Song of Trout: eighth Pale Knight

 

The Folly

The Legend of the Pale Knight

 


 

Song of Trout

 

There is no harm in others underestimating one’s fortitude

Matthew Piers Trout has reason to be sure of it

Sure as he’d known, from school days, loneliness

mutate into priestly hauteur

Mysteries performed behind the darkroom door

Life given purpose, on discovery of the art

He’d known as well, at the first pass—thirteen when

the war ended—he would not be called

But yet the day would come

 

The authoress had wanted a shorthand-typist.

‘You haven’t the face of a man with a hobby. I ought to hire Lady Newtonmore’s niece. Do you know how many years I scrounged for a publisher? The little upstart tells me she’ll look on it as an apprenticeship. Well, with the aristocracy, it is never a wise thing to burn one’s bridges. But, young Trout, I believe I’ll take you. And then,’ she’d said, Miss Keltenham…after he’d barely got used to her trend of thought, ‘you’ll take me!’

He had. She had come from the hairdresser without her specs, another woman altogether. After that, got testy, when he’d suggested, ‘Here you are putting an adverb between had and been. You do that rather often. Shall I correct them all?’

‘I’ll tell you what. Go down and speak to MacCreasey. He’s brought dull papers to read. A treat for you, lad.’

 

Months afterwards, going to Colonel Llewellyn’s safety talk, Trout, of all members of his camera club, bore about with him among ordinary shutterbugs, a certain celebrity, for having been hauled up by the collar into possession of this glamourous title…publicity agent.

‘Keltenham. Wife reads her. Bit of a humourist. Now there’s a danger worth putting a stop to, this joking habit. Gives comfort to the enemy.’

He hadn’t explained.

But, of course, the enemy.

 

 


 

More of this piece on The Legend of the Pale Knight page
Where End Meets Beginning: ninth Pale Knight

 

 

 

 

 

(copyright 2018 Stephanie Foster)

 

 

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