The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll

By H. G. Wells | Go to book overview

THE RIDING FORTH OF MR. HOOPDRIVER

IV

ONLY those who toil six long days out of the seven, and all the year round, save for one brief glorious fortnight or ten days in the summer time, know the exquisite sensations of the First Holiday Morning. All the dreary, uninteresting routine drops from you suddenly, your chains fall about your feet. All at once you are Lord of yourself, Lord of every hour in the long, vacant day; you may go where you please, call none Sir or Madame, have a lappel free of pins, doff your black morning coat, and wear the colour of your heart, and be a Man. You grudge sleep, you grudge eating, and drinking even, their intrusion on those exquisite moments. There will be no more rising before breakfast in casual old clothing, to go dusting and getting ready in a cheerless, shutterdarkened, wrappered-up shop, no more imperious cries of, "Forward, Hoopdriver," no more hasty meals, and weary attendance on fitful old women, for ten blessed days. The first morning is by far

-17-

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The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • The Wheels of Chance 1
  • The Riding Forth of Mr. Hoopdriver 17
  • The Shameful Episode of the Young Lady in Grey 29
  • On the Road to Ripley 40
  • How Mr. Hoopdriver Was Haunted 59
  • The Imaginings of Mr. Hoopdriver's Heart 69
  • Omissions 76
  • The Dreams of Mr. Hoopdriver 79
  • How Mr. Hoopdriver Went to Haslemere 84
  • How Mr. Hoopdriver Reached Midhurst 92
  • An Interlude 99
  • Of the Artificial in Man, and of the Zeitgeist 105
  • The Encounter at Midhurst 109
  • The Pursuit 127
  • At Bognor 136
  • The Moonlight Ride 157
  • The Surbiton Interlude 167
  • The Awakening of Mr. Hoopdriver 178
  • The Departure from Chichester 185
  • The Unexpected Anecdote of the Lion 197
  • The Rescue Expedition 207
  • Mr. Hoopdriver, Knight Errant 231
  • The Abasement of Mr. Hoopdriver 256
  • In the New Forest 280
  • At the Rufus Stone 297
  • The Envoy 317
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