By Tim Heald
A Simon Bognor secret - at the eve of the Flanagan Fludd Literary pageant, the Reverend Sebastian Fludd is came across lightly swinging from the tip of a rope in his personal church. whereas Sebastian’s cousin and lord of the manor, Sir Branwell Fludd, is raring to wrap up the affair with the minimal of fuss, Branwell’s pal, Sir Simon Bognor, is extra involved to get to the reality. Did the mild-mannered vicar rather take his personal lifestyles – or was once his unforeseen loss of life the results of whatever extra sinister?
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Additional info for Death in the Opening Chapter
He read the game with deceptive ease and was able to anticipate its direction with unerring precision. So, without apparent effort or indeed movement, or endeavour of all but the most notional kind, he was always able to be at the centre of important play, where his strength and experience proved decisive. Others ran hither and yon, charging about like headless chickens, while the old bull elephant surged magnificently, and in an almost stately manner, through the wildest passages of the game. So it was with the brigadier.
You never knew what he was going to think about anything. ’ ‘Bit of a ditherer as well as a teeterer,’ said Bognor. ‘Uncertainty was his middle name,’ said the squire. ‘Except when he was certain of something. That’s one thing you can say for him. Well, could say for him, when he was, well, you know, alive. He was assailed by doubt. ’ ‘Up to a point,’ said Bognor, repeating an Apocrypha adage. They both recognized it and grinned. ‘So, in an age of certainty he was a prey to doubt,’ said Bognor, ‘and in an age when popularity was a mark of merit, he was prepared to be unpopular.
Bognor did not agree, nor disagree, merely looked pained. Growing up, the word ‘oik’ had been a sort of universal pejorative such as ‘pseudo’, which stood for ‘pseudo-intellectual’, meaning, in a particularly philistine society, anyone who had read, much less enjoyed, a book. ‘Grey’ as in ‘grey man’ was another all-purpose term of abuse, which signified nothing more than a general dislike. Over the years, however, ‘oik’ had acquired social undertones which Bognor did not remember. ‘Oik’ was how posh people referred to those they regarded as their social inferiors.