The Inconsiderate Waiter, By J. M. Barrie -- The Black Poodle, By F. Anstey -- That Brute Simmons, By Arthur Morrison -- A Rose Of The Ghetto, By I. Zangwill -- An Idyl Of London, By Beatrice Harraden -- The Omnibus, "Q" [Quiller-Couch] -- The Hired Baby, By Marie Correlli
ere is entertaining, but on that occasion it was so frivolous that I did not remain five minutes. In the card-room a member told me excitedly that a policeman had spoken rudely to him; and my strange comment was:
"After all, it is a small matter."
In the library, where I had not been for years, I found two members asleep, and, to my surprise, William on a ladder dusting books.
"You have not heard, sir?" he said, in answer to my raised eyebrows. Descending the ladder, he whispered tragically: "It was last evening, sir. I--I lost my head, and I--swore at a member."
I stepped back from William, and glanced apprehensively at the two members. They still slept.
"I hardly knew," William went on, "what I was doing all day yesterday, for I had left my wife so weakly that--"
I stamped my foot.
"I beg your pardon for speaking of her," he had the grace to say, "but I couldn't help slipping up to the window often yesterday to look for Jenny, and when she did come, and I saw
This collection of stories, all set in London of the late 19th century, seem drawn-out by our standards, the humor quiet, the pathos pathetic, the plots flimsy, if there is one at all. Barrie, of Peter Pan fame, starts off with a well-conceived piece about a man with a kind heart and a cold exterior who is caught out; The black poodle shows that badly behaved dogs and mislaid plans of love are nothing new; Simmons the hen-pecked copes manfully with his problem; a Yiddish romance is completed economically; the life of painting-copiers tells us of the time before Xerox; The Omnibus is an occasion for kindness; and the Hired Baby cannot redeem its hired mother's tragedy. We find out about the lower orders more than in more popular books of the era. Not a bad read for a stormy night.
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