2 journalers for this copy...
Jim, however, does have a few allies - including Alfred Beesley, (who works in the college's English Department), Bill Atkinson (someone always happy to provide Jim with a cover story) and Carol Goldsmith (the wife of a colleague at the history department). However, Jim spends most of his time with Margaret - another member of staff at the university. It's not that he particularly wants to - rather, he more or less feels morally obliged to. The problem is things have now got to the point where they're widely seen as a couple. Margaret is now "recovering well" at Welch's house after a recent (apparent) suicide attempt. (Prior to Jim, she'd been spending some time with an utter cad called Catchpole...who, rather understandably, ran off with his new girlfriend to North Wales for a couple of weeks). Jim had been supposed to meet her for a pot of tea that evening , but had backed out to write the following day's lecture...it's something he feels rather guilty about that, bearing in mind what had happened. (This guilt is something Margaret shamelessly trades on throughout the book).
Since Margaret is staying at the Prof's house, Jim can't avoid visiting once in a while. One of the most significant - not to mention disastrous - visits is for a weekend long artistic gathering. Jim manages to set fire to his bedclothes, destroy his bedside table, and make an enemy of Bertrand - one of the professor's sons. Bertrand, a pretentious artist with an awful beard and a significant superiority complex, arrives from London for the proceedings with a very pretty guest called Christine Callaghan. Jim naturally is smitten - but is afraid to make any move...partly for fear of what it will do to Margaret, and partly because he knows stealing Betrand's girlfriend will lower his standing in the Professor's eyes even further. Still, at least he's interested in Christine herself...unlike Bertrand, who's only interested in her uncle - the noted art critic, Julius Gore-Urquhart.
An amusing and easily read book. Jim proves a likeable character - although the laughter comes mostly at his expense, as he lurches from one disaster to another.
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