DICK YOUNG

aka

CAPTAIN GRIMES

aka

RICHARD MACNAUGHTAN

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W.R.B. YOUNG

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“When did you die?”

“1971, old boy."

“Ah, so you were aware of Evelyn's autobiography but weren't around for the appearance of his
Diaries or the TV version of Brideshead that was filmed at Castle Howard.”

“If you say so.”

“Well, hop in, and I’ll drive you there. It's just fifteen miles from the station. We'll be there in a jiffy.”

"Uncommonly civil of you."

"It’s Richard too, isn’t it? I'm Richard Plunket Greene.”

“Call me Dick. My friends do,”

"Let me just go up through the gears here. My driving is a bit rusty…We nearly met in 1926. Evelyn came down to Aston Clinton School after leaving the place you taught together in Wales in the spring of 1925."

"Hold on… Just belting myself in. Compulsory these days. My God, what a belly I've got. Nothing really changes, does it?"

"I suppose not. OK?"

"Mmm."

"Goodbye to York… Hello the open road… Evelyn arrived at Aston Clinton for the autumn term, but by the end of that term I’d got a better job at Lancing down on the south coast."

"You whizzed about the country as much as I used to."

"I love driving this car, my Dark Horse I called it before the current paint job, so I was always shooting back up to London or Oxford or Aston Clinton with Liza. We came back up to Aston Clinton on March 15, 1926, and we took Evelyn to London to visit my sister. Not a successful visit. Olivia was packing bottles into boxes the whole time we were there."

"Women are an enigma to Grimes."

"Then, ten days later Evelyn wrote that you came down on a motorbike - a Sunbeam. Evelyn says that you lunched at the Bell and then went to see the children at football, and you fell in love with one of the boys."

“Sounds like me, all right. Though it doesn’t ring a bell. No pun intended.”

“The next day he reports that you seduced a garage boy in the hedge."

“Now you would have thought I would have remembered such a conjunction of joys. Finding love on the games field one day, then a bit of rough stuff in a hedge the next. But I don't. Shame really, memories like those can brighten one's later years. Mind you, I feel about thirty, notwithstanding the spot of middle age spread. Is it the same for you?"

“I feel ageless. A bit like I did the first time around, to tell you the truth."

"Grimes is of the immortals."

"I was going to ask. What did you think when you first read
Decline and Fall? Presumably you read it when it came out in autumn, 1928.”

“Mixed feelings, old boy. I think the main thing was that I was flattered. Waugh obviously fell for one side of my personality."

"He found you irrepressible, I believe. Excluded from Wellington, sent down from Oxford, court martialed from the army, then sacked from six teaching jobs. And yet you kept coming back for more."

"Can't keep a good man down, you might say. No matter how often you dump him in the soup, he bobs up again," says Young, chuckling. "But at the same time I was made cautious. I was still working as a teacher, and to be identified with a flagrant paederast - paedophile, I think is the word that's bandied about nowadays - would not have been at all convenient. So I had to cross my fingers that no-one would identify Captain Grimes with Dick Young. Not sure if that worked out, because once I got the boot from Arnold House - for the usual reason - I found it dammed impossible to get another job. The word must have got around. Had to happen sooner or later, I suppose. So I trained to be a solicitor and qualified in 1931. It was when I had my feet up in a nice cushy office in Hastings, working for the family firm, that I began to write
The Preparatory School Murder, which I now see was a form of revenge on Waugh.”

"We're nearly at Castle Howard now. But there's a pub in this village that might remind you of the Fair View Inn in Llandullas. Shall we stop for a pint?"

"Now you're talking. But I must warn you, this is my home territory."

"Mine too, I assure you."

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"There you go, Richard. A pint of the best"

"Thank-you, Dick. Tell me about this revenge you took on Evelyn."

They make themselves comfortable in a corner of the Crown and Cushion in the summer of 2020. Oh, yes they do.

"So there I was a few years down the line from our shared time at Arnold House, and I thought: I'll do exactly what Waugh did to me, neither more nor less. So I set my book at a school in North Wales that I called St Anthony's, and began by focussing on the everyday school life of ten-year-old boys… Let's drink to that."

"Cheers."

"Actually, I should point out that Waugh started his book with an author's note that tries to suggest that everything was drawn, without malice, from the imagination, and he apologised heartily to anyone who saw himself reflected in this 'tarnished little mirror'. I started my book more honestly, with a poem by Ben Jonson:

'"Twas a child that did so thrive
In grace and feature
As Heaven and nature seemed to strive
Which owned the creature.'

"Now by the end of chapter three, after dwelling on the boy's beauty, young David Kelham lies dead in his bed. Who killed the heir to the Kelham fortune and title? One of the main suspects is Erard. His rooms smell of drink and more than once Erard emerges from the public-house in the village. How I giggled when I wrote those scenes. And this line I can remember off by heart: ‘Erard seemed to have got out of tune with the normal conditions of life – to be unable to adapt himself, if you see what I mean, to the social outlook of his fellows.’ Of course, I was already thinking this was going to be God's own book - that I had a surefire best-seller on my hands."

"I suppose Evelyn could come across as a little angst-ridden in those early years."

"A little drink-sodden too. Erard (Err Hard, is what I was thinking) was sent down from Cambridge without actually taking his degree, though he had read for it for three years. Does that describe Waugh’s situation re Oxford?"

"Just about."

"I go on to say that Erard was ‘cashiered as an officer for being drunk on the front line’. That was revenge for Waugh saying of me that I disgraced my regiment, and when given a revolver, a bottle of whisky and a chance to do the decent thing, I drank the whisky and got the giggles."

"The difference being that his accusation was fair comment. Whereas yours was a gross libel."

"Ha-ha! Yes, that is very much part of the joke. I up the ante considerably when a character reveals, when talking about Erard, that: ‘
it became clear beyond all possible doubt that he was totally unsuited for any further work as a schoolmaster.’ Accordingly, Erard was blacklisted with the Headmasters Association. In other words, I was tarring Waugh with the same brush that Waugh tarred me with. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander?"

"Or it could have been a self-portrait?"

"Look here, old boy, I know what was going through my mind when the pen made marks on the paper."

"I suppose so. Another pint?"

"Don't mind if I do."

Richard was back in a minute with two fresh glasses.

"Looks even better than the first. Down the hatch… Now where was I? Erard is described in my book as ‘
one of those distressingly ineffective people who are endowed with a first class brain and third class gumption.’

"That echoes what Evelyn's History tutor at Hertford said about him."

"I have one of my policemen describe Erard as:
‘an odd-looking man dressed in a brown sports coat, grey flannel bags and a “Hawks” tie. Despite the rather dissipated ensemble, there lingered about his pale, clear-cut features and well-shaped head an indefinable air of breeding and intellectual power. A faint but penetrating aroma of Harris tweed and whisky emanated from him.’

"Do I detect grudging respect?"

"Oh, it's not grudging. I have a lot of time for Mr. Evelyn Waugh. But I wanted revenge. There's another scene where my main policeman, Inspector Hawtrey, goes to call on Erard. The officer is told that his quarry is certain to be found in the saloon bar of the Castle Arms. The interview quickly gets to the point. Erard asks if he is being accused of murdering the little boy. Hawtrey says:
“I know the history of your – er – trouble in that quarter, Mr Erard.’ "

"You could have been sued for such a portrayal of Evelyn."

"I don't think so. I refer you to Waugh's own author's note re
Decline and Fall. 'I apologise heartily to anyone who sees himself in this tarnished little mirror. But you see everything is drawn, without malice, from the vaguest of imaginations. Please bear in mind that IT IS MEANT TO BE FUNNY.'"

Richard nods. He is, after all, trying to draw out the other's story.

"Best line in the book. Erard appeals to my inspector's better nature with
‘And besides,,, well, you’re obviously a public school man yourself…’ Do you see what I was doing there?

"I have a very clear picture in my mind."

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"I didn't take my revenge any further than that. I wanted to write something proportionate to the offence given. After all, Waugh had ended up saying:
‘Grimes was a life force. Sentenced to death in Flanders, he popped up in North Wales. Drowned in North Wales, he emerged in South America. Engulfed in the dark mystery of Egdon Mire, he would ride again somewhere at some time, shaking from his limbs the musty integuments of the tomb.’"

"Much the same thing could be said of Evelyn. Crucified by She-Evelyn, he fled to Arica. Bored by Abyssinia, he turned up at Madresfield. Rejected by Baby Jungman, he went on a mission up the Amazon in search of a Jesuit. And so on."

"Waugh is of the immortals."

"Let's have another pint to toast him. Trouble is, I'm a bit short."

A minute later, Richard returns from the bar to where Dick is waiting for him. "Exhibit A."

"My book! Or at least the one I wrote with Liza, published for the first and last time in 1932."

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"In 1934 all three of us published. You with Eleven-thirty til Twelve. Me with The Prep School Murder and Waugh with A Handful of Dust."

"Not much doubt as to whose book was the winner."

"Writing is not a competition, Richard. Though it is bloody competitive. When I heard you were picking me up, I thought I'd prepare myself for the interview, as it were. Preparing for interviews has done me very well over the years."

"So you've read
Where Ignorance is Bliss. What did you think? I must know!"

"It jogs along quite nicely. Doesn't try to explain itself. Then leaves you at the end with a peculiar feeling… It's a murder story, but it's not really a whodunit. It's more about the psychology of the group of sophisticated - or damn silly - young people, that are the characters. They don't think through the case because they know one of their own did the dirty deed."

Richard nods along to Young's analysis, amazed to be getting feedback so long after writing the thing.

"You have a character called Evelyn Vincent. Evelyn Waugh meets Vincent Van Gogh, I'd say, even though the character is a woman. I made special note of how you described her. Let me find my place. Here it is:
'Evelyn on the other hand was rough and awkward and she had the most vigorous and outspoken tongue that I have ever encountered. She did not seem to mind what she said, and delighted everyone with the most outrageous remarks, which coming from anyone else would have been considered in the worst possible taste. Also she was an object-lesson to doctors and cranks who inform us that we all eat far more than is good for our health, for never in my life have I seen anyone consume such quantity of food and drink, and with so great gusto and relish.' I suppose that played on the he-Evelyn/She-Evelyn dualism that excited some Bright Young Thing discussion for a few years."

"Well spotted, Dick. What else have you to say about Liza's and my poor book."

"Well, as you've raised delicate issues relating to my own, can I say that the treatment of black people would not stand up to scrutiny in today's climate. I suppose I could find a passage to indicate what I mean easily enough, but you might prefer to look at this double-page in your own book, as it must be so long since you set eyes on it."

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"How depressing to read that… I thought I was being clever… I thought I was showing how I understood the arguments of the day and was somehow above them."

"Don't beat yourself up about it, old boy. Have another drink."

"Look, I think perhaps we should be making tracks."

"Are you sure you're good to drive with three pints inside you? Sorry, that's my 2020 head talking. No offence meant, but if we knock down a 10-year-old boy between here and the venue, it''s going to dampen the festival spirit somewhat. And it'll be
your fault, not mine."

"Get in."

"I'm in, old boy."

Richard drives at speed up the long straight road. He parks the car and leads Dick towards the Temple of Four Winds. But Dick Young is going nowhere except into Castle Howard via the front door. Dick Young steps up to the plate at every opportunity.

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"Are you sure about this?"

"Absolutely. Besides, I've got a job to do. Bit of a bugger for my leg, but we go up the stairs here. You go on ahead. Stop when you see the porcelain cabinet. You won't miss it. Enormous."

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When Dick finally appears, Richard asks: "Do you know the Howards then?"

"Personally, not at all. But as soon as I do meet them, it'll be fine. You see I have a huge respect for the establishment and when I meet members of it, I show them how much I love them and do my best to entertain and impress. You'd know that if you'd read my novel. Plus, you've got to realise that the English upper class is without boundaries, in the sense that as long as you went to a decent public school and an Oxbridge college then they'll never turn you away."

"What a marvellous cabinet!"

"At my absolute disposal. And my ceramics collection should be in those five Chinese boxes just above the ground. Let's get the boys out, shall we?."

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Richard kneels before a box and slowly opens it.

Dick: "Perhaps I should explain. In my thirties I began to collect 18th Century ceramics. Plates to begin with, then, as my confidence in my taste grew, figurines. I left the entire collection of 100-odd pieces to the Ashmolean Museum in my will. Ironic, don't you think, that my collection of ceramics should be kept safe in the middle of Oxford, while all Waugh's books and manuscripts were taken off to Texas and buried in some basement there?"

"That remains a scandal."

"Not that all my pieces are on
display. But some are. You need to go to the second floor, Gallery 40, European Ceramics. But none of my boy figurines are currently on show, so when I arranged for part of my bequest to be loaned to Castle Howard for the Brideshead Festival, I simply said: 'Oh, pack some of those pieces that aren't on display in Oxford, and send them over.' And they've done exactly that."

Richard extracts a well-wrapped circular object from the box.

"Don't drop it, old boy."

"This can only be
a plate."

"Carefully clear a space or two in the cabinet for now, and set it on a stand. Oh, that is lovely… A little fisher boy…"

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.331. Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1752-1753

"There should be a companion piece… Unwrap it for me, if you would… Oh, that is remarkable piece of work. The modelling of the goat's tail. Its almost three-dimensional!"

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.331. Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1752-1753

"Christ! I don't know what to say."

"Are there any figurines in that first box? If so, and using tender-loving-care, do please bring them out, one at a time, and place them here. Gosh, they are remarkable those chaps. Place them side by side, they need to be considered as a pair, they really do."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.329 and 330. Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1744-1760.

"One's beating his drum. The other's belting his dog.
I feel sure they were made as part of a triptych."

"How do you get away with it, Dick? The pieces were probably made in innocence, but just standing next to you I feel the perversity of your gaze. I had two sons, you know. I mean, I still have two sons. And I preserve their innocence in my mind to this day, just as I did what I could to preserve their innocence in life until they were old enough to make their own minds up about their sexuality."

"Hush now. If you like, we can take a little respite before moving onto box two. I should say that there are one or two pieces on display just now at Oxford that I would dearly liked to have as part of my show here. I bought the ceramic piece in
this picture because it so reminded me of Waugh's drawing in Decline and Fall. Do you see what I mean?"

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.367. Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1760.

"I see what you mean. But something's changed now. Grimes is a completely irresponsible human being, not of the immortals! I don't care what Evelyn thought in 1925. Or in 1964."

"I shall open box two myself. Five of my likely lads. Let me split them into groups."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.321 and 322. Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1750-96.

"How on earth did you get Castle Howard to agree to show these, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Easiest thing in the world. As you know, the good folk here are somewhat focussed on
Brideshead Revisited, so I simply told them that this was the collection of Dresden porcelain mentioned several times in Waugh's most famous novel."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, I said that these are the very pieces collected by Lady Marchmain. And that each of them was really a symbol of Sebastian. And that the collection as a whole was an illustration of how difficult it was for the great lady to let her favourite son go off from Brideshead Castle to Oxford."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.325, 326, 327.1. Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1757-60.

"And they fell for that?"

"Hook, line and sinker, old boy. Wouldn't you have?"

"Well, I might have wondered about how a fictional character could have a collection of real pieces of porcelain."

"You've got a lot in common with Charles Ryder. A tendency to overthink things. Besides, what is Captain Grimes but a fictional figure? What are these pieces in front of our eyes but real pieces of porcelain, each almost as old as this castle itself?… Now for box three."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.280 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1750-60.

"Is the boy playing a set of bagpipes?"

"Yes. And that's an oversized Tam o' Shanter on his head."

"And at the base?"

"The wee lad is playing to a couple of even smaller gnomes."

Dick smiles. Richard is looking glum. Glum, glummer, glummest.

"And this next one? Are those wings on his back?"

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.279 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1755.

"It's Cupid, as Peep-Show Man. It was made in Saxony by Johann Joachim Kandler who was alive from 1706 to 1775. I did collect his adult figurines as well, such a master was he. He's made of hard paste porcelain, moulded and enamelled. Isn't he exquisite?"

"Why the hell would Cupid be offering a peep show?"

"Think of Puck in
A Midsummer Night's Dream, squeezing potions into lovers' eyes. The child that comes from sex, gives sex. That's how I see it anyway. Next…"

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.278 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1740-70.

"Horrible!"

"It was made at the Meissen Factory in Saxony, where Johann Joachim Kandler worked, but he hasn't signed it underneath. The fish tail is effectively a fig leaf. By convention the boy's genitals are not shown, and artists had to show ingenuity in coping with this. I think it's an inspired piece of work."

"A portrait of yourself, even?"

"Is that what I look like when I'm beginning to get excited?"

"I trust I'll never know."

"Box four now."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.317 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1765-90.

"Ah, yes. Sebastian at his most charming."

Richard peers closely. At what he takes to be a pile of rubber gloves.

"I can see he has completely captivated you, my dear Richard. Well, I'm not surprised. Of course, you haven't known Sebastian as long as I have. I was at school with him. You wouldn't believe it, but in those days people used to say he was a little
bitch; just a few unkind boys who knew him well. Everyone in pop liked him, of course, all the masters. I expect it was really that they were jealous of him. He never seemed to get into trouble."

"You're quoting from
Brideshead."

"How our thoughts do run on that little bundle of charm to be sure. I think you must be mesmerising me, Richard. I bring you here…"

"I brought you here."

"…at very considerable expense, my dear, simply to talk about myself, and I find I talk of no-one but Sebastian."

fQXbcawfT5GGovX5ff+LYg_thumb_c58a
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.315 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1765-90 .

"Oh, there's a story to this one."

"Tell me, if you must."

"I was working at the family firm in Hastings. I may have been getting overconfident there, because I had this little beauty, which I privately referred to as
Sebastian at Home, in full view on my desk. One day my uncle, the senior partner at Young, Coles and Langdon, came in. His eyes chanced on the figurine for a second, he began to speak about a mutual client's affairs, then I saw his gaze make its way slowly back to the piece again, and linger. The nonsense he was jawing dribbled to a halt. After a five-second silence, Uncle said something along the lines of: 'What the Hell is that?' jabbing a finger at the piece's most ambiguous element. Not sure how I replied, but he wasn't happy. He left my office, but came back ten minutes later with a hammer. 'Get rid of it,' he told me."

"And?"

"Well, Uncle came back before the end of the day, but I hadn't got round to using the hammer. What I
had done was line the little fellow up with his stablemates. For a second or two, I even thought that seeing Sebastian at Home, Sebastian Abroad, Sebastian's Grand Remonstrance and Sebastian Contra Mundum might change his mind. Not a bit of it. Either they had to go, or I did. So that was it as far as my cushy job in the legal profession was concerned. I was out on my ear in 1938."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.316/314 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1765/90 .

"Actually, there is some doubt as to whether this quartet are 18th century. Or at least that was the opinion of the man from the Ashmolean who visited me after I told them of my bequest. 'Not genuine?' I said, as if shocked. 'Seems to me you've just put in an order with one of the paedo-potters that abound in North Wales to this day.' I was stunned. But he was laughing, and so I joined in the laughter. Do you know I've spent half my adult life just going along with the flow?"

"And the other half, up Shit Creek without a paddle."

"Oh, Richard, are you tiring of my little show?"

"I feel sick. On the other hand, I must see what's in the final box. In a funny way to make sure it can't do any damage to my own children, adults as they now are."

"This one is very dear to me."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.310 'Putto with Bear.' Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1758.

"I take it there's a story behind this tableau."

"I can make it so."

"Why do you put it that way?"

"When Waugh was writing his autobiography, he wrote to me asking for my permission to be exposed as a paedophile. Very odd request, I thought. However, as I've told you, my rule in life is never to knowingly take a backward step, so I told him 'Publish and be Damned'. However, then I have to admit I did
a weak and unworthy thing. In the same letter, I informed Waugh that my housing in Winchester, at the Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty, was dependent on charity, and that it was in my best interests that the trustees of the charitable organisation continued to have a good opinion of my character."

"But?"

"But a week later I wrote to him again giving permission to write what he liked, providing he hid my identity under a pseudonym. I suggested the same one he'd used in
Decline and Fall. So that's what he did. Then A Little Learning came out and I was sent a copy. Waugh had been as good as his word, so I had to be satisfied. But the imagery he used engraved itself on my mind. Back at the school in North Wales… A holiday in Snowdonia…. Playing games together, masters and boys… The other masters finding it all hard work and terribly tedious... Me telling them that I had greatly enjoyed the afternoon…. What? Why? How?… Because, finding that the games were becoming too boisterous, I had taken Knox Minor behind some rocks. 'I removed his boot and stocking, opened my trousers, put his dear little foot there and experienced a most satisfying emission.' That sentence was Waugh's, not mine. I am told he struggled before using the word 'emission' as opposed to 'orgasm'.

Richard and Dick continue to contemplate 'Putto and the Bear', Richard looking despondent and ill. Dick realises he needs to explain further. "Though it's not an exactly similar tableau by any means, Waugh's scenario came back to mind, and so I bid for it. I would have bid for it anyway, but perhaps not as much."

"And this last piece?"

"
La piece de resistance. Oh dear, am I moving out of character? More Anthony Blanche than C-C-Captain Grimes"

"Fuck you, Dick."

"I will ignore that."

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. WA1971.320 Bequeathed by W.R.B. Young in 1971. Date of manufacture 1775.

"The boy is wearing an animal skin as a cape. It looks like a lion's tail and
a bear's head, so perhaps the slain creature is mythical."

"Is the slain beast your dastardly self, by any chance?"

"If you must know, I came to realise that I had done great harm to many children in my charge over the years."

"You don't say."

"And I came - too late in life, I admit - to deeply regret that. I had always taken the attitude that God had given me an appetite for young boys and that I would satisfy that appetite whenever I got the chance. I never changed my mind about that side of the equation. What I changed my mind about was the impact it had on the boys themselves. Was I influencing their own development? I tried not to think about it, but as I got older I thought about it more and more. Let me put it this way. That stuff you wrote about 'the colour problem', it wasn't your finest moment was it? You were thinking of black people as 'other'. And you don't think that way now. Not with your 2020 head on. Well, that's what I'd been doing with my boys. Thinking of them as 'other'."

"Bad timing - just as you've started to express regret - I have a sudden urge to vomit."

"How can I make amends?"

"How can you possibly make amends!"

"I thought I might ask Evelyn."

"Ask him what exactly?"

"HOW DO I MAKE AMENDS? After all, Richard, I take it this festival has a purpose, over and above mere nostalgic impulse. If not, let us give it one. Let us together make the world a better place. A PLACE WHERE BOYS CAN WALK THE LAWNS WITHOUT BEING PUSHED INTO HEDGES BY MONSTERS LIKE ME!"

"Not so loud, Dick. Someone will hear you talking in this self-pitying way."

"BUT I WANT SOMEONE TO HEAR ME.
HELP! RAPE!"

"I'm out of here. See you later."

"Please don't leave me, Richard. I might do myself damage."

"Good. Pass me the hammer."

"COME BACK RICHARD!"

Dick watches Richard flee down the stairs.

"It's not so bad, is it?
It's not so bad, is it?
It's not so bad, is it?
To be with me."


"RICHARD!"

When Dick accepts that Richard has left the building, he turns to poetry for consolation. And he begins to plan his meeting with Evelyn Waugh in earnest:

"And what delights can equal those
That stir the spirit's inner deeps,
When one that loves but knows-not reaps
A truth from one that loves and knows?"














Notes

1. I'm sure its obvious from the context, but this section of my website is not part of Castle Howard's Brideshead Festival. This is my own initiative, though it is inspired by the excellent idea of having such a festival.

2. In an essay that mixes genuine research with fictional elements, I should clarify the odd bit which may confuse. For instance, the story of Dick Young being asked to dispose of a porcelain piece with a hammer is not something that actually happened. The story references some of Grimes's history in
Decline and Fall.

3. It was while writing an essay in 2011, that I realised that 'Grimes' had left ceramics to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Only about five English pieces were documented online and these were innocuous enough. Since then, the Ashmolean has been putting more of its collection online. This time I traced the pieces I'd found before, but found that, for whatever reason, they no longer said 'bequeathed by W.R.B. Young'. Through browsing the 3800-odd items in the Eighteenth Century section of Ceramics, I came across further references to 'bequeathed by W.R.B Young'. So I made a note of those acquisition numbers. Soon after, I realised that there was no other donor mentioned between WA1971.275 (the five numbers before that are blank) and WA1971.383 (the next number is blank and the one after sourced from elsewhere). Moreover, those original five or so pieces that I'd found in 2011 were all within these limits too. It also struck me that all the pieces between WA1971.275 and WA1971.383 shared a certain sensibility. That's the evidence that led me to conclude that the Ashmolean had been given over a hundred pieces through the will of Dick Young.

The Waugh community has to thank the Ashmolean Museum for making accessible to the public so many of its acquisitions online. It's through this institution's transparency that such an interesting historical detail can now become public knowledge. Perhaps a debate will take place in the opinion columns of our media. Does it make a difference, knowing that these pieces were collected by a paedophile? Do they become a special category of aesthetic curiosity, like Hitler's watercolours? Or does what was in the mind of the craftsman when he or she created each ceramic piece stay uppermost in the eye of the beholder?

4. When I first put this online, a friend suggested I might have problems with it. He meant that there wasn't enough outrage at Dick Young's behaviour in the text. This scared me into putting lots of outrage into the text via the character of Richard Plunket Greene. Another friend has now written saying,
'I'm not sure I agree with your friend. I somehow feel by compelling Young through RPG to confront his past behaviour with a 2020 head on it introduces an intrusive third character into the mix, namely yourself as the author, who becomes a sort of moral arbiter, laying on outrage with a trowel. I find this somewhat unconvincing, especially in the making amends section at the end. I can see that writing such a piece is tricky as you don’t want to appear to be condoning. But at the same time, you want the characters to speak for and be themselves. I would let the reader make up their own minds.' I agree with this too and don't want to think I've changed Richard Plunket Greene so that his historical views are no longer accessible. However, on balance, I think I'll leave the text as it is for now, with this note appended.

5. The next Evelyneer to arrive is holed up in a cottage on the estate right now. It's
Patrick Balfour.