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A Didactic Novel
by [?]



It was a beautiful day in July and the country was looking its best. Roger rose at 7.30 a.m. and performed those gentle, health-giving exercises which have already been described in previous chapters. On this glorious morning, however, he added a simple exercise for the elbows to his customary ones, and went down to his breakfast as hungry as the proverbial hunter. A substantial meal of five dried beans and a stewed nut awaited him in the fine oak-panelled library; and as he did ample justice to the banquet his thoughts went back to the terrible days when he lived the luxurious meat-eating life of the ordinary man-about-town; to the evening when he discovered the body of Sir Eustace Butt, M.P., and swore to bring the assassin to vengeance; to the day when—-

Suddenly he realised that his thoughts were wandering. With iron will he controlled them and concentrated fixedly on the word “dough-nut” for twelve minutes. Greatly refreshed, he rose and strode out into the sun.

At the door of his cottage a girl was standing. She was extremely beautiful, and Roger’s heart would have jumped if he had not had that organ (thanks to Twisting Exercise 23) under perfect control.

“Is this the way to Denfield?” she asked.

“Straight on,” said Roger.

He returned to his cottage, breathing heavily through his ears.



Six months went by, and the murderer of Sir Joshua Tubbs, M.P. and Sir Eustace Butt, M.P. still remained at large. Roger had sold his cottage in the country and was now in London, performing his exercises with regularity, concentrating daily upon the words “wardrobe,” “dough-nut,” and “wasp,” and living entirely upon proteids.

One day he had the idea that he would start a restaurant in the East-End for the sale of meatless foods. This would bring him in touch with the lower classes, among whom he expected to find the assassin of his two oldest friends.

In less than three or four years the shop was a tremendous success. In spite of this, however, Roger did not neglect his exercises; taking particular care to keep the toes well turned in when lunging ten times backwards. (Exercise 17.) Once, to his joy, the girl whom he had first met outside his country cottage came in and had her simple lunch of Smilopat (ninepence the dab) at his shop. That evening he lunged twelve times to the right instead of ten.

One day business had taken Roger to the West-End. As he was returning home at midnight through Gordon Square, he suddenly stopped and staggered back.

A body lay on the ground before him!

Hastily turning it over upon its face, Roger gave a cry of horror.

It was Detective-Inspector Frenchard! Stabbed in eleven places!

Roger hurried madly home, and devised an entirely new set of exercises for his morning drill. A full description of these, however, must be reserved for another chapter.

(And so on for ever.)