Sweet Ermengarde Subtle Villainy

Sweet Ermengarde Subtle VillainySweet Ermengarde Subtle Villainy

Squire Hardman got to thinking and he realized that he could just foreclose on the farm in order to get it and the gold that he knew was in the ground there. He went to the rough shack town and let Ermengarde go. He apologized to her and sent her home. He made plans to foreclose on the house.

Everyone was quite dejected over this. One day a hunter who had been hunting on the land found the gold and feigned a snakebite to go and speak with the Stubbes about it. Ermengarde answered the door and he vowed to marry her.


I do wonder about that, if you’re paying a mortgage on a piece of property and you find gold, can the person you owe the mortgage to claim a portion of the gold? They can certainly would try to get part of your life insurance if you died without paying off the mortgage, that’s why they ask if you have life insurance when you get a loan. Sometimes, financial institutions may even make you get a term life policy that covers the amount of the mortgage before they’ll give you the money.


Squire Hardman is starting to think with his head. I guess he didn’t want a woman that much after all, or maybe he just thought the woman was too much trouble. There are men like that, in fact, there is this entire movement of men that have decided that they want to abdicate the possibility of being responsible for a family. They’re called something like MGTOW or some other bullcrap. My ex-husband informed me of this movement because he admired them; I wish he would have taken the “go” part of their name to heart. Some of the premise of a group like this is not to have any worries or troubles associated with being partially responsible for another person in any manner. Maybe Squire Hardman just decided that he really didn’t want the responsibility of a wife.

By the way, while I was writing this, I stopped and had a long conversation with my boyfriend about MGTOW, that eventually led to other conversations. We agreed that there were legitimate reasons not to want to have kids and a family–not enough money, you were a terrible person and didn’t need kids or a family–but we also agreed that if that was your idea of life then you should be allowed to live it, but that you should not then go and spew hatred about everyone else who doesn’t live your way of life, like many of the supporters of MGTOW, or, in fact, any group that chooses to live a certain way and then goes out and hates on people who don’t live like them, or look like them, whatever the case may be.

So back to the story–if Squire Hardman did choose to be a bachelor of means for the rest of his life, that’s fine, but he should not then go out and start groups to rage against anyone else who wasn’t a bachelor of means. You live your life, everyone else lives their lives, win-win. I don’t really think this story is as complicated as all that, but whatever.


Well, this guy’s a jerk, but at least he’s not a jerk that’s getting married.

Weigh In

Who do you think should get to keep the gold?

What do you think of Squire Hardman?

Sweet Ermengarde A Dastardly Act

Sweet Ermengarde A Dastardly ActSweet Ermengarde A Dastardly Act

While Jack had gone to the city to seek his fame and fortune in order to pay off the mortgage owed by the Stubbes, Squire Hardman was up to yet more dastardly deeds. There was a section of town, of ill-repute, where people were all to happy to do something for money. Squire Hardman had Ermengarde kidnapped from her home and held hostage by a rough old woman in the shack town.

Squire Hardman thought he could wear Ermengarde down, maybe then she would marry him, but she refused each and every time. He said he would go after her parents, she begged that her parents be spared. Jack knew nothing of the whole deal as he was in the city seeking his fame and fortune.


While many a woman has been forced into marriage by kidnapping, it’s generally frowned upon these days. Most likely, your kidnapped wife can get herself a nice divorce if the circumstances of your marriage were ever made known. I tend to think that in the era that this story was set in, kidnapping a woman in order to convince her to marry you was not a thing, but I could be wrong. Maybe it was a practice that was still held.


We all know that Squire Hardman is just after Ermengarde for the farm, but part of me wonders if h actually wants her affection and love as well. Why in the world would you try so hard if you didn’t want someone’s affection? Well, we all know about those people who have gone through supposed romances and marriages only with an eye to some fortune or fame, so maybe Squire Hardman was trying so hard because of the money, but maybe not. Maybe he saw this nice young woman and decided that she would make a good wife, but if that were the case, he forgot that you cannot force someone to love you, although, there is Stockholm syndrome.


I know you were thinking that kidnapping Ryan Gosling might bring him to care for you eventually, but it probably won’t turn out that way.

Weigh In

Do feral animals that have been tamed have Stockholm syndrome?

What would you do in Ermengarde’s situation?

Sweet Ermengarde And the Villain Still Pursued Her

Sweet Ermengarde And the Villain Still Pursued HerSweet Ermengarde And the Villain Still Pursued Her

While Ermengarde and Jack planned to get married, Squire carried out his dastardly plan. He marched up to Ermengarde’s father and told him that he wanted to marry Ermengarde or else. The parents told Ermengarde the news. Jack was angry. All vowed that Ermgengarde would not marry Squire. Also, Jack still needed to get that ring from Perkins Hardware.


The plot thickens.


We dig deeper into the evil versus good argument, or the rich versus the not as rich argument.

Weigh In

If someone told you that you had to marry them in order to save your parents’ house, would you?

Could you make your child marry someone they didn’t want to in order to keep your house?

Sweet Ermengarde-A Simple Rustic Maid

Sweet Ermengarde-A Simple Rustic Maid Sweet Ermengarde-A Simple Rustic Maid

Ermengarde, whose name was actually Ethyl Ermengarde Stubbs, was the daughter of a bootlegger and farmer. Her father was not rich, but he had a piece of land with a mortgage on it. Ermengarde grew into a beautiful young woman. Some assumed she was much older than her sixteen confessed years, but people admired her anyway.

There were two men who sought after Ermengarde’s hand in marriage. One was the man who held the note on her father’s land, a man named Squire Hardman. The other was a young man named Jack Manly. Squire Hardman sought to have Ermengarde though the influence of blackmail. He would tell her father that he should make Ermengarde marry him, otherwise, the land would be foreclosed upon.

Meanwhile, Jack confessed his love to Ermengarde, who was all too happy to hear of it. She told him to buy the ring at Perkins Hardware.


This story reminds me of one of those old cartoons where the villain wears a cape and twiddles a long mustache.


A love triangle! Who would have expected it?!

This is only the first part to this story, but so far, it’s your classic story about two men vying for one woman. One of the men is rich and the other is not as rich. The rich one usually has some major character flaws and the not as rich one usually has the heart of gold. Usually, the fair maiden, chooses the not as rich one because she values happiness and love over wealth. Is that the case with this story? I have no idea, but we’ll see.


“Curses! Foiled Again! Drat!,” he said as he furiously twirled his mustache.

Weigh In

If you had to pick, which man would you choose?

Is Ermengarde sweet and innocent?

#708 Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie PhillipsGods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Alice is a regular cleaning girl, sneaking her crush named Neil into an empty theater to see a show by a psychic, or a supposed psychic. The whole thing goes great, besides the plotting that Aphrodite is up to. She wants to stick it to Apollo, just because he’s full of himself and also because she’s not very nice. She gets her son to shoot Apollo with an arrow during his fake psychic performance. The first woman he sees is the woman he will fall in love with. The first woman he sees happens to be mousey Alice.

Soon, Alice finds herself out of a job since she snuck someone into the theater. Neil suggests that she start her own cleaning company. One of the first houses she goes to happens to be the house Apollo lives in with all the other Greek gods, who have for some reason all moved to London. There they live, working day jobs, trying to make ends meet. No one believes in the gods anymore. Aphrodite is a phone sex worker, Apollo is an actor of sorts, Artemis walks dogs, and Zeus stays up in the attic.

Alice starts cleaning house, but Apollo soon finds out that she works in his very house. To him, Alice is the woman of his dreams, but the friendship between Neil and Alice has developed into something more than friends. When Apollo makes his move, Alice rejects him and things turn bad. Generally people don’t reject Apollo. Soon a quest of heroic proportions must take place in order for Alice and Neil to be together, but also to save the world.

What I liked

This book was humorous in bringing Greek mythology into modern-day. How would the gods of yesteryear cope with our modern-day lives? It’s difficult to imagine such a thing, but Marie imagined one way that it might happen.

I like the fact that they all had to get jobs to make a living. You would think they would have a bunch of gold stock-piled somewhere or something.

Each of these gods has very human-like traits, which is something that personalizes the idea of religion. If your god can get angry or horny, are you two really that different?

The traditional hero story is in this book, although not as traditional as usual.

What I didn’t like

I’m not particularly fond of any of the characters. None of the gods are that exciting. They’re all stuck on themselves in different ways. Neil and Alice have a “meh” relationship. The story is still interesting though.


Maybe the guy who washes the windows is really an out-of-work Greek God?

Weigh In

Do you imagine that you could ever accept that a god lived around you, if it actually happened?

Would you go to the underworld to rescue someone who you loved?