Start Reading

Two Crude Dames and Horace Catchpole

133 pages1 hour


Horace Catchpole is an only son who was brought up in a single-parent family in Wigan. He is 28-years-old and still lives in the same house as he has always lived with his mother, Melissa. Melissa is a woman who dislikes her son intensely and is cruel and greedy in disposition. She has always ill-treated Horace and has reared and treated him far worse than any other Cinderella ever experienced at the hands of a tyrannical mother-figure. While the frugal Melissa lives well herself, she does so at the expense of making other economies in her life where Horace is concerned. Horace is clothed in rags and ill-fitting garments and is forced to eat scraps and left-overs. He sleeps on a bed without sheets and in a dark room. All of his day is devoted to fetching, cleaning, washing, cooking, ironing and slaving for his mother. Along with his fair share of daily beatings, Horace’s life is very unhappy and without any sense of meaning. His mother has controlled him totally since he was born and ruled him with an iron hand that he is no longer able to think for himself and comes across as an apology for a creature; a wimp of a man.

Then the day comes when his mother sells him to another woman who wants to marry a submissive man who will carry out her will without question. Horace marries Mildred Savage, a twice-married twice- widowed woman whose monstrous personality and cruel and greedy character traits matches those of Horace’s mother.

Horace fares no better under his monstrous wife than he did under his mother. Then, in order to save money, both women propose that all three of them live together. With two matriarchal monsters in the house giving out their orders to Horace, his life remains as bad if not worse than before.

Initially, the two monstrous women feign false compliments and friendship in order to wheedle themselves into each other's confidences in the hope that they can discover where each keeps their savings so they can rob them. Eventually, they find that they are unable to keep up their pretence and household hostilities break out with the hapless Horace in the middle. They eventually decide to kill each other and doom beckons until Horace finds his courage and the worm begins to turn.

Horace Catchpole and Two Crude Dames is one of my most favourite stories. It gave me enormous pleasure to write and it is suitable for any reader from twelve to adulthood. It is set in Wigan in the early 1960’s. The two monstrous women in Horace’s life are a composite of every horrible and obnoxious woman that any man has ever come across. Imagine the worse kind of mother a chap could possibly have and the worse type of wife he could ever marry and then imagine trying to live under the same roof with each monstrous giving out their contradictory orders. That is what Horace Catchpole had to tolerate.

Read on the Scribd mobile app

Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.