He smiled at a sudden memory of Alix, who was chicken-farming at that age, and generally unpleasantly redolent of incubators, chopped feed, and mire. He seemed to remember Alix shouting that if Peter Joyce was going to LIVE in their house, she would move somewhere else! Cherry was different.
On the following Thursday you meet him again, and he is a car-conductor. Next week he will be squirting soda in a drug-store. It's the fault of these dashed magazines, with their advertisements of correspondence courses Are You Earning All You Should? Write To Us and Learn Chicken-Farming By Mail . . . It puts wrong ideas into the fellows' heads. It unsettles them. It was so in this case.
"Of course, I don't know anything about writing books," she said. "Yes?" my tone implied, or I hope it did, that she was an expert on books, and that if she was not it didn't matter. "But I don't think you do your heroines well. Bastable & Kirby, 6s. Satirical. All about Society of which I know less than I know about chicken-farming. Slated by Times and Spectator. "No," I said. "No.
As I sat there, my pipe drawing nicely as the result of certain explorations conducted that morning with a straw, my mind ranged idly over large subjects and small. I thought of love and chicken-farming. I mused on the immortality of the soul and the deplorable speed at which two ounces of tobacco disappeared. In the end I always returned to the professor.
If you find them joining in the general "rags", and even starting private ones on their own account, then you may safely say that it is time the master of that house retired from the business, and took to chicken-farming. And that was the state of things in Dexter's. It was the most lawless of the houses. Mr Dexter belonged to a type of master almost unknown at a public school the usher type.
As I swam, I compared it with the morning tub of London, and felt that I had done well to come with Ukridge to this pleasant spot. Not that I could rely on unbroken calm during the whole of my visit. I knew nothing of chicken-farming, but I was certain that Ukridge knew less. There would be some strenuous moments before that farm became a profitable commercial speculation.
But then we came to the house of the man who had made a failure of book chicken-farming, and she darted in. She had remembered it as her home and wanted to return to it. Imagine wanting to go back to such a home! Westbury came, and we got a rope on her and led her uphill. I suppose I felt better in the morning, and it was about this time that William arrived on the scene.
His face value was certainly not much, and some of his habits could have been improved, but a more faithful and honest soul than William Deegan never lived. "Ah, the bonny cow!" We had acquired Mis' Cow a few weeks before William's arrival. She was owned by a man who was moving away moving because he had not made a success of chicken-farming by book, and still less of Mis' Cow.
I had never really approved of these infernal talks on the art of chicken-farming which Ukridge had dropped into the habit of delivering when anybody visited our farm.
Only once, when Ukridge was describing some more than usually original device for the furthering of the interests of his fowls, did a slight spasm disturb Phyllis's look of attentive reverence. "And you have really had no previous experience in chicken-farming?" she said. "None," said Ukridge, beaming through his glasses. "Not an atom. But I can turn my hand to anything, you know.