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The House Of Words

ONE mild grey morning in April 1929, more than thirty years ago, I walked northwards from the Strand, and turning into Henrietta Street in Covent Garden, made my way more slowly among the crates, hampers and boxes of fruit and vegetables which crowded the footway at this hour, eleven o’clock in the morning.

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Lovat Dickson

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Vārttaikaḷiṉ vīṭu




Macmillan & Co Ltd

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Categories: , Tags: , Product ID: 26463


I remember, be- cause it left a deep impression on me at the time, that I had to keep an eye out for porters walking towards me with as many as ten baskets on their heads, and at the same time watch for the sudden bursting out from one of the shop fronts of someone with a trolley, or some clerk with a message for one of the drivers. But I managed to keep another eye open for the fascinating names painted on windows and above the doorways, and half-way along the street I stopped short at a triple-fronted window on which was lettered in gold ‘Chapman & Hall Ltd., Publishers’. My stopping suddenly like this discommoded the traffic flowing with me on the footway. ‘Mindyer back!’ ‘Nah, watch it, Gov!’ Aggrieved cries of this nature were shouted at me until I opened the front door of Chapman & Hall, and walked in. A high wooden counter, with a glazed partition covering three-quarters of its length, faced me and formed a little. enclosed waiting-room. Where I could see over the counter there were long parallel shelves of books stretching to the far end of the building. Behind the glassed-in partition I could hear voices; at the far end of the building, where the long shelves ended, I could see in the distance a counter similar to the one in front of me, and standing on the other side of it, in attitudes of sad dejection, three or four men of seedy appearance.


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