Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Glad to oblige you, Mrs Flesh..."

I tell you, some costumers think that we should be extremely happy to tie their shoe-strings and if we are not, they get extremely angry. But after I have read this... I think it's not so bad... It gives mi strenght...;-)

They had been making for the tradesman’s entrance, but now the front door of Toad Hall opened and a woman emerged and stood staring at them from the top step.
“Is that you, Baltry?” she said in a voice of such sharply disagreeable command that it sent a weary rook that was resting on a nearby wall flapping for cover.
“It is, ma’am, said Baltry respectfully.
She was of solid, stocky build and though not quite large, nor yet quite broad, she was by any measure formidable. As she came down the steps and crunched across the gravel towards them she gave the impression of an army of Prussian soldiers engaged in an assault on an enemy position. When she arrived alongside she towered over Mr Baltry and also over his horse, which snorted feebly and dropped its ears in submission.
“Let me have a proper look at that goose,” said Mrs Ffleshe, leaning into the cart.
She fingered the legs and breast of the bird assertively, leaving numerous dents in it. Then she turned her attention to the venison, bending down and sniffing at it, as a vulture might examine carrion.
“Passable,” she said, “just.”
Then her eyes fell on the side of pork.
“What’s this?“
Mr Baltry sighed and said: “That’s spoken for by His Lordship the Bishop’s wife.”
„Nonsense. I must have it,“ said Mrs Ffleshe at once, “for we have an extra guest at Christmas luncheon.”
“I promised to deliver it to her this afternoon,” said Baltry a mite feebly.
“Well, it’s mine now,“ said Mrs Ffleshe, attempting to heave it out of the cart.
“Really, Mrs Ffleshe, if I was the King of Siam –“
“You’re not and not likely to be,“ said she.
Then she pointed at the Mole and said: „Get your apprentice here to take it into the kitchen at once.”
Before Mr Baltry could say anything the Mole was heaving the side of pork on to his own shoulder.
“Glad to oblige you, Mrs Flesh,” said the Mole in a mischievously obsequious way.
“Its ‘Ffleshe’, with an ‘e’,“ said Mrs Ffleshe; “and that’ll be a tuppence a pound off your price, Baltry, for your lad’s insolence.“

William Horwood - The Willows at Christmas

(...of course, Mole is not his apprentice, only a fellow with good sense of humor. Mr Baltry just gave him a lift...:-))

PS: I don't like when some writers takes over the characters and story from another writer, but this is an exception that proves the rule. This book is brilliant!

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