Overview

I guess I don't hold with missionaries. I've been in most corners of this
globe, and I reckon that the harm they do easily outweighs the good.
Stands to reason, don't it, that we can't all have the same religion,
same as we can't all have the same shaped nose? So what in ...
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The Saving Clause

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Overview

I guess I don't hold with missionaries. I've been in most corners of this
globe, and I reckon that the harm they do easily outweighs the good.
Stands to reason, don't it, that we can't all have the same religion,
same as we can't all have the same shaped nose? So what in thunder is the
good of trying to put my nose on to your face, where it won't fit? And it
sort of riles me to see these good earnest people labouring and sweating
to do to others what they would only describe as damned impertinence if
those others tried to do it to them. Yet, as I see it, there's no reason
why the others shouldn't. 'Tisn't as if any particular bunch had a
complete corner in truth, is it?

But there are exceptions, same as to most things. And for the past twenty
years whenever I've said I don't hold with missionaries, I've always
added a saving clause in my mind. Care to hear what that saving clause
is? Right: mine's the same as before.

It was just after the Boer War that it happened. I'd come home: got a job
of sorts in London. Thought a few years of the quiet life would do me
good, and an old uncle of mine wangled me into the office of a pal of
his. Funny old thing my boss was, with a stomach like a balloon. And I
give you my word that he was the last man in London whom you'd have
expected to meet at the Empire on a Saturday night. It was sheer bad
luck, though I don't suppose I could have stood that job, anyway, for
long.

I'd met a pal there, you see, and I suppose we'd started to hit it a bit.
Anyway a darned great chucker-out came and intimated that he thought the
moment had come when we'd better sample the cool night air of Leicester
Square.

Well, I don't say I was right: strictly speaking, I suppose I should have
accepted his remark in the spirit in which it was intended. But the fact
remains that I didn't like his face or his frock coat--and we had words.
And finally the chucker-out sampled the cool night air--not me. The only
trouble was that just as he went down the stairs, my boss was coming up
with wife and family complete. And that chucker-out was a big man: I
guess it was rather like being bit by a steam roller. Anyway the whole
blessed family turned head over heels, and landed on the pavement
simultaneously with the chucker-out on top.

Again strictly speaking, I suppose I should have gone and picked them up
with suitable words of regret. But I just couldn't do it: I was laughing
too much. In fact I didn't stop laughing till I began to run--the police
were heaving in sight. Still you boys know what the Empire was like in
those days: so I'll pass on to Monday morning.

Not that there's much to say about Monday morning, except that it dosed
my connection with the firm. The old man had a black eye where the
chucker-out had trodden on his face, and the hell of a liver. And he
utterly failed to see the humorous side of the episode. As far as I could
make out his wife had smashed her false teeth in the melee, and was as
wild as a civet cat; and only the fact that his own firm would be
involved had prevented him giving my name to the police. My own private
opinion was that it wasn't so much the firm he was worrying about as
himself. Still, that's neither here nor there: all that matters is that
my job in London terminated that morning.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013682405
  • Publisher: WDS Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/21/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,333,507
  • File size: 181 KB

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