XII

As time went on Philip's deformity ceased to interest It was accepted like one boy's red hair and another's unreasonable corpulence. But meanwhile he had grown horribly sensitive. He never ran if he could help it, because he knew it made his limp more conspicuous, and he adopted a peculiar walk. He stood still as much as he could, with his club-foot behind the other, so that it should not attract notice, and he was constantly on the look out for any reference to it. Because he could not join in the games which other boys played, their life remained strange to him; he only interested himself from the outside in their doings; and it seemed to him that there was a barrier between them and him. Sometimes they seemed to think that it was his fault if he could not play football, and he was unable to make them understand. He was left a good deal to himself. He had been inclined to talkativeness, but gradually he became silent. He began to think of the difference between himself and others.

The biggest boy in his dormitory, Singer, took a dislike to him, and Philip, small for his age, had to put up with a good deal of hard treatment. About half-way through the term a mania ran through the school for a game called Nibs. It was a game for two, played on a table or a form with steel pens. You had to push your nib with the fingernail so as to get the point of it over your opponent's, while he manœuvred to prevent this and to get the point of his nib over the back of yours; when this result was achieved you breathed on the ball of your thumb, pressed it hard on the two nibs, and if you were able then to lift them without dropping either, both nibs became yours. Soon nothing was seen but boys playing this game, and the more skilful acquired vast stores of nibs. But in a little while Mr. Watson made up his mind that it was a form of gambling, forbade the game, and confiscated all the nibs in

-49-

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Of Human Bondage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • I 1
  • II 3
  • III 6
  • IV 11
  • V 15
  • VI 19
  • VII 25
  • VIII 28
  • IX 33
  • X 39
  • XI 43
  • XII 49
  • XIII 53
  • XIV 56
  • XV 62
  • XVI 69
  • XVII 76
  • XVIII 82
  • XIX 86
  • XX 91
  • XXI 96
  • XXII 107
  • XXIII 111
  • XXIV 117
  • XXV 119
  • XXVI 122
  • XXVII 130
  • XXVIII 136
  • XXIX 143
  • XXX 146
  • XXXI 153
  • XXXII 156
  • XXXIII 165
  • XXXIV 175
  • XXXV 181
  • XXXVI 190
  • XXXVII 195
  • XXXVIII 201
  • XXXIX 208
  • XL 213
  • XLI 221
  • XLII 230
  • XLIII 236
  • XLIV 244
  • XLV 252
  • XLVI 261
  • XLVII 267
  • XLVIII 277
  • XLIX 286
  • L 294
  • LI 302
  • LII 307
  • LIII 315
  • LIV 321
  • LV 327
  • LVI 334
  • LVII 339
  • LVIII 345
  • LIX 353
  • LX 361
  • LXI 365
  • LXII 371
  • LXIII 377
  • LXIV 382
  • LXV 387
  • LXVI 391
  • LXVII 398
  • LXVIII 404
  • LXIX 410
  • LXX 419
  • LXXI 427
  • LXXII 433
  • LXXIII 439
  • LXXIV 448
  • LXXV 455
  • LXXVI 462
  • LXXVII 470
  • LXXVIII 474
  • LXXIX 481
  • LXXX 489
  • LXXXI 494
  • LXXXII 503
  • LXXXIII 507
  • LXXXIV 513
  • LXXXV 520
  • LXXXVI 526
  • LXXXVII 531
  • LXXXVIII 540
  • LXXXIX 548
  • XC 552
  • XCI 559
  • XCII 563
  • XCIII 570
  • XCIV 576
  • XCV 585
  • XCVI 593
  • XCVII 601
  • XCVIII 607
  • Xcix 614
  • C 618
  • Ci 626
  • Cii 631
  • Ciii 635
  • Civ 641
  • Cv 646
  • Cvi 652
  • Cvii 661
  • Cviii 667
  • Cix 676
  • Cx 684
  • Cxi 690
  • Cxii 697
  • Cxiii 703
  • Cxiv 710
  • Cxv 716
  • Cxvi 722
  • Cxvii 730
  • Cxviii 736
  • Cxix 744
  • Cxx 750
  • Cxxi 756
  • Cxxii 763
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