The Room on the Fourth Floor

The Room on the Fourth Floor

by Ralph Straus

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John Chester ought never to have gone in for
politics. I am quite certain that he should have sat
down at a desk and written romances, and become a
"best-seller", and built himself a marble house, and married
a wife, and hired a press-agent. Instead, as everybody knows,
he elected to be returned to Parliament twenty-five years ago,
and there he has remained ever since, always upon the fringe
of the Government, though never actually entering those
extraordinary precincts.

Probably succeeding Premiers have considered that Chester's
duties as a raconteur at fashionable dinner-tables must for ever
preclude him from undertaking anything else, though, I dare
say, he has refused office on his own account. He is just
the kind of man to do such a thing--a man too keen about
other people to look properly after his own interests.

His appearance, as you know, is military. That white
moustache suggests the field-marshal, and his clothes are
obviously of the dragoon cut. Also, he has a figure which, to
my knowledge has changed not an inch in the last twenty
years. Some people call him a phenomenon and expect you
to know exactly what they mean, and somehow you do. He
knows everyone and goes everywhere. He has more friends
than any other man in Europe. And he is the kind of man to
whom people, even the discreet people, tell things, which
possibly accounts for his amazing stock of stories.

I was dining with him a week or two ago at the House of
Commons. A world-famous ex-Minister was sitting in
solitary state at the next table. Chester had been unusually
silent, and I wondered what was troubling him; but when the
great statesman hurried away, my host gave the peculiar
chuckle which, with him, is the invariable introduction to some
yarn or other.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013669116
Publisher: WDS Publishing
Publication date: 01/20/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 16 KB

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