difference here being, he wasn’t currently in love, which Bertie didn’t catch). None of this mattered due to the results being Bertie walking with everyone to the lawn, Bertie calling Jeeves over to discuss how the plan didn’t go accordingly, Jeeves then alerting Bertie  to Dahlia attempting to get his attention about why he’d rung the bell, she taking his excuse well enough and declaring she would return to bed when Gussie states of all doors being locked, Dahlia then losing it, and ranting about the failed loyalty of their butler. As she continued, Jeeves waited patiently to catch her attention, and upon doing so, calms Dahlia with giving an idea, she prompting him to share, he revealing a bicycle was at their disposal and Dahlia immediately voting Bertie be the rider, he attempts to deflect the task and fails, he then moodily beginning his ride, thinking of the dark joke Jeeves told of two men becoming one due to a tandem bicycle collision with a van. Moving forward to Bertie arriving at the Manor, he confesses how the ride had changed him to a more serious soul, especially when learning from Sepping, Jeeves currently had the back door keys (this is also added in the TV show), Bertie returning to Brinkley to learn why he’d been sent on this ride-around.

Bertie describes how he felt closer to scorned women (in reference to the saying). When he reaches Brinkley, he’s greeted by Madeline, he wanting to give Jeeves a piece of his mind, but Bertie waiting patiently, as the two soon begin misunderstanding each other again, he learning Jeeves was currently in the dining room, and also the time he’d ‘uncovered’ the house key. Madeline then drags out another piece of information she wished to share, getting caught up with comparison of Bertie to the knights of the Round Table, finally hinting at what she required, Bertie obliging once understanding it was about their coupledom, he then excusing himself so he could change. Bertie was so lightened by this news, he didn’t even feel anger toward Jeeves anymore. Then Tuppy greets him, only then returning from the cellar with liquid refreshment, he catching Bertie up on he and Angela making up after Bertie shared of Tuppy being back in the game with Angela, he then resuming to the dining room when Dahlia called, she in better spirits, as well since Anatole withdrew his notice once more and Tom had given her a cheque for her paper. Bertie continued to his task of bathing and was met by Jeeves upon the finish, Bertie so intent on questioning about everyone’s happiness, he didn’t even regard the inquiry of how his journey had been. Bertie gets Jeeves explanation on how the rest of his plan came down to psychology and if the group had a common irritation (Bertie), they’d resolve their own issues, which had gone as planned. Bertie realizes he could use an omelette after Jeeves shared the anecdote with the necessity of breaking some eggs. When Jeeves returns with revitalizing refreshments, Bertie asks Jeeves if he was troubled over anything, Jeeves confessing to ruining by iron, his mess jacket, Bertie verging on anger, but then giving French phrase, ‘What is the purpose of it?’, ‘generous wrath’, wouldn’t be worth it, Bertie taking the news on the chin, and continuing his consumption of omelette eating.


As usual, loved this one, and am still pleased with recognizing how closely the TV series kept the story-line so on point. Also, the reason I won’t quote excerpts of the book, usually is firstly, there are plenty of reviewers who do, and also due to the hilarity of the conversations between characters, since they are so genuine and deadpan in the reading, it must be read all at once since the back-story is usually important and one wouldn’t necessarily get the same gleefulness seeing it in mid-magic. To the next!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & other selections

We begin with The Author’s Account of Himself, which describes of he having enjoyed discovering new places, which bothered his parents, but he exploring all the spots known for robbery, murder, or ghosts, one day viewing a vast scenery from a hill, impressing him with its many miles. From then on studying books about travel and neglecting his school work, he traveling to watch ships sail away and fantasizing of the adventures they’d had so far away. He goes on to contemplate, after seeing parts of America, to go to Europe to see the history of his origin. He concludes with having and not knowing whether it was luck or not of being able to travel many countries and studying the scenery like a tourist rather than a “philosopher”, he going so far as to sketch a few scenes from the places he’d been for friends and how differently his choice for sketches would be from a landscape painter, whom would choose the secret, lesser known spots rather than the tourist attraction areas.

Then The Legend of Sleepy Hollow begins with a description of Tarry Town (not important), which explains where the name stems from: housewives in the next town, caused by their spouses going to the bar, then we learn of an especially quiet spot a short distance from the town, the only noise coming from a brook and birds. Inhabitants of this area coming from the Dutch and the glen known as Sleepy Hollow. The town had rumors surrounding it which indicated there were hex-like powers within it. Many odd sightings and feelings being experienced by the people, one leading apparition being the Headless Horseman. The story behind the Horseman’s origins is of he being a Hessian trooper whom was hit by a cannon-ball in the Revolutionary War, the ghost having some space to ride, it being said to go as far as a churchyard where he was supposedly buried. We then are told of Ichabod Crane whom had stayed there some thirty years previous to teach the children, then receiving description of his physical character (which reminds me of Johnny Depp’s version more than the TV show version). His school house is shown and how it was easy to enter, but if closed, was rigged for being difficult to escape from, as well as the sort of teacher he was when it came to corporal punishment, but had a “justice” about whom he’d target. He also tended to chum about with the older boys and made rounds of the children’s homes when it came to room and board. The scene painted of Crane is wildly different than those portrayed, except, again with perhaps Depp’s role, if only he’d been focused on multiple ladies, as mentioned in the story; the boy’s eye wandered, for sure. 

Crane attempted to make himself useful for his staying though, doing chores in and outside of the property’s of the farmers hosting him. He also orchestrated and taught the local church choir, he being quite popular among the ladies for his fancy dress and speech, but also having the latest news to share with each home he entered. He also enjoyed reading a book of witchcraft by the brook until dark after he taught class, singing as he made his way to whichever home he stayed. He also enjoyed spending time with the wives as they spun clothes, sharing ghost and scary stories, Crane doing the same with his choice of reading and scientific facts. Crane did become spooked by his walk home some nights due to sounds or mistaken view of shrubbery. One day he’s running into a barely legal girl whom was daughter to a man of prominent stature, Crane having been to the man’s home once, he imagining what his dinners must look like with such meaty variety, he then viewing the inside of the farmer’s home. Crane contemplated how he’d win Katrina, the girl’s heart, especially since there was already plenty of contenders and the main one being a young man called Brom, a tough, mischievous, good-humored hooligan whom sometimes did horse ride-bys with his buddies late at night making loud whooping noises, waking the ladies up who knew the culprit immediately upon listening. Back to Crane’s woo, though, even knowing Brom was testing his luck with Katrina, Crane couldn’t give up and made his move as well, but more toned down, Brom hearing about it anyways, and his threat of what he’d do to Crane getting back to him, he making sure to avoid Brom, but he getting at Crane other ways, like his school house being vandalized. Besides these happenings, one afternoon Crane receives an invitation to a party at the Van Tassel’s, Katrina’s family, this happening on a school day and prompting Crane to rush the rest of the lessons and let the kids out early so he could prepare.

There is also multiple reference of Crane being similar to the “knight-errant”, he again having this air as he rode to Katrina’s, looking quite a figure atop the horse he’d borrowed. When he’d arrived, the other guests were noted in attempting to look their smartest, Crane noticing, but not acknowledging Brom, the two entering, and Crane bringing his attention to all the yummy goodness around him (the man loved his food). Then he has a dance with Katrina, as Brom watched, and afterwards goes to listen to a conversation with her father, officially losing his momentum by leaving Katrina alone, the loser. Crane heard the group sharing terrifying tales of every kind, soon landing on the Horseman, Crane hears the latest of a man’s run in and where the Horseman was seen most often, as well as a story from Brom with his encounter. After a bit more stories are related, the party breaks up, people go home, except for Crane, whom waits for a moment to speak with Katrina, whom he thought he was at the top of the game with. The Narrator doesn’t know the details of the conversation though, only knowing Crane didn’t stay long after and wasn’t happy. He waking his horse with disrespect and riding by the gnarly tree, but having another moment of uncertainty when coming to a brook where the man of the namesaked tree had been held up. Crane attempts to rush by the obstacle, but now the horse resists stubbornly, unwilling to obey his savagely made demands. Then he notices a presence in the dark, Crane calling out for an answer and getting none, so begins humming a psalm (hilariously), the creature moving into the horse’s blind spot, and Crane realizing it was the Horseman.

Crane rides off, attempting to lose him, but regardless of speeding up or slowing down, the Horseman matches his pace. When Crane notices where his head was though, it renewed his energy to flee, the horse taking a route of his own decision, it leading past a “goblin bridge” and the church. Crane’s saddle then comes loose and he slides back and forth as the horse runs in a panic. Crane then notices he’s approaching the bridge Brom had lost the Horseman, Crane not as lucky since getting across, he looking behind him and seeing the Horseman readying to chuck his head at him, Crane attempts to avoid it, but the Horseman has some spot on aim, for it connecting directly with his head. Crane falls hard, and all ride on without him, his horse scampering home and no one noticing Crane missing until after he’d missed his class, they tracking his hat down first, but nothing of the man was found, his school house closing. Someone visiting Sleepy Hollow from the city however, knew Crane was alive and doing well for himself, but the wives preferred to remember his disappearance being related to the Horseman’s doing, a farm boy claiming to have heard psalm singing at the deserted school house. Definitely unlike the adaptations; an alright tale, but does read like an overview, and knowing how much of a butt Crane is, definitely makes his horrendous scare much more satisfying.

There is then a Postscript where we learn the Narrator heard the story at a meeting, the man sharing of getting the response of amused laughter except for one whom asked of the moral, the man responding of life having ups and downs and he himself not believing parts of the story either, the man having a confused expression by the answer.

Rip Van Winkle is then related by introducing the story being discovered in a deceased Diedrich Knickbocker’s papers. The man having written the tale and how it was either loved or dismissed, it being said he should’ve spent his time in some other way, but since he wasn’t alive, there being no harm in sharing the story now. We truly begin with mention of the Kaatskill mountains, which changed color and shape depending on the hour and weather. This story also following descendants of the Dutch, who lived in a village at the bottom of the mountain. We discover Rip Van Winkle lives among them and is a pleasant sort. He marrying an opposite personality from himself, so when his domestic tiffs were gossiped about, he consistently had the unanimous support for his side. Even the children of the village “sang his praises” since he’d teach them new games, make them toys, and told all sorts of stories. The one area he lacked was the motivation to keep up with his own household chores, but offering assistance to others, as well as having abundant patience with the most mind-dulling pastimes, i.e. fishing, hunting were his shtick. Rip didn’t have any luck when it came to the weather being on his side when necessary to do farm work, and so his was the lease successful in the village. His children weren’t any better for him, his son looking like a street rat, and his wife constantly berating his laziness, so to escape, he would walk about outside. Wolf, his dog was looked with the same contempt as Rip by his wife since she believed the dog wasn’t helping her husband’s lackadaisical ways. His marriage didn’t get any easier with time, so Rip began attending a club of sorts where the great thinkers of the neighborhood would meet.

The men of the group weren’t safe from Mrs. Van Winkle though, she going after all of them when it came to sharing the blame for Rip’s kickback lifestyle. It was this kind of situation where Rip would go off to the woods with Wolf, one day he going squirrel hunting, getting higher onto the Kaatskills, soon tiring himself and resting, then realizing it would be well dark by the time he returned to the village, he not excited by the reception he expected from his wife, but when planning on descending, hears his name being called, surprised anyone would be in such a deserted spot, but he thinking it was a villager in need, going to meet the stranger and helping him with his load, they walking higher into the mountain. Rip is curious of why this man carried liquor and was complacent with the diversion. They reach the man’s desired location where other oddly attired men were passing their time playing a bowling game. Whilst their actions conveyed good times, it was quiet, and none were smiling. Rip was put off by their behavior, he helping divvy out the drink upon request, the men accepting and going back to their game.

Once Rip no longer felt he was being watched, he tastes the keg, it being a flavor he enjoyed, soon having enough to put him to sleep. He awakens at the spot he originally sees the stranger when it’s light, he thinking he’d slept there the night and what excuse he’d need for wifey. He looks for his gun and discovers an old one falling apart, concluding the men of the night before must have robbed him. He then decides to return to the place where they’d been, the route now containing a stream which was dry before. When he gets to the spot where there should be a place to enter the clearing, there was none, Rip having to resign himself to being without gun or dog, and needing to put up with the confrontation his wife would surely bring to him since he couldn’t put off going home for being famished. When he reaches town he was baffled by not recognizing anyone he saw, and upon copying the gesture of the men to rub their chins, he realizes is beard had grown quite a bit. He also notices the houses and names over the doors weren’t familiar, as well as the building he knew no longer standing, but the landscape having stayed unchanged.

Rip locates his home which had decayed greatly, as well as a skinny dog which must’ve been Wolf hanging around the property, but no longer knew him. He then goes to his club’s meeting place, discovering a different scene with a man talking about politics, the place no longer lazy, but busy with people. When the politicians notice his odd appearance and being noticed by the women and children, they each inquire how he voted, and the like, Rip responding with confusion. When another man asks whom he was looking for, Rip names his friends, their fates ranging from death to holding a place in Congress. Rip felt so forlorn to the changes he blurts of anyone knowing “Rip Van Winkle”, some immediately recognizing the name and pointing to a man standing against a tree, Rip now questioning his own identity, he relating this when someone asks his name, he not knowing what to say. He having forgotten he had a son with his moniker, apparently. When a young lady approaches him with her child, also speaking the name of Rip, her child’s name, Rip asks whom she was, he learning about his wife, how long he’d been missing, twenty years, and what they’d thought had become of him. Rip then informs her of whom he was to her, an older woman walking up and recognizing him as her neighbor. He then finally gets his chance to share his short story of what happened to him.

Everyone had trouble believing his story until the local historian vouched for Rip about the Kaatskills being haunted by odd entities, the man relating how his father had seen a similar scene, and he himself had heard the noise of their bowling. After this, the party disperses to resume their election, Rip’s daughter inviting him to stay with her and her husband, he one of the boy’s whom would climb on his back all those years past, Rip’s son employed on their farm, but maintaining the disposition of his father, doing all work, but his own. Rip began to continue his old ways, and whilst seeing some old friends, preferred making new ones with the younger age group, he becoming a fixture of the neighborhood, but also having to become updated about the war and he now being a U.S. citizen. Rip did take up his post once more outside the inn to share his story with those who hadn’t heard, the details being on the minds of similarly nagged husbands, hoping for a fate like his. Mr Knickerbocker then corroborates the story by having spoken with Rip Van Winkle, himself and seeing a certificate stamped by a justice’s hand as proof of the truth. Fairly how I remember it the from the first time I’d heard it, odd tale upon rereading. 

We next have a Postscript of a story of a squaw whom managed the day and night, doing all the work of making the new moon and what happened with the old (basically recycled). She was in charge of the snow and storms, as well, and there was also a mischievous spirit whom would trick Indian hunters, we learning where the spirit liked to stay, Indians respecting the spot by leaving it unmarred by hunting animals there, etc. One Indian didn’t do so and paid for the slight when he touched something which shouldn’t have been moved, ending in his death and was connected to a stream which is still joined by the Hudson, the stream called the Kaaterskill. I do enjoy Native American mythology and due to this also being short, is a nice little break before the next.

The Spectre Bridegroom takes place in Germany and follows a Baron Von Landshort, whom comfortably lived in his family home, his neighbors keeping up with the feud their families had fueled for two centuries or so. The Baron had one daughter, whom was smart and beautiful, being given her education by her two aunts. This knowledge not as spectacular as made out to be, but considering the era, I suppose was still a fine enough accomplishment. When further explanation of her ability to follow instruction is given, it makes aware how she wouldn’t fall for a man without explicit measure to do so. We learn as well, of the family he would invite to his parties, praising his greatness and would agreeably listen to his tales relating to the portraits on the walls. Reminds me of my grandfather, hopefully my interpretation is wrong in thinking the Baron’s family enjoyed his company only for his sharing of the wealth. The story moves to the main point of when the Baron was expecting his daughter’s bridegroom to arrive. The marriage was arranged by the Baron and another agreeable dignitary, the two being betrothed and not meeting until right before the wedding day. The young man, for being in the Army and delayed for unknown reason, gave mention of when to expect him. Whilst the household was preparing for his arrival, the aunts prepared the girl’s dress and counseled her on how to carry herself when they first met, but the day drags on and soon into night with no Count in sight.

The Count’s perspective is then shown, his blasé attitude of not feeling rushed to make his appearance and how he’d waylaid himself in preference to visiting a friend in arms, nearby. The two catch up and decide to accompany each other due to their destinations lying in the same direction a ways. They unhurriedly journey through a forest and are molested (older definition) by robbers, they almost being overpowered until the Count’s men join in, the Count sustaining a terrible wound which a doctor attempts to heal, but making clear the Count’s odds not being good. The Count gives his friend his dying wish for him to travel to his bride’s home and explain why he hadn’t shown up. His buddy, Starkenfaust held trepidation in going through with the Count’s last request since his family were enemies of the Baron’s family and also due to his news not being fortuitous. Starkenfaust was intrigued by setting his own eyes on the beauty of this bride, though and couldn’t deny his inclination for escapades of these kind.

Meanwhile the Baron endeavored to postpone the feast, the meat already overdone for the evening getting later, he ready to reluctantly proceed when he finally hears sounds of approach from the gate. When the Baron sets eyes on the stranger whom he presumes to be his late guest, he babbles on and interrupts the man so often, he decides to wait to explain, the bride then making her appearance. The man becomes mesmerized and no longer fights to make his explanation known, the group proceeding to the banquet hall. The groom then only entertains himself with conversation with the blushing bride, she taken with her groom’s handsome countenance. The party starts well, but the man seemed to become weighed down with his secret, the bride soon becoming affected. After one of the Baron’s tales, the groom decides to leave, the Baron surprised since he’d prepared for the man to rest there for the night. The man shares of having other plans and when the Baron follows him out, the man claims he’s a ghost, he riding off for his funeral and the Baron sharing the news with his guests. The story of the Count’s demise is confirmed next day, the Baron’s guests staying for his “comfort”, and the bride downcast by the news.

The second night of the bride’s mourning, one of her aunts had stayed with her in her room, the woman falling asleep, and the widow-bride then hearing music, going to her window to again see the specter, the aunt having awoken due to the music and seeing the same, fainting straight away. The aunt thenceforth refused to sleep in the room, the girl not wishing to sleep in any other, the aunt vowing not to relate their supernatural visit until one morning, the girl goes missing and the aunt spills the frightful tale, two workers supporting the possibility of the specter carrying her off for hearing hooves at midnight. The Baron sends scouts to search for her, but was joined by the specter and his daughter as he was readying to search, as well. The man then explains fully what had occurred the previous nights of his visits and had wedded the girl, since. The Baron accepts this in preference to the alternative, everything working out to their advantages in the end. If not for the criss-cross, this story reminds me of Corpse Bride. Quick and entertaining, if not a bit corny.

English Writers on America states the mentality of English views on American writing, of which they are biased due to the English reviewers. I’d also agree with Irving’s opinion of the English being top dog with “graphical descriptions”. He also states we, as Americans also offer the “worst” of the Englishmen, the “good” ones going to more exciting and remote locales. Those whom travel here, getting a small-minded view of the world’s greatest “political experiments”. The ideas being attempted to relate getting lost by the minor viewpoint of “surface…interests”. The disappointment of these viewpoints colored by their idea of money falling in their laps, etc. The true beauty of America lost in translation. I’m hesitant to agree with Irving’s view here. He lets his rant end with this, wanting to address it due to other Americans apparently dwelling on this. He then attempts to calm aching egos with words of optimism about America. He goes on to mention the differences of writers between England and the U.S., claiming England is bashing the U.S. in their news articles. Haven’t researched, can’t comment. Irving claims England will regret their words when they need the U.S. as compatriots. This is where I begin to skim since Irving seems to have been writing this as a political piece during his time of not accepting his place in the government, but sharing strong opinions. The last bit describes of extricating wisdom from England’s perspective of the U.S. to make Americans stronger. Not my favorite, if I had more experience with multiple time periods politics, perhaps.

The Mutability of Literature begins with the ideas of partial dreaming and our Narrator in such a state whilst hanging about Westminster Abbey, his lazy thoughts being interrupted by loud, happy boys from Westminster School playing football in the passages, our Narrator withdrawing to the library to escape their noise. The church officer unlocks the rarely used room to the library, it being above ground level, the Narrator barely hearing the boys now, and even less after the bells for prayer were rung, he viewing the small table and unused inkwells, pens, and a few books sitting atop it. Our Narrator pays these no mind as he takes a quarto and settles in an elbow chair, but then is overcome by the somber air of the place, and how futile the lives of authors be! As he thought this, the quarto “yawned” awake and began to speak in its archaic tongue, our Narrator attempting a modern translation. The book complained of not being read for two hundred years and would prefer the dean open the library to the school so the books had better chance of being opened and aired, but the Narrator argues the bright side of the book not being worn out so often, the quarto’s counterparts most likely already dust. The book didn’t see the value of this since it had been meant to circulate many hands, but the Narrator maintains the luck of the book being it hadn’t been constantly used, but preserved. He goes on to compare other authors works having already been forgotten, the book noting those mentioned being quite older than it. The Narrator then mentions an author of whom’s work has helped the mutability of literature, but a public library making him cry in knowing the books within would most likely be forgotten in a century.

The book mentions a few popular titles from its day, but the Narrator informs how their time had passed. He spoke of how long before the printing press, works of literature weren’t so common and works of genius would have their time and fade out, whilst now, if those works were to stay, the new wonders of literature combined would leave the reader “in the endless maze of literature.” Doesn’t sound terrible, to me. The Narrator mentions how the expanse of choices overwhelms people, so we only end up reading reviews, and critics are helpful for what they do, by weeding out the failures. The quarto then asks after Shakespeare, the Narrator denying his work had been forgotten due to unparalleled originality, but commentators of his collection were drowning out his work from only knowing its pure beauty. The quarto laughed its back cover off (not literally), the Narrator taking slight offense and defending the poet as being a writer whom wrote from the heart, which helps gain immortality. Due to his poetic style, he has an edge over prose writers (they going on too long), he able to capture the essence of the spirit. (The Narrator is wrong about settings needing to possibly be changed, even though his mention of Chaucer in regards to this is true) he launching into another speech when interrupted by the church officer whom was there to close the library, the Narrator noticing the book had stopped responding, and even when returning a couple times after this, didn’t hear a peep from the book again, uncertain whether he dreamt it all up. Fascinating, usually I’m a sucker for literature-themed literature, and it certainly wasn’t bad, but I do believe I’m tiring of Irving’s style. His talk of archaic language makes me respond with “ain’t you the pot calling the kettle”, etc.

Westminster Abbey first describes the Fall being gloomy and our Narrator walking through the Abbey describing his course of seeing a church officer making him imagine the man was a ghost drifting through the corridors. He then details the age of tombstones and walls, but then a sliver of sunlight makes the building itself show some elegance. He then ponders over three abbots’ gravestones, reading their names. Once the bell tolls the hour, he moves on to another part of the inside of the abbey, impressed by its enormity and how it made one aware of the noise made by walking through. He then considers how once great men fought for a place among the dead for their tombstone to be among so many others. He relating Poet’s Corner where monuments and such, house sculptures of Shakespeare and others. The Narrator gives homage to the sacrifice authors make for their work and how it services humanity for their thoughts preserved. After, he goes to the burial chamber of kings which used to be chapels. Each room carried a different statuary scene which brought to the Narrator’s mind one was seeing an estate which showed a legendary city with the inhabitants turned into stone (so, Medusa’s lair?). He is also affected by how the people of those times had a direct and proud way of writing the inscriptions of those who died. The Narrator then describing a monument across from Poet’s Corner which he didn’t find incredible, since it was a terrible display of wife being targeted by death with her husband watching. As the Narrator experiences this, he’s periodically struck with the noise of life from outside which confuses the sadness of the place. It was getting closer to dark and the sounds begin to lessen as evening prayers were starting. He stood outside Henry VII’s chapel, it located up some steps and looking through a depressing, but impressive arch, the place seeming hesitant to allow anyone to walk through such a dazzling place. More detail of the inside is given, its Gothic and magnificent surroundings (one would probably be better off experiencing it in person, but the usefulness of this text lies in the inability to go or its eventual destruction). The Narrator contemplates how once this place had looked new and lighter, now dreary and deserted with birds nesting in the ornamental corners of the ceiling. He then shows the room with Queen Elizabeth, and the other, her “victim”, Mary, resting on a bench for all of his walking. He hears the priest speaking his sermon, and the organ playing giving the place another side of nuance. He sits and allows the music to entrance him as the day grew later. Before leaving the abbey, he visits Edward the Confessor’s shrine, where other kings and queens are also housed. When viewing the tomb, he noted it had been vandalized, he leaving the way he came in, noticing the jolting sound of the closing door, and its echoes within. The Narrator then realizes only the moment after stepping out, the memories of what he’d seen were fading, like a joke of death. The Narrator also has revelation to the history of the place eventually falling and being forgotten. Fascinating only if one enjoys architectural and Gothic description.

The Creole Village is an overview of the mixed population in Louisiana of French, Spanish, and Indian, the French characteristics seeming to surface to the top of the other genetics as most prominent. The language also being the main form of communication, which makes them indifferent to politics and would follow blindly to whatever rules the government implemented, and the few older men who were followed simply because they were authoritative. The people lived with a lack of money lust which was also confusing to our Narrator. He mentioning having met an unofficial leader of one of these villages, he describing the man as having original Gallic features, and traveled with a black servant, whom looked quite content, we learning our Narrator’s thoughts on this being atypical for black men, contrasting this with Indians. We are also introduced to another man of the village, he being a school teacher, playing sports, and surveying land, we learning the men’s opposite personality to their canine companions. The group was heading back to these two men’s village, upon arrival, they receiving a warm welcome by the townspeople. Each man goes off with their families, the Narrator following the teacher home, where he and his family chatted of gossip. The Narrator then walks about town, seeing how most everything was French in architecture and clothing, with some Gallic construction. He heard the fiddle of the teacher which he would’ve returned to hear and see the festivities involved, but the steamboat was close to disembarking, he hoping the village stayed as it was, unmarred by money and greed, the next stop being a place of which the opposite was occurring. The village was expanding and life was richer and more complicated, the Narrator desperately wondering the fate of the Creole village. Surprise there, I suppose. Easy read and interesting viewpoint.

English and French Character has the Narrator explaining how he saw his role of viewership and being an important judge of character between the French and English, he relating how the English stuck with their own; the French and English staying unmixed. We then get a braid of facts, of the English and French personalities, the former being consistent and precise, whilst the latter is fast to conclusions, etc. The French seize the day whilst the English prepare for the worst. The French social, the English reserved and prefer solitude. French are masters of wit, English, humor (Agreed), as well as the former having more decadent taste, the latter having a vast imagination (Agreed, again). We then get the correlation of their political stances. This one is short, but interesting with its simplicity. Especially good for those interested in Sociology/History.

The Tuileries & the Windsor Castle gives the impression of being similar to “Westminster Abbey” and the previous essay, the Narrator entertaining himself by giving French character to national buildings. In the Tuileries, the Narrator describes the military doing their usual fare on base, we learning some men lounged whilst others patrolled, and detailing the building itself being quite sophisticated, but every nook having an occupant, whether they be court employees or royalty and their families. The royalty varied in status, those who having fallen in stature, living modestly within their rooms. It goes on about how surprisingly many children and nursemaids resided inside, this description before Windsor Castle had its repairs and additions since the author made it sound as if the place was crumbling. I called it, easy read, pleasant enough if wanting detail of military and royalty living in a castle like a motel.

The Field of Waterloo immediately makes known of this essay expanding on the French and English character. The two opposites and both fit for the other’s competition, the best example being by their armed forces, each having long pasts filled with wins, the Battle of Waterloo then being referenced as the latest in their facing off, one side showing courage and the other stubborn motivation. Then we are given how the English, since not receiving the command to fire, stood in their ranks bravely as the French came at them. A moment of humanity is relived by how a French soldier spares an Englishman since he’d dropped his weapon. Both sides fight exemplarily to the point of not being able to figure who’s side showed the most ‘character’, the Narrator painting a pleasant and worn picture of the time he’d visited the war-zone. The essay concluding with details of a man called De Latour d’Auvergne. Enjoyable one, giving some extra insight to go with the reading of Les Miserables.

I hate to do this, but due to the next story, Knickerbocker’s History of New York being a part of a much larger work, I must wait until I get my hands on the entirety.

Also, to prelude the start of A Tour on the Prairies, since I read some favorable reviews and one which made me question whether I’d want to read the full volume, I’ll be using these excerpted stories before deciding to commit to the whole collection.

A Bee Hunt gives location as being in a spectacular forest, camp near dead trunks where non-farmed bees reside nearby, a search party soon goes off in search of one of the bee hives, our Narrator accompanying when invited. They soon come across the lure for the bees so the group could be lead to their honey stores, they choosing a destructive way of getting to the honey, chopping the tree down. As the group and neighboring hives utilizing the honey, the bees returned to the hive, at first confused by the change to location of their hive, then fly to a nearby tree, possibly considering their next move (the queen most likely smooshed). The group leaves a lot of the honey there, discussing how animals of the forest would clean it out, especially bears. Depressing, well written, and having me question whether I’m a fair-weather fan of this style and period of writing, but definitely have decided I’m not enjoying these topics, so will go straight to the Crayon Miscellany.

On Astoria, due to there apparently being better resources out there (this being repetitious in style), I’ll be a’skippin’ ahead, didn’t sit well with it being another excerpt, anyways.

Since I can’t say I care about Oliver Goldsmith, the man, or the history, moving ahead. Plus, there’s Wikipedia for a reason, right? *wink*

Here I go again, I’d prefer reading Tales of a Traveller in it’s full text, which will now take longer, since Phoenix Public Library is a joke.

Might as well add The Alhambra to the ever elongating list, as well.

The Guests from Gibbet Island relates of a well known village called Communipaw where a building looking dilapidated and evil-looking has been standing for many years, where gangs of malnourished dogs roamed about, and in front of the building stood a platform looking like the sort one lynchings were performed on, but was only a post to hang signs, the building before being used as a bar, where a well-remembered meeting of men was held, they having discovered New Amsterdam. The owner of the establishment would hang mysterious signs and was entertained by the mystery it instigated among the patrons. Then introduction to Yon Yost Vanderscamp is given, he the prankster variety, pulling tricks like putting gunpowder secretly in pipes of the regulars, Vanderscamp was the nephew of the proprietor, Tuenis Van Gieson, and he looking upon him as a son, took this with humor. Gieson, however would have his patience tried by a man called Pluto, he a mystery himself since arriving during a storm in bad shape, no one knowing his origins. Gieson revived him to health, but soon learned Pluto didn’t speak the same language, since when asking his home, he would point to Gibbet Island, which everyone knew wasn’t populated. He stayed long enough to learn some Dutch and was seen as a goblin of the bar, he doing odd jobs when he felt charitable. Pluto enjoyed most being in a boat or raft, fishing, and wouldn’t be detoured by stormy weather, he also having bonded to only Vanderscamp, he tutoring the boy to be the most irritating mischief-maker, the two riding off in the ocean until Vanderscamp was cultured on all the bays and islands in the area. During one of these excursions, the two disappear for longer than usual, no one minding since their village was quiet for once. When Gieson died, the bar closed, Vanderscamp the heir, but years passed with no return. Until he did many years later, looking grizzled and with a crew of like demeanor. Vanderscamp had plans on reopening the bar for he and his fellows, well-off merchants, he changing the bar to a raucous place. The men essentially turning the place into a piratical resting house.

Pluto, looking more rough for the passing years was treated roughly, but seemed to enjoy the put downs and abuse, he egging on the violent behavior until the men took their wild night out on the town, the locals withdrawing indoors. Vanderscamp would insist on renewing old acquaintances though, until the day his crew and he would leave, when next to return, to be a surprise. The locals realized Vanderscamp’s new role as a successful pirate, their town now his safe-haven. The British government soon took notice to the piracy though, and on Gibbet Island, hung some of Vanderscamp’s crew, he and Pluto escaping capture, the townspeople hoping his demise had been delivered elsewhere. Unfortunately, their return is made, but Vanderscamp had found himself a wife, of ill-temper, he having changed his ways and ready to retire in his hometown. Vanderscamp was soon seen dealing with shady, but unassuming men, the idea being he was trafficking stolen goods. One night, a trade had occurred and Vanderscamp was a bit on the alcoholically toasty side, as a storm began to brew, Pluto rowing them past Gibbet Island, where the bodies of his comrades still hung, Vanderscamp regarding the dead kindly, the two getting to shore at midnight, he knowing his wife wouldn’t greet him kindly, but not expecting the news of guests awaiting inside, he going up to see them, and shocked to discover the gallows-men, he backing out and falling down the stairs, losing his life. From then on the house was considered haunted. Pluto acted more off his rocker, and one night the town heard screams, but ignored them, some brave enough, checking the next day to see the place a mess supposedly, by the storm, and Vanderscamp’s wife strangled. Later, fishermen discovered Pluto’s boat and he close to Gibbet Island, all seeming to have received terrible fates.

Surprisingly engaging, not much of a ghost story, but I’m no longer expecting much from Irving.

The Legend of Don Munio Sancho de Hinojosa begins with a convent at Silos in Castile, a decomposing, but majestic memorial of the Hinojosa family. A scene where a knight conquers men and women, and they repenting is shown, but due to its age, the meaning harder to understand for anyone other than an expert. The tale was protected in Spanish texts and is as follows. Long ago, many hundred years previous, there lived a courtly man named Don Munio, etc., he owner of a castle along the borders, and making a name for himself as being known for brutality, he having many trophies of his conquests, and when he wasn’t off to war (Shout out to Curtis! Showed me and my buddy the proper way to go to war is with metal bowl upon head, and spoon in hand!), he enjoying hunting of all sorts, being married to a gentle soul, not cut out for his daredevil lifestyle. One day as he’s on the hunt, a group of Moors both male and female, wearing expensive accessories were walking in his line of sight, they not carrying weapons, as well as a young man and woman, quite taking in the looks department, on a horse, Don Munio took advantage of this happy coincidence, calling his men, and they taking them as prisoners, the young man, once learning whom had captured them, praising Don Munio for his successes and offering all their possessions if he allowed them to continue forward to their wedding, Don Munio then offering for they to stay with him, as guests for fifteen days, Don Munio’s wife greeting the new bride with sisterly affection and led her inside, and as promised, they celebrating for two weeks and a day, Don Munio gifting them wonderful handmade trinkets (presumably), and got them safely on their way. Years later,Don Munio answers the call of war against the Moors once more, his wife distraught, he promising to make this his final fight, the battle was a lengthy and wound-heavy one, Don Munio rallying the troops so their king could flee, Don Munio and many of his men dying in the effort, Don Munio taken out by a familiar face, and upon realizing whom he’d slain, felt deep regret. Meanwhile, Don Munio’s wife waited anxiously, and on one night, a guard sounded the sign for a party on the road, they believing Don Munio had returned (true) with Moorish prisoners (not so much), the young man kneels guiltily before Don Munio’s wife, and the ancient scene erected was made at the young Moor’s expense. The ghostly part happening the same day of Don Munio’s death, he and his men seen at a church, they disappearing when approached. It concludes by mentioning if there’s any doubt to the story, check History of the Kings of Castile and Leon by Fray Prudencio de Sandoval, Bishop of Pamplona, in the History of the King Alonzo VI on page 102.

I do give props for the specificity, this one a charming way to end an up and down collection. Recommended to history and or sociology buffs.

 

 

 

Thank You, Jeeves

 

Bertie is in his apartment playing his banjolele and feeling pensive. He then shares with Jeeves of seeing Stoker and his daughter, Pauline in town, Jeeves stating their presence shouldn’t effect him regardless of what had happened in New York. Jeeves does make the point of they being in town should scarcely mean he’d run into them, London being a place where it was easy to avoid people, apparently. Bertie then proceeds to mention whom he’d seen with them being Lord Chuffnell’s Aunt Myrtle and Glossop. Jeeves then mentions Roderick Glossop had asked to meet with Bertie, surprising him due to their rocky encounters in the past. Bertie is so flabbergasted by this and uninterested in confrontation, he commands Jeeves to borrow a neighbor’s dog to sic upon Glossop. Bertie then gives detail to why he’d react so poorly to such news. After, why he’d decided to act unaccommodating is shown, but since Glossop had arrived whilst Bertie was playing his banjolele, he was in a light-hearted mood and also thought the only reason Glossop could be there was to apologize, but when Bertie greets Glossop with magnanimity, he’s given nothing more than a grunt. Bertie is about to match his cold demeanor when Glossop lays into his sanity again and how his playing of the beloved instrument was annoying his neighbors, in particular one of Glossop’s patients, and he was there to unceremoniously attempt to get Bertie to stop, but Bertie had been annoyed by the yappy dog owned by the woman downstairs and so Glossop promises the issue wouldn’t be at an end yet, which for Bertie was the case, for after doing a musical set, he receives a call from the manager of the building which gave him the option to either stop playing or move, Bertie choosing to leave, then informing Jeeves. When Jeeves makes it clear he would put notice if Bertie planned on moving to the country, Bertie attempts to pep talk him into staying even after learning Jeeves could barely take the playing as well, the accepting of his resignation soon following.

Bertie then goes walking and upon turning a corner in Piccadilly, sees Chuffy. A bit of background on him and his status is related, Bertie considering he may have a place for him to rent. Chuffy though, had a lunch meeting with no other than Glossop, Bertie doing his best to talk him out of it, but due to the possibility of Glossop wanting his estate for the summer, couldn’t risk it and promises to dine with Bertie the next night, which Bertie states of being unable to do for leaving, wanting to know if he could hook him up with a cabin, Chuffy able to with ease. Bertie then mentions of having let go Jeeves upon questioning, Chuffy seeming quite interested. Bertie going off to the Drones after, and considering how he would have other musicians (of the black persuasion, this being the second time mentioned in a no longer used form, sort of way) to learn from due to their musical prowess. Bertie then speaks to Jeeves once more to make sure he had no guilt in his decision to leave, Jeeves letting him know Chuffy had offered a position to him which he accepted, Bertie now miffed Chuffy’d given him the wrong impression with his inquiries, Bertie then letting Jeeves know they would be in the same area and made a meeting spot.

Bertie mentions how the boys at the Drones had reacted to his sharing of leaving. They believing he’d be bored to death, but after a few days of being in his new home, had no feeling in this regard whatsoever. After, he debates whether to add more scenic details to his description of his environment, having received opposing opinions, Bertie decides to keep it short, detailing what he saw, then of his new valet, Brinkley speaking with the Sergeant, Bertie including how a yacht had docked in the harbour during the night. The mention of Brinkley then makes me certain of the show covering this story, it playing out a bit differently, but soon beginning to match up, fairly. Bertie then hears his car horn honking and upon seeing the boy pushing it, almost supplies him with a whack, but then realizing he’s Chuffy’s aunt’s son, reeling himself in. Seabury’s ranking among other terrible children Bertie had met is listed, he making the top five. Seabury then shares he was there to invite Bertie to lunch, so Bertie informs his man and drives off with the kid, he then learning it was a party and it being too late to go back to change. Seabury then shares of how they were now staying with Chuffy due to a stink in their home, Bertie making a joke and the boy shutting him down, then asking for money for protection, Bertie declining. When he arrives and parks, Bertie asks Chuffy about his cousin’s odd request, Chuffy explaining Seabury’s reasoning, Bertie noting how Chuffy seemed different and inquiring further in this area. When Chuffy responds cryptically, Bertie asks plainly why he’s so happy, Chuffy relenting, even though Bertie admitted to being unable to keep a secret, it being Chuffy’s aunt would soon marry Glossop. Bertie not seeing the good in this set up other than Glossop and Seabury completely deserving each other, Chuffy attempting to convince Bertie to start liking Glossop for his sake, but agreeably gives in when he knows it won’t happen. Bertie then discovers whom Glossop had found to take Chuffy’s estate off his hands, as well next seeing Stoker pulling up with his daughter, Pauline, son Dwight, and Glossop himself.

This lineup had taken Bertie by surprise, he attempting to act as respectably as possibly, to cover his reddening face. Meanwhile Chuffy hadn’t noticed the two men staring at Bertie with distaste, Pauline greeting him warmly and unphased by the males with her staring with varying degrees of indifference. Pauline goes on to explain how she tried getting in touch with Bertie and he dazedly mentioning having left town, she seeing as much. Soon after a little more awkward conversation, Lady Chuffnell ushers the group in and leaves Bertie whom hadn’t noticed until he was alone with Chuffy once more, whom was looking at him oddly. Chuffy wondered how well Bertie must know Pauline, the response being he didn’t much at all, Chuffy stating it seemed much more with how she acted and Bertie confirming she treated everyone this way. Chuffy undoubtedly giving the impression of having a thing for her with how he responds. Chuffy then inquires what areas of conversation to avoid with Stoker, Bertie deciding anything involving him would be a bad idea and he being better off to sit out the afternoon gathering, Chuffy agreeing if Bertie’s assessment was accurate. Once Chuffy decides he should join the others, Bertie mentions he also noticing the squirrelly way Chuffy acted whilst talking about Pauline, Bertie seeming a bit annoyed, but since they did have many common qualities, he seeing the value of helping the two nurture the budding romance. Bertie gets the chance to broach the subject with Pauline when she gets him alone outside and sits on a bench, Bertie starting with the reason he’d come there. Pauline then speaks of her father and Glossop not being Bertie’s biggest fans, she then easing into the subject of Chuffy, which upon using his first name, confuses Bertie for not having heard it before, but then Pauline defends him and makes Bertie look at her sideways. Pauline revealing she knows he likes her back, but hasn’t said so yet which confuses her, Bertie assuring due to the few days which have passed she should give him time, she confiding a strange, dreamy, fantasy of  what Chuffy reminded her of, and Bertie not getting why she’d have such a thought, she unable to explain, and after Bertie mentions how men go through certain measures before making declarative steps, Pauline notices someone approach, Bertie realizing it was Jeeves.

Jeeves is there to inform of Pauline’s father asking after her, Bertie confirming what she’d said to him was in the forefront of his mind, and then speaking with Jeeves with plans to leave, then considers asking his advice regardless of their differences, Jeeves lending his ear. Bertie begins by making certain Jeeves knew of Chuffy’s feelings for Pauline, he agreeing and Bertie knowing Chuffy being a quick operator, didn’t understand what could be holding him back. Jeeves brings insight, it being caused by Chuffy’s financial straits, then going on to share where Stoker had gotten his fortune, Bertie surprised by the amount and specifics Jeeves had on the subject. Jeeves also mentions how Chuffy had assured of Stoker signing by using himself as a bargaining chip, and for all of Jeeves’ good ideas, he currently didn’t have one which would work to aide Chuffy. Bertie then decides he’ll use jealousy as a way to get Chuffy moving, Jeeves not agreeing with Bertie’s fuel to get Chuffy going, but Bertie having decided he didn’t mind a knock from a buddy if it meant helping him get the girl, then asking Jeeves to supply him with sandwiches and drink, and when to begin informing the desirables to begin flocking to him, Jeeves going along without a fight.

When Jeeves returns with the requested snackies, he also mentions of no news regarding the sale of Chuffy’s estate, but of a party for Dwight being held on the yacht with everyone present invited, the two boys one upping the other on experience with yachts, Stoker deflating the ego fight by mentioning of hiring the black minstrels for the boy’s birthday which descended the two in another ego fight, but Jeeves had completed his part of Bertie’s plan, one issue arising since Pauline and Chuffy had been chatting and could potentially arrive together, Jeeves knowing a way of detaining Chuffy for a spot longer. Pauline finally arrives and before she could say what she was beginning to say, Bertie sees whom he believes is Chuffy coming and plants a kiss on her head, but instead noted it was Pauline’s father, Bertie lucky the man hadn’t kicked him for already believing Pauline and he were more than friendly, instead retrieving his daughter and walking off, dirty look at Bertie intact all the while. Chuffy then comes to confront Bertie about he not mentioning having been engaged to Pauline, Bertie not believing it important due to its being short lived, then realizing he’d been lucky Chuffy hadn’t seen the failed kiss due to his serious disposition currently. Once learning Bertie no longer had feelings for Pauline and she had feelings for Chuffy, he relaxed, then stated he’d already become engaged to her and Stoker had agreed to buy his home. Bertie then going to see Jeeves whom mentioned the spiked tension between the youngsters of the group once more, which damaged the deal of Stoker buying the estate due to the sequence of events which followed, Bertie quite pleased by the fates of the two boys involved, Jeeves concluding the story by giving everyone’s current whereabouts. Bertie then inquires how Jeeves had come by the information of why Stoker planned on keeping Pauline on the yacht for the remainder of their stay, which worried Bertie since it involved his kiss and Chuffy having overheard the conversation as well, he wanting to display his anger upon Bertie. Jeeves then comes up with the idea of Bertie giving the intention of only doing so in congratulations of their engagement and was only brotherly in nature, Bertie needing to meditate over getting away with this plan. Jeeves had then properly assumed Chuffy would be awaiting Bertie’s arrival back at his cottage, Chuffy popping up as soon as Bertie made his presence known, acting intimidating. Bertie does insert the story of the intention behind his kiss and after a few moments, Chuffy calms and declares he would still be marrying Pauline, regardless of his financial stability. Bertie then mentions how Jeeves could be Pauline and Chuffy’s go between by letter to set up a meeting since Chuffy had agreed with Stoker of he being Jeeves’ new employer. After perfecting his plan, Chuffy backslides into doubt, Bertie having to repeatedly confirm there was nothing between he and Pauline, Chuffy in the end taking his word. Bertie then deciding he’s going to town for a bite and show, relieving Brinkley for the night, whom he didn’t care for at all. When Bertie had returned to his room, he found a shocking sight of Pauline in his bed and pajamas.

Bertie then investigates why Pauline had swam ashore to his bedroom, soon learning Jeeves had helped her and had also mentioned of Bertie being pleased to help accompanied with a backward compliment, Bertie getting hung up on it a bit. Pauline then continues about how she got in and if Brinkley were to have seen her he would’ve heard her enter, especially having done so through his bedroom, Bertie now wondering where the man could be. Pauline suggesting he may have gone on a crawl, in which case they should be safe, when a knock on the door is heard. She thought it could be her father and doused the candle, making Bertie more ill at ease, whomever at the door not letting up the knocking regardless. When Bertie does finally get the door he’s happy to discover it isn’t Stoker, but the Sergeant and his nephew, the young officer reporting of the broken window and mentioning seeing someone enter, they now insisting on searching the house. Bertie shuts this down quickly enough even after the Sergeant goes on a bit about police being blocked from doing their job, after which Bertie informs Pauline he’ll be retiring to the garage. As he makes the walk though, he’s interrupted by the Sergeant once more, apologizing and letting Bertie on his way, he attempting to get comfy in his car and failing, due to the Sergeant making another misplaced appearance and apologizing, now thinking Bertie was an odd duck, but once being left, Bertie knowing sleep would evade him, then he decides to try a tool shed he’d seen on the grounds. After getting comfortable and even becoming sleepy again, he’s again interrupted by the officers, Bertie becoming quite annoyed and deciding officers should have a touch of being shackled if this was going to be the way he was hassled. After making it clear whom he was to the two interlopers once more, they start their apologetic spiel and discussed reasons of Bertie being a bit odd to choose these places for sleep, but finally leave and Bertie having his moment of unconsciousness taken away once again by Chuffy.

How well received Bertie reacts to visits from his buddies is regarded, with the exception of the timing being right, this not a prime moment. What’s more, the Sergeant was present as well, the man explaining he’d found Chuffy near the harbour, Bertie thinking how much more convenient it could’ve been if he’d come early enough to see Pauline ashore. Instead Bertie found himself again having to defend his reasons for sleeping outside, Chuffy not understanding his argument for having a comfortable bed indoors, Bertie comes up with it being caused by a spider, thinking the idea was the perfect deterrent, but found out soon enough this had only made Chuffy decide to have he and the Sergeant escort him upstairs and kill the bug, Bertie aghast at the possibility. So due to not having a proper explanation handy, he low blows the Sergeant and dashes off, but only runs into a garden-related tool, the men carrying him into his cottage and straight into his bed with no surprising guests, to Bertie’s bewilderment. Chuffy then dismisses the Sergeant and goes about getting Bertie more comfortable, whilst Pauline emerges from her hiding place and happily greets Chuffy whom stares at her, quite unsure what to make of her presence there. She unaware of his confusion and not so happy look, goes to him only to be turned away which then makes her ask why he was reacting so coldly. After a few words from Chuffy, she slowly comprehends how she must look and becomes angry. Chuffy thinking he knows what’s been going on and revealing how he knew of she and Bertie’s short engagement and still thought there was warm feelings between them, Pauline not setting him straight, but declaring her pure dislike of him, not wanting to see him again and Bertie interjecting with details of an uncle whom had pigs, due to being a part of the subject between Pauline and Chuffy. In the end, Chuffy gracelessly makes his exit, Pauline making her view clear of she not caring about his pain from his spill toward the door, physically or otherwise.

Pauline then requests Bertie to leave the room so she could change and return to the yacht, Bertie hoping for a conversation about Chuffy, but she not wanting to think of him anymore. Bertie mistakenly pressing the matter even after she threatened violence upon his head, and despite getting his word in, she maintains her return and Bertie is left alone to fail sleeping, feeling sorry for the two ex-lovers. So he goes downstairs and after fixing himself a drink, discovers a letter from Pauline which mentioned having taken his coat and a rowboat back instead. After Bertie felt calm enough to contemplate sleep once more, he receives a knock on the door, expecting the Sergeant again, but getting an eyeful of Stoker, whom didn’t look kindly at all. He lets himself in and Bertie has an opportunity to answer smartly to his inquiries, then stating his daughter was in his premises, and after searching to uncover nothing, apologizes and wonders where she could be, Bertie seeing the moment most likely being something it wasn’t, similar to seeming Stoker’s equal. After Stoker leaves, Bertie makes sure no one else will turn up before turning in, the next time being woken by tweeting birdies and readying himself for breakfast.

After which he noted how he seemed too happy for the events he’d witnessed not long earlier, he believing he should be planning for a reunion when Jeeves pays him a visit. Bertie takes the time to catch him up on the previous evening’s misfortune and asks for Jeeves expertise, he needing time and was there to deliver a letter from Stoker which contained an invitation. Jeeves shares how it may have been caused by the conversation he’d had with Stoker earlier, having spoken with him of the events occurring in New York, revealing the other side to Glossop’s stories of Bertie. Which upon hearing Stoker having amended his views on Bertie and turning on Glossop, he thanks Jeeves for his efforts and decides to accept the invite for being able to plead Chuffy’s insanity, Jeeves building on his unformed idea with using the quarrel inflaming Chuffy’s unwellness. Bertie then gives confirmation of the time he should be expected and next he’s on board, Stoker mentioning how small of a dinner party it would be with Pauline feeling ill, Bertie’s plan going up in smoke. Conversation was scarce during the meal, but when they were having their after-dinner smoke, Bertie landed on a topic Stoker could entertain, it being about his yacht. Stoker then offers to show Bertie around, going to the bedrooms, and through politeness gets Bertie inside one of the rooms, locking him in.

After a little time waiting, Stoker returns, being vague as to why he’d placed Bertie in his current confinement, only sharing he was setting up the concert, Bertie having him explain the reason in detail, Stoker sharing he’d been stopped by the Sergeant to identify a person in his custody and it being Pauline. After hearing his perspective on what must have occurred, Bertie’s unable to defend any reason Pauline would’ve been inside his cottage, especially after stating otherwise. Despite this though, Stoker’s mentioning all this was to ensure he no longer thought of Bertie the same way and wouldn’t be opposing his engagement to Pauline, Bertie taken aback, but doesn’t confirm his thought being correct, which lets Stoker continue his extended reason for Bertie being detained was so he couldn’t give reason to leave until the wedding happened, he leaving to get back to his son’s party and sending his man with pajamas for Bertie. Meanwhile Bertie was struggling with his upcoming matrimonial setup due to knowing the love Pauline and Chuffy must still have for each other. When Jeeves arrives with said bed items, Bertie believes he’s safe once hearing Jeeves had spoken with Pauline, but Jeeves puts him straight by making him aware, Pauline hadn’t shown negativity toward their scheduled betrothal.

Next Jeeves supplies the idea of Bertie fleeing the yacht if acceptable to him, he mentioning what would be acquired if Bertie wanted to do so successfully, upon hearing it, Bertie thinking Jeeves had cracked, but he explaining of the minstrels leaving soon since their performance had finished, Bertie able to make a getaway with them, he now in typical awe of Jeeves’ intellect and says as much, then laying back for the smearing of shoe polish. After implementing the plan and it concluding with no hitches, Jeeves stands with Bertie outside his gate getting seriously amused by Bertie’s appearance, Bertie inquiring what his next steps should be, and Jeeves listing off the bullet points, the more important of which had Bertie preparing a trip out of the country to lie low. Bertie then asks after Jeeves, he stating he’ll be going back to Chuffy’s employ and Bertie thanking him once more (the title making it clear this is what the story would reflect) and mentioning including a little something when he wrote to him with his whereabouts. Bertie, satisfied with being alone since Brinkley still hadn’t turned up, but also due to his state of appearance, was attempting a wash which does nothing, he about to obtain butter, remembering this was necessary in getting shoe polish removed, when he heard a sound downstairs, thinking of the possibility it could be Stoker, and so being quiet and careful, upon listening further, heard whomever throwing items about in the sitting room, he making out the figure to be a drunk Brinkley. Bertie shouts at him and once Brinkley realizes where the voice had come from, picks up a knife and goes after Bertie, thinking him devilish, Bertie having forgotten his state, dashes back to his bedroom in pure terror, and then a description of how he’d have shared this tale with his nonexistent grandchildren to indicate camaraderie with them of his fear and how his reception of Stoker at this moment would’ve been warmly welcomed.

Bertie then speaking to Brinkley through the door to assure him of his identity, Brinkley thinking Bertie was inside the room with the devil and, Bertie hearing another person outside with Brinkley, soon realizes it was the Sergeant. Thinking at first he was saved and then figuring, perhaps not, due to his appearance and the Sergeant’s penchant for detainment which didn’t suit Bertie for his current trouble with Stoker. As Bertie listened, Brinkley now sounded quite sober whilst explaining what he thought had happened to Bertie inside the bedroom with the devil, but the Sergeant focused on Brinkley’s weapon currently in hand. Once circling to Brinkley’s reasons for said knife, the Sergeant knocks, but Bertie doesn’t speak, and Brinkley excuses himself, Bertie then looking out the window and deciding this would be an acceptable means of avoiding the situation, beginning to devise his accessories to do so, but this doesn’t do much good for the Sergeant having seen Brinkley decide to overturn a lamp to set the cottage ablaze, the two fleeing outdoors and Bertie still in his room until seeing the happy little flame appear. Bertie noting of taking his banjolele until remembering where he’d left it, currently couldn’t be reached, jumping out the window hastily. He runs off and sits himself a fair distance away in the wood, contemplating his next steps, which again gets hung up on his lack of banjolele and soon switches to how to acquire butter, so he could catch the train, ending with trailing Jeeves to Chuffy’s to impress upon him the task of fetching butter. Bertie makes his little trip successfully and without getting too lost on the way, being seen by a worker of the house and scaring her to the floor.

Bertie reflects on how a reaction so severe could be caused by something so insignificant as shoe polish and how if he’d only had a tan she may well have treated him with formal greeting. Bertie decides to withdraw once hearing people notice the girls reaction from inside. He goes to the front of the house and considers his next move, hearing Seabury yelling, making Bertie content. He then views someone he believed he recognized until then figuring whom he actually saw was Brinkley, he making such a loud knock, he was met by Chuffy himself, not pleased by his abrasive action and giving Brinkley a chase with periodic kick for Chuffy not being receptive to his question of whether the devil had paid him a visit. Bertie takes the opportunity to ask Chuffy for some butter since he can’t seem to get in touch with Jeeves, and so gets right behind Chuffy as he passes and scares the daylights out of him, not considering doing it gently until too late. Chuffy still doesn’t give Bertie a decent response of being happy to see him, so Bertie attempts to butter him up a bit, as it were, congratulating him on his butt-kicking, explaining whom Brinkley was to him, and what he’d done to the cottage. When Chuffy gets a better view of what Bertie looks like, he again wonders of Bertie’s sobriety, Bertie proving himself sound-ish of mind and ready to detail his adventure fully, so he could finally ask for the butter he required to catch the train. Once finishing his tale, Bertie could sense it wasn’t hitting an empathetic ear, especially when Chuffy shows surprise of Bertie trying to escape when a beautiful girl was ready to marry him, and her father giving his blessing. Bertie mentions of how she loved Chuffy though, and he denying this, he stating whilst he did love her she obviously wanted Bertie due to swimming right to him last night. Chuffy deciding he wouldn’t supply butter, but would wait until Bertie saw sense and went through with marrying Pauline, since he wanted her happy. After Chuffy stalks off, Bertie has gone deep into thought for some time and not noticing Jeeves turn up, until finally picking up on his gentle way of getting his attention.

Bertie again, had a great way of using metaphor in being relieved in seeing Jeeves, soon relaying what had happened since the Bertie’s escape off the yacht. After conclusion, Jeeves offers to obtain butter as well as some other little relaxants to ease Bertie’s stresses. Bertie then asks after what had happened to Seabury, Jeeves updating him and how it had been resolved, the answer being outlandish in reference to whom they referred. Being more surprising was the one in question agreeing to black face whilst constituting the entertainment for Seabury. He having in mind to set up some trickery for Glossop due to unpaid protection fee, Bertie then remembering to send Jeeves hastily for butter, waiting for his return, but not before hearing Seabury start shouting again. Bertie sees an odd sight of Glossop emerging, Jeeves reporting what he’d heard from an eye witness whom worked there, Glossop’s engagement off as a result. Jeeves then noting how Glossop would soon be in a tight spot for his appearance, Bertie feeling sorry for him and detailing how he would’ve reacted if Glossop had been his buddy. Jeeves then had to break the news of Seabury having emptied the house of butter for his vengeful plan.

Bertie was stunned once more by his unfortunate situation, wanting Jeeves to show more emotion in these situations, but as it was, only being able to offer a place for Bertie to spend the night until morning so Jeeves could bring him the necessities to wash himself. As Bertie walked to the other house for the night, he thought of those responsible for his current unhappiness, he realizing he maintained a change of heart towards Glossop. By this time Bertie had reached his destination and began to cautiously break in, reminding himself of the failed B and E’s he’s had before, but Bertie then seeing the back door open a little, he now even more timid for the possibilities of what he could run into within. Bertie soon learning Brinkley was inside, and what his next move would be. Bertie for the second time, being glad he waited since he soon heard some shouting, at first receding, and then heading straight at Bertie, the object of Brinkley’s insanity now being correctly identified. After Brinkley locked himself back inside, Bertie makes himself known to Glossop, he taking it the most subdued, but still needing time to recover from his run in with Brinkley. Bertie agrees the two of them must at this moment put aside their differences and work together, Glossop then sharing of what had occurred after Bertie had seen him leave Chuffnell Hall, Bertie then having to confess they wouldn’t have shelter at his cottage, as well as the inability to wash, and the reason. This returned Glossop’s dower mood, until he cleverly figured the garage was still available to them and with it, petrol to wash up in, Bertie not seeing the value in returning for himself so shares with Glossop of having to journey alone, he wanting to await Jeeves, then confiding how Glossop would have to break into the garage, the two parting after making lunch plans for a future date.

Bertie then confesses the comfort level a summer house brings, it being severely low, and now thinking how he should’ve went with Glossop so he could wash immediately and even drive to London rather than taking a train. Bertie couldn’t bring himself to go through with it though, knowing the Sergeant would be too close for comfort and so lays back and tries to sleep. This time succeeding even after giving up, waking in the morning ready to lay in to some nonexistent breakfast and then deciding to see if Jeeves had arrived, getting paranoid he could miss him. When he’s close he spies a parlour-maid setting out a tray with morning snackies which Bertie couldn’t ignore, thinking he had it planned well, but upon testing his theory, heard someone outside the door as he’s lifting the tray cover, so instead hides at the desk to hear Jeeves making a phone call, he not disturbed at all, finishing his call, and inquiring why Bertie had stopped back at Chuffy’s residence, Bertie explaining the situation, and Jeeves filling Bertie in to Lady Chuffnell’s new outlook, Bertie now ready to consume the breakfast when he heard someone new about to enter, so hides once more, it being Stoker.

Bertie would’ve liked to have viewed the scene, but settled to listen as Stoker began with some heat regarding Jeeves’ quick retreat, and upon having Jeeves explain, is silent for a moment, then thanks Jeeves for having saved him from possible legal issues. Stoker inquires if Bertie had been seen and where he was heading, Stoker deciding to take a walk to the Dower house once Jeeves had shared Bertie’s plans. After Bertie has time to pop back up to bleed his being awe-struck by Jeeves again, he must retreat again for Pauline entering. After which she seemingly had an enlightening conversation with Jeeves about Bertie, the status of Lady Chuffnell, and Chuffy, she going off, but then Bertie hearing someone getting into the breakfast tray and thinking Pauline had come back, Bertie aching in knowing the lovely kippers were being consumed. So even whilst knowing popping up on people didn’t work well, he did so upon Pauline whom handled it not well at all, Chuffy finally making an appearance and sweeping Pauline off her terrified feet, she glad to be swept as Bertie witnessed.

Bertie considers the situation he watched was one which shown whether a man maintained a chivalrous nature, Bertie being subjected to a sight he didn’t wish to see or hear and so withdrawing back under the table, and when Chuffy had calmed Pauline a bit, he asks what had frightened her, Bertie deciding this to be an ample time to reappear. Chuffy looking annoyed, but everyone seeming a bit O-k with his current look now and so Bertie brings up with Chuffy the matter of his first name and wanting to discuss it in more detail, mentioning having a laugh at the Drones about it, Chuffy getting serious about what would happen if Bertie did. Bertie then shares a story which makes Chuffy demand he cease, Bertie’s intention to attempt to show how close Pauline and he had been. Bertie then reminds them how Pauline’s father still believed she was marrying him, but he assuring her he’d handle it, which was met with humorous incredulity, Bertie having the chance to prove himself as they hear footsteps approach. They see Stoker looking a bit worn, Pauline asking what had happened, he confessing his trek to the Dower house being met with a man throwing potatoes, Bertie thinking of how admirable Brinkley’s opinionated attitude was when required, and surprising Stoker with his appearance, giving an amusing reason for looking burnt. Bertie then gets on track with beginning his break down of whom Pauline would marry. Unfortunately for them all, Stoker wasn’t having it, Chuffy not taking his stubbornness well, Bertie then admiring the shiner Stoker had received from a thrown potato, knowing how difficult it was from personal experience. Then upon Stoker learning Glossop had beat the shit out of Seabury, he began reconsidering not buying the estate out of spite since it was what Chuffy had been relying on so he could marry Pauline, but then Pauline ruined their progress after mentioning he could apologize to Glossop, Bertie sensing it going south. Everyone became stuck in the ugly silence until Jeeves drifts in with a telegram for Stoker, but made it sound epic for the details, Stoker not impressed and grabbing the letter. Once reading it he learns the will which would’ve made them rich was being disputed, so they could lose everything, Chuffy then excited since he’d be on the same level as Pauline and they could resume their plans. Stoker planning on fighting the dispute, mentioning Glossop’s help, the group wondering how he would manage this due to their little falling out, Stoker now seeing their fight through different eyes, believing they were like brothers who fought. Jeeves then comes in again, Stoker hastily dismissing him even though Jeeves was attempting to assert of knowing where Glossop currently was since none of them knew for certain.

Jeeves withdraws and everyone calls him back for the the news being Glossop had been arrested and placed in the larger of two potting sheds on the grounds which the describing of was about to give Stoker a popped blood vessel. Why the Sergeant’s nephew had put him there is shared, it making sense but still being an odd choice. After getting the completed story as to where Sergeant Dobson was, and the nephew currently awaiting Chuffy due to his status as Justice of the Peace, Jeeves exits and Lady Chuffnell then enters with barely an acknowledgement toward Bertie’s black face, but goes to Chuffy, upset about Glossop’s arrest. Then Stoker realizes the futility of having Glossop testify for him since being found in black face, as well (making him seem cuckoo). Everyone then loses track of what to do, Bertie having given up temporarily, until ringing Jeeves and reminding Chuffy of his usefulness, then recapping Jeeves of the situation to receive a simple fix in response which aggravates Stoker once more, but in the end decides if he can get them out of this nonsense he should like to hear it, Bertie cutting Jeeves off to be certain of two terms, of which being certain Stoker would purchase Chuffnell Hall, and wouldn’t force Pauline upon Bertie. Jeeves then suggests an easy way of getting Dobson away from the shed, and due to his orders, wouldn’t admit to disobeying. Stoker does bring up the good point of whether the cops were able to figure it out or not, if they spoke about it, as they inevitably would, the story would get out. Instead Jeeves proposed Bertie be substitute for Glossop as prisoner which once Bertie keeps attempting to discover reasons not to be put through the short end, everyone starts rubbing the ole ego, softening him up, but what seals it is the promise of breakfast, Bertie following Jeeves out.

The aftermath of Bertie’s breakfast is described, he and Jeeves discussing the happenings of the day being quite stressful, the sight of Chuffy in his Justice of the Peace “uniform” throwing Bertie off, but he praising Jeeves for his part being played well, even learning of the letter of the will being contested was a contrivance of Jeeves, Bertie now saddened in knowing the odds of Jeeves ever being on the market for reemployment being slim. When Jeeves enquires Bertie’s next move, he shares he planned on going back to his apartment in the city due to his banjolele being crisped in the fire and wasn’t getting another, Brinkley having tainted his love of the instrument. Jeeves then asks whether Bertie would consider rehiring him since he didn’t have the interest of being in a married man’s employ. The question shocks Bertie, but thanks Jeeves and the story ends. As entertaining as the others and I hope to get it for my personal library soon.

Mrs. Dalloway

I had decided to postpone reading The Hours since I’d heard it was fruitful to begin with Mrs. Dalloway due to there being nods throughout the former and I wanted to be sure I would catch them, which I started to notice almost straight from the start of beginning this.

We commence with Mrs. Dalloway going to buy flowers whilst Lucy stayed and prepared for the party, I’m assuming, it would come later. Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is eighteen (which is mentioned in The Hours, but for a different reason) and musing about a phrase Peter Walsh had told her as she walked. It’s June, and Peter will be back from the war soon, they residing in London. Clarissa continues to give pictures of what the city was doing during the day until she runs into one of her old friends, Hugh. He greets her familiarly and she answers his question of where she was headed with why she enjoyed walking in London; Mmk. Hugh, like most of his family, came to London to visit a doctor, he going on behalf of his ill wife who had, it is hinted, womanly issues to attend, but despite which would be coming to her party later, if not a bit late himself for his job detaining him. Peter, the jealous and for the most part, surly type, had a problem with her friendship with Peter, even though he was married, but Clarissa forgave his brashness with being agreeable to walk with her in the mornings; what very simple requirements. She then reviews the right reasons she made in not marrying him and whilst she’d moved on, she felt a little betrayed, it seemed in knowing he had done so, as well. She then considers what book she should give to a woman in a nursing home, Evelyn Whitbread, before choosing nothing and going on her way.

Clarissa then speaks of how she habitually did certain things to influence how people thought of her and her regrets in doing so. Then considering how she’d feel more comfortable as someone else she knew, but currently how even her identity as Clarissa was overshadowed by whom she married, making her Mrs. Dalloway. Clarissa then moves on to speak of how much she enjoyed Bond Street in the morning and how her daughter, Elizabeth differed from herself on the enjoyment of gloves. She also describes her daughter’s temperament to those she didn’t care for from church and one woman in particular, a Miss Kilman she felt opposite for, but Clarissa didn’t like a bit. Clarissa then goes on to consider why she felt such hate and believed it stemmed from love of herself overriding any decent feelings toward Miss Kilman. After coming to this conclusion, she reaches the flower shop which would hold flowers for Clarissa when she had parties, so upon going in and conversing with the florist, Miss Pym, she then gets caught up in talking of the flowers and how they glowed by a certain time of day. Clarissa then believes she hears a gun go off, but Miss Pym relates how it must be another car which had gone by, taking the blame for its noise and then noticing how the car having back-fired, was now parked across the street and the one driving, pulling the blinds on the windows before anyone could get a good look at the supposedly important man within. Those on the street were contemplating who it could be as well, Clarissa believing it was the Queen running specifically mentioned errands. As the car moves on slowly, the same reaction occurs to the people on the street, but soon they become distracted by an airplane writing something in the air and don’t notice nor care about the vehicle now going through the gate of Buckingham Palace.

Lucrezia and Septimus, who are introduced earlier as people are watching the airplane, but now revisit them as they are sitting on a park bench, Lucrezia trying to engage Septimus in interests other than the ones which isolate him. She believed he had something wrong with him, but when she brings him to the doctor, he can’t detect anything and have him try to take interest in certain outdoor activities. Lucrezia meanwhile doesn’t feel like she can share her issues with him with anyone, meanwhile Septimus is shown having deep thoughts he wished to put on paper but being interrupted by Lucrezia trying to get his attention per the request of his physician, he only getting annoyed and distracted. To add to both of their annoyance they then are approached by a young lady, Maisie who had just come to visit London and doesn’t get treated kindly by Lucrezia making her wish she hadn’t ever decided to go there at all. A woman looking from afar at Maisie’s experience whilst she is feeding the birds, her thoughts on marriage given and what the airplane in the sky reminded her of.

Clarissa hadn’t noticed the airplane until she’d just arrived home, but hadn’t even been given time to register what it was when her maid shuts the door, then being told of a phone call which related a Millicent Bruton was inviting her husband for lunch and Clarissa hadn’t been invited with him. This news also disappointing her since she’d heard Lady Bruton’s get-together’s were something to boast of. Clarissa’s sleeping arrangement is shared due to her trouble getting to sleep, as well as the first mention of her proclivity for both women and men (not straight out, but clear enough to understand). She relates a story of Richard trying to quietly get upstairs and hurting himself in the process and then reminiscing about an old girl friend of hers and trying to associate the relationship with love. Clarissa mentions her meeting of Sally and how she seemed to be enamored by not only her looks, but interests as well. Her thoughts on Sally are shared, and a time jump into the future has occurred or she had been from the beginning, fifty-two years old and was only reminiscing about her past. Besides which, she felt like she would be told she looked older by Peter or whomever when he returned. She then goes on to think of her party she would soon be throwing and still chafing from her lack of invite by Lady Bruton. Now though, she went in search of the dress she planned to wear later and considered mending it herself since her maids were busy with other things in preparation. Once her servants began inquiring as to whether she wished them to help her mend the dress, she would thank them repeatedly and decline due to they having enough to do already, then revealing whom she’d gotten the dress from and how she wanted, but never would, visit Sally Parker.

Clarissa then stayed deep in thought whilst mending her dress about where she’d worn it and metaphors in reference to it until she hears the doorbell and Peter Walsh makes his way in to visit with her. Clarissa is surprised he calling on her so early before her party, but very glad he’d come to see her since she would have found he’d been back in town for a day if she’d read his letter. Peter also didn’t have long to stay since he was going to the country, but asked of Richard and Elizabeth, also wondering about the dress she’d been interrupted of mending, Clarissa responding by answering half of his first question, catching him up and then making sure he didn’t mind if she got back to fixing her dress for the party. Clarissa then toys with him by confessing she wouldn’t invite him to the party and he asking her why, she wondering why she’d decided not to marry him all those years ago, they then reminiscing of an old home and his visits with her father during the days he wanted to marry her, he now imagining them surrounded by a moonlit scenery.

Peter than contemplates sharing his news, but begins talking himself out of it for not seeming to live up to Clarissa and all the Dalloways’ standards; In the end though, Clarissa asks him what’s been going on with him which gives him the lead in he needs to declare he’d fallen in love. Clarissa taking his being love-struck in stride even though she seems to be a little irked he isn’t referring to her, she asking who the woman is and he realizing she’s an Indian woman married to a man in the Indian army with two small children and he’s just waiting to see his lawyer. Clarissa then realizes how lucky she is to not have married him and focuses on how he’s become love smitten once more. Peter also realizes the trouble he’s in for just trying to get his love divorced so they could marry and this apparently brings him to tears with Clarissa comforting him, but whilst doing this began thinking how she yearned to tag along with him on his adventures soon feeling as if they’d lived a whole life together and she was nearing the end. Peter then asks Clarissa if she’s happy with Richard which she’s saved from answering by her daughter, Elizabeth entering and she introducing her to him, which he then takes his cue to leave, but not before Clarissa rushes after him to remind he should come to her party.

Peter’s perspective is shown as he’s walking down the street with Clarissa’s last words to him revolving in his mind and how he couldn’t understand, but didn’t fault her for her need of the socializing ploy. Peter’s interest in mechanics is shared, moving back to Clarissa and how she’d changed subjects by acknowledging her daughter’s entrance into the room, Peter being slightly annoyed by how she’d phrased it and noticing how Elizabeth must have felt the same, he soon thinking of how Clarissa hadn’t changed temperament since her youth and feeling a bit of a fool about how he’d broken down in front of her, but he seeming to have a penchant to do so in front of Clarissa. Peter than has the puzzling thought of Clarissa’s interaction with him including some sort of refusal, which may have been in reference to her not answering his question, but this all happens whilst he’s getting ready and not seeming to be aware of it, then having a thought as the clock strikes half-past eleven and the last bell tolls, he thinks of Clarissa’s life ending, remembering a physical  ailment she was dealing with and it giving him a spring to his step to get a move on. Peter then considers the possibility of Richard being able to hook him up with a job whilst some young English soldiers pass him on the street. Peter dwells on the soldiers for a while and then considers how no one but Clarissa knew he was back in London and being in Trafalgar Square providing a feeling of being free, giving an impression of his youth he hadn’t had for a very long time. He then spies a young woman whom grabs his attention so soundly he decides to follow her; always a great idea. Peter than fancies how he’d distract from the idea he’s following her if she noticed his presence by offering to grab a drink and she automatically agreeing; Have to love those fantasies. He starts to lose her on the street as it began to get congested, though, but is able to follow her until she enters a private residence, he then remembering Clarissa’s repetitive words.

Peter considers where his family originates and his indifference to the Indian army and imagines how he’d pass his time as he came to these conclusions, he then thinking of his youth and how this was brought to his mind because of Clarissa and how females tended to live in the past more than men. Peter sits down after this and goes back to his thoughts of Elizabeth and her “queer” look and then analyzing why Clarissa had introduced her the way she had. Peter than decides he’ll want to speak with Elizabeth again as he’s on the verge of a nap in the park and seeing him reach deeper unconsciousness. He wakes with a start and remembers the time he’d been dreaming of, it being in the summer in the early “‘nineties” and being deeply in love with Clarissa. The moment he remembers includes Clarissa imitating a woman in an unstylish dress and realiizng a fact which makes her state she couldn’t socialize with her anymore which tainted Peter’s love of her, even though he understood it was caused by her naïveté and the fact he couldn’t stand how she could go along as if nothing had occurred, driving him crazy, but still over-ruled by his love, even though her words would keep him in a funk for some time after. When they sit for supper, Peter than notices Clarissa, he having sat near her aunt, is sitting near another young man and her quirky mistake of calling Mr. Dalloway another name, is their first introduction and Peter’s sixth sense in knowing Clarissa would marry him. After Peter realizes this, they still have a good time socializing at the party, but he seems to be in denial after and must confront Clarissa another day, to be certain of their courtship being over, he not taking it as in stride as he’d done when he’d thought of it. He then remembers the last time they saw each other before coming back to his senses in the park, having the realization of the distractions life gave him to ease his pain of losing Clarissa and watching a little girl’s antics near a pond.

Lucrezia has come to her last bit of patience toward Septimus when a little girl runs into her and she has someone to comfort and after the child runs back to her nurse, Lucrezia considers she must return to Septimus for how late it was getting and needing to see Sir William Bradshaw. Lucrezia then remembers how odd Septimus could get with certain ideas he argued were reasonable. Septimus’ perspective is given as he has some “strange” thoughts and listens to a boy with a penny-whistle down on the street below his room. When Lucrezia comes in to ask him the time, he has trouble focusing on her question, but after being led back to reality he wavers between seeing a dead friend and then going to Peter’s perspective seeing them as he walks through the park and comparing London life to how he’d been living in India. His thoughts then move to a young woman who had married young to a rich man, someone he never would have suspected to do this. Sally being whom he was thinking of, ponders how she was Clarissa’s only best friend whom could see beyond people’s social behavior and was able to call out “bullshit”. Background of Hugh is mentioned, whom Sally despised for reasons unknown and to whom he was married. A memory of Mr. Dalloway being quite sensible is shared, and realizing why Clarissa must have fallen for him and then discovering Clarissa may have the better judge of character than Sally, she also having the ability to immerse herself in her own little world regardless of her actual surroundings.

Through Peter’s musings (of whom I almost forget is narrating due to the prolonged thought process), he settles with thoughts of Clarissa’s nature and must be sure to insist he doesn’t love her anymore, but must be able to explain and mentions how Clarissa would own up to all of her flaws, being a very honest sort (I can relate). Whom the parties are usually for is then related and how Clarissa was a major believer in keeping oneself busy, after getting similarities between her favorite authors and using a metaphor she lived by and also describing her personality quirks which leads in to Elizabeth’s current stage of dealing with the elder friends of her mother. He then considers how the tables seemed to have turned for he and Clarissa, she now being in love with him and his thoughts of what men really think of having to compliment women once they reach their fifties. He then thinks of Daisy, his would-be fiancée and remembers a letter she wrote to him he knew her plan in mentioning certain details was only a ploy to try and hurt him for leaving on this sojourn to England. His reasons for being there besides attending Clarissa’s party is given and how passion is viewed differently in men’s eyes, he then becoming distracted by a strange sound whistling through the trees which makes him consider the situation the person who was making the sound would have gone through, he giving her a schilling before taking a taxi.

Lucrezia has now also noticed the woman and is feeling sorry for her as she’s about to walk across the street. She imagined people knowing of her sadness and wanting her feelings to be noticed, she hoping the doctor they were going to see will be able to help Septimus. A clerk who didn’t live well is visited, but self-educated himself by going to the library and writing to authors for suggestions on books to read (pretty good idea). Septimus’ past is shown on how he’d come to the city and his first love and her influence on his reading and writing. We learn what Septimus had volunteered to do, even though he was being eyed to move up in his clerk position. After losing a friend in the war, he meets Lucrezia whose family owned an inn, he immediately upon meeting her, becomes engaged with her. This is also the time he begins to have feelings of unnoticed panic and having moments with Lucrezia whilst she worked making hats. As Lucrezia is found to have a critical, but passionate eye for hats and outfits, Septimus is starting to become aware of his inability to feel emotion, but other parts of his brain seeming to work perfectly. When he’s taken his old position back as a clerk, they put him on a pedestal and he seems indifferent to their reaction, instead thinking of Shakespeare’s feelings toward humanity and then Lucrezia trimming hats and her thoughts of having a family at some point.

Lucrezia goes on to speak of what sex her child must be and the baby would be introduced to Shakespeare due to Septimus’ brilliant mind and if her requirement wasn’t satisfied she would be come inconsolably unhappy. This subject was the first to make Lucrezia cry since getting married and Septimus could feel no empathy for her loneliness for wanting a child. Septimus’ inability to navigate his lack of emotion pushed him into a deeper state of withdrawal and so Lucrezia calls the doctor whose diagnosis being there wasn’t a thing wrong with him and he may just need some time to unwind along with a few other home remedies. The doctor speaks to Septimus of trying to feel better at least for his wife, since his being bed-ridden was upsetting her and Lucrezia confessing later how the doctor had invited her to dinner, speaking of his four children and how Septimus was feeling abandoned because of her acceptance to the invitation which cycles him back to the idea of somehow giving up his life for the people around him, he figuring it wasn’t quite reasonable to do it for other people’s benefits since he did get some enjoyment out of the basic details of life, whether it be food or weather. When the doctor leaves and is soon called back by Lucrezia for being startled by Septimus talking nonsense to himself out loud again, the doctor prescribes him some medication which will help him sleep.

Big Ben rings twelve and Clarissa activities are mentioned of what she was doing before focusing on Sir William Bradshaw and how he would drive anywhere a patient needed him whilst “her ladyship” sometimes waited in the back seat of his car. She having the time to think of many random things including her husband and son and community affairs. Doctor Bradshaw had come to look in on Septimus as well, determining he could do with some time in the country, noting his behavior and accompanying illness the previous doctor was unable to diagnose. After giving Lucrezia all the information and what would be done for Septimus in his home, they bring the news to Septimus who doesn’t take it very well, but is thrust to accept his transfer of home temporarily so he could be a proper husband and live up to expectations at his work. After, background of how Sir William helped his patients, which whilst giving the patients’ families ease of mind, worked the patients themselves, up. Lucrezia though, not being among the norm in this frame of thought, disliking Doctor Bradshaw with definitive emotion. A digression involving Hugh Whitbread is given and what he did for the community and the reason he would never accept lunch with Lady Bruton, which then led to Mr. Dalloway meeting Lady Bruton on a doorstep.

A meal with Lady Bruton, Hugh, Miss Brush and Richard, is next, she having invited them under false pretenses and deciding when the proper time would be to break her news, she asking after Clarissa to Richard and Lady Bruton being after social and political acceptability more than pure friendship. An explanation is shared of what her question regarding Clarissa would have meant to other women as opposed to men and how they acted toward each other in the few moments they did run into each other. Lady Bruton than abruptly reveals Peter Walsh being in town once more and everyone in the room getting sparks of recognition and Richard seeming very pleased by the news. Lady Bruton  is seen waiting patiently until they are all smoking and has her maid get them papers before trying to segue to her point of the evening, but then seeming never to reveal it and Richard asking whether she’ll be joining Clarissa’s party, she uncertain for not having a taste for parties. When they leave she lies down for a moment and thinks of a memory with her mother and father when she had dirtied her dress and with this thought and of her other relatives, she goes deeper into sleep.

Richard and Hugh are next as they enter a jewelry shop, Hugh once realizing his usual jeweler wasn’t available decided he wouldn’t buy anything until he was in and Richard, finally deciding he would look for something for Clarissa, couldn’t figure out what to get since the last time he bought her jewelry it hadn’t made time as an accessory upon her. Whilst he struggled with the thought though, he became annoyed by Hugh’s conduct in announcing his decision to wait and so departs to find Clarissa. He decides upon arriving with flowers to announce his love for her, which doesn’t happen very often due to the awkward feeling of the process, but once he’d determined his plan, he then notices the lack of policing there was on the streets and how he was gathering evidence for malpractice quite often. He then considers his words of love for Clarissa once he confronts her and meanwhile walks through an area with poor families entertaining themselves. Richard also confronts how he’d at one time been jealous of Peter and Clarissa, but had his mind eased by Clarissa’s mindfulness of what she truly needed. As Richard reaches his destination, Clarissa is seen struggling with the idea of having to invite someone she didn’t really care for to her party and then being distracted and surprised by the late hour and of Richard walking in with roses, he unable to voice his words of love, but Clarissa understanding his unspoken meaning. The two speak of the party later and of Elizabeth’s current interest with a friend whom had just come by, both of them speaking of the visitors Clarissa had and of whom was at the lunch with Richard, he departing without saying the words he wanted to voice, but needing to get back to work and deal with some business, which Clarissa knew and accepted as she rested per Richard’s parting words due to a doctor giving this particular piece of advice at one time.

Clarissa was then aware she was unhappy about something and slowly figured out what it was which upon doing so, was instantly in better spirits since the subject matter was purely to do with others opinions of what she enjoyed, even at the risk of her health. When Elizabeth walks in to see Clarissa resting, her features are mentioned differing from the other Dalloways’ to suggest they had some deviation from their heritage somewhere and how her personality had changed from when she was a child. Meanwhile Miss Kilman, Elizabeth’s guest, waited on the stair and would be able to hear the conversation between Clarissa and Elizabeth, which the latter was aware. Miss Kilman’s background is shared and what she thought of Clarissa and Richard, establishing she taught Elizabeth history. When the two go out of the room and Clarissa is aware of Miss Kilman, Elizabeth goes to fetch some gloves which were left behind and Clarissa has a “stand off” with Miss Kilman over how she seemed to have such a hold on the girl and whilst Miss Kilman claimed to not hate Clarissa, she certainly felt the need to act coldly to her and felt well within her right to do so since she was paid to do a certain job and thought Clarissa was just a rich snob, which she seemed to be in her own way, likewise minus being rich. Before they get out the door, but still not quite in time, Clarissa tries to remind Elizabeth to come back on time for their party, she already out the door and a loud vehicle drowning her out. After Clarissa takes a moment to think of Miss Kilman in her perpetually sour state, she swiftly moves subject to Peter and his seemingly baffling taste in women. Clarissa then reminds herself she must call for some accouterments for her party and remembers how she must have insulted or hurt Miss Kilman with her reaction to her, thinking Miss Kilman may have held her in higher regard than she truly believed, knowing the woman looked at her with disdain, but still considered she must have been affected by Clarissa’s lighthearted response to her.

Miss Kilman is then shown dealing with her negative self-image and how Clarissa had it so easy, speaking of her issues with a Mr. Whitaker. After, they go shopping and have tea, Miss Kilman getting thwarted in having the cake she wanted due to a child snatching it up when the mother and child sat near them, she not taking it well at all. After, they go elsewhere to have tea and when Elizabeth is done, she divulges of wanting to leave, but Miss Kilman wishes her to stay since she hadn’t finished yet, so Elizabeth waits on her and Miss Kilman learns she will be attending her mother’s party and gives advice on how she should take parties with a grain of salt and Elizabeth not caring for them much anyways is then led into how Miss Kilman seemed to have possessive feelings for her. Elizabeth then sits through an awkward statement from Miss Kilman regarding her self pity, but how it outweighed the pity for others. Miss Kilman then goes to pray after Elizabeth finally flees and pays their bill, she meanwhile having a difficult time connecting to her spirituality and thoughts of the people she’d seen during the day which leads us to what Elizabeth was doing; waiting for an omnibus and feeling too exposed to the world as opposed to how she felt in the country with her father. She then considered the profession she’d prefer going into one day and how she’d spent so much time on the bus she may already need to get back home to change for dinner, but not knowing the hour it was, currently.

After Elizabeth has some time for a walk, she realizes it’s later than she believed and makes her way back, having being given the description of what the objects and scenery around her looked like and changing in the light, Septimus seeing the same things. (Which is one thing Virginia Woolf had going on for her, the almost imperceptible character-shifts.) Septimus is shown having those deep thought moments and Lucrezia worrying over him again, thinking back to his sometimes crazy thoughts she was demanded to write down and how one person reacted unfavorably in Septimus’ eyes once they’d read a part. After sitting for a few more moments, Septimus makes a comment about the hat Lucrezia was working on which reminded her of how he used to speak, seeming normal. They laughed over his thought of the hat and then goes about making it look even better by laying out the accessories Lucrezia would need to change the look according to his eye, which she knew was keen to sense certain odd styles. Having this moment between them made Lucrezia very happy, she trying the quirky looking hat on until a tap at the door indicated the girl with the paper had arrived. After Lucrezia returns the girl to her mother and Septimus wakes from his dozing off, he and she look at the notes she’d taken for him and how the night being referred had been so serene for the two it wasn’t fair how they’d be separated just because the doctor said it was best, Lucrezia confiding they couldn’t be forced to obey. Instead of burning his notes, as requested, Lucrezia decides to store them out of sight, since some of them were wonderful drawings.

When the two realize the doctor had come to escort Septimus out, Lucrezia stops him on the stair, but only for a few moments and Septimus, once realizing he had nothing to defend himself with, decides the only decision is to escape through the window, the results of which, aren’t favorable. Septimus is dealt with and Lucrezia is given something to aid her to sleep and then perspective goes to Peter. He beginning by having thoughts of how people act around emergency vehicles for having heard an ambulance pass and then takes himself back to a memory of he and Clarissa on an omnibus and gathering prized items from a certain market and then getting once more side-tracked by her daughter’s entrance until once again thinking of his and Clarissa’s good-ole-days until noting he’d gotten a letter from her and dreaded opening it for all the drama of feelings the two seemed to have for each other. Peter thinks of how he’d, for some reason wanted Clarissa to introduce Daisy if the opportunity arose and then learning his indulgent interests as he goes to dinner. After speaking with a family who he senses he’s completely delighted his presence with, he decides he’ll attend Clarissa’s party for the purpose of talking about the political happenings of India with Richard to learn what the English were doing out there. As he walks out of the restaurant and thinks of various subjects, he gets a paper and then starts thinking how cricket is an interest which is inescapable. Peter than walks one through how most people view parties and how different age-groups act in them and then noticing how the people of London seemed to all being going out to dinner, he then noting certain individuals who catch his eye.

When Peter reaches Clarissa’s house he notices her maid rushing around to fix any finishing touches to the furniture, etc., which could mean an official was coming, as well, but this not being impressive to Mrs. Walker, the cook. As the party was getting started and the men and women separated, Mrs. Walker is followed, whom is stressing about the salmon always being under cooked. As more people arrived, Peter among them, he then realizes his coming was probably a mistake, due to Clarissa taking on the pleasant hostess routine and he not knowing anyone there, now thinking staying in to read a book or going out to listen to music would have been more preferable. Then perspectives are changed a couple times to land on Clarissa’s cousin who felt like her invitation was a second thought since she’d received it late, she then seeing Peter Walsh and how Richard seemed very glad to see him after the latter had come to speak with her cordially. Clarissa is struggling with whether the party is yet a success and her role not feeling important, which was to stand and greet those who arrived, at the moment. Then Clarissa is greeted by a party crasher, Sally Seton, the two acting very pleased to see each other and as they catch up, the Prime Minister arriving and being ushered around by Richard for introductions, noticing how the man didn’t look important, naturally. Clarissa continues with the Prime Minister through the room and greets more people as they come in and when she interrupts some men who are laughing to ask what the joke is, none of them responding for propriety’s sake, most likely, she then overhearing a polar-opposed conversation between two men about Milton and thinking they weren’t hitting it off very well.

Clarissa continues to speak to certain individuals, one being her aunt and then wondering where Peter had gone, her aunt having had many memories in India. When she sees and leads him to her aunt, she promises to speak with him later and moves on to discover Lady Bruton. They speak for a moment until Lady Bruton notices Peter and engages his opinion of India since he’d just been there. After some time Clarissa gets the time to speak with Peter and then is interrupted by Lady Bradshaw announcing her lateness. She goes on to chat with Clarissa of various things until mentioning a young man who had killed himself earlier in the evening and the slow shock of how Lady Bradshaw could be using this as her conversation piece at Clarissa’s party. Clarissa is then taken by seeing an old woman getting ready for bed across from her window and the circling thought of the young man who died and why he’d done it, but not feeling sorry for him because of the party she had going on around her, making her appreciate life. Meanwhile Peter and Clarissa’s other old acquaintances and friends sat and rehashed the past, awaiting her to make her rounds so they could all talk together. As they wait for Clarissa, the round of conversations intermingle and end with Elizabeth being told by Richard how he had hardly recognized her as she was talking with someone, she pleased and Peter then realizing his excitement and figuring out the reason for it was Clarissa having reappeared.

Smooth and meandering story, the kind one would read during travel or at the beach, I enjoyed it more because I’ll be reading The Hours after, but Woolf has such an easy flow I may just have to read a few more of hers.

The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories

I’ve read the directly-related-to Jeeves and Wooster short stories out of order as well as one of the novels and I’m now starting where first mention of Gussie was made. Due to most of the stories being insulated with only minimal mention to other stories, I’m not stressing much on the order of the series, but still having fun trying to read them in as chronological as possible.

Bill the Bloodhound is the first story in this collection which introduces Henry, a detective, by a narrator not named as of yet. We come to realize how inept Henry is and looked down upon in his department, also learning of where he resides and how he’d met a woman one day called Alice, description of her disposition, and how she reacted differently from the other girls in her line of business when she found out what Henry did for a living. Henry discovers himself trying to ingratiate himself with her despite her thoughts on his profession and when he proposes to her and is promptly turned down for reasonable reasons, he still waits patiently for the right moment of pursuit of her affections, she already seeing him in good light, but resisting further delving. Henry goes to audition for a comedy musical, more along Alice’s line of career and doesn’t seem to have much talent in this respect, being turned away. Henry is then given a job by his boss to shadow a husband on the road, he being an actor, and Henry realizing it’s the same company Alice was in, he knowing he would soon be tortured with the inability to be in her company directly for having to stay undercover. When he begins his “stalking” of the company he becomes conflicted with the feeling of not being able to come out and speak with Alice, but also enjoying his time seeing the actors up close. During his trip he realizes how much he enjoyed his work of following the unsuspecting, what with having to come up with a different disguise periodically so as to stay unnoticed.

Henry didn’t keep to himself though, he making the same friend in each stop they collectively made, the actor not seeming to ever recognize him, but consistently open to and aiding the blossom of friendship. One night Henry gets an invitation from the comedian, Walter to smoke cigars with him, a sign of great respect since the man was fairly popular in general society, anyways. Walter, after getting Henry comfortable, comes right out and asks him who his mark is, everyone in the company knowing he was undercover, but not knowing who the lucky target was. This dose of reality surprised Henry to pieces and we learn how he’d been able to fool himself into believing the people around him could be tricked by his odd disguises. Walter goes on to describe how the company only made bets on what he’d change into next rather than doing more entertaining pastimes and Walter revealing what nickname they’d given Henry, he being taken aback and embarrassed and revealing nothing about who he was following. When Henry gets up to leave, Walter tries to implore him to confess whom he was following and everyone being excitedly awaiting to know who the winner was, but also due to Henry happening to be their best unofficial mascot, Henry not only being invited to stay and socialize amongst them, but to drop the disguises altogether. Henry then figures he may as well stay on at least so he could speak with Alice freely, but still wouldn’t relinquish information on whom he was tailing since he could still do this unhindered.

The next night Henry looked for Alice on stage, finally able to approach her, but having the greetings cut short by her being in the midst of waiting to go on stage for the acting “action”. We are then introduced to another woman whom no one in the company liked due to her snobbery and lack of talent and then being told of what the play the company was performing in was about, Henry vigilant on the look out for Alice, who played shrubbery and a background dancer at times. After his first approach gave no hint to her feelings, Henry plays his only hand, once Alice is back behind the curtain, asking for hers, she not being able to answer for having to go back on stage, he becoming so in need of a response from her, following blindly to the point of tripping and falling on stage with such color during a song normally taken by the crowd soberly, they were brought to their feet with shouts of approval. The same night Walter commends Henry on his fortuitousness due to what his actions had brought, Walter offering him a job with contract to stay on with him in the troupe, Henry at first not certain he could get along, but then thinking of Alice and making his decision. The ending is a bit open, but one can perceive it is a positive outcome for Henry.

Extricating Young Gussie is of course the bud of Gussie’s character being presented as we see with the start by the narrator, presumably Bertie describing Aunt Agatha when he’s awakened by Jeeves to announce of her arrival. Bertie goes in and immediately takes in her grump of a look and how she was seated in his chair. His Aunt begins by asking about his plans for the coming week and Bertie, sensing his answer had value on how she would proceed, stating of having plenty of tasks he must do, but being unable to quantify specifics, is told he will be going to America after Gussie who has holed up in New York and was making a fool of himself, his Aunt being unable to “get at him”. Aunt Agatha describes the goings on of Gussie’s time there and his foolishness stemming from his love of a girl in vaudeville, which ran in Gussie’s blood, his mother being on vaudeville at one point herself. Bertie describes his fascination of heredity and how Gussie seemed to have gotten the love-bug of vaudevillians, but his Aunt poo poo’s his enchantment to unveil to him he’ll be going to New York to stop Gussie.

When Bertie asks for a reason why, his Aunt gives him a laundry list of reasons to make Bertie realize his qualifications for the job and knowing she would make him regret his decision if he declined. So Bertie is sent off to New York, but upon arriving, in the early morning no less, he is unable to detect where Gussie was supposed to be, and discovers a bar. After sharing with one of the waiters what had happened to him and looking for a suggestion of drink, he gets one which the man had come up with and it doing it’s work, Bertie makes his way out and takes a look around the city. As he sight-sees, he gets the feeling New York tends to give to people, the static energy of being in the middle of a live city at no matter the hour. As Bertie walks up and down near Times Square and gives up caring if he sees Gussie, he spots him going into an office. When he catches up to him and realizes the office is occupied by one of the theatrical variety, Gussie surprised, asks what brought Bertie there and when he came in, the return answer and conversation which ensues confiding why Gussie wasn’t registered under his own name and professing of his love of a girl which Bertie was hesitant of ruining and so felicitates his good fortune. Gussie was then going to proceed listing to Bertie why he was in the office when he sees the object of his need and bum rushes Mr. Riesbitter before he could get to anyone else in the cramped waiting room which works out well for Gussie, landing a job and then going on to mention to Bertie why he’d gotten into show business.

This does not calm Bertie’s nerves in the least and decides he must wire back to Gussie’s mother for reinforcements, knowing he isn’t the best player for his Aunt’s relationship-smashing job. When Bertie has the chance to see Gussie rehearse for his first upcoming performance, he believes if he lets nature run its course, he won’t have to do anything to tear the happy couple up, due to how unfortunate Gussie’s acting skills seemed to be. The two get through the rehearsal which occurs for hours on the weekend and when Monday rolls around, Bertie, having planned a wonderful lunch at the time of Gussie’s first performance, couldn’t understand how he would be starting at one in the afternoon, so Bertie gives up his plans in order to give moral support and once getting a seat, which he chooses solely to ogle the pretty girl next to him, Gussie comes bounding and tripping on stage to begin his debut, which he bombs with the atom variety getting himself off-stage, but only temporarily to have to reappear and sing a song which fortunately blended well with his failure to impress with the start of his set list, leaving Bertie with the woe of the lyrics Gussie was singing, up until the young lady seated next to him stands and starts belting out the song which abruptly shuts Gussie up and embarrasses Bertie to no end. When he goes to see Gussie after the two finish the song together, Bertie realizes Gussie had been saved by his fiancée’s good will in keeping Gussie squared through his obviously difficult debut and was then glad he’d sent for help, he being out of his depth, which he is relieved of when his Aunt Julia, Gussie’s mother gets into town, she seeing Bertie in a similar way to his Aunt Agatha, but quietly so.

Bertie’s Aunt asks why he had cabled her and he decides it would be better if she saw firsthand what the issue was, they being seated to a show, which his Aunt looked on, reminiscing of her own youth. Bertie then makes sure his Aunt is aware to pay careful attention when Ray’s turn comes and her opinion of the girl is positive, Bertie then takes her to where Gussie was about to perform, she seeming a bit mystified by the end of it, but Bertie assuring her they would be going to only one other spot for her to meet Ray’s father and then she could decide what would be done about their impending marriage. When they arrive, his Aunt Julia seems to get quite a shock upon seeing Ray’s father, Joe and vice versa, which puts Bertie in a state of disarray. The two are now ignoring Bertie and catching up with delight and Joe reveals how he’d loved Julia since they’d first met and it causing him to leave England, Julia then supporting his daughter marrying her son, which Joe hadn’t put together by this point. The next few moments puts Bertie off so much, he backs his way out the door and hails for a taxi which then brings us back to Bertie’s room and how he was dealing with trying to reply to a more recent wire from his Aunt Agatha when Gussie comes in to break the news he’d been surprised with when he and Ray had gone back to her father’s place, Bertie asking to be left alone to ponder his reply and figuring an extended stay in New York might be in his immediate future. After reading this, it makes me want to go back and read the others which correspond after this one, and one day I’m sure I will.

Wilton’s Holiday has us see from an unknown Narrator’s standpoint how Jack Wilton would not be pegged for someone with any problems in his life, but for one who could be turned to as a rock of stability for others. Spencer Clay is the first to figure out what was going on with Jack and was known for his fact-sharing nature with the town of Marois Bay and used his skill upon Jack when he’d gone to unwind his tale of woe and got a woe-ier tale in return. We then learn  the details of his terrible experience, and boy is it a doozy. The townspeople at first walked on eggshells to not aggravate Jack’s terrible loss, but after realizing he maintained his sunny and lighthearted disposition, reverted back to their normal ways, allowing him to dictate how to treat him with his optimistic and humorous outlook. Everyone had time to get used to these developments when a young lady, Mary Campbell came to town, which our Narrator couldn’t see the attraction to, but Jack apparently was among those who could, albeit he could draw the attention of any girl in Marois Bay for looking like a hunk. We then are told how the Narrator becomes privy to Jack’s other sad story, he describing to our Narrator himself about his asking for Mary’s hand and being turned down, the details of which are given, as well.

Jack then goes on to supply details of his first confession containing fallacy, revealing his reasons which are fairly reasonable upon the relating, this being Jack’s holiday and not wanting to be treated like he was in his home town, but now suffering the consequences of his lie. In return, the Narrator gives unsound advice and the town sees the results of this after Jack confides the truth to Mary, the two no longer speaking to each other, after which the Narrator apprises us of there only being a second-hand account of the details which follow, we learning Jack didn’t take Mary’s release of him well, seeming deflated, whilst Mary didn’t acknowledge his existence from then on, which Jack took by wearing a pensive look in her presence. The Narrator mentions the absurdity of he taking this, but Jack still defended her sensitivity, somehow still taking pleasure in her “perfection”. We move forward to a time when Jack decides to take a walk on the beach and upon realizing he was becoming over-heated, sought some shade from some rocks and once getting comfortable in his misery, falls asleep for the rhythmic sounds of the sea. When he awakens with a cramp in his leg, he then sees Mary had decided to set up a sitting spot nearby, she believing he’d followed her and he, too caught up in his sadness to realize they were there for the same woeful reasons. After she is told it was purely chance they’d both come to the same spot and fall asleep, she walks off and Jack, wanting to leave as well, had to give her time to walk off so it wouldn’t seem he was following her, waiting uncomfortably, for a wind had picked up.

When Jack thinks she would’ve had enough time for him to start walking, he sees her coming back and believes she’s changed her mind about him after all, only to get shot down with her words being about the tide coming in and needing to go another way around, Jack thoroughly freezing through his thin suit now and a little resentful she’d had all this time to walk around whilst he had to wait and continue to ice over. When she comes back again, the two don’t truly realize what her words of being trapped in the cove would mean for them, but once she sits on a rock for not knowing how else to leave and a wave laps at her feet, she starts to understand their danger, hers especially for not knowing how to swim and bringing this to Jack’s attention who stays firm with his chilly and chilled exterior until she sounds so plaintive he melts with her words of fear, he only wanting to know if she’s forgiven him, she not understanding why he’d ask her a question seemingly so insignificant at the moment, but confessing her true feelings and he finally coming out with the knowledge the tide doesn’t go past a certain rock, having been trapped there once before, she emitting a sound which told of surprise, respite and outrage, she starting the questioning every girl has experienced if having dealt with men, deciding to stay mad at him for a few moments before it begins to get quite cold, coming back to ask whether he’d be interested in snuggling due to the worse chill to come, he accepting without words and the story ends sweetly.

The Mixer – I starts with us having a Narrator we learn is a dog, whom gives description of his job, as a newly purchased pup beginning when the Shy Man became his new owner. Our Narrator describes his life before being bought (which had given him a great sense of responsibility) and how he had a predilection of getting under people’s feet and making mischief in the place he was born (being a bar and the owner entitled to both being mentioned), our Narrator giving reason for his impatience to be hereditary. He then describes of his first meeting with the Shy Man, he having a nap with his mother and how she’d begun to growl, he not taking notice of it anymore since she growled at everyone other than their Master. When our Narrator realizes the Shy Man and their Master was talking about him (due to the mention of being ugly, which he was quite aware), he then opened his eyes and took stock of the Shy Man, the Narrator being chummy with all men, a sociable sort. Our Narrator comes to the opinion of the Shy Man being shy by how he didn’t talk much, which doesn’t turn out to be the case, the Shy Man quickly showing what kind of a master he would become, getting the Narrator to calm down through physical remonstrance.

They walk for what seems like a hundred miles to the pup and when the Shy Man is close to home, he’s stopped by a policeman who makes sure the Shy Man will heed his advice in getting out of town, the Shy Man stating of going to the country and the Narrator impressed a policeman would be so concerned with the Shy Man’s health. When they get into his room, our Narrator couldn’t help but ask and talk about all the possessions he’d kept himself until then, the Shy Man again commanding him to be quiet and when our Narrator continues to babble excitedly on, getting another example of why he believed the Shy Man was so shy. They go off to the country during the night and our Narrator is taking in the scenery of finally experiencing the country and asking the Shy Man if he was going to be a caretaker of one of the large homes they were walking past, he demanding the pup to shut up once more and our Narrator acquiescing. They walk to a cottage where the Shy Man greets another man, Bill with familiarity and they discuss why he’d bought a dog, the Shy Man giving a valid reason, for the jobs they were planning and after they enter the cottage and the pup falls asleep, being awakened by a scratching at the door and knowing how a dog is educated to react to such a situation, begins barking.

The man comes in through the window, turns the light on and whacks our Narrator with a stick, this procedure occurring nightly until our Narrator finally decides to try the opposite of his mother’s sound training, believing her views to be narrow and not having dealt with as shy a man he was owned by, the next night staying quiet and getting rewarded for his silence (positively for once). When the pup had learned this, the next phase of the Shy Man’s plan was put in to effect, being of which his approach to a large house and asking if the man needed a watch dog, the old man in question surprised and pleased since he had been, his other having met an untimely death, he paying for our Narrator and the man leaving. The Narrator was at first unaware of the Shy Man’s absence, but soon changed and he began pining like dogs do until he heard a familiar sound from his old life, being a man, Fred’s motor-bike, our Narrator excitedly running outside when the old man opened the door, we learning our Narrator’s nickname at the bar (an uncommon one in today’s society, but acceptable in the times, I presume…). They all go back inside and have supper, the Narrator setting up camp in the other dog’s basket, but not being able to sleep for his excitement of seeing Fred and smelling rats, investigating and then hearing a noise he was used to hearing during his time with the Shy Man and not barking like he normally would, but waiting and listening, unsure and wondering if it could be his old owner and surprised to learn it was.

Our Narrator, being an extrovert he is, was a little underwhelmed by the Shy Man’s welcome and began to think of ways to help him cure his shyness, plotting of how he could get Fred down there so the two could meet without scaring off the Shy Man before being able to do so. Our Narrator comes up with a solid plan and slips away quietly for the Shy Man being preoccupied with grabbing some objects in another area with his back to the pup, our Narrator going off to get Fred quietly and fortunately after successfully waking Fred, he hearing the Shy Man walking around downstairs and grabbing the rifle his father had given him and going downstairs to confront the Shy Man, our Narrator about to introduce the two when Fred shouts and ruins all of the Narrator’s hard work, the Shy Man jumping out the window and our Narrator after him, Fred following and the pup catching the Shy Man’s scent which ended at a tree, he not seeing anything, Fred believing the man had got away, but our Narrator hearing the branches go and making it known he was up there, still wanting the two to meet and getting his wish even though they didn’t turn out to get along as well as our Narrator hoped, the police coming for the Shy Man and Fred and his father giving our Narrator enough treats to ease his mind about his friendship-making skills. The first half of this story reminding me of a funnier Lady: My Life as a Bitch.

The Mixer – II I’ll list like a second story, even though it looks in the book like a chapter more than a story unto itself, which may be a trick, since the Narrator of this one gets knocked down by a chauffeured car and taken in by a young boy, a Master Peter, naming him Fido, our Narrator not having liked the name, but knowing a good situation when it hit him and deciding it must be the bad which came with this good fortune. Peter seemed to have to convince everyone he’d decided on this dog, Fido to be his, the nurse-maid being the first, his mother the second, she revealing to Peter of his father being a stickler for pedigree dogs he may not like his choice, his father then walking in, but in the end accepting Peter’s firm decision on keeping Fido since he’d not been denied before and why start now.

Peter then takes Fido for his bone, given to him by Cook and then going out to the kennels where all of Peter’s father’s prize-winning dogs stayed, Fido knowing it wouldn’t be pleasant and being spot on with his assumption, the two moving off to the stables where he meets a little terrier called Jack who was owned by one of the grooms, he giving Fido sound advice about not wasting time having fun with Peter since the boy seemed to have a short attention span for the items he loved and would be better off getting favor from one of the adults before his two weeks were up. Jack was sure to make it known it wasn’t Peter’s fault, but his parents keeping him cooped up and away from other children and giving him games to idle his time away, making the boy jaded. Fido soon learned Peter certainly did treat him like his only friend and would describe to him fantastical tales of Indians and pirates making homes near and on the lake nearby. Fido finally gets a taste of what he would be in for if he lost Peter’s favor when Peter’s father gets him a toy plane and how Peter didn’t speak with him the whole time until it broke. Fido then tries to put Jack’s words of getting in with the adults into action, but not starting off well when he chases a guest up a tree whom he hadn’t met until the next morning of the man’s visit. He then makes a real enemy when he tries to play with Peter’s father, mixing signals when he was playing golf.

Fido’s final faux pas happens when there were women visitors in the drawing room and Fido was waiting for cake, but then seeing what he thought to be a rat and trying to impress the women, since he knew women hated rats, he decided to capture it, but upon throwing it across the room and it emitting a bark, surprises the dukes out of Fido, he apologizing to the rat dog before being attacked by everyone in the room, Fido taking refuge under the couch with embarrassment, but the damage having been done, Peter’s mother commanding the butler, Weeks to get Fido and tie him in an empty stall in the stables until such a time as a man could be gotten to shoot poor Fido. He stays tied there for such a long time as to believe they could have forgotten about him when he hears steps and realizes it’s Peter, he untying him and deciding they’ll go through the woods to a city of diamonds which he’d told Fido about earlier. Peter takes Fido as far as he can get before collapsing in the dense wood, tired and pretending he wasn’t scared and making up a story where Fido came to rescue him in the woods, the two falling asleep and Fido being woken in the night by sounds and light, he defending the boy until he found his father was there and Peter, half asleep is sharing the story he’d made up earlier, his father believing Fido had saved Peter from kidnappers and from then on Fido being an esteemed guest. This one ending as nicely as the first.

Crowned Heads – Katie’s story starts with her being unaware she’d be the one to be whisked off her feet, due to believing she played a minor role to her friend’s life, other than one time having been complimented on her eyes whilst Genevieve was constantly told of her good looks and receiving advice to get into show business. Genevieve also had a particular way of speaking which gave the impression of royalty rather than her “menial” role as a model at Macy’s which is why Katie was surprised a man had decided to choose her after seeing Genevieve, the situation making it clear the young man had snubbed her friend for herself which angered Genevieve all the more since she was the one whom had spotted he and his friend as proper gentlemen to escort them on their outing to Palisades Park. Genevieve thought they’d be suitable by their looks and personalities, designating whom Katie would socialize. Upon deciding this, Genevieve approaches them, Katie getting uncomfortable, not ever having gotten used to Genevieve’s ease at engaging new people. Katie knew there wasn’t anything wrong with Genevieve’s ways, but couldn’t get used to it, making her more reserved.

The young man she was walking next to lets her know he can read her feelings, she embarrassed, but confirming his supposition, he stating of seeing her difference from Genevieve and Katie regarding his words by mentioning her friend’s goodness, quick to back her up. The young man claiming Genevieve may be too nice which makes Katie inquire further about his reasons for making conversation with Genevieve if he knew he wasn’t interested, he confessing it was to get closer to her. This new knowledge was so outlandish to Katie, she walked on with the young man in silence. She had thought herself unattractive and unnoticeable by the opposite sex and so knowing the young man held interest in her was overpowering. Katie then began considering his liking her must be a mistake somehow, due to the young man’s princely appearance, presumably all in her mind, and this possibility of he being truly attracted to her was scary for her to accept. He makes conversation about whether she’d been to the park or Coney Island before, surprised her answer to the contrary on the latter, advising she should to truly enjoy the park and mentions other festivities she would have to see, realizing she must not take many trips. He then enquires what she did for a living, Katie replying she worked in a second-hand book shop (a dream of mine which has yet come true) which was a family owned business, he learning her last name once hearing what the shop was called. He then asks what they should do, Katie thinking they should go back for their friends, but the young man suggesting  a couple different ideas, Katie settling on ice cream and their walk.

Katie regards her companion more comfortably, but not feeling the need to ask more about him yet, regardless of the looks she’d noticed some boys giving him as they passed. As the day wound down, he shares of having decided to visit her at her work sometime, giving his name finally, Ted Brady, and where he could be found, then upon seeing Genevieve, bids Katie goodbye. When Katie is reunited with her friend, Genevieve wouldn’t speak to her on their way back which didn’t bother her like it usually would, too caught up in her pleasant day. When she arrived back at the shop to see Mr. Murdoch, her grandfather’s board game buddy and a glass-cutter, he confides being glad to see her and confessing he’d upset her grandfather with news of suffragettes in the paper. Katie eases Mr. Murdoch’s mind to not take it seriously and goes to see her grandfather, discovering him still bristling over the news. Katie suggests he write a letter to the government and shares how he could begin which settled her grandfather’s temper greatly. We then get back-story on Katie’s grandfather’s delusions of grandeur and the latest one being the first to last as long as it had. When first dealing with his illness, it had brought her to the end of her ability to cope, but now she knew how to get through it.

Katie set out her grandfather’s breakfast and updated Mr. Murdoch on having handled the situation. We then are told of her grandfather’s pastimes and how he spent his time at the park in good spirits. Katie, now her circumstances having changed, believed herself uniquely lucky, what with being content with her work, liked caring for her grandfather, and had Ted Brady to look forward to adding to her schedule. Ted making good his promise of visiting, was plain and forward with his reasons for doing so, not being smooth at all. Their second meeting consisted of he presenting Katie with flowers, unceremoniously, sharing with her random facts about himself and referring she speak with anyone who knew him for corroboration. He also confides of not having been in a serious relationship nor being interested in anyone until seeing her, his body language conveying honesty of his statement, and the time he visits after, planting a kiss on her and putting a ring on her finger. Katie was then comparing her proposal to the ones she’d heard Genevieve relate when she’d been asked for her hand and noticed Ted had a serious and reserved countenance in comparison, but regardless to his unemotional countenance, Katie was quite happy with it.

Although after sharing the news with her grandfather, she was no longer as happy; It wasn’t caused by Ted’s social standing, job, or personality, and when Mr. Murdoch found out who Katie’s fiancée was, he was surprised a celebrity such as he would choose her as a suitable spouse. He then shares Ted’s position at the Glencoe being more important than Ted had let on. So when she received this news, she believed there wasn’t anything to worry about when approaching her grandfather with her plans, but regardless of Ted’s status, her grandfather believing he was royalty gave him pause to Ted being good enough. Katie didn’t believe his response and knew she wouldn’t be able to change his mind. Katie then taking the information to Ted whom handled the news optimistically well, but Katie clarifying of they needing to get her grandfather’s blessing and couldn’t go behind his back, considering his illness and how much her grandfather needed looking after. Ted believed it shouldn’t be a problem, mapping out their wedding plans and time frame, concluding if her grandfather had issue with their decision, it would be his own concern, but Katie maintaining the shock of her disobeying would be too much for him and continued to try having Ted understand, which once he had, wasn’t pleased at all, thinking of alternatives, one of which being to visit the old man and becoming resolute after Katie attentively agrees, making sure he’d be kind to her grandfather. After they meet, Katie is updated on they not getting any closer to an accord, but Ted having been designated an Earl, they not giving up. Genevieve even tries to help after her wounded pride had time to heal, they struggling to come up with something within the next two weeks.

Ted’s friend had come close to a decent plan which involved getting Katie’s grandfather to Washington Square to stage a fight where Ted comes out the victor and the old man deciding to allow the marriage proceedings because of his show of courage and strength; Ted approved of the plan, but once Katie heard it she thought they would need to give it another thought, believing her grandfather’s ability to handle such a situation could only end badly. Katie then shares with Ted of needing time apart, since only seeming tortured by their suspended status. Katie coming to this painful decision after many sleepless nights. She considered their state of inaction not fair to Ted and he should feel free to look for a girl whom he could get gratification with more ease. He obeys her request unenthusiastically and Katie continues caring for her grandfather who had forgotten this moment in Katie’s life, wondering why she didn’t seem as happy. During this time, Katie was a bit jealous of the girls Ted had access to meet and the ability to help him forget her. The summer comes and goes after which we see Katie sitting on the book shop’s steps in September, feeling the first breeze after the intolerable heat of summer. She finally having stopped thinking of Ted and closing her eyes to listen to the sounds around her when she hears his voice. He conveys wanting to see her grandfather, she reminding him the uselessness, but Ted insisting on speaking with him and when he begins, Katie overhears the start of their conversation, her grandfather then excitedly calling for her. Katie’s grandfather has trouble sharing the good news of Ted’s status, but he now had no objection to their betrothal. Outside Ted confesses what process his plan had gone through, feeling guilty for lying, but seeing no other way. So the plan worked in their favor and the story ends abruptly, but satisfactorily.

At Geisenheimer’s – We begin with a first person Narrative about the lady we follow not being happy and unable to feel content, all usual entertainments and pastimes uninteresting. We learn she’s gone to Geisenheimer’s, a dance club/restaurant and whilst looking for a table, is noticed by a man who comes up to her and identifies her as a Miss Roxborough, he seeming to know her and she realizing he was from the country, confessing she didn’t remember him after he introduced himself as Ferris. He claimed the last time they were there, they had danced together, she learning the time he referred was the year before and being told his first name was Charlie, he wanting to dance with her again and she of the mind she must do so if asked. She relates how the country theme seemed natural for her day starting with like thoughts, after their dance, Ferris exhilarated and asking how common Roxborough came to the restaurant, she not revealing she was paid to dance there and the rules requiring her she not confide the truth, since patrons wouldn’t take the knowledge well in regards to whom won the contest they had every night.

Roxborough and another girl would win a cup for the dance contest every other night, but she claiming it wasn’t technically rigged, considering it was possible anyone could win, it’s only the two girls must be the best dancers each night, so management made the requirement for they to act unknowing. Ferris then states how great New York was and speaks familiarly to her about he wanting to move there, but having responsibilities keeping up his deceased father’s drugstore and making it quite lucrative, he then sharing of having gotten married during their time apart, and Roxborough berating him for acting single and leaving his wife alone, but Ferris replies his wife was in the restaurant, pointing to the balcony and Roxborough having noticed the lady earlier, looking sad, posing the question to Ferris, he thinking she was having a fine time and after being asked why he wasn’t dancing with her, he confessing she didn’t dance much and was good enough in their hometown in Maine, but needed to take a backseat in New York since he believed he was more agile.

This news understandably upset and angered Roxborough, she deciding to pawn him off on some friends for not feeling like dancing anymore. After doing so, Roxborough goes to the balcony, noticing how country-looking the girl seemed and not knowing how to begin speaking with her, decides to announce she’s going to sit by her and after, surprising her by stating the obvious of having been dancing with her husband, she agreeing to have noticed. Roxborough then felt such a renewed anger, she again had violent thoughts toward Ferris for how he was treating his wife and making her feel. Roxborough then offers a friendly ear for the young lady to unload her troubles to, she at first hesitant to do so with a stranger, but Roxborough putting her reluctant mind at ease after asking her a preliminary question of why they’d come to New York with summer about to hit, she revealing of being on their honeymoon and Charlie having been set to going back to New York, she not liking the city because it scared her and sharing a story of a man whom lived in the same town who’d gotten married, come to New York for his honeymoon and his wife comparing the city and men to their hometown which upon returning home, became restless and not being able to settle. One day she runs off and the man is still waiting for her return, even after three years passing, he not thinking of divorce.

The story shocks Roxborough and upsets the young lady, she convinced the man’s fate would soon be hers as well. After getting another eye-full of Charlie, Roxborough considers the good possibility of what the girl thought, the music then stopping and an announcer speaking of the contest about to begin, Roxborough knowing this was her cue to go down on the dance floor since management constantly worried about a night when one of their hired dancers wouldn’t show and someone random winning the cup, which then gives Roxborough an idea, ushering the young woman with her to dance in the contest, Roxborough having to win her over with the idea. After she succeeds, she retrieves her ticket and one for the young lady, Mary, then going to Charlie to inform him he would be dancing in the contest with her, they going on the dance floor which had filled with all the hopefuls, and as everyone started dancing, numbers were called and the dance floor emptied until it was only Mary, her dance partner, Roxborough, and Ferris, unaware for staring at his feet.

Roxborough started to notice Mary was getting applause for her efforts, knowing people were being struck by her look and being reminded of what they missed about the country. The announcer knew he would be in for it since he was going to have to pick the couple who hadn’t won over the crowd, then the last losing number is called and Charlie finally takes a moment to look up, believing his wife was still on the balcony, but being surprised to see her on the dance floor, everyone cheering her on. Charlie is properly flummoxed and Roxborough makes sure to bop him over the head with his stupidity, they getting a drink whilst waiting for Mary to join them. Roxborough then notices the announcer across the room looking distressed by having to inform the boss of the new winner of the cup. Roxborough attempts a look of encouragement toward him before continuing her plan to keep Charlie properly hooked to his wife by mentioning Mary relating the story of the young man whom lost his wife to New York and he needing to get her back home before the same happened to him.

Charlie seemed to have taken the bait and when Mary comes over and says how she wanted to have been dancing with him, he speaks of she being a marvel and suggests they go show the trophy off at home tomorrow, the two voicing how they were over New York and Roxborough excusing herself. She walks to the announcer who was speaking like an African native, but with anger and less comprehension. Roxborough claims to not have remembered which number was for whom and it being accidental Mary had won and to explain to the boss they had made a new couple happy, the trophy being a wedding gift. The announcer was so enraged knowing Roxborough had done it on purpose and would relate to the boss of it, she confessing her plans to resign anyways, having felt unfulfilled for awhile and planning to return to the country to her (big reveal) husband. This one was cute and enjoyable, quaint and some old-timer ideas, but good indeed.

The Making of Mac’s refers to a restaurant which by now no one called MacFarland’s anymore and the place was shrouded in mystery. It is described as an out-of-the-way spot, but somehow was popular among theatre people. So the question is brought to the only waiter who had been there the longest for his opinion, which is detailed next. Henry, the waiter begins with when the place opened, Mr. MacFarland doing so fifteen years prior. His wife had died and he had a son, Andy, and a daughter, Katie, whom was the child of a dead friend and was adopted.

Henry lists Andy’s attributes as being stubborn in those days and how he differed from the typical child’s behavior, which he grew into, rather than out; Katie meanwhile, was the favored. Henry skips forward to MacFarland getting lucky when acquiring our Narrator, Henry and Jules, whom was from Paris and a phenomenal cook. Henry had taken the job which was technically a step down compared to his previous position, but had conflict with the head waiter and had left after insulting the man. MacFarland treated Henry like a brother and would share his dream of sending Andy to Oxford College until he made it come true. Then giving Katie a job as a cashier which must have helped the business for she getting more beautiful in her sixteen years of age, plus Jules’ cooking and Henry’s service rounding off the reason for popularity.

Katie loved to dance which no one knew for she being secretive about the time she’d spend doing so. During those days, Andy was about to go off to college and Katie is seen by Henry later, crying and blaming a toothache. After, during Andy’s second year in college, MacFarland had a stroke which leaves him bedridden indefinitely and so Andy quits college to run the restaurant. Henry shares his empathy for Andy’s situation and tries to look on the bright side, which unfortunately costs him a tip, after which, Andy has to inform him of the man shouting for him, he being told to focus on his work.

Andy soon shows his dedication to his new position and once hiring more servers for the increase of business, proved his worth by how he cracked the whip and the new hires being eager to fall in line. Then Henry shares of a day when it was only he, Andy, and Katie, the two not realizing he was in hearing distance and he learning of they being more than friends and Katie’s plan to leave for show business. Andy though, by this time was actually the boss since his father had died half a year ago and was now Katie’s guardian which didn’t make him prone to allowing her to go, which is when Katie mentions having been attending a school and practicing for years for this opportunity, but Andy being adamant, Henry knowing if Andy had gone about asking her to stay differently, he would’ve had a better chance of her giving in, but Andy was head-strong and so Katie maintained her resolve, the two parting ways.

Henry keeps an eye out for news of Katie, soon discovering articles about she being a hit, but the play falling short; Henry showing one to Andy and he not being receptive. The restaurant stayed open late and one night it was dead until eleven at night when a group of four came in and one of the party was Katie. She greets Henry familiarly and threatens to share a story he’d have chosen to keep in the past unless he didn’t greet her warmly in return, he not wanting to rock the boat. Henry was noticing her uncommon behavior as she introduced her group and realized it was due to she being nervous of the possibility of Andy appearing, he doing so as if by synchronicity, but after he sees her, walking back out and Katie asking Henry if Andy ever mentioned her, repeating how well he looked before and after they were ready to leave, knowing he must still be angry with her.

The next night Katie returns for supper with a bigger party and as MacFarland’s continued to gain notoriety, Henry and the chef, Jules became more excited by the buzz until Henry figured how it happened and confronted Katie about how gratified he was by the foot traffic they were gaining due to her bringing people there. Andy still refused to acknowledge Katie and she still asked Henry if he did, but due to the increase in business, Henry and Andy made sure they didn’t lose the momentum, working harder; even whilst Henry related the story, the restaurant still doing well.

Henry was satisfied with his story-telling abilities until being reminded by the listener of what had become of Katie and Andy, continuing with how Henry had become tired of Andy’s snobbish game of ignoring whom all his good fortune had come and one night it seemed Andy was close to stating his thankfulness to Katie as she was about to start dancing to the piano music playing from the show she was in, Henry overhearing by discovering a spot to clean nearby. What Andy was about to state to Katie though, was she not being allowed to dance there, he “obliged” to her efforts of bringing in business, but not needing her help and wouldn’t have the place turned into a “nightclub”. Katie sits, but one kid in her party starts a ruckus in support of her dancing, Andy walking back over to request he keep his voice down, but the young man had too much to drink and tried to smack Andy, he reacting by depositing him outside and the scene fouling the mood, but for the better, getting an overflow of business which now required reservations, and Katie not returning, Henry noticing little other than considering her response a natural one. Then on Henry’s night off he receives a letter which shocks him.

Katie not knowing Henry would be back before one in the morning and he going off to the room above him which she had rented and told no one until writing her whereabouts in her letter, he making time to save her from her own actions and she breaking down, he suggesting they go to his apartment so she could explain why she was being irrational and helping her due to seeing she was limping. When she sits and relays what had happened to her since Henry hadn’t seen the news in the paper, he makes sure she won’t doing anything rash in his absence and goes to the restaurant to inform Andy of the letter Katie sent him which gets the reaction Henry was hoping it would induce, even after knowing she hadn’t succeeded, Henry making it seem it was still a possibility and the two rushing to Henry’s apartment. When Katie and Andy see each other, they embrace and Henry leaves to give them privacy, attending the latter half of a music-hall which wasn’t interesting due to needing to be in the right state of mind to appreciate them. Another warm, tender love story which has a nice pacing, but makes me yearn for more details.

One Touch of Nature starts with J. Wilmot Birdsey in line to get into the Chelsea Football Ground, he being happily content with life, even whilst he had the darkness of his future in the depths of his mind, he not letting it concern him on this marvelous day. Mr. Birdsey was attending the first baseball game since leaving New York five years previous due to his daughter, Mae marrying the sixth Earl of Carrickstead, Hugo. Mr. Birdsey, wanted to stay close to his daughter, so moves to England, and he being an easy going fellow, was at the whim of his wife and daughter besides being a businessman, wearing these hats for twenty years, but he being quite crushed by the aspect of not seeing a baseball game, presumingly ever again, until two formidable teams had announced their date of a game he could finally partake.

Mr. Birdsey also met two men who he could relate whilst watching, he seeing them as buddies from youth and reuniting on a foreign land, also not wanting their good company to be finished, so deciding to invite the men to dinner. We then learn each man’s attributes and the ways they reacted whilst watching the game. Birdsey decides first to ask the young man, whom agrees, but when trying to get the attention of the elder man, startles him, but still sallies forth to give his invitation. In the end, Birdsey obtains his guests, but realizes the awkwardness to come, regardless of their like-minded interest. Mr. Birdsey was resolute in making the dinner memorable for the good, though and the young man, seeing Birdsey’s look, starts speaking with the older man, whom again responds as oddly as he had before, looking stalked, and responding with a shake of his head. The young man is convinced he recognized him, though and continues questioning, Birdsey figuring midway through introductions were in order, learning the young man was called Watterall and the older, was Johnson he having moved from New York for his health.

Watterall inquires further and explains recognizing faces isn’t only an obsessive hobby, but helpful in his profession. Birdsey could sense Watterall’s explanation wasn’t making Johnson any more at ease and decided to relieve his tension by speaking positively about Algiers, Johnson’s current residence which didn’t go well, but fortunately being saved by the waiter with their champagne, helping Johnson explain his reaction which allowed Birdsey to return sympathy to his discomfort. Birdsey still believed the conversation needed saving caused by the serious content so turned the topic to the game they saw and Watterall confiding his reason for attending were for his job as a journalist. Birdsey than confesses what event he was missing by scheduling this dinner afterward, which then led into a puzzling exchange between Watterall and Johnson.

Watterall reveals Johnson’s real name and where he now remembered recognizing him. Birdsey was sympathetic and in awe of the lengths Johnson had gone, risking being caught only to see another game of baseball. Birdsey then tries to convince Watterall to keep the discovery to himself, failing, and he calling Scotland Yard for someone to claim Johnson. Birdsey is shocked by his lack of camaraderie, and Johnson breaks down knowing he was sunk. Mr. Birdsey was still until seeing Watterall’s body language which to him seemed too self righteous and so literally springs to action, knocking Watterall down and shouting for Johnson to flee, which he does, and when seeing he was safely gone, gets up. Watterall is dumbfounded by Birdsey’s reaction, he explaining fans must stick together, especially those who’ve been “exiled”. Watterall then inquires what he could possibly say to the police when they arrive, Birdsey having put him in an awkward position. Birdsey states they’ll be easy compared to he making up with his wife. This was an odd story, easy read, but underwhelming due to the style of thinking.

Black For Luck brings us into the mind of a black cat (similarly of course to The Mixer) of simple means, but was noticed by Elizabeth which gave him time to play it cool, albeit still suspiciously, the two staring each other down, the cat twitching his tail reprovingly, although changing his attitude by bumping his head against her dress and allowing her to pick him up, she going to the janitor to inquire if he knew whether the cat belonged to anyone in the building, he confirming the cat’s homelessness. Elizabeth then decides to house the cat, the janitor declaring black cats to be lucky, which Elizabeth wasn’t opposed in acquiring. She brings the cat to her apartment thinking it possible he may wish to escape, but upon exploration cried to her and she agreeing he was right to ask for what was wanted, supplying him with sardines and milk, he being of easy disposition.

Elizabeth then decides to call him Joseph and the cat doesn’t wait long to take run of her apartment. Joseph brought normalcy to the place until one day disappearing, Elizabeth looking out her window after searching her place and seeing Joseph sitting on a young man’s balcony, his name being James. She goes to James’ apartment to retrieve Joseph, but James insists the cat inside is his, called Reginald, and once Elizabeth deduces how and when he’d obtained his cat Reginald, insists on his return regardless of bribes of a plentiful amount of cats. James then explains why he’d decided to take in his Reginald, Elizabeth soon agreeing with his “logic”. After, the two began seeing the other’s reasons for wanting the cat, both arguing why the other should keep him. James then suggests she come visit them both since being in a similar situation of not knowing anyone in New York. The two also being writers was another bonding point, she thinking him to be successful with his writing due to he mentioning a play he had written, which was debuting soon and being modest about his success, this quality endearing James to her all the more.

Before the week ended, Elizabeth felt as if she’d known James since youth, but she still feeling James was missing something from his back story, she revealing all the details of where she came from and how she got to New York. When James spoke it was of his college years and Chicago, briefly and then sharing details about his play, leaving Elizabeth to draw the conclusion by the finish of the second week of James being quite destitute and his play being his world. James made this statement so often, Elizabeth started giving it more reverence than the projects she had in her own career, but she thought the play was wonderful and the two were happy, until James had to start attending rehearsals which left him with down spirits which Elizabeth would drop everything to help him regain optimism. The two were nonetheless still satisfied with their relationship until one quiet evening (of which they had many, but more pleasant).

Elizabeth held a grudge this night, having received the news of being given the position of love adviser in a column, but when sharing her good news, is met with barely an acknowledgement and soon hears of all the issues James had to endure at rehearsal, Elizabeth no longer sympathetic and the two sitting silently afterward until James, whom had lost his mind, lunges at her and she at first shocked and then angered, struggling away from him. She leaves his apartment as she barely hears James, probably trying to either explain himself or apologize, she only knowing forgiveness being out of the question. From then on, she avoids James, easily enough and one day opens her door to observe a note and the newspaper. The note is from James, asking for good tidings since his play was finally premiering and the paper showed of his definitive failure, Elizabeth taking a moment to process what she’d read, then dressing and going down to buy the other papers, having beforehand realizing her feelings for James.

Elizabeth rushes back to knock on James’ door, he answering looking drained and she rushing to him, he taking the opportunity to propose, and if her answer was to accept, he would cease to care what the reviews said, she being a dope and agreeing. Joseph then rushes out, smartly, Elizabeth stating they were better rid of him, not believing in the luck of black cats anymore, but James disagrees, sure of Joseph having brought him plenty of luck. Elizabeth sharing on keeping them afloat on her new job’s salary, but James revealing how he had hoped she’d return with him to Chicago where he had a family business to go into, his father the rich sort and James’ writing being an experiment to see if he had the talent as well as the passion. They are then burst in upon by another neighbor whom Joseph had chosen, James sharing the value of Joseph and the neighbor rushing back to be sure the cat didn’t leave. The story ends with James repeating Elizabeth’s thoughts on the horrors of his family business back to her when it came to the dealings of the pigs before being turned into sausage. Once more, this story isn’t as strong as the former half of this collection due to how much it relies on the fantastical view of how females were supposed to react to stupidity. Oh, well.

The Romance of an Ugly Policeman introduces Constable Plimmer and his route for keeping the peace including Battersea Park Road, which was made up of artists and intellectuals, not making it a cesspool for crime and essentially impossible to prove worthiness for promotion. Plimmer saw his time there as a vacation of sorts, which he wasn’t necessarily upset due to the abuse he’d taken in his previous city. Battersea was a welcome, peaceful change, until he began to have the old familiar itch for action and instead receiving a love interest. Plimmer discovers her behind York Mansions where all the liveliness lay; Rich people were fairly boring, obviously. We then are shown an interaction between a goods dealer and kitchen staff in the roles of Romeo and Juliet, but with different temperaments.

Plimmer then meets the girl around noon, she asking the time and inquiring how long Plimmer had worked there, she stating of having arrived three days earlier and Plimmer hoping she thought the town pleasant, she replying the milkman being nice and Plimmer immediately despising him because of the girl’s review. Plimmer was well acquainted with the milkman, and his good looks, he charming all the girls, which the thought of sent Plimmer on his way, seething of his misfortune being caused by a career which shouldn’t have any effect on someone of his status. Plimmer soon realizes Ellen, the girl he spoke with, was in love with Alf, the milkman when she was about to post a letter which Plimmer offered to deliver, noticing to whom it was addressed. Elizabeth doesn’t take his nosiness well and gives him a taste of her wrath, Plimmer deflated by her description of him which he saw the truth in. Elizabeth’s next question was posed for an answer to continue to fuel her anger, and instead was surprised by its simple affirmation of Plimmer truly being jealous and moving along due to silencing her, she continuing on to post her letter and noticing Plimmer’s retreat.

Plimmer wanted nothing more than the drama of his former beat in Whitechapel, he growling to himself until an old lady screams from an upper window for him to come quickly inside. Plimmer welcoming the possibility of a drunk husband to smack around, but when the old woman meets him at her door, notifies of a theft being made by her cook whom was currently locked in her room, the old woman’s husband then stepping forward to admit to taking his wife’s money, but no more than once, the old woman allowing this to be true, but having missed money more than this, as well as a brooch, leading Plimmer to Ellen’s room, the two entering and Ellen giving the brooch back once asked by the old woman, she then denying she hadn’t taken the old woman’s money. The woman then confirms of she making a formal charge, Plimmer escorting Ellen to the station. As they walked in the sunshine, Alf was awaiting Ellen around the corner, she being late and then seeing her with Plimmer, at first thinking it was by choice, then realizing Plimmer was on duty, Alf admitting after the fact of not reacting well, he choosing to walk by her like he didn’t know her.

After a few more steps, Plimmer stops and with difficulty commands she run, to go after Alf, but she, being hurt and surprised by his inaction had changed her view of him, but Plimmer still insisting she leave, knowing what would happen if she was sentenced to prison, the least of which being her hair being cut. Ellen asked him why he would sacrifice his job and freedom for her, he knowing she already knew, but confirming his love for her. She then decides she can’t let him get in trouble for her sake and insists he take her in no matter how hard he argued for her to flee. As they get closer she asks if he’ll be there to greet her when she’s let go, Plimmer making it plain he’d be there no matter what and to think of considering him to be a better suitor than Alf whilst she served her time, she asking what those close to him called him. This one is better than the last couple and ends more nicely than I’m willing to describe only since the best way to do so would be to quote and if readers haven’t yet read the story, they should uncover a copy or search for it in the usual spots online.

A Sea of Troubles brings us directly into Mr. Meggs’ decision of taking his life, letting us know of the struggle he’d gone through to reach the inevitable conclusion. We then learn Meggs had come to this because of terrible stomach pain caused by indigestion and his love for food. He had tried many tonics for the pain to no avail and was the perfect candidate and age type to fall victim to his own hand. When he was younger, his meager salary kept him from the types of food which would give him this pain, until receiving his legacy, from then on living in luxury with no one to warn him where his appetite and lack of exercise would lead. One moment Meggs was feeling fine and the next, pure pain, so one June morning we are seeing Meggs ready to end it all. The day outside was like any other and Mr. Meggs was calm with his resolve as he had checks on his desk which stated all of his wealth. He had gotten joy from the decision of whom would receive them, those of which were some of his office friends. Since he didn’t know whether he had a remote relative alive somewhere, he forewent making a will and instead drew the checks for sending directly to those he deemed worthy. He methodically readied the checks to be sent and then poured a bottle, the liquid we are not privy, into a glass.

Mr. Meggs had also thought considerably on how he would do the deed, most possibilities being too messy. He then calling his stenographer, whom was an uptight steely demeanor-ed soul, and we then discovering the history Mr. Meggs had gone through to obtain her. As she enters, Mr. Meggs is satisfied with himself for remembering her unwavering loyalty. She, ready to take more notes was unexpectedly treated to a smile instead, which she took to mean something other than his intentions. He regarded her years of employment they’d shared whilst giving her the letters to post and dancing around the point of wanting to gift her for she being a long vigilant employee, planting a kiss on her forehead, he again meaning it quite differently than how it was received and paying for it, she going off on a tirade of the unprofessionalism he’d displayed. After, he tries to explain the misunderstanding, only to be interrupted repeatedly, and making him realize the error of his decision to include her among those deserving of his gratitude, demanding she leave, which she does, noting his scale of anger. Once alone and pacing in fury, it hits him how premature his plan to kill himself had been, realizing people shouldn’t be bestowed such a grand offering he’d almost mistakenly given and death by his own hand not being the answer, preferring to endure his periodic pain, but then noticing the letters were gone and he getting them back would require quick action.

Ms. Pillenger was doing her final task for Mr. Meggs by posting the letters, but then hears and sees him straining to catch up to her. Ms. Pillenger immediately believes he is trying to profess his love to her and dashes off, noticing no one on the street to help her. The woman is obviously demented as we learn details of what she thinks would happen and what the headlines would read about her story in the paper. As they continue down the street though, citizens begin to take curious notice of the scene due to the area’s penchant for being boring. Then, when Mr. Meggs finally lays a hand on Ms. Pillenger, townsmen swoop in to her aid, Mr. Meggs tries to wheeze his reasons as Ms. Pillenger has her say of what occurred and a hilarious suggestion from a bystander is given in response (Monty Python-esque). Mr. Meggs finally expresses his want only for the letters’ return, then the constable shows signs of the scene no longer having a possibility of attempted murder, the crowd dispersing, and Ms. Pillenger handing the letters over, also vowing not to return, Mr. Meggs not arguing. The next day Mr. Meggs wakes happily and realizes the running had made him feel better and would continue to add it to his daily regimen, regardless of the slight pain he sometimes felt, knowing he had the upper-hand. Funny one, which I felt worth the time.

The Man With Two Left Feet mentions a myth which is supposed to be known to Americans involving a man called Clarence MacFadden. The man, like Happy Feet, yearned to dance, but didn’t have the correct foot action to support his affinity. Clarence though, detects his opportunity to seek a coach, of whom remarks he’d have to spike the price due to the challenge involved. We then learn Clarence may not have had the most innocent reasons then the love for it would have been. Henry Mills, meanwhile was an incessant reader and had taken up dancing for the love of his wife, but dreamed of coming home from work to read, of all things, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, taking notes and determined to read it in order. Since before meeting her, this is how he liked to spend his time. We then get a flashback of Henry before marriage during a vacation, deciding to go to a bed and breakfast sort in the country (this being the scene of where Henry met his wife, Minnie).

The circumstances were simply being one night as Henry stood at the shore of the lake, believing the bugs he slapped around him couldn’t possibly be mosquitoes for being of the era where taking the word of an ad instilled a loyalty they wouldn’t lie, he sees Minnie walking along the edge of the lake in his direction, the two make eye contact and Henry greeting her. Conversation was slow going at first, but Henry soon found the reason for she looking worn was caused by dancing in the city, Henry having trouble continuing their chat for not having read far enough in the encyclopaedia, but had remembered some facts on Ballet, which impressed her jaw to dropping. She compliments his factual knowledge and admits to wishing she’d had time to read (don’t we all) and confiding of her assessment to his wonderfulness. Henry was flummoxed by being a fascination to the girl for not having been one before, and walking back to his room, he didn’t even notice the non-mosquitoes bleeding him out, as he laid in bed, realizing he was hit by love. They spent the rest of their time together until Henry travels back to New York, relating to a co-worker of his plans to marry the next week, surprising his co-worker greatly.

We learn Henry’s first year of marriage is idyllic, the two’s lives seamlessly meshing, she adapting to his schedule with ease, the only difference being he’d read from the encyclopaedia aloud to her. They had a consistently contented life, Minnie no longer looking pallid and withdrawn. On their anniversary they celebrate at a popular Italian restaurant, see a musical comedy, and end the night at a restaurant near Times Square. Henry having a particularly romantic view when dining in expensive restaurants which reminded him of certain types of novels, which is when we learn of the restaurant being one we’ve been acquainted to before. Henry truly felt at home in the busy music and conversation-filled atmosphere. He then notices and is recognized by a Sidney Mercer whom looked like he was doing well, they chit chatting, and he learning of Henry’s marriage upon hearing the reason Henry was there, and then sharing his own change of career. When asked why Henry wasn’t dancing it brought to his own attention the reason this was so, he not being of the disposition, then when Sidney offered invitation to Minnie, she declining, Henry was convinced it was for his sake, but he tries to show his acceptance and watches the two dance, making him wonder of his true age being thirty-five and no longer feeling twenty-one. Henry then starts to realize the age difference between he and Minnie as she danced, making it more plain how old he was and how bored she must be for only being read to at night and not having dance be a part of her life anymore.

When the song ended and Henry had discovered a jealousy along with his loathing feelings for Sidney, he noticed how youthful Minnie had looked returning to their table, and once they were in a cab returning home, Henry had come to his decision to learn to dance for Minnie before her birthday in a few weeks and by purchasing a book, thinking it would be easier and more convenient in keeping his plan secret, which he soon found to be quite difficult. When he resolved he would need an instructor, he then had the difficulty for figuring out a convenient time for having such a tight and regular schedule, deciding he must resort to deceptiveness which he hesitated upon the thought of due to it being the first time he would be doing so, struggling through with the update he was going to extend his exercise regimen to an hour more of walking, which Minnie accepted complacently. So Henry had some time to dedicate to learning to dance, his teacher not having had a failure other than one whom began lessons and soon after stopping for losing his feet in an odd way. What Henry wasn’t expecting was the pain he would acquire from his practice of dance, as well as the memories associated with this period of his life bringing such terrible and painful accompanying emotions. Henry also felt guilt with the method of instruction including the teacher’s niece, only reminding him how much he would rather be with Minnie. Henry also had trouble taking the criticism the instructor and niece would argue of how slowly his progress was compared to a previous physically handicapped student.

The instructor tries extensively to help him even though the process was painfully embarrassing to him, but he succeeded in slowly making advancement. As he continued he also perceived Minnie’s stagnation of their lives and no longer enjoyed being read to, he glimpsing her look of boredom, but instead of feeling distressed was excited to uncover his ability. Finally her birthday arrived and the first gift he gives is an accessory she’d been wanting , but was met with only a formal appreciation. When he then informs her of the plans he had for them later, she confesses of not being interested, but he being adamant they should celebrate and after he was out of work would meet her at the restaurant, he confirming he’d continue going on his walk after at first saying it didn’t matter, the two saying goodbye. As they take in his plans later, she is still lackluster and wants to end the night short, but Henry tries to maintain her interest for all the work he’d put in the last few weeks, finally making it to the restaurant which would conclude their night. He had a perfect vision of how he hoped his unveiling would play out, which he partly foresaw correctly, but the successful completion playing a bit out of his favor, leaving him a laughing stock. When they returned home Henry was full of remorse and confesses what he had truly been doing with his extra hour per day. Minnie then revealed her side of seeing him exit his instructress’ house one day and why she was so tired when they first met, she not regretting in the least of ever having to dance again and would much rather listen to Henry read, she confirming this by bringing him a volume, not caring it wasn’t in the chronology they had started, the two content once more. Ridiculous and cute; A fine way to finish the collection, and now on to more!