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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, April 30, 1892   By:

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VOL. 102

APRIL 30, 1892



(By Wullie White, Author of "They Taught Her to Death" "A Pauper in Tulle," "My Cloudy Glare," "Green Pasterns in Picalilli," "Ran Fast to Royston," &c., &c., &c.)

["I now send you," writes this popular and delightful Author, "the latest of the Novels in which I mingle delicate sentiment with Hebridean or Highland scenery, and bring the wisdom of a Londoner to bear directly upon the unsophisticated innocence of a kilt wearing population. I am now republishing my books in a series. I'll take short odds about my salmon flies as compared with anyone else's, and am prepared to back my sunsets and cloud effects against the world. No takers. I thought not. Here goes!"]



I held it in my right hand, toying with it curiously, and not without pleasure. It was merely a long, wooden pen holder, inky and inert to an unappreciative eye, but to me it was a bright magician, skilled in the painting of glowing pictures, a traveller in many climes, a tried and trusted friend, who had led me safely through many strange adventures and much uncouth dialect. "Old friend," I said, addressing it kindly, "shall you and I set out together on another journey? We have seen many countries, and the faces of many men, and yet, though we are advancing in years, the time has not yet come for me to lay you down, as having no need of you. What say you shall we start once more?" I hear a confused sound as of men who murmur together, and say, "We have supped full of horrors, and have waded chin deep in Zulu blood; we have followed the Clergy of the Established Church into the recesses of terrible crimes, and have endured them as they bared their too sensitive consciences to our gaze. We pine for simpler, and more wholesome pleasures. Now," I continued, "if only Queen TITA and the rest will help us, I think we can do something to satisfy this clamour." For all answer, my pen holder nestled lovingly in my hand. I placed my patent sunset nib in its mouth, waved it twice, dipped it once, and began.


The weary day was at length sinking peacefully to rest behind the distant hills. The packed and tumbled clouds lay heavily towards the West, where a gaunt jagged tower of rock rose sheer into the sky. And lo! suddenly a broad shaft of blood red light shot through the brooding cumulus and rested gorgeously upon the landscape. On each side of this a thin silvery veil of mist crept slowly up and hung in impalpable folds. The Atlantic sand stretching away to the North shone with the effulgence of burnished copper. And now brilliant flickers of coloured light, saffron, purple, green and rose danced over the heaven's startled face. The piled clouds opened and showed in the interspace a lurid lake of blood tinged with the pale violet of an Irishwoman's eyes. Great pillars of flame sprang up rebelliously and spread over the burning horizon. Then a strange, soft, yellow and vaporous light raised its twelve bore breech loading ejector to its shoulder and shot across the Cryanlaughin hills, and the cattle shone red in the green pastures, and everything else glowed, and the whole world burned with the bewildering glare of a stout publican's nose in a London fog. And silence came down upon the everlasting hills whose outlines gleamed in a prismatic

"That will do," said a mysterious Voice, "the paint box is exhausted!"


I was shocked at this rude interruption.

"Sir!" I said, "I cannot see you, though I hear your voice. Will you not disclose yourself?"

"Nonsense, man," said the aggravating, but invisible one, "do not waste time. Let us get on with the story. You know what comes next. Revenons à nos saumons. Ha, Ha! spare the rod and spoil the book!"

I was vexed, but I had to obey, and this was the result:

The pools were full of gleaming curves of silver, each one belonging to a separate salmon of gigantic size fresh run from the sea... Continue reading book >>

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