Funny way to start a blog, natch, but then Hapless Russell is a funny lad and he is very much on my mind, of late.
He was only ever meant to be a minor walk-on character, was our Hapless, a prissy little minor bureaucrat, but I find myself wanting to make things come out all right for him in the end. The more I know about him, the more I pity him – a junior officer in Hampden’s Greencoats, invalided out and on the scrapheap at twenty-one after Edgehill… I’m not surprised he goes a little bit off the rails. It’s a silly thing, but I had to write this short story, because I had to know – I have to piece together just what it is about Russell that makes him tick, because he’s not for telling, bless him. There are some characters who will just cosy up and tell you everything – Luce Pettitt, for instance, has no secrets at all. (And Captain Venning is an incurable gossip, but that’s a whole other barrel of salt fish.)
Someone (lawks! a real live reader an’ everything!) asked me yesterday if the young man who is plagued/comforted – delete as appropriate – on the field after Edgehill by Luce in “Red Horse”, is in fact Russell.
And I had to think about that, because I hadn’t meant it to be Hapless, but…
Well, the definitive answer, is that it isn’t…. but that it’s someone else’s Hapless.
So. There it is. Hello, welcome to the world of 1642, just come on in and meet Hapless, he’s not always been a bipolar, whackjob Puritan with suicidal tendencies and a drink problem. The boy is simply not temperamentally inclined towards moderation….
Hapless Russell is Unbreakable. I imagine it will be the first of many free Russell stories.
Happy New Year.