The Diva (Feghoot LIX)

This tale is by Reginald Bretner using Grendel Briarton as a pen name.

Like George Washington, Ferdinand Feghoot could not tell a lie. This was dramatically demonstrated in 2362, when he rescued Magda Millsap-Borgia, most famous and beautiful of operatic sopranos, from the clutches of Adrian Haggis, an infamous booking agent who, through illegal time-travelling connections, kidnaped great female voices from the past and the future. Because of him, the Twentieth Century was renowned for having more super-sopranos than any other period in history.

Luckily, Magda was snatched from her dressing room in the vast Pinole Opera House just before she was to receive the coveted Tony, an award like the Oscar of pioneer days. Feghoot, who was supposed to present it, set off in instant pursuit, but Haggis hid her so cunningly that a full week went by in her world before her return. The news media had a regular field day: She had eloped with a Martian! She had eloped with her husband! She was having an affair with Ferdinand Feghoot, who also was missing! When she came back, it was all Feghoot could do to pacify the reporters.

“You managed them ever so nicely,” she told him at supper that evening. “But, naughty boy! why did you say I’d been held captive in the mountains of California? Ooh, what a fib!”

“My dear,” replied Ferdinand Feghoot, “I told them only the absolute truth.” I said, . . . “I had rescued you from the High C Era.”

(Copyright © 1963 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, February 1963).

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