The Gentleman from America

“While his face had that weathered, yet untired and eager, look which is the enviable possession of many Americans, and is commonly considered to denote, for reasons not very clearly defined, the quality known as Poise…the gentleman from America looked, in fine, to be a proper man.”
– ‘The Gentleman from America’ by Michael Arlen.

The Gentleman from America illustration by Cathy Hookey

If you’re into horror stories and can get hold of this short story, written by the author of ‘The Green Hat,’ it’s so worth a read.  I wish I’d read it before I spent the last few months in the States, as I could’ve looked out for more weathered yet untired faces on locals.

And from the introduction to the story in my book ‘Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural’, this memorable tidbit;

“…we are told in The Readers Digest, about American soldiers in England, who say to the girls they have just met: “Lets get hot, Dot.  Let’s show ’em how to cook with both burners” and “Pucker up your lips, Gorgeous; I’m coming in on the beam”…”

I am fully disappointed no Americans spoke to me like this the entire two months I was there, so I did a quick sketch of the type of American man who might show people how to cook with both burners instead…

 

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