The Flying Inn

G.K. Chesterton


BY GILBERT K. CHESTERTON
AUTHOR OF
"MANALIVE," "THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN," ETC.
NEW YORK JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMXIV
Copyright, 1914, by JOHN LANE COMPANY
First Printing, Jan., 1914 Second Printing, Feb., 1914
TO HUGH RIVI®®RE
* * *
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I.
A SERMON ON INNS II. THE END OF OLIVE ISLAND III. THE SIGN OF "THE OLD SHIP" IV. THE INN FINDS WINGS V. THE ASTONISHMENT OF THE AGENT VI. THE HOLE IN HEAVEN VII. THE SOCIETY OF SIMPLE SOULS VIII. VOX POPULI VOX DEI IX. THE HIGHER CRITICISM AND MR. HIBBS X. THE CHARACTER OF QUOODLE XI. VEGETARIANISM IN THE DRAWING-ROOM XII. VEGETARIANISM IN THE FOREST XIII. THE BATTLE OF THE TUNNEL XIV. THE CREATURE THAT MAN FORGETS XV. THE SONGS OF THE CAR CLUB XVI. THE SEVEN MOODS OF DORIAN XVII. THE POET IN PARLIAMENT XVIII. THE REPUBLIC OF PEACEWAYS XIX. THE HOSPITALITY OF THE CAPTAIN XX. THE TURK AND THE FUTURISTS XXI. THE ROAD TO ROUNDABOUT XXII. THE CHEMISTRY OF MR. CROOKE XXIII. THE MARCH ON IVYWOOD XXIV. THE ENIGMAS OF LADY JOAN XXV. THE FINDING OF THE SUPERMAN
* * *
THE FLYING INN
* * *
CHAPTER I
A SERMON ON INNS
THE sea was a pale elfin green and the afternoon had already felt the fairy touch of evening as a young woman with dark hair, dressed in a crinkly copper-coloured sort of dress of the artistic order, was walking rather listlessly along the parade of Pebblewick-on-Sea, trailing a parasol and looking out upon the sea's horizon. She had a reason for looking instinctively out at the sea-line; a reason that many young women have had in the history of the world. But there was no sail in sight.
On the beach below the parade were a succession of small crowds, surrounding the usual orators of the seaside; whether niggers or socialists, whether clowns or clergymen. Here would stand a man doing something or other with paper boxes; and the holiday makers would watch him for hours in the hope of some time knowing what it was that he was doing with them. Next to him would be a man in a top hat with a very big Bible and a very small wife, who stood silently beside him, while he fought with his clenched fist against the heresy of Milnian Sublapsarianism so wide-spread in fashionable watering-places. It was not easy to follow him, he was so very much excited; but every now and then the words "our Sublapsarian friends" would recur with a kind of wailing sneer. Next was a young man talking of nobody knew what (least of all himself), but apparently relying for public favour mainly on having a ring of carrots round his hat. He had more money lying in front of him than the others. Next were niggers. Next was a children's service conducted by a man with a long neck who beat time with a little wooden spade. Farther along there was an atheist, in a towering rage, who pointed every now and then at the children's service and spoke of Nature's fairest things being corrupted with the secrets of the Spanish Inquisition--by the man with the little spade, of course. The atheist (who wore a red rosette) was very withering to his own audience as well. "Hypocrites!" he would say; and then they would throw him money. "Dupes and dastards!" and then they would throw him more money. But between the atheist and the children's service was a little owlish man in a red fez, weakly waving a green gamp umbrella. His face was brown and wrinkled like a walnut, his nose was of the sort we associate with Judaea, his beard was the sort of black wedge we associate rather with Persia. The young woman had never seen him before; he was a new exhibit in the now familiar museum of cranks and quacks. The young woman was one of those people in whom a real sense of humour is always at issue with a certain temperamental tendency to boredom or melancholia; and she lingered a moment, and leaned on the rail to listen.
It was fully four minutes before she could understand a word the man was saying; he spoke English with so extraordinary an accent that she supposed at first that he was talking in his own oriental tongue. All the noises of that articulation were odd; the most marked was an extreme prolongation of the short "u" into "oo"; as in "poo-oot" for "put." Gradually the girl got used to the dialect, and began to understand the words; though some time elapsed even then before she could form any conjecture of their subject matter. Eventually it appeared to her that he had some fad about English civilisation having been founded by the Turks; or, perhaps by the Saracens after their victory in the Crusades. He also seemed to think that
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 109
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.