Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The Third Prize." AE Coppard.

Review: A bank holiday at the English footraces. George and Naboth compete. George thinks he has won third prize, a sovereign. But a different name is called. Exchanging his own hat for Naboth’s bowler, George sees that no one of the would-be winner’s name has responded and proceeds to go up and claim the third prize as Mr. Ballantyne. He is awarded the sovereign.

George then returns to Naboth, re-exchanges their hats and George goes off to claim his rightful third prize. After explaining to the judges that he is the rightful winner of the third prize and after much palavering among the judges, they agree that George is the rightful winner and award him another sovereign.

Now the scene shifts to a blind beggar and his wife. Jerry Chambers, a con-man, begs on their behalf and George donates his second sovereign to the pot. Everyone is happy. The beggars who are in league with Jerry Chambers have their pot, George has his sovereign, and the girls are impressed with George’s generosity.

Much cockney language. At times almost unintelligible. Local color.

Short Story Masterpieces. Ed. RP Warren and A Erskine. New York: Dell Books. 1954.

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