Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Club of Queer Trades Gilbert K. Chesterton

The Painful Fall of a Great Reputation

Page 5 of 11

Table Of Contents: The Club of Queer Trades

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"My good fellow," I said firmly, striking my foot on the pavement, "the truth of this affair is very simple. To use your own eloquent language, you have the `slight disadvantage' of being off your head. You see a total stranger in a public street; you choose to start certain theories about his eyebrows. You then treat him as a burglar because he enters an honest man's door. The thing is too monstrous. Admit that it is, Basil, and come home with me. Though these people are still having tea, yet with the distance we have to go, we shall be late for dinner."

Basil's eyes were shining in the twilight like lamps.

"I thought," he said, "that I had outlived vanity."

"What do you want now?" I cried.

"I want," he cried out, "what a girl wants when she wears her new frock; I want what a boy wants when he goes in for a clanging match with a monitor--I want to show somebody what a fine fellow I am. I am as right about that man as I am about your having a hat on your head. You say it cannot be tested. I say it can. I will take you to see my old friend Beaumont. He is a delightful man to know."

"Do you really mean--?" I began.

"I will apologize," he said calmly, "for our not being dressed for a call," and walking across the vast misty square, he walked up the dark stone steps and rang at the bell.

A severe servant in black and white opened the door to us: on receiving my friend's name his manner passed in a flash from astonishment to respect. We were ushered into the house very quickly, but not so quickly but that our host, a white-haired man with a fiery face, came out quickly to meet us.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"My dear fellow," he cried, shaking Basil's hand again and again, "I have not seen you for years. Have you been--er--" he said, rather wildly, "have you been in the country?"

"Not for all that time," answered Basil, smiling. "I have long given up my official position, my dear Philip, and have been living in a deliberate retirement. I hope I do not come at an inopportune moment."

"An inopportune moment," cried the ardent gentleman. "You come at the most opportune moment I could imagine. Do you know who is here?"

"I do not," answered Grant, with gravity. Even as he spoke a roar of laughter came from the inner room.

"Basil," said Lord Beaumont solemnly, "I have Wimpole here."

"And who is Wimpole?"

"Basil," cried the other, "you must have been in the country. You must have been in the antipodes. You must have been in the moon. Who is Wimpole? Who was Shakespeare?"

"As to who Shakespeare was," answered my friend placidly, "my views go no further than thinking that he was not Bacon. More probably he was Mary Queen of Scots. But as to who Wimpole is--" and his speech also was cloven with a roar of laughter from within.

Page 5 of 11 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Club of Queer Trades
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004