David Gascoyne, prose
26 septembre 2010
David Gascoyne Death of an Explorer
MR. PARKER was a middle-aged, undistinguished-looking man, who worked for a firm of insecticide manufacturers. His job kept him at the office most of the time, but occasionally his employers would call upon him to go and demonstrate their products in towns in some quite distant part of the country, or even abroad, so that after a while he became quite used to making journeys and seeing strange places, although the previous positions he had occupied had never given him the opportunity to travel. He did not like to be referred to as a traveller, though his salesmanship was in a higher class than that.
He woke up one Sunday morning in a strange bed, and remembered that he had arrived the previous night in a town he had never visited before and where he had an appointment for the following day with a large firm of wholesale gardeners. He had been giving demonstrations the day before in another town in the same county.
He lay in bed enjoying a vague feeling of pleasure at the thought of having nothing to do all day except take his meals, read the newspaper, and perhaps explore his strange temporary surrounding a little in the afternoon. He always liked to wander about and see the local sights, even in the most insignificant of the places that he visited. When the landlady came in with his breakfast, he did in fact ask her whether there was anything of interest in the neighbourhood which, in her opinion, a traveller ought not to miss. He asked this in a half-jocular way, although his curiosity was quite genuine. The landlady looked at him with a puzzled expression, fingered the back of her head, and answered that she couldn’t exactly think of anything.