ONE PAGE LESS IN THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
by Giles Armstrong
She had led a most adventurous life; but now all that was behind her. Marriage to a Peer of the Realm, a fine Country Estate, beautiful and talented children; nothing must now upset her hard-won peace. And if persons turned up from her chequered past – why then they must be dealt with, firmly, finally and, if necessary – fatally.
THEIR UNEXPECTED VISITOR – MALE
LADY Well, I took passage in a Dutch Merchantman, but while in the South China Seas we were attacked by Dyak pirates.You may imagine my distress. Cheltenham Lady’s College does not prepare you for such eventualities. I did manage to wrest a sword from one of the ruffians, but had despatched no more than six more of his fellows before it was torn from my grasp and I was hauled before the chief pirate, his captive!
LORD Tsk, tsk, tsk.
LADY I was prepared for the worst! Or even death! But he decided that since I had killed so many of his men I must join his crew until he had made up the numbers. So I did.
LORD How long were you with them?
LADY Eight weeks, and let me tell you, Montague, the life of a pirate is not what it is cracked up to be. No privacy, no soap for heaven’s sake, the traders who buy one’s loot always cheat, and even cutting throats can pall after a while when you’re doing it every day. Eventually the Captain sold me to one of the said traders for twenty-four bottles of Gordon’s Gin.
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