|The door bell rang as I entered. There were pictures in the lobby, and on all sides, hanging from frieze to floor, and standing in stacks, framed ready for customers. Some on the walls were scenes with cows going home, some of girls in large hats, and views of old houses, labelled 2/6 and 3/9 according to whether plain or coloured.
There was a counter, and behind it a large man.
"What do you want, Boy?" he said.
"Brushes for oil painting please" I reply, timidly. "Hog hair" I added, trying not to look at his bristling moustache and eyebrows.
"The Bell", he said, and gave another bell hanging on a string above my head, a fierce jab with his stick. I thereupon seized the string and gave it a good rousing ring, whilst he stood gazing at me and rattling his stick with one hand and combing up his whiskers with the other.
He then picks up a handful of papers from the counter, a very easy thing to do, and commences to read them at arms length. Finding this impossible, he feels for his glasses, on the counter among the papers, then in the pockets of his Norfolk jacket. Turning over the papers he again comes face to face with me, and seems to undergo some internal explosion, and gives another violent concerto on the bell. There being a slight movement above, as if someone has thrown down a sledgehammer, he is visibly encouraged, stalks to a door behind and tugs it open. This lets loose a host of smaller sounds, a rasping, sawing, tapping medley.
"May" he shouts. "May! May!! May!!!" A patter of feet on a higher flight of stairs and a chubby little woman with a fuzzy mop of hair trots in. I am duly supplied with my modest needs.
|Fine day, arrived, had tea, got fixed up at hotel in Aberdeen Walk. Back to supper to find Edmund Bogg was staying there. Had interesting talk with him.|
|B R Hammond|