Editorial Reviews. smeltitherabpigs.cf Review. Mordant, mirthful, and unrelenting in their lampoon of site Store · site eBooks · Literature & Fiction. This ebook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. Author: Waugh, Evelyn [Arthur Evelyn St John] (). EVELYN WAUGH was a British author best known for writing fiction and travelogues. His earlier works were primarily satire, while his later novels were.
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smeltitherabpigs.cf: Evelyn Waugh smeltitherabpigs.cfioned: smeltitherabpigs.cf: Decline And Fall Evelyn Waugh eBooks and Texts. Uploaded by Public. byEvelyn Waugh. Publication date smeltitherabpigs.cf: Evelyn Waugh smeltitherabpigs.cfioned: eBooks and Texts. Uploaded by Public. Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October – 10 April ), known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books;.
I don't like to jump to conclusions but I think there was a little Jew in him. He wasn't quite English. And, well, I do think when it comes to marriage it's safer to stick with your own nationality. Oh yes, that came 12 pages after this — here's one of the suitors speaking : "Now Delysia's a little devil and there's times I could flay her alive, and obviously she needs a little physical correction, but I'm the only right man to do it.
Well, what are we going to do? Not read books older than for fear of outraging ourselves?
Obviously not. But this is a wilderness, there are no rules except the ones you make up yourself. We are never allowed to forget that Ezra Pound was himself a fascist, but books have been written about TS Eliot in which his profound anti-Semitism is nowhere to be found.
I guess the greater you are the more leeway you get. It starts off great and then half-way through starts to get sillier and sillier. Philbrick' he shouted to the butler 'why haven't you given Mr Pennyfeather a napkin? That man's all right, really,' he added, 'only he wants watching. He says I'm half-witted. I'm glad you're not like Captain Grimes. He's so common, don't you think? What's more, he wears combinations. I saw it in his washing-book one day when I was fetching him his hat.
I think combinations are rather awful, don't you? All this was a great deal easier than Paul had expected; it didn't seem so very hard to get on with boys, after all. After a time they all stood up, and amid considerable noise Mr Prendergast said grace.
Someone called out 'Prendy! Amen ,' said Mr Prendergast. Of course, you know he wears a wig. Very hard for a man with a wig to keep order.
I've got a false leg, but that's different. Boys respect that. Think I lost it in the war. Actually,' said the Captain, 'and strictly between ourselves, mind, I was run over by a tram in Stoke-on-Trent when I was one-over-the-eight.
Still, it doesn't do to let that out to everyone. Funny thing, but I feel I can trust you. I think we're going to be pals. The bloke before you wasn't bad—a bit stand-offish, though. He had a motor-bike, you see. The daughters of the house didn't care for him. Have you met Miss Fagan? The boys call them Flossie and Dingy.
We haven't told the old boy yet. I'm waiting till I land in the soup again. Then I shall play that as my last card. I generally get into the soup sooner or later. Here's the pub. Not such a bad little place in its way. Clutterbuck's father makes all the beer round here.
Not bad stuff, either.
Two pints, please, Mrs Roberts! I don't believe I was ever meant by Nature to be a schoolmaster. Temperament,' said Grimes, with a far-away look in his eyes—'that's been my trouble, temperament and sex. Besides, you see, I'm a public school man.
That means everything. There's a blessed equity in the English social system,' said Grimes, 'that ensures the public school man against starvation.
One goes through four or five years of perfect hell at an age when life is bound to be hell anyway, and after that the social system never lets one down. But my house-master was a public school man. He knew the system. I have the other boys to consider. But I don't want to be too hard on you. I want you to start again. I've got it still. It's been very useful at one time or another.
That's the public school system all over. They may kick you out, but they never let you down. I felt I owed it to them. I was really sorry,' said Grimes, 'that that cheque never got through. Uncle of mine had a brush factory at Edmonton. Doing pretty well before the war. That put the lid on the brush trade for me. You're too young to have been in the war, I suppose? Those were days, old boy. We shan't see the like of them again. I don't suppose I was really sober for more than a few hours for the whole of that war.
Then I got into the soup again, pretty badly that time. Happened over in France. They said, "Now, Grimes, you've got to behave like a gentleman. We don't want a court-martial in this regiment. We're going to leave you alone for half an hour. There's your revolver. You know what to do. Goodbye, old man," they said quite affectionately.
I put it up to my head twice, but each time I brought it down again. It was a long half-hour, but luckily they had left a decanter of whisky in there with me.
They'd all had a few, I think. That's what made them all so solemn. There wasn't much whisky left when they came back, and, what with that and the strain of the situation, I could only laugh when they came in. Silly thing to do, but they looked so surprised, seeing me there alive and drunk. A major came over from another battalion to try my case. He came to see me first, and bless me if it wasn't a cove I'd known at school!
What's all this nonsense about a court-martial? Still it's out of the question to shoot an old Harrovian. I'll see what I can do about it. That saw me out as far as the war was concerned. You can't get into the soup in Ireland, do what you like. I don't know if all this bores you? Someone always turns up and says, "I can't see a public school man down and out. Let me put you on your feet again. Paul was awakened next morning by a loud bang on his door, and Beste-Chetwynde looked in.
He was wearing a very expensive-looking Charvet dressing-gown. If you want to get there before Mr Prendergast, you ought to go now. Captain Grimes doesn't wash much,' he added, and then disappeared. Paul went to the bath and was rewarded some minutes later by hearing the shuffling of slippers down the passage and the door furiously rattled.
After breakfast Paul went up to the Common Room. Mr Prendergast was there polishing his pipes, one by one, with a chamois leather. He looked reproachfully at Paul. I have one before breakfast. I might have known you'd want the bath. It was so easy when there was only Grimes and that other young man. He was never down in time for breakfast. Oh dear! I can see that things are going to be very difficult.
It's all part of the same thing. Everything has been like this since I left the ministry.
If things had happened a little differently I should be a rector with my own house and bath-room. I might even have been a rural dean, only'—and Mr Prendergast dropped his voice to a whisper—'only I had Doubts.
I somehow feel you'll understand. I had just been presented to a living in Worthing. It was such an attractive church, not old, but very beautifully decorated, six candles on the altar, Reservation in the Lady Chapel, and an excellent heating apparatus which burned coke in a little shed by the sacristy door; no graveyard, just a hedge of golden privet between the church and the rectory.
She bought some chintz, out of her own money, for the drawing-room curtains. She used to be "at home" once a week to the ladies of the congregation. One of them, the dentist's wife, gave me a set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica for my study.
It was all very pleasant until my Doubts began. But I expect I am boring you? It happened like this, quite suddenly. We had been there about three months, and my mother had made great friends with some people called Bundle—rather a curious name.
I think he was an insurance agent until he retired. Mrs Bundle used very kindly to ask us in to supper on Sundays after Evensong. They were pleasant, informal gatherings, and I used quite to look forward to them.
I can see them now as they sat there on this particular evening; there was my mother and Mr and Mrs Bundle, and their son, rather a spotty boy, I remember, who used to go in to Brighton College by train every day, and Mrs Bundle's mother, a Mrs Round, rather deaf, but a very good Churchwoman, and Mrs Abel—that was the name of the dentist's wife who gave me the Encyclopaedia Britannica —and old Major Ending, the people's warden.
I had preached two sermons that day besides taking the children's Bible-class in the afternoon, and I had rather dropped out of the conversation. They were all talking away quite happily about the preparations that were being made on the pier for the summer season, when suddenly, for no reason at all, my Doubts began.
You see, it wasn't the ordinary sort of Doubt about Cain's wife or the Old Testament miracles or the consecration of Archbishop Parker. I'd been taught how to explain all those while I was at college. No, it was something deeper than all that. I couldn't understand why God had made the world at all. There was my mother and the Bundles and Mrs Round talking away quite unconcernedly while I sat there wrestling with this sudden assault of doubt. You see how fundamental that is.
Once granted the first step, I can see that everything else follows—Tower of Babel, Babylonian captivity, Incarnation, Church, bishops, incense, everything—but what I couldn't see, and what I can't see now, is, why did it all begin? He said that he didn't think the point really arose as far as my practical duties as a parish priest were concerned. I discussed it with my mother. At first she was inclined to regard it as a passing phase. But it didn't pass, so finally she agreed with me that the only honourable thing to do was to resign my living; she never really recovered from the shock, poor old lady!
It was a great blow after she had bought the chintz and got so friendly with the Bundles. Prayers were held downstairs in the main hall of the Castle. The boys stood ranged along the panelled walls, each holding in his hands a little pile of books. Grimes sat on one of the chairs beside the baronial chimney-piece.
I don't pretend to be a particularly pious sort of chap, but I've never had any Doubts. When you've been in the soup as often as I have, it gives you a sort of feeling that everything's for the best, really.
You know, God's in His heaven; all's right with the world. I can't quite explain it, but I don't believe one can ever be unhappy for long provided one does just exactly what one wants to and when one wants to. The last chap who put me on my feet said I was "singularly in harmony with the primitive promptings of humanity". I've remembered that phrase because somehow it seemed to fit me. Here comes the old man.
This is where we stand up. As the bell stopped ringing Dr Fagan swept into the hall, the robes of a Doctor of Philosophy swelling and billowing about him. He wore an orchid in his button-hole. The Doctor advanced to the table at the end of the room, picked up a Bible, and opening it at random, read a chapter of blood-curdling military history without any evident relish. From that he plunged into the Lord's Prayer, which the boys took up in a quiet chatter. Mr Prendergast's voice led them in tones that testified to his ecclesiastical past.
Then the Doctor glanced at a sheet of notes he held in his hand. The Fagan cross-country running challenge cup will not be competed for this year on account of the floods. I look to the prefects to stop this, unless of course they are themselves responsible, in which case I must urge them in my own interests to make use of the village post-office, to which they have access. Boys, I have been deeply distressed to learn that several cigar ends have been found—where have they been found? I regard this as reprehensible.
What boy has been smoking cigars in the downstair lavatory?
If I do not hear from him by then the whole school will be heavily punished. I hope the little beast has the sense to keep quiet. It is not a gentlemanly fault.
Just keep them quiet. Paul watched him amble into his class-room at the end of the passage, where a burst of applause greeted his arrival. Dumb with terror, he went into his own class-room.
He's very sensitive; it's his Welsh blood, you know: Say "Good morning" to him, sir, or he won't be happy all day. After all, it is a good morning, isn't it, sir? The ten boys stopped talking and sat perfectly still, staring at him. He felt himself getting hot and red under their scrutiny. What is your name? Anyone else can jolly well go to blazes. In a few seconds the room had become divided into two parties: Blows were already being exchanged, when the door opened and Grimes came in.
There was a slight hush. Meanwhile you will all write an essay on "Self-indulgence". There will be a prize of half a crown for the longest essay, irrespective of any possible merit. From then onwards all was silence until break. Paul, still holding the stick, gazed despondently out of the window. Now and then there rose from below the shrill voices of the servants scolding each other in Welsh. By the time the bell rang Clutterbuck had covered sixteen pages, and was awarded the half-crown.
I find all boys utterly intractable. I don't know why it is. Of course my wig has a lot to do with it. Have you noticed that I wear a wig? It was a great mistake my ever getting one. I thought when I left Worthing that I looked too old to get a job easily. I was only forty-one. It was very expensive, even though I chose the cheapest quality. Perhaps that's why it looks so like a wig. I don't know. I knew from the first that it was a mistake, but once they had seen it, it was too late to go back.
They make all sorts of jokes about it. I dare say it's a good thing to localize their ridicule as far as possible. If it wasn't for my pipes, I don't know how I should manage to keep on. What made you come here? And there's the bell. I believe that loathsome little man's taken my gown. Two days later Beste-Chetwynde pulled out the vox humana and played Pop goes the Weasel.
He and Paul were seated in the organ-loft of the village church. It was their second music lesson. He'd just got a tin of pine-apple chunks Captain Grimes had given him.
Tangent said, "Are you going to take that into Hall? It's little stinkers like you," he said, "who turn decent masters savage.
It's my opinion and Brolly's that Dingy and Philbrick are having an intrigue. I'll tell you another thing. You know all those trunk calls the Doctor was talking about. It was Philbrick made them.
That man never leaves the telephone day or night. If you ask me, there's something fishy about Philbrick. Sitting over the Common Room fire that afternoon waiting for the bell for tea, Paul found himself reflecting that on the whole the last week had not been quite as awful as he had expected.
As Beste-Chetwynde had told him, he was a distinct success with his form; after the first day an understanding had been established between them. It was tacitly agreed that when Paul wished to read or to write letters he was allowed to do so undisturbed while he left them to employ the time as they thought best; when Paul took it upon him to talk to them about their lessons they remained silent, and when he set them work to do some of it was done.
It had rained steadily, so that there had been no games. No punishments, no reprisals, no exertion, and in the evenings the confessions of Grimes, any one of which would have glowed with outstanding shamelessness from the appendix to a treatise in sexual psychology. There was a time when I used to get five or six letters a day, not counting circulars.
My mother used to file them for me to answer—one heap of charity appeals, another for personal letters, another for marriages and funerals, another for baptisms and churchings and another for anonymous abuse.
I wonder why it is the clergy always get so many letters of that sort, sometimes from quite educated people. I remember my father had great trouble in that way once, and he was forced to call in the police because they became so threatening.
And, do you know, it was the curate's wife who had sent them—such a quiet little woman. There's your letter. Grimes' look like bills.
I can't think why shops give that man credit at all. But d'you know that except for my tobacco and the Daily News and occasionally a little port when it's very cold, I don't think I've bought anything for two years. The last thing I bought was that walking stick. I got it at Shanklin, and Grimes uses it for beating the boys with.
I hadn't really meant to download one, but I was there for the day—two years this August—and I went into the tobacconist's to download some tobacco. He hadn't the sort I wanted, and I felt I couldn't go without getting something, so I bought that.
What other items do customers download after viewing this item?
It cost one and six,' he added wistfully, 'so I had no tea. Paul took his letter. It had been forwarded from Onslow Square. On the flap were embossed the arms of Scone College. It was from one of his four friends. I need hardly tell you how distressed I was when I heard of your disastrous misfortune. It seems to me that a real injustice has been done to you. I have not heard the full facts of the case, but I was confirmed in my opinion by a very curious incident last evening.
I was just going to bed when Digby-Vaine-Trumpington came into my rooms without knocking. He was smoking a cigar. I had never spoken to him before, as you know, and was very much surprised at his visit. He said: Then he said: It's all I can spare at the moment.
Wouldn't it be a useful thing to do? I asked him how he dared treat a gentleman like that just because he wasn't in his awful set. He seemed rather taken aback and said: I bicycled over to St Magnus's at Little Beckley and took some rubbings of the brasses there. I wished you had been with me. It seems to me that the great problem of education is to train the moral perceptions, not merely to discipline the appetites.
I cannot help thinking that it is in greater fastidiousness rather than in greater self-control that the future progress of the race lies. I shall be interested to hear what your experience has been over the matter. The chaplain does not agree with me in this. He says great sensibility usually leads to enervation of will. Let me know what you think. It doesn't do to rely on one's own feelings, does it, not in anything?
I hope you are in no doubt about that. Accept it at once, of course. Twenty pounds! Why, it takes me half a term to earn that. He thought about it all through afternoon school, all the time he was dressing for dinner, and all through dinner. It was a severe struggle, but his early training was victorious. It would always be on my mind. If I refuse, I shall be sure of having done right.
I shall look back upon my self-denial with exquisite self-approval. By refusing I can convince myself that, in spite of the unbelievable things that have been happening to me during the last ten days, I am still the same Paul Pennyfeather I have respected so long. It is a test-case of the durability of my ideals. He tried to explain something of what he felt to Grimes as they sat in Mrs Roberts' bar parlour that evening.
There is every reason why I should take this money. Digby-Vaine-Trumpington is exceedingly rich; and if he keeps it, it will undoubtedly be spent on betting or on some deplorable debauch.
Owing to his party I have suffered irreparable harm. My whole future is shattered, and I have directly lost one hundred and twenty pounds a year in scholarships and two hundred and fifty pounds a year allowance from my guardian. By any ordinary process of thought, the money is justly mine.
But,' said Paul Pennyfeather, 'there is my honour. For generations the British bourgeoisie have spoken of themselves as gentlemen, and by that they have meant, among other things, a self-respecting scorn of irregular perquisites. It is the quality that distinguishes the gentleman from both the artist and the aristocrat. Now I am a gentleman. I can't help it: I just can't take that money. Tell Trumpington send money quick , and signed it " Pennyfeather ".
I don't mind lending you the bob till it comes, either. I am glad that my dealings with him are at an end. I cannot pretend to understand your attitude in this matter, but no doubt you are the best judge. Stiggins is reading a paper to the O. Everyone expects rather a row, because you know how keen Walton is on the mystical element, which I think Stiggins is inclined to discount.
There is a most interesting article in the Educational Review on the new methods that are being tried at the Innesborough High School to induce co-ordination of the senses.
They put small objects into the children's mouths and make them draw the shapes in red chalk. Have you tried this with your boys? I must say I envy you your opportunities.
Are your colleagues enlightened? Still, we've got the doings. How about a binge? I should like to ask Prendy too. It's just what Prendy needs. He's been looking awfully down in the mouth lately. Why shouldn't we all go over to the Metropole at Cwmpryddyg for dinner one night?
We shall have to wait until the old boy goes away, otherwise he'll notice that there's no one on duty. I hardly know what to say. Of course, I should love it. I can't remember when I dined at an hotel last. Certainly not since the War. It will be a treat.
My dear boy, I'm quite overcome. And, much to Paul's embarrassment, a tear welled up in each of Mr Prendergast's eyes, and coursed down his cheeks. That morning just before luncheon the weather began to show signs of clearing, and by half-past one the sun was shining. The Doctor made one of his rare visits to the school dining-hall.
At his entry everybody stopped eating and laid down his knife and fork. Clutterbuck, will you kindly stop eating while I am addressing the school. The boys' manners need correcting, Mr Prendergast. I look to the prefects to see to this. Boys, the chief sporting event of the year will take place in the playing-fields tomorrow. Mr Pennyfeather, who, as you know, is himself a distinguished athlete, will be in charge of all arrangements. The preliminary heats will be run off today.
All boys must compete in all events. The Countess of Circumference has kindly consented to present the prizes. Mr Prendergast will act as referee, and Captain Grimes as time-keeper. I shall myself be present tomorrow to watch the final competitions. Mr Pennyfeather, perhaps you will favour me with an interview when you have finished your luncheon? Do you wear spiked shoes, sir? You see, we never know beforehand when there's going to be sports, so we don't have time to get ready.
Now I shall have to stay here all the afternoon. After luncheon Paul went to the morning-room, where he found the Doctor pacing up and down in evident high excitement. Florence, will you get on to the Clutterbucks on the telephone and ask them to come over, and the Hope-Brownes. I think the Warringtons are too far away, but you might ask them, and of course the Vicar and old Major Sidebotham. The more guests the better, Florence! Sandwiches, foie gras sandwiches—last time, you remember, the liver sausage you bought made Lady Bunyan ill—and cakes, plenty of cakes, with coloured sugar!
You had better take the car into Llandudno and get them there. And flags, Diana! There should be flags left over from last time. No expense must be spared. Pennyfeather, I want you to get the results of the first heats out by four o'clock. Then you can telephone them to the printers, and we shall have the programmes by tomorrow. Tell them that fifty will be enough; they must be decorated with the school colours and crest in gold.
And there must be flowers, Diana, banks of flowers,' said the Doctor, with an expansive gesture. Do you think there ought to be a bouquet for Lady Circumference? It is rarely that the scholarly calm of Llanabba gives place to festival, but when it does taste and dignity shall go unhampered. It shall be an enormous bouquet, redolent of hospitality. You are to procure the most expensive bouquet that Wales can offer; do you understand? Flowers, youth, wisdom, the glitter of jewels, music,' said the Doctor, his imagination soaring to dizzy heights under the stimulus of the words; 'music!
There must be a band. You'll be having fireworks next. I noticed how shabby he looked this morning. Flowers and fireworks are one thing, but I insist on drawing a line somewhere. It would be sinful to download Mr Prendergast a tie. Will you get on to them, Florence? I think Mr Davies at the station is the bandmaster. Can the Clutterbucks come? And then there is the Press. We must ring up the Flint and Denbigh Herald and get them to send a photographer.
That means whisky. Will you see to that, Philbrick? I remember at one of our sports I omitted to offer whisky to the Press, and the result was a most unfortunate photograph. Boys do get into such indelicate positions during the obstacle race, don't they? I think you had better take Grimes into Llandudno with you to help with the prizes. I don't think there is any need for undue extravagance with the prizes.
It gives boys a wrong idea of sport. I wonder whether Lady Circumference would think it odd if we asked her to present parsley crowns. Perhaps she would. Utility, economy and apparent durability are the qualities to be sought for, I think. It doesn't do to let any boy win more than two events; I leave you to arrange that.
I think it would be only right if little Lord Tangent won something, and Beste-Chetwynde—yes, his mother is coming down, too. I only learned this morning that Lady Circumference proposed to visit us, and as Mrs Beste-Chetwynde was coming too, it seemed too good an opportunity to be missed.
It is not often that the visits of two such important parents coincide. They always say that she poisoned her husband, but of course little Beste-Chetwynde doesn't know that. It never came into court, but there was a great deal of talk about it at the time.
Perhaps you remember the case? It was raining again by the time that Paul and Mr Prendergast reached the playing-fields. The boys were waiting for them in bleak little groups, shivering at the unaccustomed austerity of bare knees and open necks.
Clutterbuck had fallen down in the mud and was crying quietly behind a tree. She thinks she can hire some in Llandudno for tomorrow. The Doctor says you must do the best you can till then. I've got to help the gardeners put up the blasted tent. How wet I am getting.
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I should have got my boots mended if I'd known this was going to happen. Prendy, will you look after them? I want to see if Philbrick and I can fix up anything for the jumping. It's quite simple. I don't in the least want to know anything about you; d'you hear? I think it is without exception the most beautiful story I know. And I can tell you this. It's a pretty well-known name across the river. Try it. That's what the boys call me. Plain Mr Solomon Philbrick I am, really, just like you or him,' with a jerk of the thumb towards the playing-fields, from which Mr Prendergast's voice could be heard crying weakly: Out of respect, see?
Oh, why don't you go? I was brought up rough, damned rough. Ever heard speak of "Chick" Philbrick? Useful little boxer, though.
Not first-class, on account of his drinking so much and being short in the arm. Still, he used to earn five pound a night at the Lambeth Stadium.
Always popular with the boys, he was, even when he was so full, he couldn't hardly fight. He was my dad, a good-hearted sort of fellow but rough, as I was telling you; he used to knock my poor mother about something awful. Got jugged for it twice, but my! There aren't many left like him nowadays, what with education and whisky the price it is.
It was there I met Toby Cruttwell. Perhaps you ain't never heard of him, neither? What, Toby Cruttwell a sporting character! You make me laugh. Toby Cruttwell,' said Philbrick with renewed emphasis, 'what brought off the Duller diamond robbery of , and the Amalgamated Steel Trust robbery of , and the Isle of Wight burglaries in ! He wasn't no sporting character, Toby wasn't. Sporting character! D'you know what he done to Alf Larrigan, what tried to put it over on one of his girls?
I'll tell you. Toby had a doctor in tow at the time, name of Peterfield; lives in Harley Street, with a swell lot of patients. Well, Toby knew a thing about him. He'd done in one of Toby's girls what went to him because she was going to have a kid. Well, Toby knew that, so he had to do what Toby told him, see?
Toby never killed no one except a lot of blinking Turks the time they gave him the V. But he got hold of him and took him to Dr Peterfield, and—' Philbrick's voice sank to a whisper.
Now, if you don't go when I say "Go", I shall disqualify you all; d'you hear? Are you ready? He hadn't no use for girls after that. Ha, ha, ha! Sporting character's good. Well, me and Toby worked together for five years. I was with him in the Steel Trust and the Buller diamonds, and we cleared a nice little profit. Toby took seventy-five per cent. Just before the war we split. A very fine house that was before the war, and it's the best in the locality now, though I says it.
Things aren't quite so easy as they was, but I can't complain.
I've got the Picture House next to it, too. Just mention my name there any day you like to have a free seat. Well, then, there was the war. Toby got the V. He's in Parliament now—Major Cruttwell, M. My old woman ran the pub for me. Didn't tell you I was married, did I?
Pretty enough bit of goods when we was spliced, but she ran to fat. Women do in the public-house business. After the war things were a bit slow, and then my old woman kicked the bucket. I didn't think I'd mind much, her having got so fat and all, nor I didn't not at first, but after a time, when the excitement of the funeral had died down and things were going on just the same as usual, I began to get restless.
You know how things get, and I took to reading the papers. Before that my old woman used to read out the bits she'd like, and sometimes I'd listen and sometimes I wouldn't, but anyhow they weren't the things that interested me. She never took no interest in crime, not unless it was a murder.
But I took to reading the police news, and I took to dropping in at the pictures whenever they sent me a crook film.
I didn't sleep so well, neither, and I used to lie awake thinking of old times. Of course I could have married again: I generally drop in on Saturday evenings and smoke a cigar and stand a round of drinks. It sets the right tone. I wear a button-hole in the summer, too, and a diamond ring. I never see a man look more discouraged. How are things with you? Well, he's got a son—nasty little kid about twelve, just going off to college for the first time.
I'd had my eye on him," Jimmy said, "for a long time, him being the only son and his father so rich, so when I'd finished the last job I was on I had a go at him. Everything went as easy as drinking," Jimmy said. There was a garage just round the corner behind Belgrave Square where he used to go every morning to watch them messing about with the cars.
Crazy about cars the kid was. Jimmy comes in one day with his motor bike and side-car and asks for some petrol. He comes up and looks at it in the way he had. This bike," he says, "won the Grand Prix at Boulogne.
I bet you I'll do eighty on the road. Then Jimmy shuts him up safe and writes to the father. The kid was happy as blazes taking down the engine of Jimmy's bike.
It's never been the same since, Jimmy told me, but then it wasn't much to talk of before. Everything had gone through splendid till Jimmy got his answer from Lord Utteridge. Would you believe it, that unnatural father wouldn't stump up, him that owns ships and coal-mines enough to download the blinking Bank of England. Said he was much obliged to Jimmy for the trouble he had taken, that the dearest wish of his life had been gratified and the one barrier to his complete happiness removed, but that, as the matter had been taken up without his instructions, he did not feel called upon to make any payment in respect of it, and remained his sincerely, Utteridge.
He wrote once or twice after that, but got no answer, so by the time the kid had spread bits of the bike all over the room Jimmy let him go. You've been out of the business ten years. You don't know what things are like nowadays. As I say, I'd been getting restless doing nothing but just pottering round the pub all day. So he opens a newspaper. Well, about the first thing we found was a picture of Lady Circumference with her only son, Lord Tangent, at Warwick Races.
And that's what brought me here. I shall certainly inform the police. I never heard of such a thing. Jimmy's won his bet. All this was before I met Dina, see? Dina I calls her, after a song I heard. The moment I saw that girl I knew the game was up. My heart just stood still. There's a song about that, too. That girl,' said Philbrick, 'could bring a man up from the depths of hell itself. She's not happy here. I don't think her dad treats her proper. Sometimes,' said Philbrick, 'I think she's only marrying me to get away from here.
We've been going together for some time. It's bad for a girl being shut away like that, never seeing a man. She was in a state she'd have gone with anybody until I come along, just housekeeping day in, day out. The only pleasure she ever got was cutting down the bills and dismissing the servants. Most of them leave before their month is up, anyway, they're that hungry. She's got a head on her shoulders, she has. Real business woman, just what I need at the "Lamb". That made her think a bit. A prince in disguise, as you might say.
It was she who actually suggested our getting married. I shouldn't have had the face to, not while I was butler. What I'd meant to do was to hire a car one day and come down with my diamond ring and button-hole and pop the question. But there wasn't any need for that. Love's a wonderful thing. Philbrick stopped speaking and was evidently deeply moved by his recital.
The door of the pavilion opened, and Mr Prendergast came in. You see, none of the boys came back from the first race. They just disappeared behind the trees at the top of the drive.
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I expect they've gone to change. I don't blame them, I'm sure. It's terribly cold. Still, it was discouraging launching heat after heat and none coming back. Like sending troops into battle, you know. How did the heats go? I've been in the trade some time.
These things are best done over the fire. We can make out the results in peace. We'd better hurry. The old boy wants them sent to be printed this evening. I wonder if we ought to have a hurdle race? Happily enough, it did not rain next day, and after morning school everybody dressed up to the nines.
Dr Fagan appeared in a pale grey morning coat and sponge-bag trousers, looking more than ever jeune premier ; there was a spring in his step and a pronounced sprightliness of bearing that Paul had not observed before. Flossie wore a violet frock of knitted wool made for her during the preceding autumn by her sister.He joined the Royal Marines at the beginning of World War II and was one of the first to volunteer for commando service.
The little toad! Let me know what you think. Wish I was young enough to wear that kind of thing. Captain Grimes doesn't wash much,' he added, and then disappeared. My dear boy, I'm quite overcome. It was a severe struggle, but his early training was victorious. It's just what Prendy needs. Not dead, I hope?
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