15 Jul

Snake bite worse than its bark

Today’s title*

Girls’ Interests: The Vereston Annuals series

D.L.M.S., London, 1937

The front cover shows two cherry cheeked clean young ladies in pith helmets, bright and appropriate simple dresses, white stockings and shoes on holiday in a Middle Eastern bazaar, guardedly curious about the play of a dark but twinkle-eyed snake charmer and his swaying cobra. Their backup is a gent in casual naval officer’s whites old enough to be their father. Everyone in the bazaar, merchants, customers, mystery woman on the cover spine, is watching them.

The girl on the right, who is being held slightly back by her companion, will grow up to become the magician’s assistant. The snake charmer will help her escape from kidnappers and teach her what he knows about magic and illusion while they are trapped in a cave during a sandstorm. (See the other entries tagged “Title a Day” for the magician reference.)

*From the book of eye opening titles, Scouts in Bondage and other violations of literary propriety, ed. Michael Bell.