Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A malevolent eye

     The port did not circulate very long after the ladies had left, however. General Flashman, rendered even more reminiscent by the champagne he had consumed, joined the group around the King at the table head and launched into a vivid recollection of how his majesty, as a youthful Prince of Wales fifty years before, had been compromised by an Actress in Ireland, to the dismay of the other guests and the suppressed fury of the King. To make matters worse, the old man took to calling the King 'young Bertie', and an unpleasant scene was prevented only by Soveral's tactful suggestion that they should join the ladies, who would be eager for bridge. The King, glaring thunderously, took the hint and led the way from the dining room: General Flashman cocked a malevolent eye and observed: 'Bridge, eh? Played it in Russia before you lot were born. Game for half-wits.' and then fell asleep over the decanter.

Mr American, p.198, Pan Books, paperback edition 1982.

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