…how abominable before God is the empire or rule of a wicked woman….–John Knox
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART THIRTY-FIVE: KINGDOM COME
Count Victor Justin quietly signalled to Pappy O’Day to look across the bar and onto the main area, where two somewhat attractive women were seated with a third, who was fat and slovenly.
“I ken you voker Romany, so buy me a shant of gatter and I’ll tell you about something useful, even though it’s something that gripes me in my guts. You see that paunchy mot over there? The big dirigible? The drab with the enormous bezooms like an Apple Dumplin Shop? The one sluicing her gob as though small beer will someday soon stop being manufactured and sold to the general public? She’s probably on the blob, but that’s no concern of mine. Take my advice, Pappy, and stay far away from her. They call her Sweet Molly, though she’s anything but pleasant. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that at one time we were maybe close. But it seems as though lately she has taken a strong dislike to me. All for the insignificant crime of referring to her in mixed company as “It” whilst her back was turned to me. She was out of twig, and I honestly did not know which sex she was supposed to represent. I imagined female, but wished to avoid deadly offence, lest she turn out to be some kind of queer Morphodite with loaded barkers. However, I care not. That drab is less to me than the most insignificant glob of protoplasm on a glass laboratory slide. Is she expecting me to give due regard to her feelings–if such a creature can even have feelings elevated above the level of the common dog? I–who have dined with swells and toff and been befriended by Princes and counseled men of wisdom in weighty affairs of state? I, who have always found a welcome at the tables of the fabled Five Hundred in whatever city or town where I happen to roam? I, Count Victor Justin, and she, a mere fawney-dropper for to get her daily scran, and I’m supposed to be cognizant of her feelings? Whistling girls and jumping sheep! I’m no Mandrake, but it ill behooves any woman, and especially this plump little lady, that she should bear me a grudge. ‘Hell hath no fury,’ etcetera etcetera etcetera. ‘The female of the species,’ and so forth. Say rather, ‘A Woman, a dog and a hickory tree….” Better that she should try to make herself as pleasant to me as her limited charms permit. But no–she will go about in a snit. A shivering Jemmy who works the shallow has a better attitude, and I will always put a yennap in his titfer. But her–I have no use for a haughty Judy. Especially a glimmy gammy Tail wearing gaudy luggers who is thoroughly nickey. A horse you can always put out to pasture. Call in the knacker when the time has come. But what’s to be done with an old bawd?
“I do not mean to imply, by the way, that this Mizzling Mollisher has got my hackles raised. I could care less about her. I am sure the haybag has a mother who loves her, and she is one of God’s children, and other sky-pilot rubbish from the choker and the prater. I’d gladly smash in her phiz with a holywater sprinkler, myself. Snooty jade! How dare she ignore me; act as if I don’t exist! She had better beware–lest something bad happen–lest something sneak up on her–like a thief in the night. Not that I care so much as a fig for her. The blower has got bloodshot lamps, a notch in her smeller from a sharper’s chiv, a muzzler with running sores, choppers ground down to yellow stumps. No prize-winner, she. Just a coopered nag as could hold a candle to the devil, her. I would surely like to take my Nebuchadnezzar and put the Ladybird out to grass–not out of any attraction; just to teach her a lesson– but I don’t need a chavy from the likes of that glocky Nemmo. Lord knows I have bastards galore adorning each and every major port, from Casablanca to Maracaibo. I’m thinking I should put the Nobblers or the Punishers on her, or, at the very least, call in the rozzers to clap the ruffles on her and haul her before the beak, even though I have never been a nose and I would put down on no man to a Jack. But you can hardly expect me to protect a coopered Buor.
“For all I fancy, I may even have a brat by the nemmo. I neither know nor care. Sure and the bairn was very likely left at the church house door with a little bitty note, even though I know for a fact that the Twist can neither read ner write, not even to sign her Monniker. It’s a bad idea for a man of my soaring aptitudes and bad inclinations to bring forth seed–and from such a source!–into this bad old world. Look at the way things are going now. The skies are chocked with smoke from infernal mills. Horses are slowly being replaced by stink wagons. The telephone and telegraph mean you can communicate with somebody halfway around the world in seconds. A train can get you into Chi-town within a day, when it used to take weeks. I see nothing whatsoever to the good in any of this. This world can’t stand long the way it is. Not to act the foolossifer, but look at things the way they are. Soon there will be a big change. It can’t stand long. The world is too full of hate, and now we have flying machines and wireless telegraphy and who know what all else. The world is changing too fast to suit me, I’ll tell you that much. Used to be that a woman knew her place. Not no more. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to vote–and wear pants!
“Let’s face up to it–in this world? A man needs to be rich, and that’s all there is to it.”
THINGS THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY
10. KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
8. SATISFACTION OF FULFILLING DREAMS
6. GOOD FRIENDS
5. LOVE, CARE AND CONCERN
4. A WARM AND HAPPY FAMILY
3. INNER PEACE
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