PG Wodehouse

The Small Bachelor

First Published 1927

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PG Wodehouse The Small Bachelor

First Page
THE roof of the Sheridan Apartment House, near Washington Square, New York. Let us examine It, There will be stirring happenings on this roof In due season, and it is as well to know the ground. The Sheridan stands in the heart of New York's Bohemian and artistic quarter. If you threw a brick from any of its windows, you would be certain to brain some rising young interior decorator, some Vorticist sculptor or a writer of revolutionary vers libre. And a very good thing, too. Its roof, cosy, compact and ten stories above the street, Is flat, paved with tiles and surrounded by a low wall, jutting up at one end of which is an iron structure´┐Ż the fire-escape. Climbing down this, should the emergency occur, you would find yourself in the open-air premises of the Purple Chicken restaurant´┐Żone of those numerous oases in this great city where, in spite of the law of Prohibition, you can still, so the cognoscenti whisper, * always get it if they know you.' A useful thing to remember. On the other side of the roof, opposite the fire-escape, stands what is technically known as a ' small bachelor apartment, penthouse style.* It is a white-walled, red-tiled bungalow, and the small bachelor who owns it is a very estimable young man named George Finch, originally from East Gilead, Idaho, but now, owing to a substantial legacy from an uncle, a unit of New York's Latin Quarter, For George, no longer being obliged to earn a living, has given his suppressed desires play by coming to the metropolis and trying his hand at painting. .