“Mr Boggis was driving the car slowly, leaning back comfortably in the seat with one elbow resting on the sill of the open window.”

That is the opening sentence, the first elbow trigger as such I’ve found, and, what is more, there follows a wonderful story of O. Henry con-trickery, and a story the end of which set me laughing literally aloud, and that rarely happens! The story of Boggis masquerading as a parson who, on paper, triangulates cross-sections of countrified landscape to include the target farmhouses and other country houses where he can ply a cheating trade in antique furniture, buying cheaply from the farming community and selling dear to the London trade. Farmers are easy bait it seems, and amazingly I read by chance a story of such rural sports by O. Henry a couple of days ago (reviewed here), and that made me think if the internet was in place at the time, Boggis would never have been able to play such tricks. And his shenanigans here with a trio of hard-bitten farmers regarding a Chippendale Commode I dare not detail here for fear of severe spoilers worse than those farmers themselves!


Context of this review here:

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