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I Walked in Arden   By:

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I WALKED IN ARDEN

JACK CRAWFORD

NEW YORK ALFRED A KNOPF MCMXXII

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY ALFRED A. KNOPF, INC. Published, April, 1922

Set up, electrotyped, and printed by the Vail Ballou Co., Binghamton, N. Y. Paper supplied by Perkins Goodwin Co., New York, N. Y. Bound by the H. Wolff Estate, New York, N. Y.

MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

I I BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING

II I SET OUT ALONG A NEW TRAIL

III I CAMP IN THE DESERT

IV I HAVE MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH PROSPERO

V I ENTER DEEP HARBOR SOCIETY

VI I GO FOR A RIDE ON SATAN

VII I HAVE THE FIRST GREAT ADVENTURE

VIII I PLAY A PART IN A MELODRAMA

IX I COME FACE TO FACE WITH THE FUTURE

X WE SHARE OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS

XI WE SEEK AND OBTAIN CONSENT

XII WE PASS AN ORDEAL AND SAIL FOR HOME

XIII WE ARRIVE AND LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER ARRIVAL

XIV WE FIND NEW LIFE AND NEW LOVE

XV WE BEGIN TO LIVE

XVI WE HEAR SENTENCE PRONOUNCED

XVII WE STAND AT THE CROSS ROADS

EPILOGUE. CHRISTMAS, 1918

I WALKED IN ARDEN

Chapter One

I BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING

I hardly know where to begin, because, as I grow older, I find it more and more difficult to know what really is the beginning of anything. Causes are all mixed up, and things that seem afterwards to have a bearing were not at the time important enough to be noted. And it is probably ten to one that some factors have been completely forgotten. I suppose nobody can tell all of what happened or tell any of it with absolute accuracy. At least, as I look on at life, any attempt to record it on paper seems hopeless. Things happen, you don't know why and you try to use your judgment while they are happening, but even if you are very clever, you don't know whether your judgment was the best judgment. All you can observe is how things end when they do end.

And yet I know that character whatever that is probably is more important than circumstances. There's an old vulgar song, something about, "It isn't what you do, it's how you take things." These aren't the words, but that is the idea. It's the same thing that my father used to say to me: "Play fair, Ted and then if you lose, why, you must grin and bear it." I know this isn't a novel philosophy; it is a useful one. Original ideas are not necessarily helpful. An honest platitude has better sticking powers.

I must try to tell a little about the beginning. My name is Edward Jevons and I was born in New York City, but I have never had the pleasure of living in what, for lack of a better term, I shall call my native town. At the age of six, when Her Majesty Queen Victoria was seated upon the comfortable throne of those days, I was taken by my father and mother to live in England. From the age of six to the age of eighteen I was a cockney and grew up in London. In all that time my eyes did not see America.

I have nothing but pleasant memories of this childhood in London. We were not a fashionable family; we knew nothing of the wealthy Anglo American set in London; but we had a comfortable house out Hampstead way, and, as the saying is, "did ourselves rather well." We also had a little villa in the country, near a golf course, in Hertfordshire. The country place we rented for the summers.

My father was a business man, but he had tried his hand, in earlier life, at writing I believe with some success. Business was more profitable than writing and he abandoned the latter. He kept up, however, many of his literary friendships, and our house was frequented by writers of more or less fame and a few theatre people. I thus became early infected with a desire to write a wish which my father encouraged. He took a good deal of pains over training me in observation and in arousing in me what he called, "a curiosity about life" without which, he said, no one could write anything worth while. In the evenings I would bring him my day's work and he would discuss it seriously with me over a pipe... Continue reading book >>




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