The story of a down-on-his-luck draper's assistant who takes a second-hand bicycle on a tour through the English countryside. He meets a young woman on the run from her seducer in addition to a string of other amusing characters..
d battered at an extraordinary number of points. But enough of realistic description is as good as a feast, and we have exhibited enough for our purpose. Even in literature one must know where to draw the line.
Now the reader may be inclined to wonder how a respectable young shopman should have got his legs, and indeed himself generally, into such a dreadful condition. One might fancy that he had been sitting with his nether extremities in some complicated machinery, a threshing-machine, say, or one of those hay-making furies. But Sherlock Holmes (now happily dead) would have fancied nothing of the kind. He would have recognised at once that the bruises on the internal aspect of the left leg, considered in the light of the distribution of the other abrasions and contusions, pointed unmistakably to the violent impact of the Mounting Beginner upon the bicycling saddle, and that the ruinous state of the right knee was equally eloquent of the concussions attendant on that person's hasty, frequently causele
I have to confess that this short story is one of my favourites, its just right for a rainy afternoon.
Wellís opens a window into the everyday world of Edwardian England, its attitudes and class structure, but he does so with a deft hand and wry humour.
The story uses the cycling craze of the 1900ís as a vehicle to throw together a simple draperís assistant, a run away girl fresh out of finishing school, and a cad with designs on her honour.
Will she be deflowered or will the draper save the day? Now read on.