The day was warm and the spring birds filled the countryside with their happy chirruping; Algenon Pinsbury and his Bertram Rushley were walking along the country lane when Bertie turned to Algie and asked him, "Algie, dear friend, why do you rise so late? By the time you get up it is almost midday."
Algie stopped his afternoon stroll by a stile, and sat down before he explained, "Bertie,my dear fellow, I rise late for many reasons. If I stay in bed I can remain warm, my room is cold and when I get up I can feel the cold start to creep into my bones."
"I'm sorry old chap, I hadn't realised your lodgings were that bad."
"That is just one reason, Bertie, if you want to hear more all you need do is ask."
Bertie and Algie were close friends despite the vast differences in their backgrounds. Algie was a struggling writer whose words could enthral Bertie, while Bertie was the man about town with the connections; however, coming from a wealthy family this side of life had never occurred to him, his friend always met him in the lanes and not at his lodging house and even on a bad day; Algie was usually careful not to let on about his squalid life,"Please, go on, if you don't mind," Bertie said.
Algie took his cap off and laid down on the grass at his feet, then he started, "Bertie, I rise late because by getting up late, I can miss breakfast as my first and main meal of the day counts as both breakfast and lunch."
Shocked at this news, Bertie said, "I am so sorry, Algie I never realised things were so bad for you. I thought your work was liked and read."
"They are, Bertie, but the sales have dried up and I cannot live on reputation alone. Do you remember the bad fall I had a few years ago?"
Bertie stopped to think back to the day, and replied, "Yes, it was terrible you slipped on the ice and banged your shoulder, if I remember."
Algie rubbed his shoulder to ease his pain a little and said, "That's correct, the pain has got so bad there are days when I cannot write, which brings me to the other reasons I rise late. By staying warm I can ease the pain in my shoulder, this is why even on a warm day like today I wear a cardigan on top of my shirt, Bertie. By staying in bed, I found that lying down helps ease the pressures on the shoulder muscles too. By staying in bed, not only do I stay warm but you see it is less painful for me, Bertie."
Bertie had a thought and said, "I know you are a man of honour, but will you allow me to subsidise you until you can make some money. It would be an honour for me to be able to help you, your work is so brilliant it needs to be read."
Algie looked up at his friend and said, "It is a lovely thought, Bertie, and I thank you for your kind offer but I will never be able to repay you and you know how that will tear me apart."
"I meant no offence, Algie, as I know you as a man of honour; but what do you intend to do?"
"No offence was taken, Bertie. For now, my plans are too keep writing and hope something changes, if not I may have to consider other work and let the writing become a smaller part of my meagre life."
Alan Place http://hereiamattheedge.blogspot.co.uk/
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