My dear readers, you will recall our last episode wherein your humble servant was cast out from the pages of Judy. I ask you, is it fair to tease a fellow with a taste of fame and fortune only to cast him aside when he is no longer wanted? It was back to the shadowed streets of Whitechapel for A. Sloper, to eke out a living in the best ways he knew how.
“But”, I hear you ask, “are you one to give up so easily?” No I was not, Ladies and Gentlemen, I took to loitering around the whereabouts of the Judy Offices in the hope of an encounter with the ever young and lovely Judy herself, to plead my case, as much as a miserable pleader like myself ever could. Alas, this was not to be but I did run into another young and lovely, one who was new to the offices, by the name of Isabelle Émilie de Tessier. As she was of the French persuasion I showed her my Entente Cordiale and, although the sparkle in her eyes told me she was charmed by my good looks and fine demeanour, she told me that, regrettably, she was promised to another. When I enquired as to who this blighter was that she was to marry I found it was only the very same Charles H. Ross who had treated me so unfairly, the very one who had put me into the pages of Judy and then cruelly cast me out again.
So, with a hanging head and a heavy heart, your friend Sloper trudged his way back to the shadows of obscurity, never to become that heroic literary figure we would expect.
But wait… what is this? An edition of Judy appears, one year and a half after my last appearance, and that Miss Tessier, under the nom-de-plume of Marie Duval, published this in its pages. Those that know me well will know I am known for two things, two things which undeniably say Alexander Sloper… my handsome physiognomy and my ready wit, you say? Bless you, but I was thinking more of a physical representation… of course, my brolly and my hat.
Now look at that picture and tell me I was not on the young Miss Duval’s mind when she drew this illustration for the tale of the lovelorn.
I shall not mention the nose, which I feel is a grand injustice!