(Nov 7th to 13th)

Format: Triple

There were still, hot hollows surrounded by wet rocks where he could hardly breathe for the heavy scents of the night flowers and the bloom along the creeper buds; dark avenues where the moonlight lay in belts as regular as checkered marbles in a church aisle; thickets where the wet young growth stood breast-high about him and threw its arms round his waist; and hilltops crowned with broken rock, where he leaped from stone to stone above the lairs of the frightened little foxes.


This is from “The Spring Running” in The Second Jungle Book,

As the season of new growth comes to the Jungle, Mowgli suddenly feels sad and restless. He decides to make a ‘Spring running’ to the marshes of the North.

Our electric lights, set low down in the windows before the tun-bellied Rosamond jars, flung inward three monstrous daubs of red, blue, and green, that broke into kaleidoscopic lights on the faceted knobs of the drug-drawers, the cut-glass scent flagons, and the bulbs of the sparklet bottles. They flushed the white-tiled floor in gorgeous patches; splashed along the nickel-silver counter-rails, and turned the polished mahogany counter-panels to the likeness of intricate grained marbles—slabs of porphyry and malachite.


This is from “Wireless” in Traffics and Discoveries.

One night the narrator has come to a chemist’s shop to witness an experiment in radio transmission using Marconi’s new ‘wireless’. It is bitterly cold, and the shop is filled with coloured light, an atmosphere which evokes “St Agnes; Eve”, the poem by the long dead John Keats, himself a pharmacist. The assistant in the shop, a consumptive like the poet, falls into a drugged trance, and—by some other mysterious process of communication—starts to compose lines which echo the poem.

It had been established by his grandfather in 1827, but the fittings and appointments must have been at least half a century older. The brown and red tobacco- and snuff-jars, with Crowns, Garters, and names of forgotten mixtures in gold leaf; the polished ‘Oronoque’ tobacco-barrels on which favoured customers sat ; the cherry-black mahogany counter, the delicately moulded shelves, the reeded cigar-cabinets, the German-silver-mounted scales, and the Dutch brass roll- and cake-cutter, were things to covet. ..


This is from “In the Interests of the Brethren” in Debits and Credits.

The narrator encounters a Mr Burges, a chance acquaintance who turns out to be a master tobacconist, and also a Freemason. Mr Burges takes him to his Lodge around the corner, which has become a place of refuge for soldiers marked by the horrors of the Great War trenches. Powerful stories follow in this and other tales of ‘Lodge Faith and Works No. 5837 E.C’.