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THE IMAGINED DÉNOUEMENT: 2

 

By O. Tyrone Shulaise

LOS ANGELES, 15 DECEMBER 2009 .

Editor's Note: In his series of comic essays, The Imagined Dénouement, Mr. Shulaise selects a book he has not read and based solely on the appearance of its cover presupposes what the final page would (or more accurately, should) be.

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seeing the disbelief in her eyes, came from around his desk to sit beside her. Placing his hand on hers, he said, "My child, I understand this must come as a shock."

Millicent’s eyes met his. "But why me?"

"If you’ll forgive the familiarity," Baylocke began, "I’ve been your great aunt’s solicitor for nearly 50 years, but I’ve known Evangeline personally since she was a very young ‘gell.’ Younger even than you are now. She was shy, not the sort of young woman one might imagine would lead the life she eventually did. It was an act of great courage for her to make the trip to Tap-Tap Island. And it was that decision that set her destiny’s course toward something greater than if she had stayed on to live a society life in Bournemouth."

After a pause, he continued. "Upon her return, she was greatly changed. One could see the spirit, the vim…some vital part of her brought to the fore, no doubt, as a result of her years among the savages. I believe she saw the same potential in you."

Looking past him and out the window at the cerulean horizon – the same horizon that, many years before, had beckoned her great aunt – Millicent asked, "But what will the others say?"

Rising from his chair, Baylocke offered, "You leave them to me. No doubt they are all sitting out there wondering why you alone were invited to hear the reading of the will. There is not the slightest question that Evangeline was of sound mind when she requested the changes making you her sole heir. I shall defend rigorously against any claim to the contrary from amongst that lot," he sniffed. "Now, the only thing that remains is for you to open that envelope, the final part of your great aunt’s bequest. And for that, as per her instructions, I shall leave you alone, my dear."

When Baylocke had left the room, Millicent finally turned her attention to the large envelope, upon which only the words "Miss Millicent Hemsby" were written. Breaking the wax seal, she found a small folio inside – a folio from the Fair Horizons Trans-Atlantic Steamship Company.

And within, the ticket. Attached to it was a small note - four words only, written in Evangeline’s remarkable hand:

"Return To Tap-Tap Island."

—fin–

Tap - Tap Island
By J. M. Walsh

With cover design and illustrations by Percy Lindsay
192 pages followed by publisher's catalogue, b&w illustrations, spine taped
N.S.W. Bookstall, Sydney, 1922

At the time of this article's publication, a copy is available for AUD 60.00 = appr. US$ 47.82 from Camberwell Books in Australia
at Antiqbook.com
Book number: 176265

O. Tyrone Shulaise is a writer and phrenologist based in Norwich, Vermont.

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