Mijn volgende voltooide solo is weer een Engelstalig werk: The return of Alfred, door Herbert George Jenkins. Dit is weer een luchtige ‘romantic comedy’. Verandering van spijs doet eten, zullen we maar zeggen.
The hero of the book is at a loose end, weary and bored of his old life after returning from the Great War. After an argument with his uncle and a railway strike he finds himself lost in the county of Norfolk at ten o’clock one night. When he seeks shelter in a country home, the butler immediately recognizes him as “Mr. Alfred”, the missing son of the house. From that point onwards, our hero, who gives his name as “James Smith”, finds himself in for an exciting time.
Not only does he inherit the friends of “Mr. Alfred”, but also the odium of his misdoings. Protestations are useless: the villagers are convinced he is the prodigal son. Of course, he could just leave the village – but then, had he not been hoping for something exciting to happen – and more importantly, what about Marjorie, the girl at the window?
Originally published anonymously, this romantic comedy was just signed “by the author of “Patricia Brent, Spinster” (a book that was also published anonymously) with a dedication: “To those in many countries who have generously assumed responsibility for the authorship of Patricia Brent, Spinster – this book is dedicated by the author”.