Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beautiful People: Bertram Macefield

 Again, this post has nothing to do with husbands (at present) but I think a blog that only talked about romance would be rather dull. Therefore, I give you this month's Beautiful People.
You need know very little about Bertram--only that he is ten years old, the twin of Adelaide, likes long words, a ring-leader, lover of mischief and books, would make a fine lawyer or detective, but is a little stuck-up over his knowledge.
This is Bertram Macefield. Bertram, this is My Public. Please behave. Thanks. :)

1. If his house burned down and he was left with nothing but the clothes on his back, what would he do? Where would he go? Oh my. Well, for one thing, there is such a superfluous amount of marble in the Macefield home in Killsfeather Court, London, that it would be rather difficult for the place to burn down in its entirety. [Does marble burn?] But as we are allowed imagination, one must wonder. Therefore, if Bertram popped back out of Scarlettania to find that his father's papers had finally caught fire in the grate, he would pinch Adelaide, stick his hands in his pockets, and use an even larger word than usual to express his opinion of the situation. He would go out to the garden then and whistle like the dickens.

2. Is he happy with where he is in life, or would he like to move on? It has never occurred to Bertram to be unhappy in his life. After all, with five siblings younger than him (more or less) he has plenty of authority and they are never lacking for pocket-money. But at one particular moment--ahem--it did occur to him to save up and head to Australia.

3. Is he well-paid? Oh, of course! Half-a-crown weekly, you know. Spends it on bits of nothingness like wire and string and explosives.

4. Can he read? Like a scholar and a gentleman--which he is, or at least, is hoping to be.

5. What languages does he speak? English in the main, though he can parley-voo when the occasion warrants it. He is also fluent in the more elusive Dictionary-ese, the text-book of which he enjoys pouring over and rooting out "thruppence words" as Adelaide says.

6. What is his biggest mistake? He takes things into his own hand. Slightly arrogant over his learnedness.

7. What did he play with most as a child? He did not play with much at all. He played at pirates and adventures, Hamlet and Crusoe, and all the dozen-and-one other things that he and Darby are fond of doing together.

8. What are his thoughts on politics? They are rather a mash of "God save the Queen!" , "Liberte, egalite, fraternite!" and "Who said?"--in short, Bertram thinks, not of politics, but of how to get in a Just So position of Society without losing his head. But it's rather ambiguous--after all, he's only ten.

9. What is his expected lifetime? He hopes to have a long life, though Miss Perkins would tell you he wouldn't last a week more, being so fond of explosives. Not to mention the fact that he is, this very moment, waiting for my pen to decide his fate before then noble King Octavian of Scarlettania. It's rather a crucial point and he is begging me to get on with it--the waiting is killing him.

10. If he were falsely accused of murder, what would he do? How would he react? He would scratch his head, use a rather large word, laugh, and dig his elbow into Adelaide's side as if to say, "Haha! Think of that!" Then he would point-by-point refute your logic and show you that, why of course it wasn't him, for he'd been playing Benedick and proposing to Beatrice--who was really Addie, you know--at that very moment, and really, he cannot abide Lady Tongue, and wasn't this all much ado about nothing? And then he'd smirk at his cleverness and watch you unwind yourself from the tangles of his mind. He'd enjoy it, you know.

Bertram closed his eyes and grimaced. Which of the punishments would they be assigned? Dungeon-time was preferable, but he wasn’t sure you got off so easy for kidnapping a Princess, even if it wasn’t quite you who had done it—the King was standing right in front of them now, and Bertram felt his palms sweating—Oh Lord! He prayed, almost without realizing it, but the faintest glimmer of courage glowed under the prayer. Bertram thought he’d better try again—at least it gave his mind something to shred while he waited for their sentence. Don’t let him give us poison! Anything but poison—I know You don’t want us to die in fearful agonies, would You?
 -The Scarlet-Gypsy Song


Jenny Freitag said...

Ah, what a bloke. I like Bertram, and only at ten years of age! I, unlike you, Rachel, am rather bad with younger people. If the child is especially genial we get along fine, but more often than not the child doesn't know what to do with me and I don't know what to do with the child. I take mild comfort in the fact that C.S. Lewis wasn't good with children either.

But! I like Bertram. He's not really so much of a child, is he? He is ten, after all. That's almost all grown up! And with just enough child left to make the grown-up-ness have good spark and fun. Yes, I like him.

Rachel Heffington said...

:) I'm glad you like Bertram, Jenny. It is rather a phenomenon with me that I love my boy characters so much, because I am all thumbs with real little boys, as I don't like football, I'm hideous with a bat, and I don't really like spiders all that much. :D
But don't worry, Jenny. You are smashing with your adult characters--I feel more kinship with my children. :)