My name is Harvey Malmon. Don’t worry if it doesn’t ring a bell. Chances are high that you’ve never heard it, or have only glanced passed it in one of those dreadful society rags. Quite right, too. Why should I receive any of the spotlight, or want to? It’s my employer, Sir John Smithfield, that you know and love and photograph.
Yes, Smithfield. Sir John is the air ace and war hero whose American father married into a British fortune, and whose inheritance at the turn of the century allowed him to follow his fancies, which included fashion and females and generally anything else that fit into the life of the idle moneyed class. He had already invested in the new flying machines when the tensions across Europe finally, predictably, ignited into war. He heartily signed up and spent the next four years having it out with Fritz in the skies over France and Belgium. It was reported that his B.E.2 was heavily damaged and put down by none other than Immelmann, but that Sir John acquitted himself quite nicely in a new aeroplane at Verdun and elsewhere. At any rate he ended up with many citations and accolades, and was eventually knighted. Thus, the rosy life was once again laid before him, and he dedicated himself to chivalric adventuring.
Somewhere along the way he hired me—first as his personal tailor, then later to take on growing responsibilities for his social schedule, transportation, and general management of his daily life. I became his right hand man in all respects. Where and when Sir John was, so was I: London, Paris, New York, Leningrad, Calcutta. Adventure sought out Sir John, and I was always around to be his second. Damsels, crooks, even spies—all fodder for his rollicking lifestyle. By the end of the Twenties he had emerged with the moniker the Gentleman, which I suppose made me the Gentleman’s gentleman. Me, Harvey Malmon—in both station and stature, content to look up to his employer and serve him.
Only one problem. It’s all a lie.