The Rivals

Joan’s cousin, Cuthbert, comes to visit and is not a boy to William’s liking because (a) he takes Joan’s affection from William, and (b) Cuthbert doesn’t like “rough gameth”. Cuthbert’s lisp is the one thing William has over him. When Cuthbert comes round for tea he is adored by all of Mrs. Brown’s friends. William determines to show him what he can do, so he climbs a tree, crawls through a tunnel underneath the road and slides down a coal shuttle in the coalhouse. William’s disheveled look brings him disgust from all the other mothers. Meanwhile, Mrs. de Vere Carter plans to put on a play of Little Red Riding Hood, with William as the wolf and Cuthbert as the hero. In the performance, William misses his cue, argues with the prompt, makes unconvincing leaps and then chases Cuthbert round the stage in anger. Thinking he’s in disgrace from one and all, Joan secretly confides that she thinks Cuthbert is “a softie” and announces, “I do love you”.

Originally featured in Home Magazine March 1920

The sight of the hated Cuthbert about to embrace his Joan goaded William to temporary madness

Post A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *