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I Mrs Brindeley looked across the lunch-table at her husband with glinting, eager eyes, which showed that there was something unusual in the brain behind them. "Bob," she said, factitiously calm. "You don't know what I've just remembered!" "Well?" said he. "It's only grandma's birthday to-day!" My friend Robert Brindley, the architect, struck the table with a violent fist, making his little boys blink, and then he said quietly: "The... more...

CHAPTER I MONEY IN THE HOUSE I In the evening dimness of old Mrs. Maldon's sitting-room stood the youthful virgin, Rachel Louisa Fleckring. The prominent fact about her appearance was that she wore an apron. Not one of those white, waist-tied aprons, with or without bibs, worn proudly, uncompromisingly, by a previous generation of unaspiring housewives and housegirls! But an immense blue pinafore-apron, covering the whole front of the figure... more...

WILFRED WHITTEN'S PROSE 4 Apr. '08 An important book on an important town is to be issued by Messrs. Methuen. The town is London, and the author Mr. Wilfred Whitten, known to journalism as John o' London. Considering that he comes from Newcastle-on-Tyne (or thereabouts), his pseudonym seems to stretch a point. However, Mr. Whitten is now acknowledged as one of the foremost experts in London topography. He is not an archæologist, he is a... more...

THE FIRST NIGHT I sat with a melting ice on my plate, and my gaze on a very distant swinging door, through which came and went every figure except the familiar figure I desired. The figure of a woman came. She wore a pale-blue dress and a white apron and cap, and carried a dish in uplifted hands, with the gesture of an acolyte. On the bib of the apron were two red marks, and as she approached, tripping, scornful, unheeding, along the... more...

ACT I Hildegarde is sitting at a desk, writing . John, in a lounging attitude, is reading a newspaper . Enter Tranto, back . TRANTO. Good evening. HILDEGARDE ( turning slightly in her seat and giving him her left hand, the right still holding a pen ). Good evening. Excuse me one moment. TRANTO. All right about my dining here to-night? (Hildegarde nods .) Larder equal to the strain? HILDEGARDE. Macaroni. TRANTO. Splendid. HILDEGARDE.... more...


CHAPTER I THE NEW LODGING I In the pupils' room of the offices of Lucas & Enwright, architects, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, George Edwin Cannon, an articled pupil, leaned over a large drawing-board and looked up at Mr. Enwright, the head of the firm, who with cigarette and stick was on his way out after what he called a good day's work. It was past six o'clock on an evening in early July 1901. To George's right was an open door leading to... more...

CHAPTER I DOG-BITE I "And yet," Edward Henry Machin reflected as at six minutes to six he approached his own dwelling at the top of Bleakridge, "and yet—I don't feel so jolly after all!" The first two words of this disturbing meditation had reference to the fact that, by telephoning twice to his stockbrokers at Manchester, he had just made the sum of three hundred and forty-one pounds in a purely speculative transaction concerning... more...

Chapter 1 THE PROMENADE The piece was a West End success so brilliant that even if you belonged to the intellectual despisers of the British theatre you could not hold up your head in the world unless you had seen it; even for such as you it was undeniably a success of curiosity at least. The stage scene flamed extravagantly with crude orange and viridian light, a rectangle of bedazzling illumination; on the boards, in the midst of great... more...

I - ALL MEANS AND NO END I The plain man on a plain day wakes up, slowly or quickly according to his temperament, and greets the day in a mental posture which might be thus expressed in words: "Oh, Lord! Another day! What a grind!" If you ask me whom I mean by the plain man, my reply is that I mean almost every man. I mean you. I certainly mean me. I mean the rich and the poor, the successful and the unsuccessful, the idle and the diligent,... more...

In the autumn of 1903 I used to dine frequently in a restaurant in the Rue de Clichy, Paris. Here were, among others, two waitresses that attracted my attention. One was a beautiful, pale young girl, to whom I never spoke, for she was employed far away from the table which I affected. The other, a stout, middle-aged managing Breton woman, had sole command over my table and me, and gradually she began to assume such a maternal tone towards me that... more...