Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The art of "taking it all in stride"

A wonderful apocalyptic moment somewhere outside London between Professor Challenger and his chauffeur Austin in The Poison Belt (1913), by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

“Austin!” said his master.

“Yes, sir?”

“I thank you for your faithful service.”

A smile stole over the servant’s gnarled face.

“I’ve done my duty, sir.”

“I’m expecting the end of the world today, Austin.”

“Yes, sir. What time, sir?”

“I can’t say, Austin. Before evening.”

“Very good, sir.”

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At 3:33 PM, Blogger Joel Schlosberg said...

I read The Poison Belt when I was a kid in the Chronicle Books edition that has The Lost World and The Poison Belt in one volume (the other 3 Professor Challenger tales are in a second volume).

While we're on the subject, the NYT Book Review recently dissed Conan Doyle's non-Sherlock Holmes work in a column derisively titled "One-Hit Wonder".


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