Mr James Denton's greatest love in life was books, old ones
most of all. His collection grew bigger and bigger every year,
but he lived in his aunt's house, and she was not very happy
Mr Denton was in London one day to buy furniture for the
new house which he and his aunt were building, and he was on
his way to a shop to choose the curtains. His way took him, quite
by chance, past one of the best bookshops in London, and he
could not stop himself going in, just for a quick look, as he to'd
He was just walking round the shop, looking at all the
different books, when he noticed a small collection of books on
the part of England that he came from, Warwickshire. He spent
the next half an hour looking through these and finally decided
to buy one that really interested him, called The Diary of Mr
Poynter, 1710. He paid for the book and then, looking at his
watch, he realized that he had very little time before his train
back to Warwickshire left, and he had to rush to the station. He
just caught the train.
That night, his aunt questioned him about his trip to London
and was very interested to hear about the furniture which was
going to arrive soon. Her nephew described everything in detail.
but still she was not satisfied. 'And what about the curtains,
James?' she asked. 'Did you go to …?' Suddenly James
remembered. 'Oh dear, oh dear,' he said, 'dial's the one thing I
missed. I am so sorry. You see, I was on my way there when, quite
by chance. I passed Robins
'Not Robins the bookshop, I hope,' cried his aunt. 'Don't
tell me you've bought more horrible old books, James.'
'Well, only one,' he said, feeling a bit guilty, 'and it's a very
interesting one, a diary of someone who used to live not far
from here . . . ' But he could see that his aunt was not really
'You can't go to London again before next Thursday,' she was
saying, 'and really, James, until we decide on the curtains, there's
nothing more we can do.
Luckily, she decided to go to bed soon after that and James was
left alone with his new book, which he read until the early hours
of the morning. He found this diary, with its stories of everyday
life at that time, very interesting. T h e next day was Sunday. After
church, James and his aunt sat in the living-room together.
Is this the old book that made you forget my curtains?' asked
his aunt, picking it up. 'Well, it doesn't look very good . , . The
Diary of Mr Poynter. Huh!' But she opened the book and looked
at a few pages. Suddenly, much to his surprise, she began to show
some interest. 'Look at this. James,' she said. 'Isn't it lovely?' It was
a small piece of paper, pinned to one of the pages of the diary. On
it was a beautiful drawing, made up of curving lines, which
somehow caught the eye. 'Well, why don't we get it copied for
the curtains if you like it so much?' he suggested, hoping that she
would forgive him for his bad memory of the day before in
London. His aunt agreed and the very next day, James took the
piece of paper to a company in the nearest town, who agreed to
copy it and make it into curtains.
About a month later, James was called in to inspect the work
and was extremely pleased with the result. 'Was it a difficult job?'
he asked the manager.
'Not too difficult, sir. But, to tell you the truth, the artist who
did the work was very unhappy about it — he said there was
something bad in the drawing, sir.' James was thoughtful but still
he chose the colours for the curtains and then returned home. A