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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, March 7, 1891   By:

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VOL. 100.

March 7, 1891.



SCENE Main Thoroughfare near Hyde Park. Time 8 P.M. Nothing visible anywhere, but very much audible; horses slipping and plunging, wheels grinding, crashes, jolts, and English as she is spoke on such occasions.

Mrs. Flusters ( who is seated in a brougham with her husband, on their way to dine with some friends in Cromwell Road ). We shall be dreadfully late, I know we shall! I'm sure PEACOCK could go faster than this if he liked he always loses his head when there's much traffic. Do tell him to make haste!

Mr. F. Better let him alone he knows what he's doing.

Mrs. F. I don't believe he does, or he wouldn't dawdle like this. If you won't speak to him, I must. ( Lets down the glass and puts out her head. ) PEACOCK!

A Blurred Shadow on the Box. Yes, M'm.

Mrs. F. . What are we stopping for like this?

The Shadow . Fog very thick just 'ere, M'm. Can't see what's in front of us, M'm.

Mrs. F. It's just as safe to keep moving as to stand still go on at once.

The S. Very good, M'm. ( To horse. ) Pull urp! [ Crash!

Voice from the Unseen . What the blanky blank, &c.

Peacock . There is suthin in front, M'm. A van, from 'is langwich, M'm.

Mrs. F. ( sinking back ). MARMADUKE, this is awful. I'd no idea the fog was like this or I should never have ( With temper. ) Really, people have no right to ask one out on such a night.

Mr. F. ( with the common sense that makes him "so aggravating at times." ) Well, FANNY, you could hardly expect 'em to foresee the weather three weeks ahead!

Mrs. F. At all events, you might have seen what it was going to be as you came home from the Temple. Then we could have sent a telegram!

Mr. F. It seemed to be lifting then, and besides, I ah regard a dinner engagement as a species of kindly social contract, not to be broken except under pressing necessity.

Mrs. F. You mean you heard me say there was nothing but cold meat in the house, and you know you'll get a good dinner at the CORDON BLEWITTS, not that we are likely to get there to night. Have you any idea whereabouts we are?

Mr. F. ( calmly ). None whatever.

Mrs. F. Then ask PEACOCK.

Mr. F. ( lets down his window, and leans out ). PEACOCK!

The Shadow . Sir?

Mr. F. Where have we got to now?

Peacock . I ain't rightly sure, Sir.

Mrs. F. Tell him to turn round, and go home.

Mr. F. It's no use going on like this. Turn back.

Peacock . I dursn't leave the kerb all I got to go by, Sir.

Mr. F. Then take one of the lamps, and lead the horse.

Peacock . It's the young 'orse, Sir.

Mr. F. ( sinking back ). We must put up with it, I suppose.

[ A smart crack is heard at the back of the carriage.

More Voices . Now, then, why the blanky dash, &c., &c.

Mrs. F. MARMADUKE, I can't sit here, and know that a bus pole may come between us at any moment. Let us get out, and take a cab home at once.

Mr. F. There's only one objection to that suggestion viz., that it's perfectly impossible to tell a cab from a piano organ. We must find out where we are first, and then turn. PEACOCK, drive on as well as you can, and stop when you come to a shop.

Mrs. F. What do you want to stop at a shop for?

Mr. F. Why, then I can go in, and ask where we are .

Mrs. F. And how do you expect them to know where we are! ( She sees a smear of light in the distance. ) MARMADUKE, there's a linkman. Get out quick, and hire him to lead the way.

Mr. F. ( who gets out, and follows in the direction of the light, grumbling to himself ). Hallo! not past the Park yet here's the railings! Well, if I keep close to them, I shall ( He suddenly collides with a bench. ) Phew! Oh, confound it! ( He rubs his shins. ) Now, if it hadn't been for FANNY, I Where's that linkman? Hi! you there! stop! ( The light stops. ) Look here I want you to come to my carriage, and show my man the way out of this!

Voice from behind the Railings ... Continue reading book >>

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