142 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XI.
organised, and I suppose I may say that the lecture was a success, as my hostess prophesied it would be.
The tale is not quite finished because it had a comic -ending. When I came down to breakfast the next
morning Mrs. S----- M----- said, " Knowing that you
were a literary man, I did my best to provide your bed-room with a suitable supply of stationery." This was indeed true, for a large writing table had evidently been imported for the occasion, which was furnished with an extraordinary variety of writing materials: letter paper, foolscap paper, envelopes of various sizes, red tape, sealing wax, pencil, india-rubber, pens, and finally a handsome inkstand. My hostess was entitled to be pleased with the provision she had made, and said, "" I hope you found all you wanted." I replied " Yes, indeed I did, with one exception : there was not a drop of ink in the ink-bottle! ' I need not complete the
conversation ! I will only add that Mrs. S-----M------
explained how it was they happened to be travelling from Hastings, saying that they were visiting a sick relative there every week, and it was a disgrace to the Railway Companies concerned that every journey occupied from 6 to 7 hours in travelling the 90 miles between the two towns.
One day at Victoria, I got into a 1st Class carriage and found an elderly lady already in it. She promptly moved to the door, and beckoned to the Ticket Collector to let her out. He demurred, and a conversation took place of which I overheard the following sentence, " He's all safe ma'am: he's one of our regular Ticket-holders." This seemed to satisfy the nervous lady. After all it's something for a man going through the world to have a character. The lack of this character at Paddington, where I am not known, once involved me in a situation which I am bound to say did not make me in the least uncomfortable. I was starting on a long journey to the West of England, and had got early into the train to secure a corner seat and had unpacked on to the adjacent seat various travelling etceteras likely to fae wanted during the next 4 or 5 hours. Presently a