The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium

The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium

Gerald Durrell

Language: English

Pages: 194

ISBN: 0006363121

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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mollified by my apology, ‘of course this really put a cat among the pigeons. Reggie was simply furious because Marjorie had not only eloped but had taken the baby and the nannie with her.’ ‘It certainly sounds like a very overcrowded elopement.’ ‘And naturally,’ Ursula continued, ‘Perry’s father took it very hard. As you can imagine it’s difficult for a Duke to condone his only son’s adulteration.’ ‘But adultery is when the husband is at fault, as a rule,’ I protested. ‘I don’t care who’s at

‘People sneeze without having colds, you know.’ ‘Not in England,’ said Larry. ‘The sneeze in England is the harbinger of misery, even death. I sometimes think the only pleasure an Englishman has is in passing on his cold germs.’ ‘Larry, dear, you do exaggerate,’ said Mother. ‘Jack only sneezed once.’ Jack sneezed again. ‘There you are!’ said Larry, excitedly ‘That’s the second time. I tell you, he’s working up for an epidemic. Why don’t we leave him here; he can easily hitch a lift back into

than of jealousy – as a ‘literary truffle hound’, a description which I suppose, in its amusing way, does describe me. A hundred or more libraries have passed through my hands, and I have been responsible for a number of important finds; the original Gottenstein manuscript, for example; the rare ‘Conrad’ illustrated Bible, said by some to be as beautiful as the Book of Kells; the five new poems by Blake that I unearthed at an unpromising countryhouse sale in the Midlands; and many lesser but

(and by this time I certainly did), was the only friend I had who was, roughly speaking, my own age. Under his influence I began to expand. As he said to me one night, a slim cigar crushed between his strong white teeth, squinting at me past the blue smoke, ‘the trouble with you, Peter, is that you are in danger of becoming a young fogey’. I laughed, of course, but on reflection I knew he was right. I also knew that when the time came for me to leave the château I would miss his volatile company

Clair for short, a whole cage of canaries and various finches and an extremely old parrot called Octavius.’ ‘A positive menagerie,’ I exclaimed. ‘It’s a good thing that I like animals.’ ‘Seriously, Peter,’ asked Gideon, giving me one of his very penetrating looks, ‘are you sure you will be all right? It seems a terrible imposition to me.’ ‘Nonsense,’ I said heartily, ‘what are friends for?’ The snow was coming down with a vengeance and we could only see a yard or two beyond the horse’s ears,

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