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October 19 , 2009

A Knight on Wheels


THE MISOGYNISTS CHAPTER I ENVIRONMENT Thursday morning was always an interesting time for Philip, for it was on that day that he received letters from ladies. On Mondays he used to write to them, from the dictation of Uncle Joseph. On Tuesdays he had an easy time of it, for Uncle Joseph was away all day, interviewing East End vicars, and Salvation Army officials, and editors of newspapers which made a speciality of discriminating between genuine and bogus charities. Uncle Joseph was a well-known figure in the philanthropic world,—that part of it which works without limelight and spends every penny it receives upon relieving distress, and knows nothing of Charity Balls and Grand Bazaars, with their incidental expenses and middlemen's profits,—and it was said that no deserving case was ever brought to his notice in vain. He would serve on no committees, and his name figured on no subscription list; but you could be quite certain that when Uncle Joseph wrote a cheque that cheque relieved a real want; for he had an infallible nose for an impostor and a most uncanny acquaintance with the habits and customs of the great and prosperous brotherhood of professional beggars. Hard-worked curates and overdriven doctors, who called—and never in vain—at the snug but unpretentious house in Hampstead on behalf of some urgent case, sometimes wondered, as they walked away with a light heart and a heavy pocket, what Uncle Joseph was worth; for it was said by those who were supposed to know that his benefactions ran into four figures annually. As a matter of fact his income from all sources was exactly seven hundred and fifty pounds a year, and none of this was spent on charity
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