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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

On tour

Tuesday, August 19th., Aberdeen.

I am on a motor tour with Beaverbrook.
See also, 'A visit to Berlin', September 13th., http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/a-visit-to-berlin.html

I only saw Max afraid or out of feather once, and that was when we landed in a poor hotel at Perth on Sunday afternoon for the night. He could not stick it. We went on to Aberdeen.

We travelled up to the rate of 75 m.p.h. Passed a racing Mercedes at 69 and somewhere near Forfar on the way to Sterling, killed three partridges on the windscreen out of a covey that was picking in the middle of the road and failed to get up quick enough.

Max's interest in the Border - chieftain robbers and their keeps and methods - was very noticeable. He returned to the subject again and again.

He told me that someone said of him: "He began at Halifax and Halifax wasn't big enough. He left Montreal because Montreal wasn't big enough. He went to London and London wasn't big enough, and when he gets to hell he'll be too big for hell."

At Perth, we met Lord Dewar. Excessively rich but won't spend money. He said sorrowfully that he would have to spend 7 hours the next day in order to get to Harrogate. The idea of having a car had not apparently occurred to him.

Thomas Robert "Tommy" Dewar, 1st Baron Dewar (1864 – 1930) was a Scottish whisky distiller who, along with his brother John Dewar, built their family label, Dewar's, into an international success. They blended their whisky to make it more appealing to the international palate and Dewar demonstrated particular skills in marketing, travelling the world to find new markets and promote his product, exploiting romantic images of Scotland and tartan in his advertising.

Max gave me the history of the last 15 years of his father's life, beginning with the old man's phrase when he retired from the pastorate at the age of 70: "The evening mists are gathering," meaning that doubts had come to him about the reliability of the doctrines he had been preaching. He died at 85, and in his last years he spent 55,000 dollars of Max's money. It is a great subject for a novel.

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