In the Fog

Richard Harding Davis
In the Fog

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Title: In the Fog
Author: Richard Harding Davis
Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7884] [Yes, we are more than one
year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on May 30, 2003]

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Richard Harding Davis
First published MCMI
The Grill is the club most difficult of access in the world. To be placed
on its rolls distinguishes the new member as greatly as though he had
received a vacant Garter or had been caricatured in "Vanity Fair."
Men who belong to the Grill Club never mention that fact. If you were
to ask one of them which clubs he frequents, he will name all save that
particular one. He is afraid if he told you he belonged to the Grill, that
it would sound like boasting.
The Grill Club dates back to the days when Shakespeare's Theatre
stood on the present site of the "Times" office. It has a golden Grill
which Charles the Second presented to the Club, and the original
manuscript of "Tom and Jerry in London," which was bequeathed to it
by Pierce Egan himself. The members, when they write letters at the
Club, still use sand to blot the ink.

The Grill enjoys the distinction of having blackballed, without political
prejudice, a Prime Minister of each party. At the same sitting at which
one of these fell, it elected, on account of his brogue and his bulls,
Quiller, Q. C., who was then a penniless barrister.
When Paul Preval, the French artist who came to London by royal
command to paint a portrait of the Prince of Wales, was made an
honorary member--only foreigners may be honorary members--he said,
as he signed his first wine card, "I would rather see my name on that,
than on a picture in the Louvre."
At which. Quiller remarked, "That is a devil of a compliment, because
the only men who can read their names in the Louvre to-day have been
dead fifty years."
On the night after the great fog of 1897 there were five members in the
Club, four of them busy with supper and one reading in front of the
fireplace. There is only one room to the Club, and one long table. At
the far end of the room the fire of the grill glows red, and, when the fat
falls, blazes into flame, and at the other there is a broad bow window of
diamond panes, which looks down upon the street. The four men at the
table were strangers to each other, but as they picked at the grilled
bones, and sipped their Scotch and soda, they conversed with such
charming animation that a visitor to the Club, which does not tolerate
visitors, would have counted them as friends of long acquaintance,
certainly not as Englishmen who had met for the first time, and without
the form of an introduction. But it is the etiquette and tradition of the
Grill, that whoever enters it must speak with whomever he finds there.
It is to enforce this rule that there is but one long table, and whether
there are twenty men at it or two, the waiters, supporting the rule, will
place them side by side.
For this reason the four strangers at supper were seated together, with
the candles grouped about them, and the long length of the table cutting
a white path through the outer gloom.
"I repeat," said the gentleman with the black pearl stud, "that the days
for romantic adventure and deeds of foolish daring have passed, and

that the fault lies with ourselves. Voyages to the pole I do not catalogue
as adventures. That
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