Writing

Reading Sundays: A SURPRISING CURE (Part 10) a short story by Cynthia Sally Haggard

I went to the door and opened it. Mr. Nicol had one long leg crossed over the other and was leaning back against the plush cushions of the sofa with both hands cradling his head. Miriam stood, gesturing with a long cigarette holder in her right hand.

“Excuse me,” I said, “but am I to understand that you are writing a pamphlet about Fry’s?”

He gave me his half-lidded look. “Yes,” he drawled.

“May I see what you’ve written?”

“Certainly.” He handed over a sheaf of paper covered in a barely legible scrawl.

It only took a page and a half for me to catch the gist of his socialist tirade against, as he termed it, Fry’s ‘exploitative’ practices against their own workers. I put the pages down.

“Fry’s is my client,” I remarked. “And I object in the strongest possible terms to this—this tract.”

He folded his arms, placed his left foot just above his right knee and smiled. “Do you indeed?”

“You must be aware of the industrial strife that is now sweeping England.”

“Aye. We know.”

“This is an incitement to violence. Your overly inflated language is going to stir up trouble.”

“Edward,” said Miriam. “Don’t be so prissy. You’ve no idea about the lives of the poor.” [To be continued.]