nuclear spot at leisure, while his voice became dictatorial without. The den struck me as in its large grey dirty way quite unprecedented and extraordinary. The bottles were all labelled simply A, B, C, and so forth, and that dear old apparatus above, seen from this side, was even more patently "on the shelf" than when it had been used to impress Wimblehurst. I saw nothing for it but to sit down in the chair and await my uncle's explanations. I remarked a frock-coat with satin lapels behind the door; there was a dignified umbrella in the corner and a clothes-brush and a hat-brush stood on a side-table. My uncle returned in five minutes looking at his watch—a gold watch—"Gettin' lunch-time, George," he said. "You'd better come and have lunch with me!"
"How's Aunt Susan?" I asked.
"Exuberant. Never saw her so larky. This has bucked her up something wonderful—all this."
"What is Tono-Bungay?" I asked.
My uncle hesitated. "Tell you after lunch, George," he said. "Come along!" and having locked up the sanctum after himself, led the way along a narrow dirty pavement, lined with barrows and swept at times by avalanche-like porters bearing burthens to vans, to Farringdon Street. He hailed a passing cab superbly, and the cabman was infinitely respectful. "Schäfers'," he said, and off we went side by side—and with me more and more amazed at all these things—to Schäfers' Hotel, the second of the two big places with huge lace curtain-covered windows, near the corner of Blackfriars Bridge.
I will confess I felt a magic change in our relative