ESSEX County Cricket Club have hoodwinked their rivals by engaging the services of rakish bon vivant Jesse Ryder, Esquire.
The tea-rooms of Chigwell and Ongar are all a-flurry with the news that Mr. Ryder is to board a steamship for England from his home in the New World.
Upon landing in Tilbury, the debonair man-about-town will enrol in the players team of Essex to compete against the gentlemen of Surrey and Kent.
The Essex cricket club chairman said: We await with baited breath the arrival of the illustrious Mr. Ryder.
I gather that when not disporting himself on the village green, he is keen on boxing, hunting, and opium, pastimes which he will not want for in genteel Essex.
I am quite confident that he will prove a model of sportsmanly excellence and Christian virtue, so long as we keep him away from certain decadent bawdy-houses like Faces, the Candy Club and Sugar Hut.
The young ladies of Essex profess themselves to be effervescent at the thought of Mr. Ryder, who has acquired a scandalous reputation in the saloons and gin-palaces of his native Wellington, strutting around their county like a cockerel.
Miss Emma Bradford of Uttlesford said: I shall be calling on Mr. Ryder at the earliest opportunity, and he has already sent me a daguerreotype vouchsafing his amorous intentions.
The lady then perused the image, cried My Lord, tis gargantuan, and fainted clean away, still clutching a cockade fan in one hand and a bottle of WKD in the other.