« 이전계속 »
photograph of the Clapper. Sellinger asked me. house in the 'Daily Mega- happen to know ?” phone,' and large headlines. "Five figures, I believe." Uncle Bliss had again achieved “Pity we couldn't touch him fame. The pygmy incident was for the organ." recalled. He was referred to This set Renton Magna calas “the famous African hun- culating. ter," "the intrepid explorer.” “Twenty organs for one dinoThe impending purchase, for saur egg. Expensive kind of it appeared that the deal was fowl ! Pity we can't run a not concluded yet, was de- dinosaur farm ourselves. Why scribed as a patriotic action. didn't you bring him with It was “a matter of congratu- you ?” lation that the relics of this “My dear,” said Mrs Selfabulous monster should find a linger, “do try and be a little resting-place on British soil.” more sympathetic. He is bringA pleasing omission was that ing it home to England, you there was no photograph of know." Uncle Bliss. Reporters and I took off my hat to the press photographers had tried editor of the 'Megaphone.' Is to waylay him before, but he there any village in which the had a short way with them. blare of his instrument is not It was in an earlier phase of heard ? notoriety that he met a depu- Roger Clarkson of the British tation of pressmen on the door- Museum happened to be at step of a house at which he the bazaar, the archdeacon's was staying. The door was nephew, and a mine of informasuddenly flung open, and he tion about dinosaurs and pteroburst upon them with a gun dactyls, and other unfamiliar in his hand, purple with rage, fowl — or reptiles ? He, of and threatened to send them course, knew Bliss, and smiled off with a charge of No. 8 in at our notion of his scientific their calves if they gave him attainments. Bliss a naturalist! any more trouble. Nothing of Bliss with his extravagant and this got into the papers. puerile theories, the laughing
Knowing Uncle Bliss, I was stock of learned societies. rather tickled at the idea of “We all hide when he comes taking him seriously. His only to the Museum. He rolled in claim to respect seemed to be one day, literally rolled, with that he was a man of resolu. the skin of a young giraffe in tion. But naturally Renton his pocket, which contained Magna was interested, pos- among other things his lunch sibly a little contemptuous and a folding butterfly-net; and “J."
and he tried to persuade us “The press does exaggerate that it was an okapi. But you things so,” Mrs Sellinger said. can't argue with him ; it only
“ What is he paying for it ? ” makes him rude. He still thinks he has shot an okapi. can't give the animal the air Ask him to show you the skin. of being alive. The bones must Have you seen his stuffed be properly articulated. You specimens ?”
can generally tell by the way Sellinger had not. He sup- an exhibit is mounted whether posed the collection would soon the taxidermist knows anybe on view at the Clapperhouse. thing about its habits. To be
“ If so, don't miss it,” said really first-class at his work he Clarkson. “Inflated gollywogs. must be a naturalist first, then Bags of sawdust."
an artist. But Staff was un“Does he stuff them him- trained. “He hasn't got the self ?”
most elementary idea of ana“No, he has got a taxider- tomy,” Clarkson concluded. mist of sorts. A queer fellow. “Neither has Bliss for that I don't know where he picked matter." him up."
My loyalty was stirred at “Staff?” I suggested. this. I don't know why, but “Yes,
that's his name. I felt that I must champion Wears corduroys, and has got Uncle Bliss. I was beginning the most unholy squint. 'Bliss' to feel as sorry for him as I Sancho Panza' we call him. had been for the Brebis a few He goes with him everywhere hours earlier.
Ursa -Bloomsbury or Timbuctoo. Major was a hectoring bully. Bliss took him to the Museum He stood as firm on his feet one day, to broaden his mind, as a Colossus. Four-square. I suppose ; but the stolid Staff Where did the pathos come was not impressed. They in? stumped through all the rooms And he had the doughty in the Natural History sec- Staff for his Sancho Panza. tion. This took them about We had heard a great deal an hour. Then Bliss brought about Staff, a devoted squire, him into my office, and I if an indifferent taxidermist. asked him what he thought He had once saved Bliss' life. of it. All he said was, 'I Bliss kept him on because he didn't see anything there to liked him. Also because he frighten me.'
was cheap. Two very good Staff's exhibits, on the con- reasons. I mentioned the first trary, were positively startling to Clarkson, who did not seem His British specimens might to understand the alliance. pass in the parlour of an inn. Bliss' Sancho Panza was But Bliss' African trophies ! very apt. I had not thought of Clarkson described them. A him in that light, nor of Bliss taxidermist in these days must as a pathetic or romantic figure. be something of a specialist, Clarkson must have started the he reminded us. A little know- current of sympathy when he ledge of comparative anatomy derided Staff, and it flowed is essential; otherwise you from the squire to the knight. I told Clarkson that old Dicken- gaze with affected concern at son used to think a lot of the refreshment tent. Bliss.
Personally,” said Sellinger, “Yes," he said, “according “I prefer a pothouse to a to Dickenson, Bliss was a pro- Potterhouse. A dose or two mising lad at Cambridge. Keen. of Bliss would do Lady Potter What's wrong with him is that a lot of good. Don't you agree he has never grown up. An with me? Last night was the enfant gaté. Too much money, first time I enjoyed a dinner I suppose. Swollen head. Not in that house. that that's a bad thing. Very Instinctively we gravitated useful in business. Less room towards the refreshment tent. for other heads. But in science Sellinger was still commending it won't do. There you have Bliss when a maid brought him the anthropometric standard.” a telegram. It was from Mar
“He is not self-conscious," jorie. I objected. “I don't believe “Miss Ismay has had an he thinks of himself in relation accident,” he told us. “Broken to other people.”
Infernal bad luck! Clarkson admitted that there A motor smash, I suppose. We was no vanity in Bliss. He expected her to lunch, and she described him rather happily was going to stay the night.” as "an uninstructed appetite. “Miss Ismay is the only Acquisitiveness was his strong woman traveller I like," Clarkpoint.
son observed. Sellinger defended Ursa Sellinger agreed. He detested Major. “I like him,” he said. the Amazonian tribe generic“I hope he gets his dinosaur's ally. “Dianas in puttees.” egg, and that Sancho Panza Mrs Winterbotham," they doesn't sit on it.”
" hammers her coolies.” Here Lady Potter rustled And her husband," Clarkpast and bowed to our group son emended. stiffly.
He quoted other flagrant “She has discovered that examples. Lady Vertigo, who alcohol is on sale in the refresh- would stand on her head to ment tent," Sellinger suggested. collect a crowd. Miss Carmine,
“Or she hasn't got over last who collected the photographers night.”
at Port Said by wireless. MaClarkson smiled. The arch- dame Waddilove, or qu'est ce deacon had told him about the que vous aimez, as they called dinner. “I haven't met Bliss her in Constantinople, the Turlately," he said, “but I hear cophile. She's got a street his manners have not im- named after her in Stamboul." proved.”
I wished Angela could have We watched our hostess of heard us; a pet theory of hers last night buttonhole the arch- is the existence of the “mandeacon, and saw him turn and gossip."
Sellinger didn't believe they We shall have her going in for really enjoyed it. “Like to causes soon, teetotalism" get themselves talked about. “I can square Irene,” I said. Picture in the ' Tatler,' and all “That will be quite easy." that. Now Miss Ismay
“But really, Clayton, why “ Has a sense of humour,” this sudden access of public I put in.
spirit ?" "I like her laugh,” said I was spared explanations. Clarkson.
The broad and kindly Mrs Sel"Yes, Marjorie is a sports- linger filled the door of the tent. woman,” our host concluded, Well," she said, “ you are " and remarkably good-looking not very energetic. Why aren't too. Extraordinary thing the you spending money ? sun hasn't spoilt hercomplexion. “We are," Sellinger retorted, Critchley's a lucky fellow."
putting down his glass. “How Here I saw a chance of a are things going?” home for Chimbashi. I de- “Not fast enough.” scribed Miss Ismay's latest con- We rose guiltily. tribution to the museum.
“We must make things hum "She is a great ally of the more, said our host. “Let's children," Sellinger said. “She go and have a dip in Irene's was unpacking her African bran-pie.” cases all yesterday, worse luck, We made short work of or she might have been here." Irene's department. It was
I strategically unfolded the closed in five minutes, and her story of the witch - doctor's money-box full. It took us shadow in the antelope's horn. nearly an hour to spend half Then I asked Clarkson if they a crown each on the coco-nuts. were interested in African talis- When we had released the chilmans in the museum. Talis- dren we made the tour of the mans and totems, it appeared, stalls. Their pockets were soon were a speciality in the ethno- Blissfully bulging. I remember logical section.
a round table with edges like "I wonder if they would like a tray and a slowly revolving Chimbashi.”
beam with a feather at the end Sellinger protested. “You which brushed through a sucdon't mean to say that you are cession of numbered openings going to give Marjorie's present in the rim, wobbled, hesitated, away?"
and came to a stop in one. “Of course, I will ask her It was most tremendously exfirst."
citing, as the Brebis would say. “And Irene? She will have For if it happened to be your something to say to it. Can number, you were given the you see her endowing the choice of all the objects in the nation! Don't tell me that stall. Irene carried off a box she is such a precociously public with shells on the lid and a spirited young lady as all that. comb to give to Jessie. And Val chose a tooth glass. He have called it loud. The Brebis wanted one of his own to keep and I did not spoil it by chatter; his water-beetles in. Then no- we just drank it in. It was the body would mind if he broke hour of reflection. Heavenly it. Jessie had emptied bis last tranquillity of a September beetle with a company of newts evening, when the corn shocks into the sink. The difficulty standing in the fields grow among this superfluity of china spectral and ghostly, and the dogs and india-rubber babies tawny owls call to one another, with glistening behinds was to an almost human cry, and one find something really suitable begins to smell the dew. for Miss Seamore. The chil- The only small cloud on the dren's number kept coming up, horizon was Miss Seamore. but nothing would quite do, Buying her presents had reand in the end we had to solve minded me of what the children the problem by a tip, which called ends. I hated her comthey converted into a lace ing just as much as they did. collar at Angela's stall.
No more intimate dinners with Angela, who had accepted a Angela when Aunt Hudson had lift in a friend's motor, left gone! When Miss Seamore was before us, and after a final anywhere near she was ubiquivisit to the marquee with Sel- tous. And she talked inceslinger, I collected the children santly and didactically. Still and disengaged the Brebis from we had nearly five days left. a beatific tête-à-tête with the We must send the children to archdeacon, that sworn enemy school a term earlier. That of ritualism. There were others would be a way out. Now if of her “persuasion” at the Chimbashi would turn his atbazaar, for it was an evangelical tention to Miss Seamoreneighbourhood, and I noticed Chimbashi had been indula safe-in-the-fold look in her gent all the afternoon, but I eye when she was talking to had a suspicion that he was them. Her head had been very lying low, “a sort of feeling,' close to the archdeacon's. “I as Angela says, something prehave had the most delightful monitory in the air. When I afternoon," she said, as I helped got home I was going to put her up into her high seat. him away. Luckily the children walked
Supposing he began again on home.
Miss Seamore. A touch of
lumbago, say. Nothing serious, It was a lovely still Septem- of course. I should hate it if ber evening, clear overhead ; Chimbashi hurt her, but some only a single bank of clouds small impediment to her locoin the west absorbed all the motion. I thought of Marjorie. fire of the sun. It was almost Marjorie and the witch-doctor's too bright and fiery. Angela, shadow. What a pity she who liked quiet colours, would wasn't at the bazaar! If it