The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll

By H. G. Wells | Go to book overview

THE IMAGININGS OF MR. HOOPDRIVER'S HEART

X

MR. HOOPDRIVER was (in the days of this story) a poet, though he had never written a line of verse. Or perhaps romancer will describe him better. Like I know not how many of those who do the fetching and carrying of life,--a great number of them certainly, --his real life was absolutely uninteresting, and if he had faced it as realistically as such people do in Mr. Gissing's novels, he would probably have come by way of drink to suicide in the course of a year. But that was just what he had the natural wisdom not to do. On the contrary, he was always decorating his existence with imaginative tags, hopes, and poses, deliberate and yet quite effectual self-deceptions; his experiences were mere material for a romantic superstructure. If some power had given Hoopdriver the 'giftie' Burns invoked, 'to see oursels as ithers see us,' he would probably have given it away to some one else at the very earliest opportunity. His entire life,

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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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