Sinister: Seventh Pale Knight

Pencil drawing of Gothc house

 

 

The Folly

The Legend of the Pale Knight

 


 

Sinister

 

Reputation, for those into whose veins,

Embarrassment taps easily and oft,

Be-crimsoning the cheek, that turns aside in haste;

And cutting cruelly like a two-edged sword—

Though by a most humble squire raised

 

What’s all this? Roscoe demands, and mutters aside: Have to say orft, then, if you’re rhyming it with sword.

Oh, I don’t know, says the guest, puzzled…vaguely what I had in mind to say, rather surprising it should come out that way…

 

The Reverend Sir Mortimer Finchley-Stroethers, vicar and ‘amateur scribbler’, once strongly pitched (‘to Salisbury: no ear whatever’), by his dear Lady Marchpane, of the Shropshire Marchpanes (‘so kind as to have postscripted a line from “Icarus” in sending to the Queen her birthday wishes’), for appointment to the post of poet laureate (‘This was just at the time of the Boer War…other chap snaffled it’), speaks further:

 

You’d all gone quiet. It is my nature to lend a hand. To all and any of county historians, such as have dedicated their scholarship to the pursuit of hidden Truths, the tale I have to tell—one in which both professional jealousy and dastardly vengeance figure in the liveliest respects—will be of great interest…

 

Yes…another time.

After I’d been at it—the discreet advertisements and the personal interviews—for a number of years, it became fairly well known I was searching for legends of the Pale Knight. I’d been leery of being sought out…he that pays the piper calls the tune, as they say. Yet in a handful of instances, the sketch by Nigel Devilbiss of his aunt’s encounter being one, a…

He tilts a hand to the left, to the right, and says, hesitant about it: ‘Sinister, I think, is the word I may fairly use. A sinister consistency asserted itself. The “sort of thing”, you’ll recall, she’d described him wearing. Of course, it was beyond her to name it. A battle-helmet, of very ancient design. Why, I wondered, should the true sightings feel so fictitious, and the false sightings so true?’

 

 


Sinister
OIl painting cameo of repressed but worried man

Song of Trout: Eighth Pale Knight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2018, Stephanie Foster)

 

 

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