SANDY: Hello, Mr. Horne. What brings you trolling in here?

HORNE: I've written a book and I thought you might be interested in it.

JULIAN: What's it called?

HORNE: The Life Cycle Of The Water Vole.

SANDY: It don't strike me as being particularly racy, offhand. Still, maybe we can do something with it. Let's have a vada. Hmm - it's a bit dull, isn't it?

HORNE: Well, not much happens to a water vole.

SANDY: Well, you have to make it happen. Look at your description of the hero - I quote: ‘A small grey furry creature'. How is your reader going to identify with that? You want to make him big and butch, with bulging biceps, his shin slashed open to his waist, and an unruly lock of tousled hair falling over his bronzed forehead.

JULIAN: And you don't call him `the water vole` - you have to personalize. Give him a name - like Rock or Tab or Dorian.

SANDY: And you have to dramatize it - `Who was this water vole Nobody knew where he came from, but nothing was ever the same after he'd been there - women desired him -

HORNE: What? A water vole?

JULIAN: You have to have a bit of sex in it - something like- this is just off the top of me head - `Dorian's hot muzzle pressed against her furry cheek."You're my kind of water vole," he murmured.'

SANDY: `They tumbled back, panting onto the river bed. Her firm young haunches strained against the madras cotton of her blouse."Have there been others?" Dorian murmured. "There was a field mouse once," she replied,"but it was never like this." ' You get the idea, then? What we want is four hundred pages of passionate water voles slaking their animal desires. 'Course, you'll have to change the title.

JULIAN: Yes. We'll call it - Vole Flanders, The Story of an Eighteenth-Century Water Slut.

SANDY Fantabulosa!!


JULIAN: It got printed in the end, but of course it never got into the best-seller list. As a matter of fact, it was remaindered on the day of publication but by then Sandy and me had moved on. We'd gone into the film business. We had a little lattie up an alley off Wardour Street. We called ourselves Bona Prods., and you wouldn't credit it but before wc had time to turn round, that Mr. Horne had turned up again. Actually, we were pleased to see him as things had been a bit slack after our film Motor Cycle Au Pair Boy got panned by the critics. It starred our friend Gordon, and I thought he took his part lovely but you know how the film business is. If you haven’t got Michael Caine in it you're done for. So, when Mr. Horne appeared on our half-landing that day, Sandy and me was more than happy to show him round and tell him of our hopes and desires - well, some of them. Sandy went straight to thc point.


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