Thursday, November 2, 2017

"His Heart Beat Undiplomatically, and His Lips Touched Her White Fingers"

"A Confidence Trick."
By Albert E. Pain (?-?).
First appearance: To-Day, March 4, 1899.
Short short short story (3 pages, 2 illos).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).

"He held a match for several seconds to the wrong end of a cigar, which, after all, was a foolish act for an iron-nerved diplomatist."
A cat often plays with the mouse before giving him the coup de grâce, but that also gives the mouse a chance to think . . .

- The story mentions Metternich, "a German diplomat and statesman and one of the most important of his era"; see Wikipedia (HERE).

- Verner uses the term "Ollendorffian" satirically, as an Englishman of the era would likely do; see the Wikipedia article (HERE) about the German grammarian, Heinrich Gottfried Ollendorff, whose texts relied "heavily on repetition" and used "artificially constructed sentences."

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