Christmas morning, I had a surprise.
As the day approached, Tam had been chortling over her gift choice with more than her usual vigor; this should've clued me but I was largely oblivious other than making up my mind that whatever it was, I was going to treat it as the Greatest. Gift. Evar.
Oh, me of little faith.
Comes the day, Tam traipsed downstairs from her attic lair carrying what appeared to be -- and was -- an old-fashioned wooden "lap desk" or secretary -- a very handy item, once used on tabletops as often as laps.
"Open it," she urged.
Inside, under the front flap, that was an ad for a classic top-break revolver and a certificate attesting that it was an original, clipped right right out of a 1909 back number of Argosy (a fiction pulp back then). Kewler!
The front flap merely completes the slant of the top of the gadget down to the surface it sits on; there's another lid under it, which forms the upper portion of the writing surface. "Open it the rest of the way," Tam told me.
I lifted up the lid and there was....this:
Tam was right to be gleeful. It was a perfect choice. Thank you, Lodger!
* Lighter and less filling than your regular .32 and yet -- still quite, quite ouchy. Handle with care!
CHICAGO RAILROAD FAIR, 1948
2 days ago