I can’t believe it’s been over a month since we last visited with each other, dear reader. Especially since I found the following gem RIGHT AFTER reading Garden of Shadows.
“He Suspected the Worst,” from Volume 2 of All Romances. The year is 1949, and this is the second story in the magazine.
We open with a girl standing on a broken bridge, rescued by a handsome youth with an unfortunate-looking jacket. Once on safer ground, the girl introduces herself in an odd way:
Not, “Hi, I’m your step-sister, Leslie?” Not that it matters, as our young man is suddenly obnoxious, calling Leslie’s mother a gold-digger, but not exactly in those terms. “Uncle Jim,” as Leslie calls him, is determined for the two young people to be friends.
Ross is being a bit intimate with his second cousin, Mavis, when he discovers Leslie kind of spying on them. Then this happens:
“I also forgot that Ross was my STEP-BROTHER.”
Ross decides to leave and head for New York, because he knows where he’s not wanted; he’s going to go with Mavis and Friends to the West Indies, because that’s where winners and not-gold-diggers go! (And this time, he actually does say “gold-digger.”)
Leslie is sad that Ross is going away, because feelings, I guess. And then “Uncle” Jim makes up his will, but her mother and Leslie are not privy to his decisions.
Jim kicks the bucket soon enough, and Ross is all “I’m’a kick you outta this house because I’m the king now” or some shit, but in reality, Jim left everything but $10k to his wifey. Ross also has to stay at the house for the next two years if he wants the dough to which he is entitled. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but according to the inflation calculator (love that thing, especially when looking at old prices in magazines), it’s equivalent to ~$100k today. Cha-ching! Of course, Ross doesn’t believe that his step-family were ignorant of the changes to the will, so he is pouty and goes to his rooms.
He starts insulting Leslie about the gardening, and then Mavis shows up again. Mavis essentially invites herself to the house, and then is insolent and lazy, not to mention a bitch. Ross piles on about the girls duping his father out of his money, and maybe even murdering him. After the spat, Ross leaves and then Mavis goes out for a walk. Down by the water, where the suspension bridge is out!
Mavis is in trouble and Ross dives right in to save her, which nearly kills the both of them. Until Leslie and her canoe save the day.
So, is Mavis grateful when she comes to? Of course not! She tries to spin another story, this time about Leslie trying to kill her. Ross has finally had enough of it, but before he can say anything else, Leslie faints from all of the exertion.
Which is the 1940s version of:
And now, for the squicky conclusion!
What in the . . . WHAT??
Ladies, if the man you love is a close relation, SHUT IT DOWN.