A True Gentleman - 27 (Denver)
Date: 2010-09-19, 12:00PM MDT
Whatever happened to real gentlemen? What became of men of character, men who woo their ladies with long, elegant courtships? Men who hold the door of the coach open for their paramours? Men who walk to the inside of the woman in order to shield her from the fusillade of offal and waste raining down from the windows above? Real, old-fashioned gentlemen such as myself.
For, you see, I am but an eighteenth century English gentleman transported to this time by an enchanted looking-glass my late uncle found on the Singapore wharves.
Your customs, I should say, bewilder me. Take, for example, last week’s journey to the local public house and imagine my shock when I saw women, and no pox-ravaged slatterns, but actual unescorted ladies in attendance! I wanted to shout at them, “Ladies, leave here! Have you no idea what iniquities take place in a tavern such as this?” But my voice was stolen from me upon viewing an even more vexing sight. Sitting beside me, with a dour countenance and shock of fiery red hair, was none other than an Irishman! I rallied the other patrons, crying “seize him lads! Hold fast those burly arms and evict him fore’ he can blight us with some Papist enchantment!” But, to my surprise, no one stirred from their seats, and it was I who was rudely escorted out, not him!
If I cannot find an elegant lady of fine breeding, what hope is there for me in this bewildering new world?
I have combed over the records of what happened after my disappearance of 1752. All my property, including the magic looking glass, went to my sister, though records of her life are woefully incomplete. There is some allusion that she may have been carried off by an Indian during the French war, and if that was so, what became of the looking glass? Does it rest in the pocket of some grinning savage descended from the one who ravished my dear sister? Will I ever uncover what became of my family, and my only means back to my own time?
And, if I cannot return to my own era, how will I survive in this alien world? After all, the fourteen pounds I had in the bank when I disappeared surely won’t last me long – wait a minute… those fourteen pounds must have accrued quite a bit of interest by now. Mayhap I should check my bank balance… I… oh Christ. Oh, sweet merciful Christ.
You know what, forget the magic looking glass. Think I’ll buy that castle in Coventry I always had my eye on.
* Location: Denver
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