Bones in London (Chapter 8, page 1 of 22)


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Chapter 8

There were times when Mr. Cresta Morris was called by that name; there
were other moments when he was "Mr. Staleyborn." His wife, a placid
and trusting woman, responded to either name, having implicit faith in
the many explanations which her husband offered to her, the favourite
amongst them being that business men were seldom known by the names
they were born with.

Thus the eminent firm of drapers Messrs. Lavender & Rosemary were--or
was--in private life one Isadore Ruhl, and everybody knew that the
maker of Morgan's Superfatted Soap--"the soap with foam"--was a certain
member of the House of Lords whose name was not Morgan.

Mrs. Staleyborn, or Morris, had a daughter who ran away from home and
became the secretary to Augustus Tibbetts, Managing Director of Schemes
Limited, and there were odd moments of the day when Mrs. Staleyborn
felt vaguely uneasy about her child's future. She had often, indeed,
shed tears between five o'clock in the afternoon and seven o'clock in
the evening, which as everybody knows, is the most depressing time of
the day.

She was, however, one of those persons who are immensely comforted by
the repetition of ancient saws which become almost original every time
they are applied, and one of these sayings was "Everything is for the
best." She believed in miracles, and had reason, for she received her
weekly allowance from her erratic husband with monotonous regularity
every Saturday morning.

This is a mere digression to point the fact that Mr. Morris was known
by many names. He was called "Cress," and "Ike," and "Tubby," and
"Staley," according to the company in which he found himself.

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