Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Captain Murderer

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

adapted by George Harland 1986
pictures by Rowan Barnes-Murphy

This macabre story is better suited to a Halloween post. Apparently Charles Dickens' nurse used to tell him bedtime stories when he was a little boy. I can't even imagine falling asleep to this one! I've never read the original, here it's adapted by George Harland. And Rowan Barnes-Murphy's pictures keep the Captain comical looking, in spite of how gruesome he is.

Captain Murderer is accepted in the best society, where he picks out pretty young women to marry. But after their wedding he asks them to bake a pie crust which he then fills with their decapitated, chopped up body parts (I should have warned you how gory it is). When he woos a pair of sisters, he finally meets his demise (though not at all how Madeleine and I expected).

Captain Murderer!  He must have been an offshoot of the Bluebeard family, though I had no idea of that relationship in those days.  Captain Murderer's mission in life was matrimony and the gratification of a cannibal appetite with tender young brides...

He would take out a golden rolling pin and a silver pie board.  Now, there was this special feature about the Captain's courtships, dear.  He would always ask if the young lady could make pie crust.

The lovely young bride saw this, dear, and she said, "Dear Captain Murderer, what is this pie to be?"
"A meat pie!"
"But dear Captain Murderer, I see no meat."
"Look in the mirror!"

1 comment:

  1. Woah - this looks fantastic and reminds me of a weird Mark Twain book we picked up somewhere in our travels - I cannot wait to unpack our boxes on our new shelves. Book after book comes to mind now that they are boxed away...