Sunday, 7 November 2010

So Very Congenial

So Very Congenial by Leila Burton Wells. An extract from the beginning of a risque shorty story that appeared in the, June 7, 1919, issue of John O'London's Weekly.

Billy Everard was riding one of his pet hobbies.
"Given two individuals with similar tastes," he said to his guests, "you could put them in any old place, on a desert island even, and they'd soon be - what we call in love. You've got to have community of tastes. Look at my wife and me, for instance"
"Oh Billy, please don't!" Mrs. Everad exspostulated plaintively, just as dinner was finished, and arose to lead the way into the drawing-room.
"Well, my dear, everyone knows we are happily married. It isn't anything to be ashamed of! But what everyone doesn't know," Billy rode on, "is the reason - absolute congeniality of tastes."
One of the women, as she put her after dinner coffee cup on a tabouret beside her, cast a penetrating glance at Mrs Everad. "I suppose it's true," she hazarded doubtfully, "and it's wonderful, if it is true, but you don't look as if you loved to sit in hot grand stands at cricket matches and polo matches, and go camping in the summer with mosquitoes biting your toes, and no cold cream for your face, and your hair all out of curl."
"But she does, though," her best friend defended. "She honestly just adores everything he likes - even that awful vaudeville. They go twice a week," fondly pushing one of the jewelled combs closer into Mrs. Everad's curly sable-coloured hair. "An ideal marriage with an awfully big accent on the ideal, isn't it, dearie?"
Mrs. Everad laughed with the others, but she looked at them, as she did so, from under her long screening lashes and wondered if they knew! Wondered passionately if they were playing the same game in different ways, all of them! Were they all pretending! Had these other women found out her secret, too? ....

I will post the next section of the story if someone requests it. Ask by leaving a message in the Comments Box below.