Henrietta: The Story of Love, Tennis, and Taking Chances HTML version

©2002 by Jon Kyne
Cover art by James Wiggs
To Professor Raymond Denigri
From the back cover:
Meet Charles Killpatrick... knight in worn Chemise Lacoste, mystic, lover, tennis shark,
philosopher, gambler, renaissance man for whom an iced Dos XX, a good book, a close
match, a fast horse and a scrupulous bookie comprise the good life.
Broker in SoCal with a real estate market in full bloom, life for Charles is as smooth as
the purr of his BMW, Blackie. A man whose life, like his tennis service, crowds the line,
Charles is in the habit of taking what life serves. Deep in debt to a bookie whose husband
is a debt collector with a pro-lineman physique, Charles is sanguine. Accused of cheating
at tennis by his world famous sparring partner, he is placid. Bribed to act as shill in high-
stakes racetrack grift, he is serene. But all that was before he met Henrietta.
Now all he can think of is her...the look of her, the feel of her, the sound of her mangled
English...and for the first time in a very long time...the future. But his Frenchfry,
Henrietta, is not all Charles has to worry about.
There is her special forces lover, Roadrunner, shadowing their every rendezvous. And
now, just as Charles has begun to contemplate tomorrow he must entertain the possibility
that, if Roadrunner has his way, he won't have one. True as only fiction can be, Henrietta
is more than picaresque farce, more than diary of failed love, more than tour of pro
tennis, more than morality play....
It's a window on a man's soul. And, for all his myriad faults, Charles Killpatrick is a man
worth knowing. Bounder, romantic, ne'er do well, visionary, man of honor...when
Charles joins battle with fate the score is love all, and the results unpredictable as the
course of a 100 mph Penn spun off the racket of a pro.
(A poem)
(To Theophile Gautier: 1811-1872)
Things pass,
Save those made well;
The bust outlasts The citadel.
Often the plowman’s share,
Turning an ancient sod,
Will bare