It’s a funny story …

“If it’s a funny story about forks, you can tell it while I go to the pantry.”

Her hand was on the door-handle, but he rose and pulled her back—gently but firmly.

“No, no, no,” he said. “It’s quite unnecessary. I happen to have a fork in my pocket.”

He produced one.

“Do you always carry cutlery in your pocket?”

Speaking with the deliberate intention of the practised liar, he answered:

“The fact is that when I went to a private school I had to have a knife, fork, and spoon, and three pairs of sheets, and I’ve kept up the habit ever since.” With something of the air of one who is proud of our British scholastic system, he added: “There is a great deal in one’s schoolboy training, after all.”

“How very, very curious !” was all that she could say. And it is possible that at that moment there passed through her mind some suspicion that her old friend was not altogether sane. But to a womau it is by no means an unpleasant suspicion that the loss of her love has unhinged a man’s brain. Then she gave him some salad.

“Now tell me, Charlie, why you’ve come here to-night. Three years ago we were engaged. Yes, it is three years ago. And often I have wondered whether I didn’t treat you very cruelly in throwing you over.” He bit his lip.

from Bunkum, by Frank Richardson.


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