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By the same author. Notes First Rackham edition of Morley's whimsical tale of a dog's search for the meaning of life. Description Quarto, pp. Illustrations With 4 colour illustrations and 16 black and white line drawings.
Condition Bookplate to front pastedown, rubbing to top and tail of spine and to corners, split hinge between front endpapers. Your Question s.
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Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you Sell Old Books Help me find a book. Sign Up for Our Newsletter:. All he knew was that he wished to be very wealthy and influential as soon as possible. He could have had much sound advice from his uncle, who was a member of the Union Kennel and quite a prominent dog-about-town.
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But Gissing had the secretive pride of inexperience. Moreover, he did not quite know what to say about his establishment in the country. That houseful of children would need some explaining. Those were days of brilliant heat; clear, golden, dry. The society columns in the papers assured him that everyone was out of town; but the Avenue seemed plentifully crowded with beautiful, superb creatures. Far down the gentle slopes of that glimmering roadway he could see the rolling stream of limousines, dazzles of sunlight caught on their polished flanks. A faint blue haze of gasoline fumes hung low in the bright warm air.
This is the street where even the most passive are pricked by the strange lure of carnal dominion. Nothing less than a job on the Avenue itself would suit his mood, he felt. Fortune and audacity united as they always do to concede his desire. He was in the beautiful department store of Beagle and Company, one of the most splendid of its kind, looking at some sand-coloured spats. In an aisle near by he heard a commotion-- nothing vulgar, but still an evident stir, with repressed yelps and a genteel, horrified bustle. He hastened to the spot, and through the crowd saw someone lying on the floor.
An extremely beautiful sales-damsel, charmingly clad in black crepe de chien, was supporting the victim's head, vainly fanning him. Wealthy dowagers were whining in distress. Then an ambulance clanged up to a side door, and a stretcher was brought in. He asked the elevator attendant to direct him to the offices of the firm. On the seventh floor, down a quiet corridor behind the bedroom suites, a rosewood fence barred his way. A secretary faced him inquiringly. Beagle senior must be very old indeed, he thought; for junior was distinctly grizzled.
In fact so rapidly does the mind run , Mr. Beagle senior must be near the age of retirement. Very likely he said to himself that will soon occur; there will be a general stepping-up among members of the firm, and that will be my chance. I wonder how much they pay a junior partner? He almost uttered this question, as Mr.
Beagle junior looked at him so inquiringly. But he caught himself in time. One has just died, right by the silk-stocking counter. Very bad for business. At this moment the telephone rang, and Mr. Beagle seized it. He listened, sharply examining his caller meanwhile. The tone of the store--". You will readily perceive that it is a post of some importance.
The floorwalker is our point of social contact with patrons ". It was mere hazard that I was in the store. To-day, of course, business will be poor. But to-morrow, I think you will find--". That day Gissing went without lunch. First he explored the whole building from top to bottom, until he knew the location of every department, and had the store directory firmly memorized. With almost proprietary tenderness he studied the shining goods and trinkets; noted approvingly the clerks who seemed to him specially prompt and obliging to customers; scowled a little at any sign of boredom or inattention.
He heard the soft sigh of the pneumatic tubes as they received money and blew it to some distant coffer: this money, he thought, was already partly his. That square-cut creature whom he presently discerned following him was undoubtedly the store detective: he smiled to think what a pleasant anecdote this would be when he was admitted to junior partnership. Then he went, finally, to the special Masculine Shop on the fifth floor, where he bought a silk hat, a cutaway coat and waistcoat, and trousers of pearly stripe.
He did not forget patent leather shoes, nor white spats. He refused-the little white linen margins which the clerk wished to affix to the V of his waistcoat. That, he felt, was the ultra touch which would spoil all.
Where the Blue Begins, 1922, First Edition, doubleday not heinemann
The just less than perfection, how perfect it is! It was getting late. He hurried to Penn Station where he hired one of those little dressing booths, and put on his regalia. His tweeds, in a neat package, he checked at the parcel counter. Then he returned to the store for the important interview. He had expected a formal talk with the two Messrs.
Beagle, perhaps touching on such matters as duties, hours, salary, and so on. To his surprise he was ushered by the secretary into a charming Louis XVI salon farther down the private corridor. There were several ladies: one was pouring tea. Beagle junior came forward. The vice-president such was Mr. Beagle junior's rank, Gissing had learned by the sign on his door still wore his business garb of the morning. Gissing immediately felt himself to have the advantage. But what a pleasant idea, he thought, for the members of the firm to have tea together every afternoon.
He handed his hat, gloves, and stick to the secretary. This is really delightful, Gissing thought. Only on Fifth Avenue could this kind of thing happen. He looked down the hostess from his superior height, and smiled charmingly. Beagle's mind as a polished eccentric. Pomeranian has them. Pomeranian, let me present Mr. Pomeranian, small and plump and tightly corseted, offered the meringues, while Mrs. Beagle pressed upon him a plate with a small doily, embroidered with the arms of the store, and its motto je maintiendrai--referring, no doubt, to its prices.
Beagle then introduced him to several more ladies in rapid succession. Gissing passed along the line, bowing slightly but with courteous interest to each. To each one he raised his eyebrows and permitted himself a small significant smile, as though to convey that this was a moment he had long been anticipating. How different, he thought, was this life of enigmatic gaiety from the suburban drudgery of recent months.
If only Mrs.
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