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Such Is Life   By: (1843-1912)

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Such is Life, by Tom Collins/Joseph Furphy

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I UNEMPLOYED

CHAPTER II Tuesday, Oct. 9 GOOLUMBULLA; TO RORY'S

CHAPTER III Friday, Nov. 9 CHARLEY'S PADDOCK; BINNEY; CATASTROPHE

CHAPTER IV Sunday, Dec. 9 DEAD MAN'S BEND! WARRIGAL ALF DOWN; RESCUE TWICE; ENLISTED TERRIBLE TOMMY, ETC.

CHAPTER V Wednesday, Jan. 9 TRINIDAD PAD., PER SAM YOUNG; CONVLAVE

CHAPTER VI Saturday, Feb. 9 RUNNYMEDE; TO ALF JONES'S

CHAPTER VII Friday, March 28 WILCANNIA SHOWER; JACK THE SHELLBACK; Saturday, March 29 TO RUNNYMEDE; TOM ARMSTRONG AND MATE

CHAPTER I

Unemployed at last!

Scientifically, such a contingency can never have befallen of itself. According to one theory of the Universe, the momentum of Original Impress has been tending toward this far off, divine event ever since a scrap of fire mist flew from the solar centre to form our planet. Not this event alone, of course; but every occurrence, past and present, from the fall of captured Troy to the fall of a captured insect. According to another theory, I hold an independent diploma as one of the architects of our Social System, with a commission to use my own judgment, and take my own risks, like any other unit of humanity. This theory, unlike the first, entails frequent hitches and cross purposes; and to some malign operation of these I should owe my present holiday.

Orthodoxly, we are reduced to one assumption: namely, that my indomitable old Adversary has suddenly called to mind Dr. Watts's friendly hint respecting the easy enlistment of idle hands.

Good. If either of the two first hypotheses be correct, my enforced furlough tacitly conveys the responsibility of extending a ray of information, however narrow and feeble, across the path of such fellow pilgrims as have led lives more sedentary than my own particularly as I have enough money to frank myself in a frugal way for some weeks, as well as to purchase the few requisites of authorship.

If, on the other hand, my supposed safeguard of drudgery has been cut off at the meter by that amusingly short sighted old Conspirator, it will be only fair to notify him that his age and experience, even his captivating habits and well known hospitality, will be treated with scorn, rather than respect, in the paragraphs which he virtually forces me to write; and he is hereby invited to view his own feather on the fatal dart.

Whilst a peculiar defect which I scarcely like to call an oversight in mental construction shuts me out from the flowery pathway of the romancer, a co ordinate requital endows me, I trust, with the more sterling, if less ornamental qualities of the chronicler. This fairly equitable compensation embraces, I have been told, three distinct attributes: an intuition which reads men like sign boards; a limpid veracity; and a memory which habitually stereotypes all impressions except those relating to personal injuries.

Submitting, then, to the constitutional interdict already glanced at, and availing myself of the implied license to utilise that homely talent of which I am the bailee, I purpose taking certain entries from my diary, and amplifying these to the minutest detail of occurrence or conversation. This will afford to the observant reader a fair picture of Life, as that engaging problem has presented itself to me.

Twenty two consecutive editions of Lett's Pocket Diary, with one week in each opening, lie on the table before me; all filled up, and in a decent state of preservation. I think I shall undertake the annotation of a week's record. A man might, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; but I shut my eyes, and take up one of the little volumes. It proves to be the edition of 1883. Again I shut my eyes while I open the book at random. It is the week beginning with Sunday, the 9th of September... Continue reading book >>




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