West Sussex, England
Each summer in the village of Hadley Green, the residents looked forward with eager anticipation to two significant events: the first was the week in June in which the vicar put his gout-ridden body into a borrowed coach and took leave of his flock to call upon his aging sister in Shropshire. That was the only week of the year the pulpit could be pried from the vicar’s bent hands, and the young, visiting clergyman’s delivery of the gospel was markedly more succinct.
The second event was the annual gala at the end of summer given by the Earl of Ashwood. It was a...