WHH Short Fiction: “Senator Sandy Mac Ghee”

Review: “Senator Sandy Mac Ghee”, William Hope Hodgson, 1914.

Cover by Jason Van Hollander
Before  being reprinted in The Dream of X and Other Fantastic Visions: Being the Fifth Volume of The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, the only place this story appeared was in Cargunka and Poems and Anecdotes, a pamphlet privately printed in America and seemingly done to protect Hodgson’s copyright there.

This is sort of an oblique Captain Gault story.

It’s narrated by Captain Gault but about “a man near as smart at jewel running as I myself”.

The eponymous U. S. Senator wants to smash the jewel tariff by showing how easily jewels can be smuggled into the country. He pays the Treasury Department the tax dues on the jewels but only after making it very public how easily the custom duties on jewelry can be skirted.

This is a fairly short story, so there is little to it except how Mac Ghee hides costume jewelry under fake wood dowels used to seal holes in a ship’s desk. Acting on tips from their spies aboard ship, those are the only places customs officers search while the real jewels are blatantly worn by the ship’s passengers as they go through customs.

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