Forty Years of 'Spy'

Forty Years of 'Spy'

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Excerpt: ...the gardener's boy was as well as we were and everybody concerned. I could not help laughing when I realized how completely we had been taken in. The elephant, the dogs, and all the menagerie, including the parrots, had been produced to make the uproar and trample down the bushes. The gardener had attended to the shooting, and all the servants were in the plot, and each had been carefully rehearsed (under threat of dismissal) by their mistress for the practical joke played upon her guest. The reporter, I may add, was the chef in disguise. When I saw Lady Meux, who was pretending to be too ill and upset (owing to the shock to her nerves) to come down, I congratulated her upon her scheme, for I could not but admire the extraordinarily clever acting she had displayed for the furthering of her plot; the tears, the stage hysterics, and the way she had worked herself up into a frenzy until I could not tell whether it was assumed or real, were all marvellously clever. But when I asked her the reason of her plan, she told me her object was to frighten our friend, who was becoming addicted to the habit of taking more alcohol than was good for him, and by dint of doing so, she hoped to startle him into reconsidering his life, and by the means of a good shock, awaken his power of resistance to what was becoming 172 a steady habit. I never discovered what our friend thought, and what the result was, but I know he was really frightened. As well as her leanings in the direction of warrior heroes, Lady Meux had a keen sense of humour; she wished me to caricature one of the guests who arrived in the house-party after the tiger affair. One evening I was inspired, and did a really funny caricature of him, and thinking she would be pleased with it, as a surprise I placed it on the mantelpiece, hoping she would see it when she came down to dinner. As fate would have it, my subject came in first; and when I arrived a little later, it had gone, so I asked him if he had...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 108 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 209g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236731301
  • 9781236731302