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AT WIMBLEHURST

Lord Eastry, and he's got everything, except what his lawyers get, and before you get any more change this way you'll have to dynamite him—and them. He doesn't want anything more to happen. Why should he? Any change 'ud be a loss to him. He wants everything to burble along and burble along and go on as it's going for the next ten thousand years, Eastry after Eastry, one parson down another come, one grocer dead, get another! Any one with any ideas better go away. They have gone away! Look at all these blessed people in this place! Look at 'em! All fast asleep, doing their business out of habit—in a sort of dream. Stuffed men would do just as well—just. They've all shook down into their places. They don't want anything to happen either. They're all broken in. There you are! Only what are they all alive for? . . .

"Why can't they get a clockwork chemist?"

He concluded as he often concluded these talks. "I must invent something,—that's about what I must do. Zzzz. Some convenience. Something people want. . . . Strike out. . . . You can't think, George, of anything everybody wants and hasn't got? I mean something you could turn out retail under a shilling, say? Well, you think, whenever you haven't got anything better to do. See?"


§2

So I remember my uncle in that first phase, young, but already a little fat, restless, fretful, garrulous, putting in my fermenting head all sorts of discrepant ideas. Certainly he was educational. . . .