Saturday, February 10, 2024

"There Was Something in the Corner of It Which Knocked Awkwardly Against My Legs"

WHAT do Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, Andy Griffith, and Charles Sandeson have in common? That should become clear when Charles encounters . . .

"The Mysterious Kit-Bag."
By Arthur Franks (?-?; FictionMags HERE).
Illustration by John E. Sutcliffe (1876-1922; FictionMags HERE).
First appearance: Cassell's Magazine, November 1907.
Short short story (8 pages).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).

   "I can no longer keep silence."

A fourth-century theologian whose works are still taught in universities issued this warning: "Woman is the gate of the devil, the road to iniquity, the sting of the scorpion, in a word, a dangerous species." We're pretty sure that Charles slept through that lecture . . .

Principal characters:
~ Charles Sandeson:
  ". . . stranded in a foreign city, with no pyjamas, and a mysterious bag, probably full of a lady's apparel."
~ Irma d'Armentiéres:
  "Even in the semi-darkness it was easy to see how nice-looking she was."
~ Monsieur Truffaut:
  ". . . said that it was obvious from her name that the lady was noble . . ."
~ Mr. Jefferson:
  ". . . said it was wonderful what attraction some men had over women . . ."
~ Brown:
  ". . . jumped up and began to call me most objectionable names . . ."
~ The Countess of Exshire:
  ". . . since that time her nickname for me is Sherlock Holmes."

References and resource:
- "waiting for the boat-train":
  Boat-trains seem to figure heavily in Golden Age detective fiction. (Wikipedia HERE.)
- "the worry of preparing for the second time for my Pass Mods."
  Wikipedia has the gruesome details (HERE).
- Charles belongs to a sub-species of that old standby of fiction, the Unreliable Narrator. (Wikipedia HERE; see especially "The Naif.")

Bottom line:
  "It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance."
   - St. Jerome

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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