Plum Pudding eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 211 pages of information about Plum Pudding.
and may, in God’s providence, again.  “The drastic sanity of the sea” was the phrase that lingered in our mind as we heard the captain talk of books and of discipline at sea and of the trials imposed upon shipmasters by the La Follette act. (What, the club wondered inwardly, does Mr. La Follette know of seafaring?) “The drastic sanity of the sea!” We thought of other sailors we had known, and how they had found happiness and simplicity in the ordered combat with their friendly enemy.  A virtue goes out of a ship (Joseph Conrad said, in effect) when she touches her quay.  Her beauty and purpose are, for the moment, dulled and dimmed.  But even there, how much she brings us.  How much, even though we do not put it into words, the faces and accents of our seafaring friends give us in the way of plain wisdom and idealism.  And the secretary, as he stepped aboard the hubbub of a subway train, was still pondering “the drastic sanity of the sea.”



Allured by the published transactions of the club, our friend Lawton presented himself at the headquarters toward lunch time and announced himself as a candidate for membership.  An executive session was hastily convened.  Endymion broke the news to the candidate that initiates in this select organization are expected to entertain the club at luncheon.  To the surprise of the club, our genial visitor neither shrank nor quailed.  His face was bland and his bearing ambitious in the extreme.  Very well, he said; as long as it isn’t the Beaux Arts cafe.

The itinerary of the club for this day had already been arranged by the secretary.  The two charter members, plus the high-spirited acolyte, made their way along West Street toward the Cortlandt Street ferry.  It was plain from the outset that fortune had favoured the organization with a new member of the most sparkling quality.  Every few yards a gallant witticism fell from him.  Some of these the two others were able to juggle and return, but many were too flashing for them to cope with.  In front of the ferry house lay a deep and quaggish puddle of slime, crossable only by ginger-footed work upon sheets of tin.  Endymion rafted his tenuous form across with a delicate straddle of spidery limbs.  The secretary followed, with a more solid squashing technique.  “Ha,” cried the new member; “grace before meat!” Endymion and the secretary exchanged secret glances.  Lawton, although he knew it not, was elected from that moment.

The ritual of the club, while stern toward initiates, is not brutal.  Since you are bursar for the lunch, said the secretary, I will buy the ferry tickets, and he did so.  On the boat these carefree men gazed blithely upon the shipping.  “Little did I think,” said Lawton, “that I was going for a sea voyage.”  “That,” said the club, “is the kind of fellows we are.  Whimsical.  As soon as we think of a thing, we don’t do it.”

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Plum Pudding from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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