Constance Savery: Unpublished Stories CWS

Savery's Unpublished Stories

When Savery submitted a story to a publisher, she kept a careful record of where it had gone and when, and she retained a carbon copy in case the original was not returned. She did not discard the carbons when stories were accepted, because there was often a market for them later, overseas or in anthologies. This was fortunate, because these carbons allowed me to read and annotate published stories when I could not locate the original publications, a particular problem with stories were submitted to periodicals. The manuscripts, for stories published and for stories unpublished, are in the Knight Library at the University of Oregon. Some documents bear dates of submission. For the most part, dates of composition are from the author's work diary. I only have the submission records from 1938 onward.

Another Blue Day. Feb. 28, 1955.

Although the manuscript is lost, Savery provided a synopsis of what she intended to submit to the Lutterworth Press in a letter dated Feb. 22, 1955:
...5 yr. old Peggy wakes singing "See here hath been dawning / Another blue day." She asks Mummy what "Slip useless away" means. The mother answers that it is a day on which we do not try to "see (Christ) more clearly, love Him more dearly, follow Him more nearly." Then follows an account of the child's day, in which she has opportunities of seeing, loving, and following. The story ends with Peggy saying her evening hymn, "Now the day is over," and adding, "But to-morrow will be another blue day."
Lutterworth did not accept the story. When it was declined by Blandford Press that June, the editor liked the story very much and thought it helpful and well-told, but found the setting a trifle fanciful and felt the "blue" analogy was carried a little too far.

Aunt Mandy's House. July 20, 1934, 10 pp, double-spaced, typed.

I like this unassuming story and am mildly surprised that no editor did, despite repeated submissions through 1953
The six young Pipers are delighted to receive an invitation to spend a week at Aunt Mandy's house by the sea and doubly delighted when Mr. and Mrs. Piper let them make the trip on their own. The children arrive by train at dusk, and begin looking for the house. They know the road, but not its name or number; consequently, they seek a building that is dark into which their key will fit. They pass an empty cottage without stopping, because Aunt Mandy is too rich for such a small house. When a large building looms up, and the door yields to their key, they are delighted.
Such a house! There are coats of armor, marble floors, shields, and even statues. Nervous about being alone, all six sleep in a bed with a brass plate saying "Queen Elizabeth slept in this bed." Unused to such weight, the rope and canvas supports sag and sag until the mattress is on the ground, but the children sleep on.
The children buy milk and eggs from a local farmer, shop occasionally in the village, and have a wonderful week. After their return, Aunt Mandy writes expressing her pleasure that the six children left her house in as perfect order as she herself could have done.

The Awful Room. Jan. 4, 1934, 12 pp, double-spaced, typed.

This scary story for children aged nine to twelve maintains interest from beginning to end. My manuscript has a small number of neat corrections. It wasn't published, but it should have been.
The Awful Room in the house of Mary, Max, and Margaret is forbidden. Years ago, Old Nurse tells them, a naughty little girl disappeared into a bottomless pit there, and the same might happen to them. Daddy calls the story nonsense, but when their highly superior cousin James arrives, they put the question to him.
While the adults are gone, James proposes an investigation. At the cost of a lost screwdriver and a shelf of broken jam-pots, they pry up some boards to find a dark hole underneath. The younger children propose stopping and putting the room to rights, but James sends them off to the store for long nails and locks the door on them. When they return, James does not answer their calls, and when they enter through a window, James is gone. There is an entirely satisfactory conclusion.

The Blind Spinner. Fall 1973, 13 pp, double-spaced, typed.

There are one or two trivial handwritten corrections, but no indications of date or where this story was submitted. A John Wesley account in the ARMINIAN MAGAZINE furnished background material. Well told and compelling, the tale is grim, totally uncharacteristic of its author.
It is 1681. A blind spinner terrifies Mary with tales of witchcraft in Mohra, a village only six miles from her children's school. Nils and Ingrid were sent there to escape the evil influence of their cousins, whose mother is "a troll-woman of high standing in the witch world." Anders, Mary's husband, appears at the window, and she rushes outside to find her worst fears confirmed. Her children have been arrested and condemned to death as companions of witches!
Unable to think of any alternative, Mary follows Anders to his sister's house, where the witch promises to use her powers to transport Nils and Ingrid to a ditch near a ship that will take the family to safety in England, and she provides a sleeping potion to drug the spinner while they slip away.
There is no happy ending. Never trust a witch!

Charlotte Gives a Party. Begun the last quarter of 1926, 20 pp, double-spaced, typed.

As she was leaving, Grandmother gave her a pound to spend any way she liked, and Charlotte was planning a party. Isabel, who could not stop her, but would certainly report to Grandmother, warned Charlotte that she might be disinherited like Mr. William, but when Isabel left, Charlotte went on with her preparations.
Then Bill came. Even thinner than usual and wretchedly clothed, he refused money, and he refused food, saying that he only wanted to see Charlotte. She considered inviting him to the party--he was so good at games--but he would look odd in his father's old-fashioned clothes, and Isabel would carry tales. She was glad he had come and wished he would go.
Bill went out into the cold night. The party was a success. Grandmother arrived unexpectedly, but she was pleased with her vivacious granddaughter and thought more parties would be well, so there were more parties. Without Bill.
The cover sheet to the manuscript bears two notes in Savery's handwriting. The first says: "Unpublished. No use." The second reads: "Unpublished 1979 (and never likely to be!)." True enough.

The Christmas Weather-Birds. January 1963, 16 pp, double-spaced, typed.

The episodic nature of The Christmas Weather-Birds is reminiscent of Savery's Services of Song, two of which also celebrated Christmas. In the spring of 1966, the story was shortened to 3,500 words and retyped. It was last submitted, and returned, in 1972.

Miss Christabel Pringle lives in a bungalow with the Geriatric Hospital across the road and her nephew, Dr. Mark Pringle, in a commodious house behind her. She is aware that she will be living in one place or the other when the bungalow becomes too much for her to manage. Unfortunately, Mark and his wife have disregarded her advice and adopted Chinese refugee twin babies, who are on the point of arrival. Miss Pringle is glacially disapproving when Mark stops to leave a Christmas present, and she explains to a friend that she is not decorating for Christmas this year. Scrooge says, "Bah, Humbug!" Miss Pringle snorts.

Bored and dissatisfied with her gloomy, rainy Christmas Eve, Miss Pringle opens her Christmas gifts and finds that her friends have indulged in Chinese mementos. Annoyed, she opens Mark's gift, four futuristic, pink, glass birds, and places them on her walnut whatnot. Still bored, she changes her mind about decorating, even putting out the many Christmas cards with a Chinese theme. She looks again at her pink birds and stops, bewildered. The birds appear lilac, not pink! Concluding that a trace of indigestion has affected her eyesight, she notes that the weather has cleared and decides a walk will restore her eyesight.

A glimpse of a baby's face as she passes her nephew's window remains with her as she shops. It is a face very like those in her Chinese nativity scenes, and she finds herself unaccountably buying cot blankets, snuggly suits, and educational toys, which she sends off anonymously. Returning home half pleased, she is confronted by glass birds that are now blue! Alarmed, she summons Dr. Mark.

The birds, of course, have responded to the changing weather, and all ends happily.

Don't Make Faces. Aug. 15-16, 1938, 2 pp, double-spaced, typed.

"Sally and Sammy, don't make faces," said Mother Sea-horse. "It's unmannerly."
Rebellious, Sally and Sammy swim off to make faces in a rock pool, where they are captured by sea-anemones. Rescued, they continue their naughty habit. The slight story was retyped in 1957 and 1966, but remained unpublished.

Fairy Disorder. Nov. 9, 1933, 7 pp, double-spaced, typed.

This mildly amusing, but rather slight story has a foregone conclusion. Mary and Phillipa are isolated after a report that their brother has scarlet fever. Resentful of a scolding and cleaning by classmates who didn't like their untidy habits, and anticipating being in quarantine until term's end, the twins decide to show the form what real disorder is. They change the names and marks on a geometry project, rearrange notice boards, edit an algebra test on a chalk board, mix the hats and shoes in the cloakroom and retire in short-lived triumph.

God's Own Field. Oct. 1-15, 1931, 27 pp, double-spaced, typed.

What's in a name? When written, this story was entitled Spinner's Harvest Festival. Both story and title were shortened in 1933 to Spinner's Harvest. In 1937 Savery retyped it as a Service of Song and called it God's Own Field. This is the manuscript that survives. The story version was submitted with several others in 1946 for a collection to be entitled Spinner's Harvest.

When Miss Pinner struggles to the church porch laden with fruit and flowers, she is distressed to overhear voices telling her that after twenty years, someone else has already decorated 'her' window with asters, plums, and a glass bowl full of black grapes; furthermore, insult is added to injury: Miss Pinner's previous windows were "the laughing stock of the parish."

In her garden when Miss Pinner reaches home are Pat and Tony Durling, the smallest and dirtiest members of "a family of unsatisfactory connections by marriage." The aunt and uncle with whom the orphans have been living have sent them on a five-mile walk to ask "Spinner" if she will take them in. Not likely!
She was sure, quite sure, that the Lord was not asking her to sacrifice herself for the sake of a field of wild oats, worthless as dust.
Spinner allows the boys to sit on the garden bench until they have rested enough to walk back to their uncle's. She is busy preparing for her tea with sister Sarah and her husband when Pat peeps around the kitchen door and appeals to her again. "We are good sometimes," he reminds her. When that fails, Pat asks if she would take just Tony. Again refusing, Spinner gives Pat bus fare to take them home, and they go off. It is a sad afternoon for Spinner, who will have no share in harvest joy this autumn.

After tea she looks outside. The boys are back on her bench. Sarah takes charge, telling Spinner that she and her husband will be on the bus after the church service and will see that the boys go, too. When they leave for church, the boys are gone.

During the service, the glass bowl with the grapes falls to the floor. The verger steps forward, seizes a child in each hand and thrusts them into Spinner's pew. There, crouched on the floor, Pat and Tony remain through the benediction. But, for the first time since her window was rejected, Spinner has been on her knees, too, and when Sarah attempts to take the struggling children, Spinner intervenes. The Lord has told her what harvest he expects.

Good Dog Porridge. Feb. 14, 1939, retyped 1942, 5 pp, double-spaced, typed.

Savery submitted this story along with ten or more others on five separate occasions. Sometimes all were returned, and sometimes two or three were sold, but Porridge always came home.
Savery wrote few stories about animals, and preferred cats to dogs when she did so. A naughty puppy is allowed to stay after he thwarts a burglar in a simple, not quite threadbare plot. Neither dog nor the family engages our interest much, but the story is no worse than scores of others published for young children.

Great-Uncle Griffin Comes to Stay. July 14, 1941, 7 pp, double-spaced, typed.

Savery wrote a number of stories about Augustus, the Little Dragon, at least six of which were broadcast by the BBC, and four of which were published in CHILD LIFE. I have no record that this one was either aired or printed.
Mother dragon is pleased that rich Great-Uncle Griffin is coming to stay in their cave, and she suggests that Augustus learn some poetry to recite to him. The recital does not go well, but it is Mr. and Mrs. Dragon's curiosity about his treasure chests that causes Great-Uncle to leave.

The Greedy Gifts. July 24, 1935, last submitted 1945, 4 pp, double-spaced, typed.

Why was this rather likable story unsuccessful? In the first place, it was a Christmas story, so it only had a market one month out of twelve. It was also submitted with other short stories, bringing its own competition with it. The work diary says it was written, along with six others, "between Friday and Wednesday." Three of those were sold eventually, so it was a profitable six days.
Greedy Geoffrey hangs extra stockings with the names of classmates, hoping to fool Father Christmas into thinking there are seven boys in his house. Geoffrey's parents are pleased that their generous son is gathering gifts for friends, so they fill the stockings with small gifts and invite the other boys to come for them on Christmas morning. Nicely plotted, nicely characterized, nicely done!

The Greek Tea-Party. 1935, revised 1941, 6 pp, double-spaced, typed.

The Ionides children had such long names that the other boys and girls simply called them X, Y, and Z. They were newcomers, living in a big house, and Winifred invited herself to come visit. She wanted a Greek tea.
There was a problem. The Ionides family had lived in England for over a hundred years, and Mrs. Ionides was English, so a Greek tea was a new idea, but X, Y, and Z did what they could.
Winifred ate her bread-and-butter, but she declined the leeks, cheese, and barley meal. Y sang strange songs with a lyre accompaniment until her father made her put the lyre away. Out on the yard X and Z had arranged to emulate Hermes shooting an arrow while standing on one foot on a concrete ball next to the pond.
Winifred was taken home soaking wet, and that was the last Greek tea.
I liked the story, but it has a note: "Unpublished."

The Holiday at Tawnysands. July and August of 1955, last submitted 1958, 11 pp, double-spaced, typed.

According to the work diary, this story was written with a Gateway picture book in mind. When Lutterworth returned it, Gallaway asked Savery what she wanted for it, causing her to write "very awkward" in the diary. Later, C.S.S.M. made a vague offer, but nothing came of it.

When Nigel and Betty go to the seashore for the first time in their young lives, their friend Minty lends them a 'Jesus book' that creates a problem when they remove a box of Mummy's to make room in the case. When Mummy unpacks and finds what has happened, the book is locked away. On the wall, they find a sign that says "This is Christ's house," and Nigel wanders about calling "Jesus? Christ?" looking for the owner.

Boats hold a special attraction for the children, and they ride different boats each day until Daddy decides they are becoming too expensive. On the last day, Nigel and Betty are shocked to see a boy tugging on a rope that moors a boat to a stake, but they are too young to interfere. Leaving him, they enter a church to look again for Jesus and are trapped there when the wind blows the door shut. Their frantic parents are alarmed to hear that a boat has been taken from the shore. When the family is reunited, Mummy and Daddy decide they will look for Jesus, too.

The Jewel Children. Before 1946, 27 pp, double-spaced, typed.

This is an allegory in seven parts designed to assist in teaching the Church Catechism. The parts and their subjects are as follows: The White Flower, Baptismal Promises; The Golden Banner, The Creed; The Ten Stepping-Stones, The Ten Commandments; The Four Little Houses, Duty towards God and my Neighbour; The Shining Shield, The Lord's Prayer; The Fountain and the Feast, The Two Sacraments; The Rose-Red Lantern, Repentance and Faith. Each simple story is followed by a picture to paint to illustrate the story.
The Church Book Room Press took a long time to decide they did not want the story, but "The Four Little Houses" was incorporated into The Strawberry Feast.

The Joke. June 2-5, 1975, 9 pp, double-spaced, typed.

From the author's work diary...
Wrote a short story (The Joke) for the Cheltenham Literary Festival competition. As there were 4,000 entries a month before the final date, my poor entry does not stand much chance.!
It did not win, and there is no evidence that she submitted it elsewhere. This is Savery's only "mystery story," not bad for a first effort.

Charles spoke a few friendly words into the phone and told his wife, Sheila, that his brother Geoffrey couldn't make it. Sheila was relieved that she would be spared an evening of wrangling, but it was odd that she thought she had heard a dial tone during the conversation. When she drew the curtains a little later, she noted a small boy wandering about the churchyard as he did most evenings while waiting for his parents' return from the city. Sheila knew his name only because of the mother's frequent shouts of "Come ON, Dicky!" Uncharacteristically, Dicky was enjoying a "portly ham sandwich." A knock at the door summoned Charles to his brother's home, where Geoffrey had been found dead following a fall in his library. He had died shortly after the phone call. After the usual formalities, a verdict of accidental death was returned, and Geoffrey's ashes were scattered over the churchyard. Dicky was often there, as usual, but he no longer munched thick sandwiches.

Dicky was there the evening she walked to the telephone kiosk to report a problem with her phone, and she was surprised when Dicky asked: "Would you like me to play on joke on somebody for you? It's like knocking on a door and running away. You call, but you don't say anything." He went on to explain that he had been buying sandwiches from the twenty-five pence he had been given three weeks before for playing just such a joke. Dicky isn't disappointed when Sheila refuses. He is about to go to a new home "forever and ever" where he will never be hungry again.

Dicky did not remember where the gentlemen went, but he dug out a grubby scrap with a telephone number in her husband's handwriting.
What was the truth? She did not know, she could not ask, and she would never be told. Feverishly she tore the scrap of paper into the minutest possible fragments, and scattered them over the wall to mingle if they would with Geoffrey's ashes. Turning, she went back to the house.

The Joy Bells. Aug. 25-Sep. 2, 1954, 14 pp, double-spaced, typed.

Jim and Joy, who have colds, stay home from church with Granny, who has hurt her leg. After singing a number of hymns at the piano, they stop for honey-balls: honey, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, and a raisin in the middle. Then Granny teaches them a hymn about joy bells:
The gospel bells are ringing,
Over land from sea to sea.
Blessed news of free salvation
Do they offer you and me. [S. Wesley Martin]
When Granny retires for her nap, the children investigate the carved panels of the Sunday cupboard, which have tiny men and women ringing bells. Jim proposes several Sunday activities using items from the cupboard, but Joy is insistent upon ringing joy bells. That seems impossible until they find a box in the cupboard filled with church handbells, which their too-sleepy grandmother says they may use. Out comes Jim's wheelbarrow, and off to the playground they go, where they find ten more boys and girls who know nothing about Jesus, but are all too willing to ring handbells while Jim and Joy sing. Unfortunately, there are too few bells, and a hubbub arises, "running and fighting and screaming and ringing." When the adults come out of church, the children throw down the bells and run off.

The bells are not damaged, but there is dismay that so many children don't know who Jesus is, so Mummy and Daddy agree to ring the joy bells by starting a Sunday School in their home.

The Little Dragon Hunts for Treasure. 1939, 8 pp, double-spaced, typed.

Since Augustus isn't allowed to look at his parents' treasure, he decides to dig for his own, finding onions, wasps, and a dead parrot. Discouraged, Augustus agrees to split the treasure with Mr. Gluffy Dragon if he will show him where to dig. Predictably, the treasure Augustus finds is his father's, who is less than pleased with Mr. Gluffy.
This isn't the best of the Little Dragon tales, and I would be surprised to find that it was ever printed or broadcast.

The Magic Mirror. 1968-1981. 16 pp, double-spaced, typed.

Savery wrote this 61st chapter for the radio serial of Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, which was a production of the BBC program "Book at Bedtime." The producer found the material "quite ingenious," but it was submitted too late for consideration. The rejection is dated Sep. 13, 1968. When Oxford University Press published Wives and Daughters, Savery offered her 61st Chapter to them, but it was returned on Feb. 3, 1981, because the book was to be published without a conclusion.

Monkey-Puzzle Tree. June 1962, 700 words, double-spaced, typescript.

Mike, "a thin little monkey" with a traveling show, works hard for a meagre living, but he isn't happy that a storm has spilled him and the showmen's coconuts at the side of the road, and the van has gone on. He is lost and hungry when he is adopted by the lady with a monkey-puzzle tree on her lawn.
A story in verse, its meter is not always regular, though the rhymes are true. It is no worse than many such printed in magazines for small children. It was retyped in 1962 and 1972.

A New Home for Mike. October 1937, 815 words, double-spaced, typescript.

This is the prose (and superior) version of A Monkey-Puzzle Tree above. The title page has the handwritten entry "Unpublished 1979."

O Rose of June, O Rose. Nov. 2, 1934, shortened in 1939, 5 pp, double-spaced, typescript.

This rather silly story appeals to me, although it does not seem to have appealed to any editor.
When the Lower Fourth was commanded to write a poem, Carol got as far as
O rose of June,
O rose!
Unfortunately, her mother discovered this beginning, and Carol was soon overwhelmed by books of poetry from admiring relatives. Carol put them on a high shelf and learned bookkeeping and stenography. But the lines stood her in good stead when the Kindred Spirits sought a competent accountant-secretary.

Red Thorn, White Thorn. 1955, 10 pp, double-spaced, typed.

When Jill's homework gets too difficult, she summons a parent, preferably her mother, but it is Daddy who comes this time. "We have twenty minutes," she explains, "to write a Christmas Carol, preferably about the Glastonbury Thorn, which flowers at Christmas." Daddy promises to do his best while Jill works on something else. At the end of an hour he has one line: Red Thorn, White Thorn. Jill curiously, had exactly the same result. Inspiration, or lack of it, appears hereditary.
Mr. Martin continues carol-writing all week with no better results. He even organizes a parents meeting to protest unreasonable homework assignments. In the end it is Jill who needs about twenty minutes to complete her carol.
In 1943 Savery wrote an article for HOUSEWIFE about unreasonable and pointless homework. This story is a blast from the same trumpet, but it is somewhat more sympathetic to the teacher.

Sanditon, a chapter. Undated, 5 pp, double-spaced, typed carbon copy.

Attracted by the unfinished Jane Austen novel, Savery wrote this chapter that introduces bathing machines at Sanditon without Lady Denham's approval. There is also a synopsis of the proposed novel. The work diary indicates that Savery wrote an article about Sanditon in the late summer of 1948. I have not seen that article, and there is no other information about it, but chapter and article may be connected. A completion of Sanditon by Marie Dobbs, "Another Lady," was published in 1975. When Savery completed Charlotte Brontë's Emma in 1980, she was "Another Lady" also.

Seven Ivory Balls. June 12, 1935, revised 1955, 11 pp, double-spaced, typed

The manuscript has "Unpublished" written at the top. It is a missionary story, straight and simple, intended for a "missionary booklet."
Fan, a small Chinese boy living in Burma, is given seven nested ivory balls by Mrs. Li, a friend of his mother. On the way home he rolls the smallest ball down a steep hill. It gets away from him, and he runs away from his mother attempting to catch it. At the bottom of the hill it rolls under a gate into a garden.
Not finding the ball in the garden, Fan enters a house there where he hears a hymn and three Bible stories. When the service has ended, the others search and find the smallest ball, Fan is invited back, and older boys take him home.
When Fan's Honourable Grandfather sees the nested balls, he wants to lock them up for safekeeping, but Fan refuses. Over the next few weeks, first Fan, and then his family and their friends begin attending the house at the bottom of the hill. Honourable Grandfather refuses until Fan agrees to give him one of the balls. After seven weeks, all of the balls are gone, but you know the rest of the story.

Seven Sly Shrimps. Aug. 16, 1938, retyped 1968, 2 pp, double-spaced, typed

Like many others, the typescript has "Unpublished" written at the top. A tale for reading aloud to very young children, it describes a tiny jellyfish who is plagued by seven shrimps who eat its food.

Silvergreen's Adventure. 1938, 2 pp, double-spaced, typed.

While Silvergreen, a sand eel, is in a hidey-hole to escape a crab, a boy with a spade captures them both. Cooperating, they escape together. The story was revised and retyped in 1966.

The Sphinx and Richard Brown. 1950, 28 pp, double-spaced, typed.

The manuscript is marked "Unpublished" and has a great many corrections in pencil, many aimed at making it shorter, for submission to the ATLANTIC MONTHLY. "Reconciliation through illness" isn't a very original idea, and there are too many stock situations to make this story more than competent. It was retyped in 1961.
Mrs. Spinks, the Sphinx, is grumpy Richard Brown's grumpy landlady. Few people can stand either, and Richard boards with her only because he has no other choice. When Richard comes down with double pneumonia, the Sphinx puts him in an adjacent room to nurse him back to health. During this time, Richard's seedy uncle Sandy, another grump, comes by to check on him, and the Sphinx discovers from another boarder that Sandy is a very rich man. Richard recovers, and he and the Sphinx are as good friends as is consistent with their disparate ages.
A vamp, whom the Sphinx calls the Serpent, makes a dead run for Richard. She knows about Uncle Sandy, who is now in poor health, and she has Richard completely fooled. The Sphinx is up to the challenge, and in the end, she is almost young enough.

A Spinner's Harvest. Cf. God's Own Field.

A Squirrel for My Own. Summer 1955, 12 pp, double-spaced typescript.

Like The Holiday at Tawnysands, with which it was submitted on three separate occasions, this story was written as a Picture Gateway and was unsuccessful.

Ursula, who adores squirrels, enjoys leaving her London flat to visit her "Squirrel Auntie" in the country where she keeps the frisky creatures in her garden. She likes one squirrel in particular, and she prays to God that she may have Nob for her very own. God answers prayers, doesn't he?
"Always," said Squirrel Auntie. "But He doesn't always say 'Yes'. Sometimes He says 'Wait'... And sometimes God says 'No'."
Having decided that Nob would be unhappy in London, and that God would never answer her selfish prayer, Ursula takes matters into her own hands. During the night, she creeps upstairs into the attic, captures Nob in her work-bag, and returns to bed, where she has a nightmare. When Squirrel Auntie comforts her, she confesses what she has done and is relieved to find that the capture of Nob was only the beginning of the dream that became a nightmare.

Savery's poem, The China Squirrel was incorporated into the story.

A Violet for Christopher. Aug. 1950, revised 1953, manuscript dated 1971, 6 pp, double-spaced typescript.

The cover sheet of the manuscript indicates that this was unpublished. The date is based upon another note mentioning a forthcoming book from the Lutterworth Press that I believe to be The City of Flowers. There is another note indicating that the story is based upon a true event related to the author by her uncle, Servington Savery, but the action has been set back to approximately 1825.
In a story reminiscent of Green Dolphin Street, Christopher, the junior chaplain of Fort St. Philip, awaits the ship that has brought his beloved Violetta out to India. When the ship arrives, Christopher is one of many who climb the ship's side at dusk to greet loved ones. There he discovers that Miss Violetta is indeed waiting modestly behind the crowd at the railing, but it is not his Violetta, but her maiden aunt. A proposal and acceptance conducted entirely by post has resulted in an egregious error. Unseen, Christopher drops back down into his boat and rows ashore to spend most of the night in prayerful consideration of what to do next.
Readers of Green Dolphin Street will know what he decided. That, too, I believe, was based upon a true event.

White Cat, Red Cushion. After 1971, 2 double-spaced, typewritten pages.

Snowy knows that white cats look best on red, so she leaves her blue cushion with Mistress to live on the red cushion in Mrs. Blenkinsop's parlor. But the cushion is slippery, and she hears that Mistress may be getting a new cat, so....
There are two versions of this story. In the other, 1943, retyped 1966, Snowy and Mrs. Blenkinsop prefer a black cushion, but it proves just as slippery as the red one.

White Honesty. May 1928, 12 double-spaced, typewritten pages.

Among Savery's manuscripts, this is attached with a 1979 date to five other stories, all published, so White Honesty may have been published as well, but I can't prove it.
This is a morality tale straight out of the nineteenth century. Mac, whose situation reminds me of Padric in Forbidden Doors (1929), is a small boy with a brother who is too much older to offer companionship, and a sister who is too inflexible to help Mac with his besetting sin: he lies to escape trouble.
At a rare party at a nearby manor, an older girl, Judith, offers him seeds of White Honesty, which will preserve him from lies if he eats them every day. He does so, but is in dispair when he breaks a plate and his seeds are gone. After a long trip on foot ending at dusk, he stumbles into the manor, where he finds not White Honesty seeds, but a Gardener who will solve his problem. And does.

Wonder Ball. April 18, 1944, 14 pp, double-spaced, typed and corrected by hand.

Here is the pertinent entry from Savery's diary:
Letter from Miss Margaret Green, Editor of GIRL'S TODAY, asking for short story about Girl Life in Germany to-day! What do I know about it?
It took Savery about six weeks to finish the story, because she was very busy with other writing. Apparently Green didn't like it. The manuscript indicates it was sent to AMERICAN GIRL, but it is marked "Unpublished 1979." Although its setting in wartime Germany dates it, it is a touching story about human values, rather than history or politics.
Margarete is released from the Reformatory to find her twin, Michael, ready to escort her to her great-grandmother's home to act as nurse and companion. Having been caught feeding Russian prisoners, Margarete has subjected her family to scrutiny and searches, and Michael shows his resentment.
Arriving at the house, they hear voices, and standing in the hall they listen to an injured English airmen talking with and helping Great-Grandmother prepare a "wonder ball" -- yarn wrapped around small gifts -- for Margarete's arrival. While Michael goes for the authorities, Margarete remains on guard.
Although the quiet Englishman is arrested, in the kitchen while Great-Grandmother naps, Margarete finds that Michael is, after all, the loving companion she remembers.

Text of this web site © 2010-2015 by Eric Schonblom. The unpublished works of Constance Savery are reproduced with the permission of her literary heir and copyright owner, J.D. Hummerstone.