Cosas Que Leo #12: THE WAPSHOT SCANDAL, John Cheever

Wapshot

“Among guests was Shakespearean actress. Lottie Beauchamp. Pronounced Beecham. Played supporting roles with Farquarson Grant Stratford and Avon Shakespearean Co. Traveled with own bed-linen, silver, jams and jellies. Mlle. Beauchamp as she was then known to writer appeared at desk late in evening with sad tale. Had lost pearl necklace on beach. Remembered where she had left it but was reluctant to venture on dark shore alone. Writer accompanied star-boarder on search. Mild night. Moon, stars, etc. Gentle swell. Found necklace on stone in sheltered cove. Admired scenery, warmth of night air, moon riding in west. Mlle. Beauchamp breathing heavily. Pleasant hour ensued. Writer dozed off. Woke to find famous Thespian jumping up and down in moonlight, holding breasts to keep from jouncing. Moon madness? What are you doing? Well, you don’t want me to have a child do you? says she. Jumped up and down. Never experienced such behavior before or since. Seemed to work.

Lottie Beauchamp was 5’6”. 117 lbs. Age unknown. Paine’s Celery Compound Complexion. Light brown hair. Would be called blonde nowadays. Excellent but excessive topside structure by modern standards. Golden voice. Could raise your hackles, also bring tears to every eye. Noticeable English accent but not foreign sounding or in other way unpleasant. Fastidious nature. Traveled with own bed-linen as noted above. Hot house flowers in bedroom. Spoke however of humble beginnings. Daughter of a Leeds mill worker. Mother was drunkard. Familiar with cold, hunger, poverty, destitution, etc., in childhood. A dungheap rose. Enjoyed ample stock of artistic temperament. Very volatile. Complained liberally to management about lack of hot water and lumpiness of bed but was always gracious to servants. Sometimes repented of life as actress. All mummery and sham. Needed tenderness. Writer happy to accommodate. No question of wrong-doing or so it semed.”

The Wapshot Scandal

JOHN CHEEVER

(Harper Perennial 2003, con prólogo de Dave Eggers; publicado por primera vez en 1959; publicado en España como El escándalo de los Wapshot, RBA, y como Los Wapshot, Debolsillo, en volúmen doble junto a La crónica de los Wapshot)

302 págs.