Works in the Herald 1934

It has been said that opportunity knocks at least once at every man's door. There are certain men, however, upon whose doors opportunity is never permitted to knock, and evidence is not wanting that my very young correspondent, Bobby J., is destined to be one of them.

Long before the welcome visitor has approached within knocking range of his portals, Bobby's watchful eye will have seen him through a chink in the blind, and he will be out, half-way down the garden path, to greet the caller with flattering enthusiasm.

I have known men like that and, while I have envied them at times, I am not sure I am sorry that nature decreed I might not be numbered amongst them. Anyhow, when old opportunity comes aknocking at my front door, I am usually working - or thinking hard about working - down at the bottom of the back garden.

After I had suggested that a new wireless set might be forthcoming in payment for a number of articles on Shakespeare's plays, young Bobby, distrustful of the Postal Department, delivered his first contribution in person.

"Dear uncle (he writes), When I told my mother how you were going to give me a new wireless if I did you some bits about Mr Shakespeare the play writer my mother said I was not to take the wireless because I must have asked for it but I dident uncle did I.

"So when she writes to you like she said she would you can tell her it was absolute your own idear cant you. So please do that wont you uncle because it is the solem truth and dont you let my mother order you about as if you were nothing but a boy that reely does need a good wireless set for the tests.

"Well uncle here is my first bit which is all wrote from memry as teacher wont let us have a Shakespeare book to look at but we must do it out of our own head for homework. So you must excuse if I get a bit gumbled up sometimes because teacher has false teeth and does not speak very plain.

"Well I have decided to call it

By Bobby J. and Mr Shakespeare:
No. 1 Romio and Julia.

"Well once upon a time there was two famlys in a town called Veroner and there was Mr Montigu's famly and My Capulit's famly, but they wasent playing speeks at the time because of some row very likely that Mrs Montigu had with Mrs Capulit at some tennis club meeting or something like that so they both told their children they was not to speak to the other famlys children if they was to meet them in the street but just look the other way because they was not very nice people.

"Well of course young Romio Montigu, who is a bit of a softy has to go and get things all mixed up because he thinks he would like to go walking out with Julia Capulit which just shows you what sort of a chump he was to go all mushy about a silly girl.

"He doesent play cricket or football nor nothing but just loafs about under her balkiny moaning and groaning about how roses smell just the same even if you call them cabbidges and she tells him to stop swearing at the moon and - oh a whole lot of rot. This part is pretty rotten.

"Well of course they decide they got to get married so they call and see the rev Mr Laurence and he says very well come round on Tuesday and I'll marry you if you must go looking for trouble and that's what he does.

"So now there comes a bit of pretty good stuff.

"Romio is walking up the street with a mate of his named Mick Curio and they run bang up against some of the Capulit fellers and then there's a pretty decent sort of fight only not enough of it.

"First a chap named Piebald or something like that kills Mick Curio and then Romio surprises himself by killing Piebald and when he has done that of course he has to make his get away like in America so he does that.

"Well this girl Julia keeps her marriage secret and her famly want her to marry somebody else, but, or course, that would be burglary - no bigumy, and the pleece might put her in jale when they got tired of looking for Romio who is still in smoke.

"Well she goes and asks the rev Mr Laurence what about how she is going to get out of it and he says don't you worry I'll give you some special sort of asperin or something that will make people imagin you are dead but you wont be dead only asleep.

"Well she goes to bed and takes the asperin and when they think she has kicked the bucket they put her in the toom which is sort of upstairs grave.

"Well there she sleeps and sleeps till Romio dodges the pleece and sneeks back and finds Julia in the toom and he thinks she is dead so he sticks a knife into himself and goes dead. And the noise he makes gassing about it wakes Julia up. So she sees him there with the knife sticking out of him and gets all excited and grabs a bottle of weed killer or something what Romio had bought to spray roses very likely to make them smell different and she scoffs it and goes dead too. So they are both dead. And all I have got to say is a pretty good job too.

"Bobby J., Aurther and Writer."

Herald, 5 May 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003