let me introduce myself.
my name is rawley - richard rawley, and i am a poet and a dreamer.
i had a strange dream this afternoon, as i was dozing in my chair at my club.
my whole life - or perhaps i should say, what i took at the time to be my whole life - floated by me in a somewhat indistinct haze.
how shall i describe it? in a few words, i mean.
after all, i do not have all night, nor would i presume on your good nature to listen to a lengthy account.
when i was a child my twin sister had a particularly ugly doll, which she. persisted in carrying with her always.
fortunately, i did not remain a child forever.
but my sister, whose name by the way was kesterwick - a curious name for a child - never did get beyond being a child.
the doll’s name was trash. yes, trash. no amount of persuasion could induce kesterwick to change it to somethig more tasteful.
i considered the doll to be the consolidation of all the malevolence in the universe, and was deathly afraid of of it.
our governess’s name was miss froth. she regarded kesterwick and trash with amusement, and myself with undisguised contempt.
kesterwick and i had a birthday party, when we reached the age of ten, which was attended only by ourselves, as the guests of honor, trash, and miss froth .
there are several versions of what transpired. i can only give my own.
i was greatly overcome by melancholy at the sad affair, and burst into a flood of tears.
kesterwick and miss froth were inspired to seize me and bind and gag me, laughing uproariously the whole time.
but the doll, trash, took pity on me.
in the blink of an eye she - or perhaps i should say it - struck both of my tormentors dead.
eventually, their dead bodies, my bound one, and the doll’s apparently innocent one, were discovered by the housekeeper.
a gentleman from scotland yard entered the grounds and took charge of the investigation.
his name, if i recall, was st james.
he took a somewhat jaundiced view of the whole affair, and dismissed my hysterical testimony out of hand.
despite my hysteria, i was careful not to implicate trash, my savior, to whom i felt eternally grateful.
the incident was classified as “an unfortunate occurence” and forgotten.
the dream? i do not recall mentioning a dream. it was all only too real.
excuse me, it is time for my exercises.