Special Sub-Topic: Monty Egg and His Rhyming Couplets
|Who is Montague (Monty) Egg a travelling representative for?|
Plummet & Rose, Wines and Spirits. Monty travels the country selling fine wines and spirits (and getting involved in mysteries which he invariably helps to solve). The incorrect answers are or were real or fictional British stores.
|Where do Monty Egg's famous rhyming couplets come from?|
The Salesman's Handbook. "Palgrave's Golden Treasury" is a fine book of poetry - somehow I can't see the doggerel Monty spouts getting in! I wonder if modern salesmen have this sort of thing?
|In the story 'The Poisoned Dow '08', Monty realises the butler is the murderer when calls Monty "sir", instead of telling him to go to the back door as he did on his last visit. What word or words finish this couplet that Monty quotes? 'Whether you're wrong or whether you're right, it's always better to be ______' |
polite. The last time Monty had called the butler had addressed him as "young fellow". As Monty says, "a bad policy".
|From the story 'Sleuths on the Scent', what word or words begins this rhyming couplet? '_____ to learn means ready to earn'|
Ready. I know, dreadful. But this story does contain an interesting way of opening a perfume bottle to try scent - hitching the stopper out with your little finger, pouring a drop of perfume into your other palm and replacing the stopper in one movement. Try it yourself - you'll look like a professional!
|In 'Murder in the Morning' Monty is warned by a fellow traveller that he'll be wasting his time. His reply?|
Don't let the smallest chance slip by; you never know until you try. I'm afraid the other three examples of hideous cheerfulness come from my own (warped) mind.
|What word is missing from this couplet, quoted in 'Death in the morning'? 'A ________ voice and ________ look put orders in the order book'.|
Cheerful. He is so relentlessly upbeat! Personally, a constantly grinning salesman would put me right off..
|What word is missing from the following couplet, from 'Death in the Morning', when Monty has revealed his brainwave about the garage clock? 'The ________ who will use his brains will spare himself a world of pains'|
salesman. What else would you expect from 'The Salesman's Handbook'?
|In the story 'One too Many' what, according to 'The Salesman's Handbook', 'may well give the buyer pause'?|
bitten nails and grubby claws. The other side of this is, of course (!) 'Well-kept hands that please the sight seize the trade and hold it tight'. Monty, naturally, has well-kept hands.
|In 'Murder at Pentecost', Monty learns something that (of course) makes him make up a rhyming couplet. Rather than inflict another one on you, I'll ask you what he learned.|
Not to call an undergraduate an undergrad. Apparently to do this makes one sound like a commercial traveller - obviously a sensitive point with Monty! The three wrong answers are also heinous crimes in Society's eyes. The couplet Monty made up (you didn't think you'd escape it?): 'To call an Oxford man an undergrad proclaims you an outsider and a cad'.
|For once, in 'Murder at Pentecost', neither 'The Salesman's Handbook' nor Monty are responsible for this couplet: "To call the university the 'varsity is out of date, if not precisely narsity". Who is?|
Radcott. At least he apologised for the rhyme! Of the wrong answers, Flathers is a character in the story and the other two are murderer and victim. You'll have to read the story to find out which is which.
|What word is missing from this couplet, that Monty professes to admire very much, in 'Murder at Pentecost'? '__________ plays a major part in making up the salesman's art'|
Discretion. It finishes up 'for truths that no one can believe are calculated to deceive'. Monty thinks that's rather subtle - I think it's nearly incomprehensible!
|In 'Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz', what makes Monty recite this? 'It's hard to reassure, persuade or charm the customer who once has felt alarm'|
A cat up a tree. Monty rescues the cat and it goes on to save itself from death in this tale, which is actually quite chilling.
|What colour was Maher-shalal-hashbaz?|
Ginger. The evil Mr. Doe tries to offer less because of the colour but our hero Monty is having none of it!
|After discovering what John Doe had done with the animals, but with no proof of murder, does Monty decide to do something?|
Yes. He doesn't know if the crime was murder, but he is determined to find out and get John Doe tried, if possible.
|What is the first and last aphorism in 'The Salesman's Handbook', which can really apply to Monty's life?|
To Serve the Public is the aim Of every salesman worth the name. I hope I haven't put anyone off the stories. Although the couplets sound dreadful out of place (and hasn't writing this made me realise how dreadful!), Monty Egg is an engaging detective, and some of the crimes ingenious.
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