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The White Cavalier by Nigel Roth

Dernière mise à jour : 26 avr. 2021


From the side her nose was quite flat, just the hint of a concave slope and a nub like a peanut at the tip. Her red knitted cardigan, white blouse and green scarf made her look like a barrel of pasta. Her husband was a blotchy-faced podgy-figured man, his black t-shirt stretched over his belly like a tarp on a coracle. They sat quite silent on the table on my left, so silent that I looked over at them to make sure they were alive.


To my right sat a larger group or four men and three women, talking to, above, and around each other. Their discussion ran the gamut, but at this very moment the subject was dogs, and, to be precise, Bull Terriers. I learned from their loud exchange that this breed is also known as the Gentleman’s Companion, and is hard to handle by the inexperienced dog owner, which is why, so stated a round, bald man in the grey polo on the stool too small for his posterior, it’s a man’s dog. Well, on hearing this I expected somewhat of an uproar from the females in the group, vocalizing their opposition to this misogyny. Instead I heard this from my left,


I’ve always had a soft spot for Bull Terriers.


Have you,” replied the coracle.


My mother had them for years you know,” added the barrel.


Did she,” intoned Coracle.


Bam-Bam.


Another gin, Mable?


And, oh. How annoying. I can’t recall the other name. What was the other name, Cyril? The other dog she had?


Slimline tonic again?


Maddening isn’t it.


Maddening,” repeated Cyril, rising unsteadily on his pin legs and tottering to the bar for refills.


I stole a look at Mable, and she was looking pensive, I assume still trying to recall dog two’s name. She twitched a little, as if electrodes had been activated on her temples, but said nothing.


In the meantime, the large group had turned their discussion to airline travel and the fact that Stanley (curly hair on the back of his head, and large blue lips) got headaches traveling in first class.


Cyril returned, grasping two glasses, and set them down on the table. He squeezed himself into the corner chair and nodded silently toward the new drinks.


Flying first class,” she cried, in a high pitch.


Gin,” he said in response.


First class cabins give me migraines,” Mable moaned.


Do they,” said Cyril.


Horrible air.


Is there.


Always fly coach, that’s what I always say, Cyril.