Editor's Note:- In my unofficial (and certainly unpaid) capacity as curator of the Greater Kirkian Archive, it is my duty not only to catalogue the various writings, scribblings, etchings, daubings, rantings and ravings of my infamous ancestor Squire Kirk The Elder (who cut a rude swathe through the scandalised cream of high society) but also to publish these slices of a life lived to it's very fullest for others to learn from. This selection from his copious memoirs deals with the thorny subject of love, Squire-style.
Part The First
Those amongst you who are acquainted with me (and even those amongst you who have yet to have the pleasure) will all know what the stories have said about me:- womaniser, philanderer, gadabout, ne'er-do-well, horticulturist, tobogganist* and dipsomaniac. It is with heavy heart that I am forced to report to you that there is indeed some degree of truth in almost all of those epithets**. I can only say in my defence that I am a man who is spurred on by his passions or, if passion is unavailable, at the very least a man who will not flinch from a furtive fumble with a fine filly. This is my Achilles heel which constantly places me in unfortunate situations. Well, all right, maybe the heel is not the offending body part but a gentleman does not speak of parts south of the pocket watch and north of the sock suspender. It was, however, on this occasion, to be my very undoing.
I had just extricated myself from a rather embarrassing incident involving a missing vase, murderous Siamese twins, a counterfeit shark and the princess of Florin and was looking forward to a relaxing day enjoying a small tipple or four at the Gentleman's Club. Alas and alack, this simple plan was thwarted in its infancy by Lady Fate who had other plans for my mock-shark-nibbled and princess-ravaged frame. My libation-bound perambulations were curtailed by the arrival of my damp-to-the-point-of-sopping-wet cousin, Wentbridge.
"Halloo, Wenters," cheerfulled I, eyeing up the sodden chap and once again marvelling that Mother Nature could produce such roundly different fruit from branches of the same tree.
"Ahoy hoy, cousin," squibbed he, moistly. Even when stranded in a parched and barren desert landscape, I have the feeling he would still be as wet as Whitechapel strumpet's undergarments.
"What ails thee, oh sharer of the family name?" My politeness was impeccable even though my interest was negligible.
"Oh, I am forlorn due to the scorned love I hold for a divine creature of the opposite sex," trickled he. I groaned inwardly. I had attempted to school the lad in my own particular brand of debauched charm on previous occasions but it had obviously failed to take root in his moisture sodden brain. There was only one option remaining - I would have to, to all intents and purposes, hold his hand at every step as courted fair and pitched woo, otherwise the poor fellow would never find himself 'neath this unfortunate wench's underskirts.
They do say, "Marry in haste, repent at leisure" (whoever "they" are with their inordinate fondness for inane sayings). I would like to add "Assist cousins courting, repent rather soon afterwards and really rather heavily" to their list of trite witterings. But I'm getting somewhat ahead of myself...
To Be Furthered
* Although the charges relating to that particular incident were later dismissed.
** Excepting, as I say, tobogganist - I stand by my original story and, in any case, neither the nun or any of the frogs were in any way harmed.