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The Pretty Lady Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 3

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He asked the lady in the train

If he might smoke: she smiled consent.

So lighting his cigar and fain

To talk he puffed away content,

Reflecting: how delightful are

               Fair dame and fine cigar.

Then from his bulging wallet he

A photograph with pride displayed,

His charming wife and children three,

When suddenly he was dismayed

To hear her say: 'These notes you've got,--

               I want the lot.'

He scarcely could believe his ears.

He laughed: 'The money isn't mine.

To pay it back would take me years,

And so politely I decline.

Madame, I think you speak in fun:

               Have you a gun?'

She smiled. 'No weapon have I got,

Only my virtue, but I swear

If you don't hand me out the lot

I'll rip my blouse, let down my hair,

Denounce you as a fiend accurst . . .'

               He told her: 'Do your worst.'

She did. Her silken gown she tore,

Let down her locks and pulled the cord

That stopped the train, and from the floor

She greeted engineer and guard:

'I fought and fought in vain,' she cried.

               'Save me,--I'm terrified!'

The man was calm; he stood aloof.

Said he: 'Her game you understand;

But if you doubt, behold the proof

Of innocence is in my hand.'

And as they stared into the car

They saw his logic in a flash . . .

Aloft he held a lit cigar

               With two inches of ash.


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