Written by Herbert Harraden - 1902 My literary qualities are very, very great I'm not a novel writer, but the plots I perpetrate I have a scale of prices and of couse it's understood The charge is low for what is bad, and high for what is good. My lowest is a pound, for which I give you at the most One stolen Will they never find, one murder and one ghost For twice that sum, two stolen Wills, both found again, remark Two ghosts, one murder when it's light and one that's in the dark. For three pound three I open with the past time of Ping Pong At which a Vicar's daughter and a Curate go it strong The Vicar and the Vicar's wife look on with inward glee The Curate (who has private means) is asked to stop to tea. The Vicar's daughter and the Curate often take a walk And here's the chance for chapters full of wishy-washy talk Their marriage ought to form the closing phrases of the book But, no, the Curate marries - a suprise - the Vicar's cook. For five pound five (It's worth much more) I give a missing heir Of whose existence only one (the villain) is aware The villain (who's a lawyer) wants the hand and heart to win Of the missing heir's tenth cousin who's of course the next of kin He pleads his suit, she spurns his love. He threatens. She defies. He drags her to a deep dark pool that in the forest lies She shrieks for help. The missing heir a willow tree descends And you all know the way this kind of story always ends. For eight pounds eight I let you have a gang of gipsies bold Who carry off a female babe who wears a cross of gold Years pass. Inside St James Hall there sits a gipsy Queen So sadly gazing on the man who holds the tamborine She listens spellbound when he plays, what means this strange delight? He sees she wears a cross of gold that gleams and glitters bright Regardless of the burnt cork marks he leaves upon her face The father clasps his long lost daughter within his black embrace. For ten pound ten, my scene amidst the highest life I place My hero is a Duke of every virtue, every grace Although adored by six proud maids (all daughters of an Earl) His heart he has bestowed upon a front-row ballet girl One evening at the Pantomime her dress is set on fire Who gave the bribe to do the deed it's needless to enquire Before his eyes, upon the stage, a roasted heap she falls And then a madman strangles six proud ladies in the stalls.
The end