HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

KIND HEARTS AND SERVIETTES
A Real Story
by
Snavely Frunn
(Who Knows A Real Story)

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VOLUME I
Chapter One
The Clouds Gather

*

“Lord Leatist, your ladyship.”

“Sir Charles. I’d all but given you up.”

“Abject apologies, Lady Occipita. Downing Street again.”

“Blaugh, please bring his lordship a whisky and soda.”

“At once, your ladyship.”

“You were saying, Charles?”

“I’m very much afraid the P.M. is not at all sanguine.”

“Surely you don’t…”

“He’s gone to Buck House.”

“Great heavens! That must mean… ! “Full mobilization.”

Chapter Two
A Reunion, A Defection…And What Followed

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“Sir Charles! Back at last!”

“Not a scratch, my dear Lady Occipita.”

“I’m afraid you must pour your own.”

“Poor Blaugh… ?”

“Left my service. Joined the Labour Party.”

“Shell-shock?”

“Bolshies. Turned his head.”

“Then how do you… ?”

“I must answer my own bell.”

“Intolerable! In future I shall answer it!”

“You can’t leave your club every ten minutes!”

“In that case… ”

“Charles!”

“Occipita!”

Chapter Three
A Crisis

*

“Met a chap today, my dear. Knows Blaugh.”

“I shall never have him back, Charles.”

“Chap says he’s for a Cabinet post.”

“Rather above his station, wouldn’t you say?”

“Ministry of Works, chap thought.”

“Works? He can order our gas off!”

“Don’t you think that rather unlik…”

“He became very class conscious, Charles!”

“Worst luck, don’t know any fellows in Labour.”

“You must stop him at all costs!”

“Club’s no good. Same boat, all of us.”

“Man cannot live without gas!”

“Ah! There’s a chap in the Guards at Windsor.”

“Charles, you must see him at once!”

“Keen as mustard. Gas to his fingertips, I hear.”

Chapter Four
An Election Lost, A Guest Gained

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“Charles! Whilst you were gone, Blaugh was here!”

“What cheek!”

“Not for a Cabinet post at all!”

“JoIly good. Guards chap flown. Sent in his papers.”

“Lost the by-election to some woman.”

“Woman pro-gas?”

“I’m sure of it. Not Labour. Our kind.”

“We must dine this woman, Occipita.”

“No question, Charles. But we shall need staff.”

“Blaugh?”

Wouldn’t that give him a turn!”

“What is this woman called?”

“Hatch or Batch. Perhaps Patch.

“Does she have a first name?

“Maud Mildred. Something of the sort.”

Chapter Four
From The Ashes, The Crisis Rises Again

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“Would you call the evening a success, Occipita?”

“I’m not certain. Did you notice Blaugh?”

“Did well enough, what?”

“I mean with that woman.”

“Called Margaret, it seems.”

“They conferred over the brussel sprouts.”

“She wanted more?”

“All in whispers. Something’s afoot, Charles.”

“Perhaps she wanted fewer.”

“Not to do with sprouts. Politics, I should say.”

“You don’t suppose…?”

“A turncoat once, a turncoat always.”

“At least he’d be our kind, then.”

“Suppose, in exchange for his Labour support, she… ?”

“Good lord! Ministry of Works in her Cabinet!”

“Charles, you must locate that Guards chap!”

“Somewhere in Civvy Street.”

“Our gas is at stake!”

“I shall sniff about at my club.”

Chapter Five
A Winter 0f Discontent?

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“Guards chap seems to have done a bunk, my dear.”

“And our gas has been flickering!”

“But that woman hasn’t yet named her Cabinet!”

“Nevertheless, I don’t trust Blaugh an inch!”

“Snowing now. We must find some sort of fuel”

“I shan’t burn the furniture!”

“We’re for the electric, then.”

“As you spoke, the lamps flickered!”

“Works controls electricity, too!”

“Blaugh is an arch-field, I tell you!”

“Harrod’s will have candles and warmers.”

“Did I hear the bell?”

“Indeed. I shall answer it.”

“Do be careful! It could be Blaugh!”

“Then I shall give him a bit of what-for!”

“Here…take the fire tongs!”

“Conceal yourself, my dear.”

“If you don’t come back, Charles…”

“One last kiss, then.”

Chapter Six
Sent Up From Downing Street

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“Charles! Was it Blaugh, then?”

“Footprints in the snow. This note.”

“Do read it at once!”

“By the Lord Harry! The Guards chap!”

“About our gas?”

“Been to Downing Street. Saw Blaugh.”

“As I suspected!”

“Not at all! In service there, it seems!”

“That dreadful woman stole him! Unprincipled!”

“Better buttling than a ministry.”

“Blaugh sent the Guards chap here?”

“Told him we’d a position.”

“A Brigade-of-Guards person below stairs?”

“Few open doors on Civvy Street, I’ll wager.”

“But he’s one of us!”

“Can’t let down the side, Occipita.”

Stern stuff, Guards chaps. Stiff uppers.”

“I must think upon it. Oh, dear… flickerings!”

“He’s gas to his fingertips, you know.”

“Very well, Charles. Hobson’s choice, then.”

“I shall send round a note to his club.”

“Whom shall you have take it?”

“I say! No one but me, is there?”

Chapter Six
Work In Progress

*

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Volumes II and III to follow. Chapter Six concerns… but that would be telling, now, wouldn’t it?
What do the flickering lights and gas mean?
Will Blaugh be awarded a ministry?
Will the Guards chap prove himself below stairs?
Will Occipita ever vote Tory again?
What of Sir Charles when he no longer answers the door?
These and other questions shall be answered!
You have my word on it!

Now… to press on.
Regardless.

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