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A True Story, Really
by Marvin Pinkis

Cynthia Hockenleffer stared into the i's of her dictionary, anxious to get on to the j's. Easily bored, she decided to look into the eyes of Horace Hockenleffer, her husband's step-brother from a former parent. Horace basked in his reputation as a neer-do-well, as if obsessive gambling and carousing and a life devoted to dissipation made for shiftlessness.

Horace appeared charmed by his step-sister-in-law, she of the golden locks and luxuriant black hair. She, in turn, was captivated by his plain looks, constant sneer and lascivious leers although she did not know what "leers" were.

She turned quickly when he advanced in her direction and tossed her pretty head, a little too vigorously, as it landed on the other side of the room. Always the cavalier, Horace stopped pawing Cynthia while she retrieved it but resumed the petting upon her return.

"Horace has never mentioned you, Godfrey," mentioned Cynthia.

"Godfrey is your husband. I'm Horace," was his sharp rejoinder.

"Silly me. I couldn't tell a brother-in-law if someone hit me with one."

"Step brother-in-law. The servants, particularly that little doll of a downstairs maid, Dolly Dalliance, allege that you and that brother of mine haven't engaged in sexual union since your nuptials."

Cynthia did know what "nuptial" was, but decided to play along. "That's true. Nor have we bedded since our wedding."

Horace said, "Well, then, a looker like you oughta have some fun." Nudge, nudge.

Intrigued by his coarse talk, Cynthia asked, "Whatcha got in mind?"

He replied, "Do you like things, uh, excuse the expression, equestrian."

"Is that like street signs that say 'Equestrians have the right of way?' But I do adore horses. Got any?"

"Yes, actually. I own a brace."

"Bad teeth, huh? Doesn't show."

"I'm referring to horses."

"Grays, I hope."

"I'm not sure. It's always dark when I take them out."

Cynthia chirped, "No matter. Let's get outta dis joint. I think we can make beautiful music together."

"Can I bring the horses?"

Their departure made Cynthia the fifth wife who had left Godfrey who simply chalked it up to coincidence and returned to his acclaimed collection of album mounts and hinges from countries the world over.