Open main menu

Page:Tono-Bungay.djvu/259

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
251
MARION

"Hullo!" he answered, and put some papers aside. "What's up, George?"

"Things are wrong."

"As how?"

"My life," I said, "it's a mess, an infinite mess."

"She's been a stupid girl, George," he said; "I partly understand. But you're quit of her now, practically, and there's just as good fish in the sea——"

"Oh! it's not that," I cried. "That's only the part that shows. I'm sick—— I'm sick of all this damned rascality."

"Eh? Eh?" said my uncle. "What—rascality?"

"Oh, you know. I want some stuff, man. I want something to hold on to. I shall go amok if I don't get it. I'm a different sort of beast from you. You float in all this bunkum. I feel like a man floundering in a universe of soapsuds, up and down, east and west. I can't stand it. I must get my foot on something solid or—I don't know what."

I laughed at the consternation in his face.

"I mean it," I said. "I've been thinking it over. I've made up my mind. It's no good arguing. I shall go in for work—real work. No! this isn't work; it's only laborious cheating. But I've got an idea! It's an old idea—I thought of years ago, but it came back to me. Look here! Why should I fence about with you? I believe the time has come for flying to be possible. Real flying!"

"Flying!"

"Up in the air. Aeronautics! Machine heavier than air. It can be done. And I want to do it."

"Is there money in it, George?"

"I don't know nor care! But that's what I'm going to do."