It Was Not To Be
Expected; Nevertheless It Did Not Vanish, And On The Second Day I Set
Myself To Try And Save It From The Oblivion Which Would Presently
Cover It Again.
Propped up with pillows I began with pencil and
writing-pad to put it down in some sort of order, and went on with it
at intervals during the whole six weeks of my confinement, and in this
way produced the first rough draft of the book.
And all this time I never ceased wondering at my own mental state; I
thought of it when, quickly tired, my trembling fingers dropped the
pencil; or when I woke from uneasy sleep to find the vision still
before me, inviting, insistently calling to me, to resume my childish
rambles and adventures of long ago in that strange world where I first
saw the light.
It was to me a marvellous experience; to be here, propped up with
pillows in a dimly-lighted room, the night-nurse idly dosing by the
fire; the sound of the everlasting wind in my ears, howling outside
and dashing the rain like hailstones against the window-panes; to be
awake to all this, feverish and ill and sore, conscious of my danger
too, and at the same time to be thousands of miles away, out in the
sun and wind, rejoicing in other sights and sounds, happy again with
that ancient long-lost and now recovered happiness!
During the three years that have passed since I had that strange
experience, I have from time to time, when in the mood, gone back to
the book and have had to cut it down a good deal and to reshape it, as
in the first draft it would have made too long and formless a history.
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