There is a fragment of a short story by Louce Baker.

Sladen Morris is the boy next door. The girls all think he’s fascinating and tend to deify him now that he’s touched six feet on the wall where his mother has been marking his height since he was two. But I keep remembering when he had braces on his teeth and refused to apply a comb to his hair and wouldn’t even wash his face unless forcefully led to the bathroom. You wouldn’t expect me to go weak-kneed over Sladen, and I certainly never expected to, even if he showed up on a white charger with a new moon for me tucked under a red cape.

And I don't understand this phrase "white charger with a new moon for me tucked under a red cape". What is meant here as "a new moon"? Why "moon" and why is it "a new"?

  • 1
    Are you aware of the phases of the moon?
    – Matt Ellen
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 11:13
  • 2
    A charger is a horse, so he shows up on a white horse, like a knight. I can't make heads or tails of the rest of the phrase though.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 11:14
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    The phrase is saying figuratively that even if Sladen were endowed with many more desirable qualities, the writer would still not fancy him, because she can still see the grubby child she knew.
    – Weather Vane
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 11:36
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    Yes, Louise Baker, I made an error. The story called "The boy next door", I don't know date, it is from Prose and poetry for appreciation by Ward, Herman, M., editor Publication date 1950 Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 13:02
  • 1
    archive.org/details/prosepoetryforap00ward Page 700 Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 13:43

2 Answers 2

  • Showed up on a white charger

White charger means an elegant/strong white horse.

  • New moon for me tucked under a red cape

New moon is used here to symbolize something new, expensive and fancy.

So, the whole phrase would means that even if the guy comes to her in a big white horse (like a knight or prince, symbolizing high rank of a person) and would bring the moon for her (a metaphor for riches and unique, expensive gifts), she would still not be attracted to him.

  • How do you know this? I've never heard of the 'new moon' as anything like new/expensive/fancy. Not that astronomical accuracy is very relevant, but the outstanding metaphorical characteristic of a new moon is its absence, its lack of anything interesting about it. Is the author intentionally showing the speaker as being faulty?
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 12:58
  • @Mitch New moon means new beginnings metaphorically. Not that it means the same here, but I think she is just comparing the uniqueness of the gift he might bring. While others bring full moon, she wouldn't accept him even if he brings a new moon / something totally unexpected.
    – Bella Swan
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 13:01

To show up with

a white charger. . . a red cape.

is to appear as a gallant knight

To have

with a new moon for me

is to bring her an extravagant gift. While I am not familiar with this particular phrase, I have definitely heard,

If you do that, I'll give you the sun, the moon, and the stars on a silver platter

which is an expression of incredibility, and also

I won't do that, even if you offer to give you the sun, the moon, and the stars on a silver platter

which is an absolute rejection

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