Four and Twenty Beds

Four and Twenty Beds

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Excerpt: ...I tried all the trite old remedies for insomnia, without success. I made my mind a blank; I counted sheep; I tried mentally adding huge numbers. It was no use. My mind was as alert and bright as a sunny morning. Finally, though, I discovered a method of inducing sleep that has been--for me--infallible ever since. I think of a particular cabin, selecting any one of the thirteen at random. Then I visualize the people who stayed in that cabin most recently; then I try to remember who occupied the cabin the night before that, and the night before that. A typical night's session of luring the sandman goes something like this: "Let's see . last night in cabin 10 there was that funny old couple who haggled so about the price. They insisted they wouldn't stay unless we'd let them have it fifty cents cheaper, and they even went back and got into the car. Then, when they saw we didn't care, and weren't going to follow them out and tell them they could have it cheaper, they got back out of the car and came into the office and registered without saying another word about it. The night before that there was that very tall old man who mentioned, while he was registering, that he had a "little pup"--would that be okay? And then the next morning he strolled out of his cabin being led by a majestic, gigantic St. Bernard. . . . Um . . . and the night before that--let's see. Oh, yes, the woman who had asthma. She was here three days, and before her there was--let's see. That was the old, old man who assured me over and over again that the old woman in the car was really his wife, and that he 'didn't go in for that sort of thing'. And before that--mm--was that those pilots who had to stay over a night because it was raining? Or--no, it's been longer than that since it rained last. Well, then, it must have been--well--um . . ." Usually I can't think back any further than that. But by that time I'm usually asleep. CHAPTER TEN EMBARRASSING MOMENTS ARE the rule, rather...
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 168g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123672853X
  • 9781236728531