excerpt from 'The Golden Sovereign' pp. 56–57 (204 words)

excerpt from 'The Golden Sovereign' pp. 56–57 (204 words)

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The Golden Sovereign

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“Come along, Bertie,” ...[Young Harry] said.  “It’s time you took a turn.  Give us a bass solo.”

Bertie eased himself up from the fender, where he and I had been sitting like two dumb tailors. The great double bass was turned round from its dunce-posture, face to the wall in the corner by the doors into the back room, and Bertie (his fingers and thumbs already slightly splayed at the tips, and occupational distortion) began to tune up.  It was like a shire-horse rousing from sleep.

Accompanied by Young Harry, who sat at the piano as professionally as he sat at the ‘cello, Bertie gave us a bravura little lyric by Giovanni Bottesini; a touch of love-laughter among the giants.  We all made merry over it, and on this note of comedy over the pathetic emotions of the instruments that, like Atlas, carry the sphere of music – the double bass, the bombardon, the bassoon, the big drum – Jack and I left, with the assurance that the home was always open to us, Old Harry seeing us to the door and still trying in vain to say something to Jack about his miraculous bit of sight-reading.

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excerpt from 'The Golden Sovereign' pp. 56–57 (204 words)


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