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The Mountebank

William John Locke

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .She told Andrew so, very seriously, as they strolled over the bridge arm-in-arm.

They parted, arranging to meet at 10 o'clock when she was free from the music-hall, at the Café des Négociants or the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville.

Andrew, shrinking from the table d'hôte in the mangy hotel in a narrow back street where the Merveilleux troupe had their crowded being, dined at a cheap restaurant near the railway station, and filled in the evening with aimless wandering up and and down the thronged Avenue de la Gare. Once he turned off into the quiet moonlit square dominated by the cathedral and the walls and towers of the Palace of the Popes. The austere beauty of it said nothing to him. It did not bring calm to a fevered spirit. On the contrary, it depressed a spirit longing for a little fever, so he went back to the broad, gay Avenue where all Avignon was taking the air. A girl's sympathy had reconciled him with his kind.

She. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I really loved this one. A vaudeville clown joins the army during WWI and becomes a general. He is involved in a military action where, through being given poor orders, lives are disastrously lost. He is given the option of forced retirement with the rank of a General- but no pay or pension. Atte...more

3.5 Stars

Andrew Lackaday was born under circus tents. As he grew up (to a 6'4" skinny redhead) he perfected his trade in mimicry, sleight of hand, gymnastics and mountbankery (is that a word? :)

Then the war came. And the world changed. What people thought funny before the...more