Flashman, formerly by Donald Fraser

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by Jim Eaton

I never did learn Romani properly. Mind you, when the buggers have got you staked out by a fire explaining how they're going to leave you for the bloody sunrise, it's a bit hard to concentrate on the finer points of grammar. Which is how, while babbling in a state of complete funk I came up with this cock-and-bull story about a soul. It was a woman that did it, of course. As I look back at my long and shameful career, it's always a woman that causes the problem. They see me, big and desperate-looking, with my whiskers bristling, and they say to themselves "here's a chap who's ready for anything". I tell you, if I'd been born five foot nothing, with knock knees, then that delectable trollop Darla wouldn't have vamped me in the first place, Drusilla wouldn't have roped me into her crack-brained end the world scheme, and that dizzy American tart wouldn't have sent me to hell without so much as a by-your-leave. Mind you, Darla, Dru, Buffy, Faith - at the end of the day I can't complain, can I? Looking like I look, they just can't believe that I'm not some brooding hero, who likes nothing more than a good fight against impossible odds. So what can I do? Brace up, put on a brave face, and wait for a quiet moment to run, whimpering, for cover.

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