John-Buchan-1

John Buchan parody

Clovelly-Kepplestone was a private boarding school for girls in Eastbourne, Sussex. It flourished from 1908 until 1934 and was familiarly known to staff and pupils as "Clo-Kepp". There is a very comprehensive piece on it at Wikipedia. The annual school magazine of which we have the 1930 issue has a frontis of the charismatic Miss Frances Browne the 'principal' of the school (see below). The magazine is of a high order full of news of old girls and poetry, essays and humour from past and present Clo-Keppians.

The following John Buchan parody is a good example. The brief was to write a piece with the context of rain outside, a man and wife inside and an unexpected visit by a friend. The 3 subjects were Wodehouse, Edgar Wallace and John Buchan. We did the Wodehouse a few posts back and will do the Wallace only on demand.The authors are given as Phyllis Inglis (née Kay) C-K and O.G.C.

    The night was wild and rainy and reminded me of the time when old Hatiron and I were engaged in that business of the Forty-second Psalm. My wife, who was busily employed in the stitching and repairing of one of my shirts, torn during the day's shooting at Clan Haggis, remarked upon the persistently bad weather we had been experiencing of late, and wondered, the streams being then in spate, whether I should not take a week off to try the mettle of the fish in the Ben Slioch burns.

    I opened The Times, and, glancing casually through its pages, noted with surprise that Flaxman had resigned his post in the Ministry. He was always pretty keen on politics, though strangely recondite in his views on Empire Policy, which he declared was sheer jingoism and inflated proletarianism.  However, it seemed strange that he should leave the Ministry at a time when Burton was intent on seeing that England got what she wanted.
    " Well, what's the news ? " inquired my wife.
    " Oh, very little," I replied, " the usual things ;  I see Flaxman has retired.  I can't help thinking there must be something to it."
    Just then the bell rang, and after a moment Breeves came in to ask if we were at home to Mr. Thoughtnot.

    " Why, Jimmy," I cried, " this is a marvellous surprise."  The last time I had heard of him he had been wandering about Samarkand disguised as a Shiari ; and had you spoken of him in a certain hovel where the mountains dip down beside the valley, which runs towards Tashkent, you would have heard strange things of him.  For Jimmy was a Lawrence in those parts, and there is not a wandering pedlar on the Kirgiz Steppe who will not give a night's lodging to him who mentions Raskashpol.

    " It's about Flaxman," said Jimmy.  " I am to go with him to Borneo, where he is afraid something may be brewing.  For one thing, they are not sufficiently represented on the Board of Empire Economics, and there are other indications of an abstract kind of feeling out there which is making the big-wigs in Whitehall think a bit.  Now you know something about those parts,–tell me a likely spot from where we might get a line on business."
    " Undoubtedly amongst the Telantan Hills."
    Jimmy looked at me sharply.
    " You feel that, too? " he said. "  Well, that's not so dusty for a start.  Excuse a hasty intrusion, but I must be off.  There's my dossier to arrange, and an old natie toeken pasar of a Murut who lives in the shadow of Kinibalu, with whom I must get in touch."  And thereupon without another word, he left us.
    In bed that night I lay awake some time thinking.  The rain had died down, and the wind had dropped to a soft swishing amongst the tree-tops.
    I could not help feeling it was symbolical

[Phyllis Inglis (née Kay), C.-K. O.G.C.]

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