Roamin' in the Gloamin'

Roamin' in the Gloamin'

Roamin' in the Gloamin'

Roamin' in the Gloamin'

Excerpt

"When are you going to retire, Harry?"

That people all over the world should persist in asking this question of a young and strong fellow only anxious to get on with his job of work and save a shilling or two for his old age annoys me very much! I don't know how this rumour about my retiral got abroad but if I knew who started it I would have something serious to say to him. It's not fair to a youthful comedian with a future before him and anxious to earn an honest but precarious living! Only a few months ago when I was stepping on the gangway of the Berengaria at New York for one of my occasional visits home from the country that has been so good to me during the past twenty years a man edged his way through the crowd at the dock, seized me by the hand, and started to wring it like a pump-handle.

"Good-bye, Sir Harry," he exclaimed, "Good-bye and God bless you! My grandfather was one of your greatest admirers and so was my father. I've heard you myself all over the States and would have liked my boys to see and hear you. But that'll never be now, I suppose. Good-bye, good-bye!"

I felt bewildered. I was stunned. I was tongue-tackit, as we say in Scotland. Not so much by the evident emotion of the fellow's farewell, but by a dawning realization of the fact that I have come to be regarded as the Methuselah of the theatrical artistes of the world. What I ought to have done was to bend my hoary old back, stagger up the gangway with "mony a cough an' clocher," and wave a palsied hand in a long, last adieu to the American people. Actually . . .

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