16 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
"IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN"
This game was suggested by Thackeray's clever narrative of the fate of Ivanhoe as "it might have been," :n which that hero marries the gentle Rowena—according to the wishes of so many readers—and lives to repent it.
Each player selects his subject from some well-known novel or tale and takes what liberties he chooses with its characters. All are provided with pads and pencils, a time limit agreed upon, and all set to work. At the end of the allotted period, the papers are signed by pseudonyms and handed to the hostess to be read aloud, or to some one whom they think qualified to give each tale its due expression and set it forth with fine effect. At the conclusion of the reading, every one prints upon slips of paper—that the hand-writing may not be recognised—his or her vote as to which narrative is the cleverest, and to its writer is given that award ot honour or a prize.
For example, at a recent assemblage of choice spirits where this game was played, one paper told the story ot Trilby as "it might have been " if she had married Little Billee.
She is introduced into the dull routine of life in a sleepy little English hamlet where she is bored to the verge of desperation. The provincial mind does not feel the charm of her personality and distinctly disapproves of "her ways and her manners."
The family of Little Billee champion her at first foi his sake, but, like many another family in like case, wonder what he could have seen in Trilby to fascinate him, when they know of so many other girls infinitely more attractive—and when she exclaims "maie aie!"