They are, as Julian Barnes teasingly tells him in the introduction to this selection, his best work, a matey dig which ricochets, since Barnes's own novels are also best when closest to his non-fiction.
Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. We just sprawled about exhaustedly, with home-made cigarettes sticking out of our scrubby faces.
Overhead the chestnut branches were covered with blossom, and beyond that great woolly clouds floated almost motionless in a clear sky. Littered on the grass, we seemed dingy, urban riff-raff. We defiled the scene, like sardine-tins and paper bags on the seashore.
What talk there was ran on the Tramp Major of this spike. He was a devil, everyone agreed, a tartar, a tyrant, a bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog. When You, came to be searched, he fair held you upside down and shook you.
If you were caught with tobacco there was bell to. Pay, and if you went in with money which is against the law God help you. I had eightpence on me. Then we set about smuggling our matches and tobacco, for it is forbidden to take these into nearly all spikes, and one is supposed to surrender them at the gate.
We hid them in our socks, except for the twenty or so per cent who had no socks, and had to carry the tobacco in their boots, even under their very toes. We stuffed our ankles with contraband until anyone seeing us might have imagined an outbreak of elephantiasis. But is an unwritten law that even the sternest Tramp Majors do not search below the knee, and in the end only one man was caught.
This was Scotty, a little hairy tramp with a bastard accent sired by cockney out of Glasgow. His tin of cigarette ends fell out of his sock at the wrong moment, and was impounded. At six, the gates swung open and we shuffled in. An official at the gate entered our names and other particulars in the register and took our bundles away from us.
The woman was sent off to the workhouse, and we others into the spike. It was a gloomy, chilly, limewashed place, consisting only of a bathroom and dining-room and about a hundred narrow stone cells.
The terrible Tramp Major met us at the door and herded us into the bathroom to be stripped and searched.
He was a gruff, soldierly man of forty, who gave the tramps no more ceremony than sheep at the dipping-pond, shoving them this way and that and shouting oaths in their faces.Online shopping from a great selection at Books Store.
In the painter James McNeill Whistler initiated an action for libel against the critic John Ruskin, who had defamed Whistler and his paintings in print.
The Savage Club was founded in and remains one of the leading Bohemian Gentleman's Clubs in London. Clubs elsewhere have borrowed both the name and the style, which continues to be the 'pursuit of happiness' - a quest made infinitely more agreeable by the fellowship of members who are known to each other by the sobriquet.
ABC Index of Masonic Papers published. PS Review of Freemasonry. This paper reexamines the Landmarks specified by Mackey and Pound.
It establishes the criteria which these two authors established to define the individual Landmarks of the fraternity and determines whether these criteria were followed.
Reliable Essays: The Best of Clive James Clive James Picador £, pp A flagrantly, hilariously unreliable memoirist, Clive James has every right to insist on the reliability of his essays.
Just weeks after his most recent poetry collection hit the shops, Clive James’s publishers have announced that he will publish a second book this year, a collection of literary reflections.