Chronicles of Clovis
The Peace Offering
"I want you to help me in getting up a dramatic entertainment of some sort," said the
Baroness to Clovis. "You see, there's been an election petition down here, and a member
unseated and no end of bitterness and ill-feeling, and the County is socially divided
against itself. I thought a play of some kind would be an excellent opportunity for
bringing people together again, and giving them something to think of besides tiresome
The Baroness was evidently ambitious of reproducing beneath her own roof the pacifying
effects traditionally ascribed to the celebrated Reel of Tullochgorum.
"We might do something on the lines of Greek tragedy," said Clovis, after due reflection;
"the Return of Agamemnon, for instance."
The Baroness frowned.
"It sounds rather reminiscent of an election result, doesn't it?"
"It wasn't that sort of return;" explained Clovis it was a home- coming."
"I thought you said it was a tragedy."
"Well, it was. He was killed in his bathroom, you know."
"Oh, now I know the story, of course. Do you want me to take the part of Charlotte
"That's a different story and a different century," said Clovis; "the dramatic unities forbid
one to lay a scene in more than one century at a time. The killing in this case has to be
done by Clytemnestra."
"Rather a pretty name. I'll do that part. I suppose you want to be Aga--whatever his name
"Dear no. Agamemnon was the father of grown-up children, and probably wore a beard
and looked prematurely aged. I shall be his charioteer or bath-attendant, or something
decorative of that kind. We must do everything in the Sumurun manner, you know."
"I don't know," said the Baroness; "at least, I should know better if you would explain
exactly what you mean by the Sumurun manner."
Clovis obliged: "Weird music, and exotic skippings and flying leaps, and lots of drapery
and undrapery. Particularly undrapery."