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The Call of the Town A Tale of Literary Life   By: (1871-1949)

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THE CALL OF THE TOWN

The Call of the Town

A Tale of Literary Life

By J. A. HAMMERTON

AUTHOR OF "J. M. BARRIE AND HIS BOOKS," "LORD ROSEBERY," "TONY'S HIGHLAND TOUR," Etc.

LONDON R. A. EVERETT & CO. 42 ESSEX STREET, STRAND, W.C. 1904

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE I. "THE PROUD PARENT" 9 II. HENRY LEAVES HOME 22 III. THE REAL AND THE IDEAL 36 IV. MR. TREVOR SMITH, IF YOU PLEASE 53 V. IN WHICH HENRY DECIDES 61 VI. WHICH INTRODUCES AN EDITOR 70 VII. AMONG NEW FRIENDS 80 VIII. THE YOUNG JOURNALIST 91 IX. WHAT THE NECKTIE TOLD 100 X. VIOLET EYES 111 XI. ONE'S FOLLY, ANOTHER'S OPPORTUNITY 122 XII. "A JOLLY, DASHING SORT OF GIRL" 136 XIII. THE PHILANDERERS 147 XIV. FATE AND A FIDDLER 157 XV. "THE MYSTERIOUS MR. P." 164 XVI. DRIFTING 177 XVII. THE WAY OF A WOMAN 192 XVIII. IN LONDON TOWN 202 XIX. THE PEN AND THE PENCIL CLUB 214 XX. THREE LETTERS, AND SOME OTHERS 228 XXI. "THAT BOOK" 238 XXII. HOME AGAIN 244 XXIII. A TRAGIC ENDING 254 XXIV. ONE SUNDAY, AND AFTER 259

THE CALL OF THE TOWN

CHAPTER I

"THE PROUD PARENT"

IF you happen to be riding a bicycle you arrive somewhat unexpectedly in the little Ardenshire village of Hampton Bagot, and are through it in a flash, before you quite realise its existence. But in the unlikely event of your having business or pleasure there, you approach the place more leisurely in the carrier's cart from the little station which absurdly bears the name of the village, though two miles distant.

The ancient Parish Church, with its curious old chained library and bits of Saxon masonry, "perfectly unique," as Mr. Godfrey Needham, the vicar, used to say, and the one wide street of quaint old houses, with their half timbered fronts, remain to this day much as they were, no doubt, when good Queen Bess ruled England. But the thirsty cyclist, whose throat may happen to be parched at this particular stage of his journey, is a poor substitute for the old time stage coach which made Hampton Bagot a place of change. Somehow, the village continues to exist, though its few hundred people scrape their livings in ways that are not obvious to the casual visitor. The surrounding district is richly pastoral, plentifully sprinkled with cosy farm houses, and here, perhaps, we have the reason why Hampton continues under the sun.

If you wandered along the few hundred yards of street, and noted the various substitutes for shops, in which oranges and sweets and babies' clothing mingle familiarly with hams and shoe laces, you would be struck by the more pretentious exterior of one which bears in crudely painted letters the legend, EDWARD JOHN CHARLES, and underneath, in smaller characters, the words POST OFFICE... Continue reading book >>




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