“What you want,” said the Doctor, “is to be shut up for a year in the tap-room of a public-house. No water, only spirits. That must cure you.”
So George ordered Starling to hire a public-house in a populous district. When this was done, he went and lived there. But you scarcely need to be told that Starling had not carried out his orders. How could he be expected to do that? Only fifty-six pages of my book had been written, and even publishers—the most abandoned people on the face of the earth—know that that amount won’t make a Christmas Annual. So Starling hired a Temperance Hotel. As I have said, he was a devil of a gyp.
The fact was this. One of GEORGE’s great-great uncles had held a commission in the Blue Ribbon Army. George remembered this too late. The offer of a seat in the University Trial Eights must have suggested the blue ribbon which the University Crew wear on their straw hats. Thus the diabolical forces of heredity were roused to fever-heat, and the great-great uncle, with his blue ribbon, whose photograph hung in GEORGE’s home over the parlour mantelpiece, became a living force in GEORGE’s brain.
George GINSLING went and lived in a suburban neighbourhood. It was useless. He married a sweet girl with various spiteful relations. In vain. He changed his name to PUMPDRY, and conducted a local newspaper. Profitless striving. Starling was always at hand, always ready with the patent filter, and as punctual in his appearances as the washing-bill or the East wind. I repeat, he was a devil of a gyp.
They found George GINSLING feet uppermost in six inches of water in the Daffodil Road reservoir. It was a large reservoir, and had been quite full before George began upon it. This was his record drink, and it killed him. His last words were, “If I had stuck to whiskey, this would never have happened.”
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“It is the Bogie man!”—BLACKIE’S Modern Cyclopedia. Nothing to do with the Christy Minstrel Entertainment, but a very useful work of reference, issued from the ancient house of publishers which is now quite Blackie with age. We have looked through the “B’s” for “Bogie,” but “The Bogie Man” is “Not there, not there, my child!” but he is to be found in that other BLACKIE’s collection at the St. James’s Hall, which Bogie Man is said to be the original of that ilk. Unde derivatur “Bogie”? Perhaps the next edition of BLACKIE’s still-more-Modern-than-ever Cyclopedia will explain.
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