Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Part The Last – Circus Lady
Egbert had known the pleasure of many a fine woman (and also, it must be said in all fairness, many a vile harlot) in his short but eventful life. He had dined with Maharajah’s daughters and supped high tea with many a golden princess. He had known blondes and brunettes, fiery redheads and raven dark-haired beauties. But he had never met another woman quite like Eva.
Her soulful eyes pierced his as their gaze met for the first time. He couldn’t help but admire the almost regal set of her nose, the hint of a smile that flowed across her lips and the long luxurious hair that covered her chin. Yes, dear friends, Eva was a woman unlike any other for she was employed in the circus as the bearded lady.
His cronies saw nothing but the freak in the show; Egbert, however, saw something different. He saw the woman behind the beard, the soul behind the hair and he was to return to the circus night after night. Once Eva began to realise why he was such a regular visitor, their courtship began.
It was a whirlwind romance of wine and roses, dinner and dancing, romance and hairy sex. Egbert spent many a night trying to convince her to stay with him and leave the circus. Eva, however, liked the travelling life, the camaraderie of life on the road and the job security. It was also causing something of a scandal amongst Egbert’s social circle, albeit the sort of scandal that was rather fashionable and did, in fact, garner him more dinner invitations than before.
Came the day that the circus was due to move on again and decision time arrived. Egbert could not bear for Eva to depart and so there, amidst the hay and the sideshows and beneath the gazes of William The Dog-Faced Boy and Hector The Head In A Jar, he got down upon bended knee and proposed. A tense silence ensued, broken only momentarily by the flatulence of a passing elephant. However, Eva realised that, as much she loved her travelling life, she loved Egbert far more. Assent was given and cheers and applause rained down upon them (well, from those who could give applause – Hector just banged his forehead against the inside of his jar).
And so, within six months, they were married at quite possibly the strangest looking wedding ever seen, filled to the brim with nobility, harlots, sailors and circus freaks. Barely eighteen months later, the world was inexorably altered for the better with the arrival of your humble narrator and the world has been a far more interesting and downright sexy place ever since.
And that, dear friends, is how it all began...
Here Endeth The Tale (But Here Begins The Squire)
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Part The Second – The Good Life
Thin he was and filthy-haired when he disembarked from The Reginald in merry old England – the result of a diet of hardened biscuits and discarded pelgegs. With his last frilly shirt sold to pay for a meagre breakfast, Egbert was forced to return to his wretched life of devious pilfering to get by. He soon discovered that his light-fingered ways had not deserted him and, now possessed of a quick wit and a penchant for cross-dressing that only a life on the ocean wave can provide, he found himself living a life of higher and ever higher means. Egbert soon discovered that those with breeding had generally had any last vestige of intelligence bred right out of them and he perfectly pilfered his passage into a purloined life of pampering and privilege (even managing to pluck a peerage off a passing popinjay).
Life for Egbert became one long round of sleeping on diamond-encrusted pillows and dining on Faberge eggs until he was reliably informed that this was rather silly and somewhat dangerous and so moved on to more conventional bedding and comestibles (dodo stuffed pillows, quails nostrils on toast, the usual fare, really). As a man who was not of noble breeding, he was often to make many a social faux pas, such as improperly tipping the local strumpets for debauched nights of rumpy pumpy or using the wrong length and thickness of stick to beat the servants with. His boorish sea-faring ways soon earned him some notoriety amongst the bigwigs with whom he was wont to hobnob.
However, this rough manner made him somewhat favoured with the ladies (yes, in some respects, like father, like son) and he was never bereft of fine female frivolity. He soon, however, began to tire of the same old faces at the same old soirees and yearned to find someone different, someone exciting. You see, for someone used to the swell and sway, the ebb and flow of maritime life, a life on land was becoming increasingly monotonous.
And so it was that, one fine summer’s evening, Egbert and a troupe of his cronies (all nobility have cronies and general hangers-on – it’s the done thing) availed themselves of the travelling circus that was visiting. And thus was history made...
To be Furthered...
Monday, 6 April 2009
Editor's Note:- Whilst cataloguing the vast archives left behind by the redoubtable Squire Kirk, the following confessional tale was unearthed, shedding fresh light on the Squire's hitherto murky ancestry. Without further ado, we present The Thief And The Circus Queen.
Part The First – Times Past
The time has come, oh true and constant reader, to lay bare a secret shame which has been clutched to the Kirkian breast for many a long year. The time has come to tell you all of how the good Squire came to be. Naturally, I have brought dignity, refinement and, admittedly, some notoriety to the good Kirk name but the Kirk name was not always held in such high regard. For, while I may well be the darling of the social scene, my parents were another matter entirely…
My father, Egbert Cornwallis Kirk, was a man born into promise only to have it cruelly dashed away. His father, Osbert, had been one of the biggest steam exporters of the time but, as other countries began to set up their own steam mills, his moistened empire went into sharp decline and he was forced to sell his vast estate, piece by piece, until nothing remained. His premature death forced my father and his mother out onto the streets of Lewisham, where they were forced to dance for scraps and perform light operettas for lodgings.
Within a short amount of time, my father had turned his hand to petty pilfering in order to bolster their meagre provisions. Always a quick study, Egbert soon became a master of the art – he could steal the segments from your orange without breaking the peel, he could purloin your undergarments without you feeling a thing and he once pilfered a gentleman's glass eye straight from the socket on a crowded train platform without anyone being any the wiser. His light-fingered lifestyle, however, was not enough to stave off the inevitable starvation and disease and, tragically, it was not long before my grandmother passed beyond the veil due to a terminal case of ingrowing rickets.
Left to fend for himself, Egbert passed from workhouse to workhouse. It was there that he found himself in the monstrous clutches of the terrifying Mr Dorstek, a mountainous brute of a man with a reputation for using buggery both as punishment and reward. My father's time there was brief yet brutal - he did not have long to languish in this bottom-blasting bastille before a chance for escape presented itself and, with nary a backward glance, he escaped the grim confines of the workhouse for a life on the ocean wave.
It was here that he found himself a true home amongst the rough, ragged and occasionally cross-dressing crew of the good ship Reginald. They were a merchant vessel but preferred to pretend that they were pirates, mainly for the eyepatches, peglegs and frilly shirts. Egbert took to the sailing lifestyle with aplomb but they made him leave that behind as plombs were strictly forbidden on deck.
They travelled the globe, dealing and trading in trinkets, gewgaws, doodads, whatchamecallits and assorted other miscellany and paraphernalia. In the short amount of time that he sailed with the crew of Reginald, my father amassed a considerable personal fortune. Unfortunately, he lost the lot in an unsettling incident involving a spoon, three midgets, a woman of ill repute and the long prophesied return of an ancient Aztec love god .
Disappointed by the downtown in his fortunes and finding life on board ship sadly repetitive (Eyepatch Wednesday had long begun to lose its appeal for him), my father decided to return to the homeland and see what await him there. Little did he know that it was a chance encounter that was to alter the very course of his destiny...
To Be Continued....
 Some may argue that this is proof positive that the apple does not fall very far from the tree...