Sibling Rivalry

It was a difficult relationship from the beginning.  Even before he could walk William had made several failed attempts on his elder brother’s life, including tripping Charles headfirst into the coal chute, down the cellar stairs, and once nearly over the church choir loft.  To be fair, Charles continually “forgot” William in his bassinette in such inconvenient places as the outhouse or the middle of the street.  Perhaps it was the day Charles dyed his brother from head to toe with a bottle of bluing left behind by the laundress, or maybe it was the occasion in which William fed Charles’ toy soldiers to the dog (who mercifully threw them back up).  Whatever sparked this Cain and Abel struggle, the rivalry lasted well into adulthood when it manifested itself in the most ruthless competition for top billing on the vaudevillian stage the world has ever seen.