John Longridge

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John Longridge is cook to Sir Walter Pole and thus a fellow-servant of Stephen Black. Although cooks are generally held to be irascible and hot-tempered men we are told that Longridge, on the contrary, suffers from melancholy and low spirits (and indeed has done for thirty years), and so he commiserates very much with Stephen when he begins to suffer likewise[19]. Longridge is also a witness to some of the effects of the strange spell under which the butler labours - for example, he is the person to whom Stephen, vainly attempting to explain how he has been enchanted, confides instead the remarkable description of the visit to Britain of Julius Caesar and his encounter there with fairies. Longridge also sees the large grey dog which arrives at Sir Walter's door with a paper in its mouth, and which despite being pelted with stones and bottles in an attempt to drive it away, waits patiently for Stephen to come out to it.[26]

Oddly, these unusual events do not alert Longridge to the possibility that anything may be amiss with Stephen Black; but this may well be an effect of the enchantment imposed by the gentleman with the thistle-down hair rather than evidence of stupidity. Mrs Brandy's servant Toby Smith is likewise blinded[26]; and indeed we are told that, despite the many miracles that occurred to Stephen, "none of his friends seemed to think there was anything remarkable about the course his life was taking"[26].