A romance with scenes laid at Fort Blizzard in the Far Northwest. (Sequel to Betty's Virginia Christmas.)
Sergeant's desk, under the full glare of the electric light, a shadow passed the window. The next minute Sergeant McGillicuddy entered, the lion in him aroused by the sight of the liberties taken with his desk.
"I say, you naygur," snorted the Sergeant wrathfully, "you take that baby off my desk and out of this office. The C. O's office ain't no day nursery."
"You go to grass," replied Kettle boldly.
The reason for Kettle's boldness was in sight. Mrs. McGillicuddy's majestic figure was seen approaching from the region back of the dining-room, and she had heard the Sergeant's remark about the C. O.'s office being a day nursery.
"And it's you, Patrick McGillicuddy," cried Mrs. McGillicuddy, sailing into the office, "the father of eight children, complaining of this sweet blessed lamb."
"D' ye mean the naygur?" asked McGillicuddy.
Mrs. McGillicuddy, scorning to reply, seized the baby, and with Kettle following marched out. It was not really judicious for the After-Clap
I'm glad I stumbled upon and read this novel. It was a revelation for me regarding the spirit of the pen behind the words. Before one sets down to spread the ink, one must have the mental flexibility, intelligence, and will to make the unbelievable not only believable, but tangible to the reader. I think that's what I meant.
Whatever qualifications I'm looking for in a novel, I realized them because "Betty at Fort Blizzard" lacks them to an unbelievable degree. Its got this simplistic story, lower-than Hollywood B-movie-level characterization, and all-too-perfect Munchkin main characters, all wrapped within a lazy, cloistered depiction of military life so unrealistic that this non-military man smelled the fake in 20 pages. In a quality book, an ethnic stereotype is an insignificant annoyance explained away by the attitudes of the times; in this tripe, the character sticks out like a watermelon vine in a corn patch.
Occasionally, I found myself wondering what author Molly Elliot Seawell was going on: Did she research anything she didn't know? I understand this was one of the later books in a series; are there superior, early Betty novels? I suspect she was a demure, bored military wife. Its the kind of book so dismal in its craft that it insults its own author.
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