Published December 1925
Approx. 5,000 words
(First read 27/12/1994)
Mrs Aylwin is a Benson Type No. 7:
... comely; she could also have been called buxom. Her age might have been forty-five, but it was fifty, and she found fifty a very pleasant age to be. She had been a widow for ten years, and these ten years had been the busiest and far the happiest of her life.Her pleasure is to collect antiques and bric-a-brac, anything from Aubusson carpets to 'ornaments made of shells'. The sole teeny-weeny fly in this rich, creamy ointment is her friend and fellow aficionado Mr Anthony Coleham who will insist on proposing marriage. Did I say 'teeny-weeny'? In fact:
He was a large man, pleasantly furnished with flesh, and filled a chair beautifully.In an effort to win over his reluctant inamorata, Mr C begins a campaign to buy up every piece of Buntingford ware on the market ~ this happens to be Mrs A's latest collecting fad ~ with a view to making a wedding present of it to her. The story has its charms, but is promising only up to the dénouement when it sadly comes rather unknotted. Available in Fine Feathers and Other Stories (1994).
Brilliant literary talent distinguishes the handsome Christmas Number of the Windsor Magazine, stories of outstanding novelty and interest being contributed by Horace Annesely Vachell, E. F. Benson [etc. etc.]
~The Grantham Journal [UK], 12/12/1925