Rest You Merry
Copyright © 1978 by Charlotte MacLeod
|Chapter 1||This was the seventy-third time in eighteen years shed nagged him about decorating his house. Hed kept count. Shandy had a passion for counting. He would have counted the spots on an attacking leopard, and he was beginning to think a leopard might be a welcome change.|
|Chapter 2||Compared to what might be in store for him back at Balaclava Junction, the prospect of sudden death by drowning was not without some attraction.|
Nevertheless, being her husband had its good points. For one thing, it stopped me from thinking of my deafness as an affliction.
He emitted an odd little wheeze that would under other circumstances have become a chuckle. Its good to have one friend I can say rotten things to without feeling like a skunk.
|Damn, that was the most amusing afternoon Ive spent since President Svenson lost his footing while he was showing the Secretary of Agriculture how we make methane gas.|
|After all, damn it, Jemima was my wife. I didnt like her very much, but I sort of loved her, in a way.|
Poor Jemima was such a vibrant personality.
That depends on how you define vibrant, her husband quibbled. Constantly in motion and not getting anywhere but making a lot of noise about it, like a tuning fork?
Shandy picked up both the bags, managing not to stagger. He was fully aware that he was showing off, and that such behavior was silly in a man of his age. Perhaps he might entertain Miss Marsh at a later time by swinging from tree to tree in his leopard skin. He pondered the notion and found it not wholly without merit.
|Chapter 10||Life was full of surprises lately. Surely one of them must turn out to his liking.|
Shes the one with the money, I suppose?
Have you ever considered getting yourself burned as a witch? How do you know these things about people youve barely met?
I meet them everywhere. Hes the sort who marries money and shes the sort who falls for men like him because she doesnt really know anything about people except that one needs them for an audience.
|Chapter 20||A woman wouldnt kill one husband unless she thought she had another one lined up. Would she?|
I told you what she was the minute I laid eyes on her, but you didnt listen.
Good men never believe there are any bad women, said Sieglinde. That is why good women have a duty to keep them from running loose and getting into trouble.
text checked (see note) Jan 2005
The Luck Runs Out
Copyright © 1979 by Charlotte MacLeod
|Chapter 4||Am I to infer that you are giving me an opportunity to provide what I believe is known as an alibi and that I am failing to do so?|
|Chapter 7||The mountain road was a lonely one, not much traveled except during autumn foliage time, when the leaf-lookers lined up bumper to bumper to view their Creators handiwork and anathematize their fellow drivers.|
No alumnus of the Class of 73 would ever forget that electric moment when Thorkjeld Svenson in his Commencement remarks clove a solid oak podium neatly in twain from top to base as he slammed down his fist to emphasize those deathless words, Agri isnt a business, its a culture!
Did I ever tell you about the time they poured itching powder down the back of President Svensons overalls just as he was about to start his furrow in the Senior Plowmens event?
No, but I expect youll get around to it sometime or other. What happened?
What would you expect? Old Thorkjeld won the event in a time which has never since been equaled, had Sieglinde hold up Odins blanket tentwise while he stripped and took a bath in the Gideon J. Higgins Memorial Horse Trough. Then he wrapped the blanket around him like a kilt, went over to the Hoddersville crowd, grabbed them two by two, cracked their heads together, and heaved them into the manure pile behind the cow sheds. It was an impressive spectacle.
I can imagine. What did Sieglinde do then?
Beamed with wifely pride as the crowd gave him a standing ovation, then made him wipe out the horse trough so the animals wouldnt get sick from drinking the itching powder.
Theres always something rather terrifying about true greatness, isnt there? said Helen in awe. Who but Sieglinde would have remembered to clean the horse tank?
Mama, how do you stand him? demanded Frideswiede, youngest of the seven sisters.
Her father counterwheeled, snatched his wife in a Rudolph Valentino embrace, and bussed her mightily. Farewell, my own. I return with my shield, or What the hells the rest of it?
For you there is no rest of it, said his helpmeet, tucking back a strand of flaxen hair and casting a somewhat complacent glance at Frideswiede. Go, then, I will keep a herring in the window for you.
Mama, said Gudrun, the second youngest, its a candle youre supposed to keep in the window.
Nonsense, my child. A candle would smoke up the glass and drip on the sill. A herring lies looking mournful and bereft. The symbolism is much more meaningful. Also it comes in handy for smorgasbord later.
text checked (see note) Jan 2005