Fiction

Maisie Minton, Edwardian Gold-Digger


Maisie Minton had a plan:
Get herself a wealthy man.
Steadily she’d climb the scale
With each eligible male.

Bagged young man of twenty-three:
In accounts a clerk was he.
When he moaned about her spending
Maisie knew his life was ending.
Oh, that poor unlucky clerk:
Maisie stabbed him in the park.

Then she wed his supervisor
Who turned out to be a miser.
Healthy income, frugal ways,
Quickly numbered were his days.
He turned off the gas and then
Maisie turned it on again;
No appliance did she light
But went out till late at night.
On returning, he: stone dead;
Maisie: once more free to wed.

She – no pause to mourn the loss –
Married her late husband’s boss
(Head of the department) who
Lifted her a rung or two
Up the scale as was her plan
But she eyed another man
And she – with premeditation,
Dressed for maximum temptation –
Sashayed past the roving gaze
Of firm’s chairman. Within days,
Present husband was despatched:
Him and arsenic swiftly matched.

When she took the chairman’s hand,
Maisie’s life turned much more grand.
Chairman of the company
Moved in high society:
Royals; aristocracy.
(Large insurance policy
On his life, which paid out well
When down stairs he promptly fell.)

Maisie, ever-scheming girl,
Married then a belted earl.
Unsuspecting of a ruse
He booked them an ocean cruise
For their honeymoon, but then
Never made it home again.
In between far distant shores
Lady Maisie showed her claws:
Whispering, ‘Man overboard!’
She heave-hoed the noble lord.
‘Help!’ she cried, but not before
Earl sank to the ocean floor.

On the King she set her sights;
At the palace spent most nights
And, to give life extra flavours,
King and footman shared her favours.
Ageing King soon palled for Maisie,
But the footman – fresh as daisy,
Strong, athletic, young, sublime –
Satisfied her every time;
Gave her what she’d never had
For which she was more than glad.
She’d keep this one, now she’d found him:
Tie a wedding knot around him.
So, with wide, contented smile,
Maisie took him up the aisle.

Not long after they were wed
Maisie was found dead in bed.
‘Her poor heart has given out!’
Grieving husband heard to shout.
Maisie’s death thought unexpected;
Digitalis was suspected.

Footman: in the hangman’s yard.
Maisie: hoist by own petard.

Picture source: Wonderlane