My Eighty Years

Source: Robert Batchford, My Eighty Years (London: Cassell, 1931), pp. 253-254

Text: After tea we realized that we were both tired and went into a kinema to rest.
Oh, that theatre! Oh, that whirling, scurrying, unmeaning show, that surely was the weirdest part of the weird day-dream. What it was all about I cannot attempt to say. It was like a fevered and breathless nightmare. Squadrons of Mexicans and cow-boys chased each other on wild horses over wild prairies and wilder hills. Riders raced, guns fired, men fell, girls were abducted and rescued; a person in a slouch hat and decorated trousers, who might have been Ragtime Cowboy Joe, rode on horseback into a saloon and wrecked the chandeliers and mirrors with his “forty-four,” and when we came away was in the act of eloping with the general’s daughter, and would probably be pursued along roads and over mountains and across rivers by police and sheriffs in motor-cars, and there would be more climbing and leaping and shooting, and then the show would begin all over again.

Comments: Robert Blatchford (1851-1943) was a British journalist and socialist. This passage from his memoirs comes from a section describing a shopping trip in London in December 1917. My thanks to Lucie Dutton for bringing this text to my attention.

Links: Copy at Internet Archive

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