Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-02-18

by: Various

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
ISBN: N/A
Language: English
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A STORY WITH A POINT.

(With Mr. Punch's apologies for not having sent it on to "The Spectator.")

Geoffrey has an Irish terrier that he swears by. I don't mean by this that he invokes it when he becomes portentous, but he is always annoying me with tales, usually untruthful, of the wonderful things this dog has done.

Now I have a pointer, Leopold, who really is a marvellous animal, and I work off tales of his doings on Geoffrey when he is more than usually unbearable.

Until a day or two ago we were about level.

Although Geoffrey knows far more dog stories than I do, and has what must be a unique memory, I have a very fair power of invention, and by working this gift to its utmost capacity I have usually been able to keep pace with him.

As I said, the score up to a few days ago was about even; yesterday, however, was a red-letter day and I scored an overwhelming victory. Bear with me while I tell you the whole story.

I was struggling through the porridge of a late breakfast when Geoffrey strolled in. I gave him a cigarette and went on eating. He wandered round the room in a restless sort of way and I could see he was thinking out an ending for his latest lie. I was well away with the toast and marmalade when he started.

"You know that dog of mine, Rupert? Well, yesterday—"

I let him talk; I could afford to be generous this morning. He had hashed up an old story of how this regrettable hound of his had saved the household from being burnt to death in their beds the night before.

I did not listen very attentively, but I gathered it had smelt smoke, and, going into the dining-room, had found the place on fire and had promptly gone round to the police-station.

When he had finished I got up and lit a pipe.

"Not one of your best, Geoffrey, I'm afraid—not so good, for instance, as that one about the coastguard and the sea-gulls; still, I could see you were trying. Now I'll tell you about Leopold's extraordinary acuteness yesterday afternoon.

"We—he and I—were out on the parade, taking a little gentle after-luncheon exercise, when I saw him suddenly stop and start to point at a man sitting on one of the benches a hundred yards in front of us; but not in his usual rigid fashion; he seemed to be puzzled and uncertain whether, after all, he wasn't making a mistake."

Here Geoffrey was unable to contain himself, as I knew he would be.

"Lord! That chestnut! You went and asked the man his name and he told you that it was Partridge."

"No," I said, "you are wrong, Geoffrey; his name, on inquiry, proved to be Quail. But that was only half the problem solved. Why, I thought, should Leopold have been so puzzled? And then an idea struck me. I went back to the man on the bench and, with renewed apologies, asked him if he would mind telling me how he spelt his name. He put his hand into his pocket and produced a card. On it was engraved, 'J.M. Quayle.' Then I understood. It was the spelling that puzzled Leopold."

THE NEW APPEAL.

We observe with interest the latest development in the London Press—the appearance of the new Labour journal, The Daily Nail....