COMPANY OF STRANGERS by Anthony Heckstall-Smith


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Anthony Heckstall-Smith met the Gerts casually, over a drink in Florence; Peter Gert, fat, flashy, and an acknowledged homosexual; Clari, his mother; and Jupie, his father, a ""banker"" of more charm, cultivation and a great deal of energy. They again met in London where the writer, in something of a financial lowspot, accepted their invitation to join them in Canada and later to join father and son in their ""broking business"", selling oil stocks in Canada and later putting a new product on the market back in England. Over and above the doubtful character of his associates, a visit from the Fraud Squad of Scotland Yard should have confirmed his first ""premonition"", but Heckstall-Smith went on with the collaboration long enough to get in debt, to face trial and to serve a year's sentence while the Gerts left the country for Jamaica where they are now residing. Mr. Heckstall-Smith's sorry, cautionary tale has natural points of human interest and fallibility- but his written idea of spoken broken English (""Vhen you haf taken the dinner mit me""), a feature of a greater part of the dialogue, is unfortunate too.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1960
Publisher: Coward-McCann