Welcome to our blog!

It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!

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

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Men of business

Thursday, July 4th., Cadogan Square, London.

Men of business are baffling creatures. Today I invited to lunch at a grill-room a prominent business man, because I wanted to straighten out certain obscure matters. A man accustomed to thinking in millions - other people's millions! He arrived a few minutes late, saying that he was excessively busy and had enough work to occupy two men. We drank cocktails. We then lunched - excellently. From time to time he repeated that he was an excessively busy man. We talked small talk about everything except our joint business. Again and again I led him gently to the brink of our business, but he could not persuade himself to plunge. Possibly the water looked too chilly. At 3 o'clock we were still conversing at large. At 3.15 I said to myself: "When does this fellow intend to go?" At 3.30 I said to myself: "This fellow will just have to go soon." At nearly 4 o'clock I said to him: "I'm very sorry but I must go." "So must I," he said. He went. And I doubt not that during the rest of the day and during all succeeding days, he would be assuring people that he was an excessively busy man. As for me, I had wasted two and a half hours of life's brief span, and about a couple of pounds.

On reflection, perhaps instead of just leading him to the brink I should have simply pushed him over the edge. He may well be wondering why I invited him to lunch and then failed to raise the matters of concern; though being 'excessively busy' he may have forgotten me already.

Additionally for July 4th., see 'Americana'

No comments:

Post a Comment