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Influenza Strikes Swanson

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Influenza Strikes Swanson

Post by Karen on Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 14:32

IN THE SMOKING ROOM.
BY BARRY PAIN.

"I think," said the Eminent Person, "that the evening papers ought to hesitate before they publish such statements as these, which come among the news of the influenza epidemic. Listen, please: - "The Public Prosecutor (the Hon. Hamilton Cuffe), Mr. Angus Lewis, and practically all the staff of the Criminal Department of the Treasury are down with the malady. Inspector Swanson and various other officers at Scotland Yard are also suffering from it, as are many men of the out-lying divisions."
"Quite so," said the Journalist, "it certainly reads like a neatly-worded, courteous invitation to burglary and other forms of crime."
"Our only consolation is," said the Eminent Person, "that in all probability Messrs. Fagin and Sykes are just as ill from the very same complaint. When the mice are all far too sick to play; it doesn't much matter where the cat is."
"It seems a pity we can't have rather a newer disease," said the Ordinary Man. "I'm not one of the light-minded persons that are always crying out for change and novelty, but I've had the influenza three times, and I think it might stop at that."
"And I've never had it at all," said the Mere Boy, tragically. "There's one law for the rich and another the poor, and no justice anywhere."
"And the worst of it is," the Ordinary Man went on, "that the disease has become so common now that the sympathy for those who suffer from it is all used up. It's of no sort of use to tell a man that you've got the influenza; either he takes no notice at all, or he seems to think it rather comic. It isn't worth having, and I can't think why so many people have got it. I suppose it's just snobbery - because of the lists of Distinguished Patients in the paper."

Source: Black and White, March 2, 1895, Page 274

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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