Published in The Windsor Magazine, January 1928; collected in Desirable Residences (1991)
Approx. 3,700 words
(First read 09/05/1992)
Alas! this is the last of the Amy Bondham stories¹. In this one she's come into a vast sum of money from an eccentric uncle and is determined to put it to best use to advance her 'career'. Devoted husband Christopher longs for a yacht and has a stab at persuading his seasickness-suffering better half of the advantages that would accrue from swanning about
the Med between Monte Carlo and Naples. Obviously, though, Mrs B has a better idea, that of taking a house in the country for the winter so she can keep in with her County friends.
'But I should be expected to hunt,' said Christopher in some dismay. 'So would you.'
'Well, I don't see why you shouldn't hunt,' said she. 'Anyhow you can see what it's like first, and then if you feel you can't manage it, you can easily get out of it. If there's a meeting of the hunt ~ don't they call it a meeting? ~ anywhere close, you can have a cold or be obliged to go up to London. As for me, I shall certainly say that I don't hunt, but why should that cut me off from all my friends?And so it comes to pass. Christopher spends a large part of the winter on the train back and forth between Leicestershire and London while The Good Lady tries to inveigle herself into hunting circles. Alas!² Amy Bondham is, like her more famous cousin Lucia, a hilarious blend of the deeply cunning and the woefully ignorant and ... horrors! she blows it! I won't say any more as the whole thing is a hoot I'll leave you to discover (if you haven't already read it). Available in Desirable Residences and Other Stories (1991).
¹ I mean "the last one I've revisited recently" rather than the last chronologically, though it 's that too.
² Oops, must stop saying that.