Per the title, Oscar Wilde was an Irish nineteenth century playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest. See more »
Where I come from, Mr. Paladin, there's a word for a cheap trick like that: showboating.
I have another name for it. Salesmanship.
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Oscar Wilde was in some ways the English equivalent of Mark Twain. Famous as a playwright, poet and essayist, he also gave immensely popular lectures peppered with one-liners meant to discomfort an audience as much as they amused it.(He coined the phrase "Work is the curse of the drinking class.") Among his poems is one called "The Ballad of Reading Gaol ('Redding Jail')" from which excerpts ares are still quoted.
Learning that the celebrated Mr. Wilde is travelling via stagecoach from San Diego to San Francisco, Paladin offers his services as an armed escort. Some laconic western gentlemen have already been assigned that position, and Paladin's attempt to prove he easily best the lot of them nearly costs him his life.
Hot on the trail of his assailants, Paladin finds the Stagecoach has been ambushed, Mr Wilde has been kidnapped, and a ransom note has been left with the puzzled stagecoach driver. Paladin tracks the kidnappers to their hide-out and comes face to face with Mr Wilde himself, brilliantly cast and portrayed by John O'Malley as a foppish, affected young Dandy who finds the whole thing a marvellous adventure and is sorely affronted by the "paltry" sum demanded for his release.
Once again Paladin proves himself up to a seemingly impossible challenge, and declining a grateful Mr Wilde's gift of lecture tickets, finds a far more interesting way to spend an evening in San Francisco.
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