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

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A maniaque shop

Friday, February 26th., Hotel Belvedere, Vevey.

Marguerite and Pauline Smith came back from Vevey today with particulars of a maniaque shop there, where, when you had bought an article, it was taken from you and a number given in exchange. You then, after purchasing all you wanted, paid at the desk, and then went to another part of the shop, where were a number of pigeon-holes numbered. Your articles were then taken out of the pigeon-holes corresponding to your numbers and wrapped up. The wrapping-up could not begin till you had paid. At the wrapping-up place were a number of little brown paper bags containing pieces of string. The packer chose a suitable length from the bag containing pieces only of that length. One can imagine the fussiness, indeed mania of the proprietor, and hell of a time that the girls employed in it must have.

I found quite early this morning all the ideas for last chapter of novel. This afternoon I reviewed Barry Pain, Galsworthy, Le Gallienne, and Mrs. Nesbit for the New Age. Quite like old times. I fell at once into my old quiet habits of reviewing; but the stuff written was, I think, much better - certainly had more souplesse.

More and more struck by Tchekoff, and more and more inclined to write a lot of very short stories in the same technique. As a fact, "The Death of Simon Fugue", written long before I had read Tchekoff, is in the same technique, and about as good. Though to say anything is as good as "Ward No. 6" in "The Black Monk", wants a bit of nerve.

Additionally for February 26th., see 'Successes'

Reviews of "The Card" much too kind on the whole. Six on the first day, 6 or 8 on the second. Dixon Scott's in M. Guardian one of the best I ever had, and no effusiveness either.

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