Yet in every walk of life, says my mother, there were a few survivors in the shape of stolid, adamantine misogynists.
Continuing my journey homewards, I traversed Upper Street, Islington, and the Holloway Road to Highgate Hill, which I ascended at a sharp run. At the summit I met another newspaper boy carrying a bundle of Globes, one of which I purchased, after a hard-driven bargain, for two shillings and a stud from the shirt-front of my evening dress, which was beginning to show signs of ennui. I leaned against the wall of the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institute, to read it. The news was catastrophic. Commander Wells of the Fire Brigade had, it stated, visited Kensington Gardens with two manuals, one steam engine, and a mile of hose, in order to play upon the Crinoline and its occupants. Presuming on the immunity of persons bearing his name during the Martian invasion, the gallant Commander had approached too near and was in a moment reduced to salvage.
Pondering on this news, I made for Parliament Hill, by way of West Hill and Milfield Lane. On the top I paused to survey London at my feet, and, to get the fullest benefit of the invigorating breeze, removed my hat. But the instant I did so, I was aware of a sharp pain on my scalp and the aroma of singed hair. Lifting my hand to the wounded place, I discovered that I had been shaved perfectly clean, as with a Heat Razor. The truth rushed upon me: I had come within the range of the Mash-Glance, and had been saved from total dissolution only by intervening masonry protecting my face and body.
To leave the Hill was the work of an instant. I passed through John Street to Hampstead Road, along Belsize Avenue and Buckland Crescent to Belsize Road, and so to Canterbury Road and Kilburn Lane. Here I met a fourth newspaper boy loaded with copies of the St. James’ Gazette. He offered me one for seven-and-sixpence, or two for half a sovereign, but it seemed to me I had read enough.
Turning into Ladbroke Grove Road I quickly reached Notting Hill, and stealthily entered my house in Campden Hill Gardens ten minutes later.
London under the Wenuses.
THE DEATH OF THE EXAMINER.
My first act on entering my house, in order to guard against any sudden irruption on the part of my wife, was to bolt the door and put on the chain. My next was to visit the pantry, the cellar, and the larder, but they were all void of food and drink. My wife must have been there first. As I had drunk nothing since I burgled the Kennington chemist’s, I was very thirsty, though my mind was still hydrostatic. I cannot account for it on scientific principles, but I felt very angry with my wife. Suddenly I was struck by a happy thought, and hurrying upstairs I found a bottle of methylated spirits on my wife’s