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Monday, January 26, 2009

Captain Lash returns

I really had forgotten quite how excruciating is the prose style of Captain Frank Shaw.  But eBay and the Royal mail have done their work, and a copy of Captain Lash has fallen into my hot little hands.  So here goes:

"But as he parted a motley mob of American gobs on shore-leave, and built up the foundations of half-a-dozen promising fights later on by his ruthlessness; as he overturned a couple of rickshaws, and seriously annoyed a couple of monocled military officers, the girl in question disappeared.  He returned, undaunted, to where Cocky still kept one leaf of the swing door open invitingly, what time his shocking concertina made the glaring day hideous with the strains of that warning song. [sic]

"One o'them days you'll get it right where the chicken got the axe," criticised Cocky.  "Say, look here, big man, ain't you met up with enough trouble alonger skirts?  Yer never know where you are with 'em.  Likker, yes - that lands yer comferably in quod; likewise scrappin'  - but women -no!"  Lash picked him up by his collar and swung him into the saloon; crashing down into a seat; stamped on the concertina and called hoarsely for a drink. Before it arrived he had a couple of the den's dancing girls on his knees, and as the schooners of beers slid along the table, he had the two corybantes engaged in a jealous and shrill-voiced argument.  Drinking down his liquor - and Cocky believed he heard his shipmate's throat sizzle to the cooling run - Lashed thrust a dollar apiece into the girls' ready hands, lifted them high above his head and seated them on a shelf.

"'Taint the gettin', it's the huntin'" he averred.  "Come along, little runt: let's hunt!""

It brings it all back: you can, I hope, see why nightly reading episodes became de rigueur: I can already feel the frisson of fascinated horror as one waits for the next bizarre mangled phrase ...  more soon.

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