Fair copy, November-December 1923, I.4§2 draft level 2

MS British Library 47473 3-5 Draft details

{ms, 003}

Even should not the framing up of such fictionº in the evidential order bring any truth to light in good time as fortuitously as some false setting of a starchart might (heaven helping it) uncover the presence of an unknown body in chaos of space the soundest opinion now holds that by so playing possum our highest common ancestor most effectually saved his brush for posterity. Dogs of all breeds were speaking with pronounced interprovincial accents, hot to run himº on a scent breasthigh, keen for the worry, but from the good Friday he last was viewed pointing for home in his sevenmile rolltop boots a deaf fox's wisdom kept him safe in covert, miraculously ravenfed and buoyed up upon the creamclotted sherriness of cinnamon syllabub. Preservative perseverance in the reeducation of his intestines was thus the rebuttal whereby he sort of got the big bulge on the whole bunch of spasoakers in that sometime onestreet town. Vainly virulence, violence & vituperation sought wellnigh utterly to end the interregnum of the great shipping mogul and underlinen overlord.

And men murmured.

He had laid violent hands on himself, lain down, fagged out, all in, with equally melancholy death. He had left this country via a subterranean tunnel shored with bedboards. Peacefully general astonishment assisted by sorrow had
{ms, 004}
put a term to his existence: he saw the soggarth, resigned himself, was taken and comforted by his Maker. An infamous private ailment (variovenereal) had claimed him. He had walked into a cool pond while intoxicated up to the point where braced shirts meet knickerbockers when ten helping firstaiding hands had rescued him from very possibly seven feet of |2semifresh demifresh2| water. |2He was loose at large and might be anywhere when a |adisguiseda| nun of huge build and masculine manners attracted attention in an omnibus.2| Aerials buzzed of a bloody antichill cloak, its tailor's tab reading V.P.H., and several shivered to think what manner of beast had devoured him. On his postern had been nailed a title: Move up, Dumpty. Make room for Humpty!: and this go no mistake there had been real murder, the boys it was that done him in. Indeed not a few thick and thin wellwishers even went so far as to buy or loan copies of the evening editionsº so as to make sure of his being genuinely quite dead. But on the morrow morn of the suicidal murder of the unrescued expatriate a quarter to nine o'clock saw the infallible spike of smoke plume punctual from the seventh gable but and ten thirsty p.m., the lamps of maintenance being lighted for the long night, a suffusion of leadlight panes. Whereforeº let it hardly by any thinking being be either said or thought that the prisoner of that sacred edifice was at his best a parable merely or, more strictly, H.C.E. a nonensº for not one of his contemporaries cared seriously
{ms, 005}
seriously or for long to doubt of his legitimate existence as a tesseract.

And women wondered.

Who, but who, was then the scourge of Lucalizod,º it was wont to be asked, as in long ages behind where is Peabody's money and in epochs more to the front who struck Buckley though nowadays every schoolgirl by now has learnt to know how it was Buckley who struck and the Russian general in place of Buckley who was struck by him when by himself. What fullpay poison spy or which hatefilled woman? And that such a vitriol of venom a quiet stamp could cover! The lounge lizards of the pumproom had their nine days' jeer when still believing that the upper half of her face was the best part of her one nearer him, dearer than all stood forth to crush the slander's head.