“I was waiting for you,” said Gregory. “Might I have a moment’s conversation?”
“Certainly. About what?” asked Syme in a sort of weak wonder.
Gregory struck out with his stick at the lamp-post, and then at the tree.
“About this and this,” he cried; “about order and anarchy. There is your precious order, that lean, iron lamp, ugly and barren; and there is anarchy, rich, living, reproducing itself-there is anarchy, splendid in green and gold.”
“All the same,” replied Syme patiently, “just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree.” Then after a pause he said, “But may I ask if you have been standing out here in the dark only to resume our little argument?”
“No,” cried Gregory, in a voice that rang down the street, “I did not stand here to resume our argument, but to end it for ever.”
The silence fell again, and Syme, though he understood nothing, listened instinctively for something serious. Gregory began in a smooth voice and with a rather bewildering smile.
“Then may I ask you to swear by whatever gods or saints your religion involves that you will not reveal what I am now going to tell you to any son of Adam, and especially not to the police?…If you will take upon yourself this awful abnegation, if you will consent to burden your soul with a vow that you should never make and a knowledge you should never dream about, I will promise you in return-”
“You will promise me in return?” inquired Syme, as the other paused.
“I will promise you a very entertaining evening.”
Syme suddenly took off his hat.
“Your offer,” he said, “is far too idiotic to be declined…”
If you happen to be in search of a very entertaining tale (as well as an insightful and quite speedy read) anytime soon, may I recommend G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday? The passage quoted above is from the end of the first chapter. It’s a gem of a book, even if the subtitle is “A Nightmare.”
Now here’s hoping the paper I’m currently writing on this book for one of my finals is finished soon, and that the time of its completion is not too nightmarish an hour… : ] Enjoy your final week of Advent, friends! Any recommendations for mellow Christmas music that would be conducive to studying/writing are very welcome in the comments.