These golfers are strange creatures, rabbit-coloured, except that many are bright red about the middle, and they repel and yet are ever attracted by a devil in the shape of a little white ball, which leads them on through toothed briars, sharp furzes, pricking goss, and thorns; cursing the thing, weeping even, and anon laughing at their own foolish rambling; muttering, heeding no one to the right or left of their career,–demented creatures, as though these balls were their souls, that they ever sought to lose, and ever repented losing. And silent, ever at the heel of each, is a familiar spirit, an eerie human hedgehog, all set about with walking-sticks, a thing like a cylindrical umbrella-stand with a hat and boots and a certain suggestion of leg.
I’ve just finished smooth reading this book, in preparation for it’s final posting to Project Gutenberg.
I’ve read The Time Machine and I probably have read some of his other famous stories, but I don’t recall them being as overtly humorous as these essays for the Pall Mall Gazette.
It is full of advice to writers, as well as wonderful turns of phrase (as above). It also has hints of his novels — some bits that are less humorous and more thought-provoking about the nature of man after a period of evolution. And then there is the question of why old boots by the roadside are never found in pairs.
Watch for it at PG!