Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Growing old disgracefully

There was the sound of a newspaper being violently crumpled, a creaking of springs, and elderly arthritic gasps, and then a man emerged from behind the screen. He was extremely old and extremely large; Mr Franklin had an impression of stalwart height, and massive shoulders encased in a beautifully-cut frock coat of antique design, with a flower in its button-hole; above, reared a striking head of silver hair framing a lined, mottled face half-concealed by magnificent flowing white whiskers. It was the face of an aged, inebriated satyr, with a prominent, heavily-veined nose and dark, bloodshot eyes which glared past Mr Franklin at the conversing couple . . .

Mr American, p.184, Pan Books, paperback edition 1982.

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