The Oyster Volume VI
It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor wot gets the blame,
It's the-rich wot gets the gravy,
Ain't it all a bleedin' shame?
CHAPTER ONE. On The Town
'Never look back for the best is yet to come' is, by and large, a sensible philosophy to which I have adhered since my schooldays. Mind, I doubt if I would be able to continue to live by that maxim if I ever contracted such an unfortunate condition as my poor Uncle Bertram who, since his prick began playing him up last year, needs Aunt Rosina to stick a dildo up his arse in order to stiffen the most important muscle in his body.
However, whatever the future may hold, I shall always be able to look back fondly upon the lascivious memories of my boisterous youth, especially those of such vintage months as the autumn of 1906. It is my ardent wish that readers will find much to amuse and excite them in my candid reminiscences of those occasionally riotous times.
As it happened, that particular season of mists and mellow fruitfulness began in difficult circumstances. My dear father-Sir Radleigh Wellington Scott, Bt, O.B.E.-wanted me to take more than a passing interest in the business affairs of our sizeable country estate in Hampshire and it needed all my powers of persuasion to make him agree that I should first live in London for a spell with my chum, Teddy Carmichael.
'I know what the pair of you have in mind, my lad,' he snorted as he rose from behind his desk and glared at me. 'So let me make it crystal clear that I have no intention of allowing you to join that crowd of idle young fellows who take morning rides down Rotten Row and spend lazy afternoons at their clubs before going out to parties, theatres and what-have-you.'
I was sorely tempted to remark that I was far more interested in the what-have-you than anything else, but wisely I kept my counsel and let my father vent his feelings upon the matter. In any case, I was not totally displeased when Papa informed me that he would agree to my leaving the family home in deepest Surrey for what he termed 'The Fleshpots of the Metropolis' on the understanding that I would take up part-time employment as an editorial consultant at the old-established publishing house of Hartfield and Moser in Bloomsbury.
He growled: 'The company is owned by Lord Neumann, an old friend of your mother's family. Not that Freddie actually does anything except attend the annual directors' meeting, of course, but naturally his word is law. So you'll report to Mr. Geoffrey MacArthur, the managing editor, within a week of your arrival in London or I'll withdraw your allowance.' Nevertheless, I was happy enough to promise my compliance with this condition although as I suspected, Mr. MacArthur was hardly brimming with enthusiasm at this idea. However, we rapidly reached a most satisfactory understanding about my duties, the most important feature of which was that I was not expected to put in a daily appearance at Hartfield and Moser's offices in Bedford Square. But I did agree to keep an appointment with MacArthur's secretary every Thursday morning at eleven o'clock to pick up a bundle of unsolicited manuscripts sent in to the firm by hopeful budding authors.
'Like our fellow publishers, we call it the “slush” pile,' explained Mr. MacArthur. 'Perhaps this is because it usually consists of revoltingly sentimental novels written by genteel maiden ladies living in places like Chichester, Frinton-on-Sea or Tewkesbury.
'Still, as it is just within the bounds of possibility that a new Ouida or George Eliot may be lurking in the dross of the “slush” pile, all these stories have to be read. So I'm giving you this responsible job, Andrew. You might as well take the scripts home to read and the following week you can return those you have ploughed through to my secretary who will then send them back to their authors with a rejection slip.'
'Suppose I do come across anything which actually does have some literary merit?' I asked. He grunted: 'That would be extremely unlikely, but by all means let Miss Caughey know if you do find anything genuinely readable.'
This arrangement suited both of us down to the ground and although by late September I had not found a single decent manuscript to show to him, Mr. MacArthur nevertheless invited me to a slap-up dinner at the Savoy Hotel to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Hartfield and Moser Ltd.
Perhaps it was an over-indulgence when the excellent vintage port was passed round the table, but I didn't wake up until slightly after quarter past eight the following morning. On most days this would have been of little consequence, but today I was due to meet Lord Philip Pelham at half past ten and take a spin out of town in his new motor car with two young ladies from the chorus line of Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy, the latest musical show at the Empire, Leicester Square.
So on the count of three I leaped out of bed to welcome the rays of bright sunshine which were shining through the bedroom curtains. I drew them back before divesting myself of my nightshirt to stand stark naked in front of the window which I opened-only to hear a shocked giggle floating up from our small back garden.
Alas, I had forgotten that at this time young Sally, our daily domestic, might be hanging up the washing. As luck would have it, I looked down at the buxom girl just as she glanced up in my direction with a saucy smile on her face and my best shirt draped over her arm. But the grandstand view of my nude torso did not appear to bother Sally overmuch, even though my cock was standing up stiffly against my tummy (for in these youthful days I invariably woke up with a tremendous hard-on).
Nevertheless, I hastily moved away from the window, although not before my cheeks flushed crimson with embarrassment when Sally called out: it's all right, Mister Andrew. Believe me, I've seen more than that on a Saturday night after a good party.'
Oh well, I said to myself as I padded across to my en suite bathroom and switched on the hot water tap, at least this accidental exposure of my prick to feminine eyes would thankfully not lead to such an unpleasant experience as had recently been suffered by my house-mate, Teddy Carmichael.
True, my closest chum had only himself to blame for his misfortune since no one else had suggested that, after a convivial evening at the Jim Jam Club, he should be so foolish as to unbutton his trousers and relieve himself against a lamp-post. Anyhow, the long and short of it was that Teddy was charged with being drunk and indecent. After an uncomfortable night in the cells at Vine Street, he was hauled up at the police court and fined five pounds.
I chuckled as I recalled Teddy's gloomy observation that being a fiver out of pocket was bad enough but that the magistrate who had inflicted this monstrous sentence to the accompaniment of some very offensive remarks was none other than his godfather. This worthy would doubtless be writing to Teddy's parents before poor Teddy could dream up an excuse for his peccadillo.
With a savage scowl on his face, my pal had added: 'To add insult to injury, less than a week later there was an announcement in the Evening News that the old bugger was about to retire from the bench. I happen to know that my beloved godfather has a nice pot of money in the bank as well as a country seat and a thousand acres down in Devon. I'm telling you, Andrew, I wouldn't be surprised if the old swine stuck to some of the fines. Let's face it, five quid here, five quid there-you can see for yourself how it would mount up over a period of time.'
In honour of my forthcoming tryst with Lord Philip Pelham and the two chorus girls, I lathered my face with Roger amp; Gallet Heliotrope Shaving Cream and carefully scraped away the facial hair from my top lip with my new Wilkinson's Safety Razor Even though moustaches are again coming back into fashion, both Teddy Carmichael and myself prefer to keep a clean shaven face. On the other hand, Phil Pelham insists that girls enjoy the feel of his