IF: Spooky + Happy Birthday Plum!

October 15, 2010

     "Do you believe in ghosts ?" asked Mr. Mulliner abruptly. I weighed the question thoughtfully. I was a little surprised, for nothing in our previous conversation had suggested the topic.
     "Well," I replied, " I don't like them, if that's what you mean. I was once butted by one as a child."
     "Ghosts. Not goats."
     "Oh, ghosts? Do I believe in ghosts?"
     "Well, yes—and no." 

When the Illustration Friday word "spooky" fell on the birthday of P. G. Wodehouse, naturally I thought of his "haunted house" story, Honeysuckle Cottage.

     "A pretty name."
     "A nasty, sloppy name," said Mr. Mulliner severely.

Miss Pinckney, the cottage's original owner, wrote Squashily Sentimental novels. When her nephew James Rodman (writer of sensational mystery stories) moves in, strange things begin to happen. At Honeysuckle Cottage life reads like a Pinckney novel, and James fears he can't escape the inevitable happy ending!

Pen & ink, digital color

     "Do you know," he said, "you might be one of my aunt's heroines yourself? You're just the sort of girl she used to love to write about."
     Her face lit up.
     "Oh, do you really think so?" She hesitated. "Do you know what I have been feeling ever since I came here? I've been feeling that you are exactly like one of Miss Pinckney's heroes."
     "No, I say, really! " said James, revolted.

(Ok, maybe it's not exactly spooky, but it's definitely a lot of fun!)

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