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The Idler Magazine, Volume III., Issue XIII., February 1893 An Illustrated Monthly. Edited By Jerome K. Jerome & Robert Barr   By:

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THE IDLER MAGAZINE. AN ILLUSTRATED MONTHLY.

EDITED BY JEROME K. JEROME & ROBERT BARR.

VOL. III. FEBRUARY TO JULY, 1893.

XIII. FEB. 1893.

LONDON: CHATTO & WINDUS, 214, PICCADILLY. 1893.

CONTENTS.

CHEATING THE GALLOWS. BY I. ZANGWILL.

MY FIRST NOVEL. THE TRAIL OF THE SERPENT. BY MISS M. E. BRADDON.

NOVEL NOTES. BY JEROME K. JEROME.

THE SKATER. BY WILLIAM CANTON.

MY SERVANT ANDREAS. BY ARCHIBALD FORBES.

TOLD BY THE COLONEL. X. A MATRIMONIAL ROMANCE. BY W. L. ALDEN.

"LIONS IN THEIR DENS." II. GEORGE GROSSMITH AND THE HUMOUR OF HIM. BY RAYMOND BLATHWAYT.

A BLIND BEGGARMAN. BY FRANK MATHEW.

CHURCH AND STAGE. A REVIEW OF HENRY IRVING. BY THE REV. DR. JOSEPH PARKER.

THAT BEAST BEAUTY. BY KIRBY HARE.

PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET. MRS. HUMPHRY WARD. BY SCOTT RANKIN.

THE IDLERS CLUB Is Love a Practical Reality or a Pleasing Fiction?

CHEATING THE GALLOWS.

BY I. ZANGWILL.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEO. HUTCHINSON.

CHAPTER I.

CURIOUS COUPLE.

[Illustration: THE CORPSE WASHED UP BY THE RIVER.]

They say that a union of opposites makes the happiest marriage, and perhaps it is on the same principle that men who chum are always so oddly assorted. You shall find a man of letters sharing diggings with an auctioneer, and a medical student pigging with a stockbroker's clerk. Perhaps each thus escapes the temptation to talk "shop" in his hours of leisure, while he supplements his own experiences of life by his companion's.

[Illustration: TOM PETERS.] [Illustration: EVERARD G. ROXDAL.]

There could not be an odder couple than Tom Peters and Everard G. Roxdal the contrast began with their names, and ran through the entire chapter. They had a bedroom and a sitting room in common, but it would not be easy to find what else. To his landlady, worthy Mrs. Seacon, Tom Peters's profession was a little vague, but everybody knew that Roxdal was the manager of the City and Suburban Bank, and it puzzled her to think why a bank manager should live with such a seedy looking person, who smoked clay pipes and sipped whiskey and water all the evening when he was at home. For Roxdal was as spruce and erect as his fellow lodger was round shouldered and shabby; he never smoked, and he confined himself to a small glass of claret at dinner.

It is possible to live with a man and see very little of him. Where each of the partners lives his own life in his own way, with his own circle of friends and external amusements, days may go by without the men having five minutes together. Perhaps this explains why these partnerships jog along so much more peaceably than marriages, where the chain is drawn so much tighter, and galls the partners rather than links them. Diverse, however, as were the hours and habits of the chums, they often breakfasted together, and they agreed in one thing they never stayed out at night. For the rest Peters sought his diversions in the company of journalists, and frequented debating rooms, where he propounded the most iconoclastic views; while Roxdal had highly respectable houses open to him in the suburbs, and was, in fact, engaged to be married to Clara Newell, the charming daughter of a retired corn merchant, a widower with no other child.

[Illustration: ASKED TWENTY FIVE PER CENT. MORE.]

Clara naturally took up a good deal of Roxdal's time, and he often dressed to go to the play with her, while Peters stayed at home in a faded dressing gown and loose slippers. Mrs. Seacon liked to see gentlemen about the house in evening dress, and made comparisons not favourable to Peters. And this in spite of the fact that he gave her infinitely less trouble than the younger man. It was Peters who first took the apartments, and it was characteristic of his easy going temperament that he was so openly and naïvely delighted with the view of the Thames obtainable from the bedroom window, that Mrs... Continue reading book >>


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