|Blackie, 1960, illus Joan Thompson|
So far, so good, but the author's need to maintain the Marsham children's position as dashing above all things leads her into some very odd alleys. I do find with this book the more that I read it, the more blindingly odd it seems. The scene which most makes me goggle is when Mrs Marsham hands the decision on whether or not to go to the police to Simon's father. Here's her justification:
“I still think it’s wrong, horribly wrong,” said Mrs. Marsham, “but it is up to Ensign to do what he thinks fit and we must abide by his decision, because the whole affair is centred around the Baddeleys and not the Marshams. It’s only because of that stupid mistake over Timothy‘s identity that we’re involved at all.”
But he's still your son, I want to yell, and he's just as kidnapped as the other boy, and in just as much danger. Mrs Marsham isn't quite finished. When she finds out the rest of her children have disappeared to rescue Timothy and Simon, she says:
“Aren’t we lucky to have such original children? Oh Roger, wouldn’t it be marvellous if this mission they’ve set out on were a success and they rescued Timothy and Simon and we never had to see another policeman?”
I burst out of the world of the book at that point, completely unable to maintain any belief in it. Of course everything does work out, but I still maintain that in a competition for most unlikely reactions to plot developments, this book has few equals.
|Blackie, 1965, cover Harry Green|
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