The whole lot of them were chancers, good-natured philanderers who take up various trades in London but who never settle, being always attracted to women and their mysterious ways. But Charlie Tranter does settle, and balances family life with innumerable affairs, until he gets into one scrape too many. He is away on the usual fling when his wife and young kiddie perish in a house blaze.
The local press go to town on the episode, and Tranter loses his job. But not for long. Irrepressible as ever, he is soon a rep travelling in ladies underwear, and the pattern of conquests begins again over the southern counties of England. Slowly, however, our ladies man begins begins to tire of his feckless life, and starts to escape by reading.
Now he remembers his childhood hopes, and dreams up a New Age religion, which is phenomenally successful, as only someone of Tranter's salesman's gift could make it. The reprobate has a vision of a someone waiting for him, his elusive soulmate, and he travels with her to a castle in the darkest Carpathians. When the dancing ends, and Tranter returns to everyday reality, he finds his devotees have had that vision themselves. What does it mean, and how will Charlie Tranter make good on his misspent past? A long poem free in pdf ebook