The Sunny Side eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 252 pages of information about The Sunny Side.

His heart beat tumultuously.  He felt suffocated.  He longed to say, “So do I,” but was afraid that it was not good English.  Even then he knew that he must be a writer when he grew up.

She leant forward and kissed him.  He realized suddenly that he was in love.  The need for self-expression was strong upon him.  Shyly he brought out his last acid-drop and shared it with her.  He had never seen her since, but even now, twenty years after, he could not eat an acid-drop without emotion, and a whole bag of them brought the scene back so visibly as to be almost a pain.

Yes, he was to be a writer; there could be no doubt about that.  Everybody had noticed it.  The Vicar had said, “Johnny will never do any good at Polwollop, I fear”; and the farmer for whom John scared rooks had said, “Thiccy la-ad seems daft-like,” and one after another of Mrs. Penquarto’s friends had given similar testimony.  And now here he was, at twenty-six, in the little bed-sitting-room in Bloomsbury, ready to write the great novel which should take London by storm.  Polwollop seemed a hundred years away.

Feverishly he seized pen and paper and began to wonder what to write.

II

It was near the Albert Memorial that the great inspiration came to him some weeks later.  Those had been weeks of mingled hope and despair; of hope as he had fondled again his treasured books and read their titles, or gazed at the photograph of Mary; of despair as he had taken off his belt and counted out his rapidly-decreasing stock of money, or reflected that he was as far from completing his novel as ever.  Sometimes in the search for an idea he had frequented the restaurants where the great Samuel Johnson himself had eaten, and sometimes he had frequented other restaurants where even the great Samuel Johnson himself had been unable to eat.  Often he had gone into the British Museum and leant against a mummy-case, or taken a ’bus to Chelsea and pressed his forehead against the brass-plate which marked Carlyle’s house, but no inspiration had come.  And then suddenly, quite close to the Albert Memorial, he knew.

He would write a novel about a boy called William who had lived in Cornwall, and who came to London and wrote a novel, a novel of which “The Westminster Gazette” said:  “This novel undoubtedly places the author in the front rank of living novelists.”  William’s novel would be a realistic account of—­yes, that was it—­of a boy called Henry, who had lived in Cornwall, and who came to London and wrote a novel, a novel of which “The Morning Post” said:  “By this novel the author has indubitably established his claim to be reckoned among the few living novelists who count.”  But stay!  What should this novel of Henry’s be about?  It would be necessary to describe it.  For an hour he wrestled with the problem, and then he had another inspiration.  Henry’s novel would be about a boy called Thomas who had lived in Cornwall and who came to London and wrote a novel {about a boy called Stephen who had lived in Cornwall, and who came to London and wrote a novel (about a boy called Michael who had lived in Cornwall, and who came to London and wrote a novel (about a boy called Peter, who had lived in Cornwall, and ...) ...

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Sunny Side from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook