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Old 04-24-2009, 03:32 PM   #1
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Post Pemberton, Max: The Man who Drove the Car v1 24 apr 2009

Sir Max Pemberton (1863-1950) was a popular British novelist, working mainly in the adventure and mystery genres. He was educated at St Albans School, Merchant Taylors' School, and Caius College, Cambridge. A clubman, journalist and dandy (Lord Northcliffe admired his 'fancy vests'), he frequented both Fleet Street and The Savage Club.

Pemberton was the editor of boys' magazine Chums during its heyday. Between 1896 and 1906, he also edited Cassell's Magazine, in which capacity he published the early works of Austin Freeman, William Le Queux and Bertram Fletcher Robinson.

His most famous work The Iron Pirate was a bestseller during the early 1890s and it launched his prolific writing career. It was the story of a great gas-driven iron-clad, which could outpace the navies of the world and terrorized the Atlantic Ocean. Other notable works included The Wheels of Anarchy (1908) and Captain Black (1911).

In 1920, Pemberton founded the London School of Journalism, wrote a biography about Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe and was knighted.

Quote:
They say that every man should have a master, but, for my part, I prefer a mistress. Give me a nice young woman with plenty of money in her pocket, and a bit of taste for seeing life, and I'll leave you all the prying "amatoors" that ever sniffed about a gear-box without knowing what was inside that same.

I have driven plenty of pretty girls in my life; but I don't know that the prettiest wasn't Fauny Dartel, of the Apollo. This story isn't about her—except in a way—so it doesn't much matter; but when I first knew Fauny she was getting thirty bob a week in "The Boys of Boulogne," and, as she paid me three pound ten every Saturday, and the car cost her some four hundred per annum to run, she must have been of a saving disposition. Certainly a better mistress no man wants—not Lal Britten, which is yours truly. I drove her for five months, and never had a word with her. Then a man, who said he was a bailiff, came and took her car away, and there was no money for me on the Saturday. So I suppose she married into the peerage.

My story isn't about Fauny Dartel, though it's got to do with her. It's about a man who didn't know who he was—at least, he said so—and couldn't tell you why he did it. We picked him up outside the Carlton Hotel, Fauny and me, three nights before "The Boys of Boulogne" went into the country, and "The Girls" from some other shop took their place. She was going to sup with her brother, I remember—astonishing how many brothers she had, too—and I was to return to the mews off Lancaster Gate, when, just as I had set her down and was about to drive away, up comes a jolly-looking man in a fine fur coat and an opera hat, and asks me if I was a taxi. Lord, how I stared at him!

"Taxi yourself," says I, "and what asylum have you escaped out of?"

"Oh, come, come," says he, "don't be huffy. I only wanted to go as far as Portman Square."

"Then call a furniture van," says I, "and perhaps they'll get you aboard."
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