'I don't know,' said the older man vaguely. 'One could travel... '
'The English people have two ideas of happiness: one comes from travel, one from staying still! Rushing or rusting! I might marry but I don't wish to marry. I might have a great stable of race-horses, but I detest racing. I might yacht--I loathe the sea. Suppose I want a thrill? I do! The art of living is the art of victory. Make a note of that. Where is happiness in cards, horses, golf, women-anything you like? I'll tell you: in beating the best man to it! That's An Americanism. Where is the joy of mountain climbing, of exploration, of scientific discovery? To do better than somebody else--to go farther, to put your foot on the head of the next best.'
He blew a cloud of smoke through the open window and waited until the breeze had torn the misty gossamer into shreds and nothingness.
'When you're a millionaire you either
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In Margaret Lane's biography of Edgar Wallace, Wallace is said to have experienced a hot spot at the
top of his head when working. On the second page of The Joker, comes, 'splendid ideas were born in Stratford Harlow's (Edgar Wallace's?) mind, great schemes loomed out of the nowhere which is beyond vision.' His book plots?
Was EW speaking about himself when he observed, 'He had all the requisite qualities of an observer; his enjoyment was without the handicap of sentimentality, a weakness which is fatal to accurate judgement.'
Is this how EW chose his characters?
Stratford Harlow says 'he detests horse racing' but betting on horses was the recreational love of EW's life. What a joke!
There are others in this jolly good read, but I leave to you to look for them yourself.
I must admit that I have fallen to temptation and included odd personal facts in my two published books, Sherlock Holmes's Tibetan Adventure, and The Death Detective and the Skeleton, both available from Amazon. John F. Rice.
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