Love Among The Chickens (Dedication, page 1 of 2)


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TO W. TOWNEND DEAR BILL,

-But For Whose Sympathy and Encouragement This Book Would Never Have Been Written I have never been much of a lad for the type of dedication. It sounds so weak-minded. But in the case of Love Among the Chickens it is unavoidable. It was not so much that you sympathised and encouraged--where you really came out strong was that you gave me the stuff. I like people who sympathise with me. I am grateful to those who encourage me. But the man to whom I raise the Wodehouse hat--owing to the increased cost of living, the same old brown one I had last year--it is being complained of on all sides, but the public must bear it like men till the straw hat season comes round--I say, the man to whom I raise this venerable relic is the man who gives me the material.

Sixteen years ago, my William, when we were young and spritely lads; when you were a tricky centre-forward and I a fast bowler; when your head was covered with hair and my list of "Hobbies" in Who's Who included Boxing; I received from you one morning about thirty closely- written foolscap pages, giving me the details of your friend -----'s adventures on his Devonshire chicken farm. Round these I wove as funny a plot as I could, but the book stands or falls by the stuff you gave me about "Ukridge"--the things that actually happened.

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