Love Among The Chickens (Chapter 1, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 1

"A gentleman called to see you when you were out last night, sir," said Mrs. Medley, my landlady, removing the last of the breakfast things.

"Yes?" I said, in my affable way.

"A gentleman," said Mrs. Medley meditatively, "with a very powerful voice."

"Caruso?"

"Sir?"

"I said, did he leave a name?"

"Yes, sir. Mr. Ukridge."

"Oh, my sainted aunt!"

"Sir!"

"Nothing, nothing."

"Thank you, sir," said Mrs. Medley, withdrawing from the presence.

Ukridge! Oh, hang it! I had not met him for years, and, glad as I am, as a general thing, to see the friends of my youth when they drop in for a chat, I doubted whether I was quite equal to Ukridge at the moment.

A stout fellow in both the physical and moral sense of the words, he was a trifle too jumpy for a man of my cloistered and intellectual life, especially as just now I was trying to plan out a new novel, a tricky job demanding complete quiet and seclusion. It had always been my experience that, when Ukridge was around, things began to happen swiftly and violently, rendering meditation impossible. Ukridge was the sort of man who asks you out to dinner, borrows the money from you to pay the bill, and winds up the evening by embroiling you in a fight with a cabman. I have gone to Covent Garden balls with Ukridge, and found myself legging it down Henrietta Street in the grey dawn, pursued by infuriated costermongers.

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