Monday, July 20, 2015

"All He Could Say Was That He Hadn't Known Miss Bargain Was Like That"

"The Hold-Up."
By Archibald Marshall (1866-1934), illustrated by George Morrow (1869-1955).
Short story.
Found in Simple Stories from 'Punch' (1930).
Online HERE.
A story demonstrating that, in the hands of an accomplished writer, who needs punctuation? An excerpt:
. . . Well Miss Bargain didn't want to take him over the laundry because she knew that Mr. Priddo would come into the office where they were, so she said I would rather we stayed here and asked each other riddles, and I think I should like one of your chocolates after all as I am rather hungry.
Well Mr. Fruggin was pleased at this, because she smiled at him when she said it and she was really looking quite pretty although she was wearing her everyday clothes that she telephoned in and had only had time just to attend to her face and comb her hair, and he thought she might be falling in love with him. So he said very well that will suit me better still, pardon me but when is a door not a door?
So then they began asking each other riddles, and Miss Bargain had heard all his before but she pretended that she hadn't and laughed when he told her the answers, and Mr. Fruggin began to fall in love with her himself and to wish that he wasn't quite so dishonest. And he put his pistol down on the table, but some way off Miss Bargain, and kept on handing her chocolate-creams.
Well at last Miss Bargain asked him a really funny riddle about an elephant and a mangle, and when she told him the answer he leant back in his chair and laughed, and then she suddenly looked past him and said Hullo Ernest you are late.  . . .
- The SFE has an entry about satirist Marshall HERE, and Wikipedia even more information HERE.

Category: Crime fiction (facetious school)

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