Works in the Herald 1934
BOBBY J. ON SHYLOCK

Dear uncle (writes my youthful relative, Bobby J.), -- It is terribly hard to remember all these Shakespeare pieces when there is a Test match going on at night, and that is why I have not sent you one lately because if I had a reely good lectric set it might not make me so tired listening which is how my silly old set makes me account of how it goes squark squark just when you want to hear somethingk very important besides people calling out stop that awful noise at once Bobby and go to bed because it must be after midnight at the very particuler minute when Patordi or someone gets bowled and you got to go and miss it all.

Well uncle I can remember a pretty good bit of what teacher read us about Mr Shylock who was an urchin of venus so I give it here in my own words as we are told to do as much as I can remember of it.

SKINNING OLD MR SHYLOCKS
Or
An Urchin of Venus
By Bobby J. and Mr Shakespeare

Well it seems that there was once a very rich gentleman names My Shylocks who used to lend money to young fellas to have a good time with. Well he was getting along very nicely until one day he was spotted by a lot of gangsters led by a couple of crooks named Boss Arno and Antony someone.

Well one day Boss Arno says to Antony what about us putting it over this rich old fella Shylocks and getting a good wad of money out of him donít you think it is a pretty good idear.

But Antony said wait a bit till you here my idear. Now I just met a pretty smart girl up the country and her old man has just hopped it and left her all his money so I was wondering if it wasnít a pretty good idea if I was to marry her and get hold of her boodle. Then we might get her to join our gang and help us with this Shylocks feller.

So Boss Arno says well that is O.K. by me but have you got any money to make a bit of a hit with this girl with plus fours and sweaters and things and when Antony says no Boss Arno says well all right Iíll just see if I can wangle a bit out of old Shylocks.

So Boss Arno goes to old Mr Shylocks and says now look here My Shylocks between ourselves I am a bit short of cash but I got some ships on the way over with a lot of bootleg in them so I was wondering if you could lend me about three thousand buckets of money till my ships come in.

But old Mr Shylocks says now see here I donít want anything to do with your bootleg ships but Iíll tell you what Iíll do. Now Iíve got a pretty fair idear youíre a crook and ot to be trusted but I will lend you these buckets of cash if you will sign a legal paper what says that if you canít pay me back I got the legal right to cut a pound of meat off you so they agree to that and sign the paper before a j.p.

Well Boss Arno gives Antony the money and he goes up country and marries his flapper whose name is Porsher and they are having a pretty good time when news comes that Boss Arnoís ships are all lost and old Mr Shylocks has summons him for the pound of meat.

Well Antony rushes back to the city in his motor to see what he can do about it and Porsher who is not up to much herself reckons she might as well be in the swindle too. So she dresses up in lawyers clothes till she looks like a K.C. or something and then she motors to town and bungs into the police court where Boss Arno is being tried and she says she is Mrs Daniels who has come for the judgment.

So then the juge who is a duke says O.K. you better speak your piece.

So Porsher gets up and says now look this old feller Shylocks has got to have a pound of flesh off of Boss Arno because thatís what the law says and old Mr Shylocks says hear hear. But Porsher says this contrack says nothing about blood so it has got to be done without drawing blood or Shylocks loses the court case.

Well then the juge ups and says thatís fair enough and as Mr Shylocks canít do that he loses the case and he will now be tried for attempted merder, and he is found gilty so everything he has got will be divided up between the police and Boss Arno. And that is the solem verdick of the court. Next case please.

Well when poor old My Shylocks got home he found that the police had seized all his buckets of money, and his wireless, and player piano, and motor car, and everything and divided it up between themselves and Boss Arnoís gang, and there was nothing he could do about it but go on the dole. So that is what he done. And the moral is it is a great mistake to get mixed up with crooks like Boss Arno and his gang if you happen to have a bit of money saved up and thatís that.

BOBBY J.,
Orther and Writer.

I greatly fear that my young friendís sophistication bears evidence of too much American film. But his moral outlook on the celebrated Shylock case is, I think, to be commended.

"Den"
Herald, 12 June 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003