Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Septimus and the Magician, A Fable: Part 2

fter the show, Signor Mortiz, followed by Septimus and the monkey, found the dressing room of his impostor. There was a bowl of fruit, a bottle of spirits, and the man's street clothes and overcoat. He noticed a banana in the bowl and handed it to the monkey who climbed into the one good chair and deftly peeled the fruit and consumed it with a swiftness that made Mortiz momentarily think of how expensive a monkey would be as a pet. Septimus looked at the monkey and then at Signor Mortiz with a tinge of sadness in his expression, so Mortiz located the food his impostor had been feeding Septimus and he was soon crouched over his bowl, his attention slightly agitated by the strange antics of this long-armed creature sitting where the impostor used to sit.

Mortiz lit a cheroot and began to inspect the clothes, threadbare and worn at the edges, but tailored of very high quality materials. He discovered a number of folded papers, letters and cards in a pocket, and squinting at one of the calling cards through the smoke trailing up to his eyes, he coughed as he read the name: William McGlaughlin Esq. Turning to the monkey who was by now showing his teeth and grabbing his big toe with much glee, Signor Mortiz bent down and looked into the face of the monkey and a depressing weight of recognition washed over him, for he could see his father's eyes. He had not recognized his father on stage what with the fake beard, heavy make-up, wig and top hat worn to resemble the real Signor Mortiz, his son. The question as to whether his father had recognized him as he mounted the stage was the question that began to dominate his thoughts.

Signor Mortiz sat heavily upon a three-legged footstool and looked at the folded papers, letters and cards. The papers were mostly unpaid bills and letters demanding payments for various amenities. The calling cards were of two varieties, one in his father's name and one in the name of Signor Mortiz. His eyes read "Senior" Mortiz, and he let them drop to the dusty floor. . . .

No comments: