The Broken Boot
The English novelist and playwright John Galsworthy (1867-1933) was one of the most popular writers of the early 20th century. His work explores the transitions and contrasts between pre-and post-World War I England. As his popularity increased, Galsworthy published other novels of the Forsyte series: Indian Summer of a Forsyte (1918), In Chancery (1920), Awakening (1920), and To Let (1921). Although Galsworthy is best known for his novels, he was also a successful playwright. He constructed his drama on a legalistic basis, and the plays typically start from a social or ethical impulse and reach a resolution after different viewpoints have been expressed. This short story by the title The Broken Boot (1923) and by the author John Galsworthy begins with Gilbert Caister, an actor who had been “out” for six months, emerging from his lodging about noon. The opening of a play, on tour, in which he was playing a part in the last act rewarded him with four pounds a week. He stepped before a fishmonger's and regarded a lobster. The pleasure of looking at the lobster was not enough to detain him so he moved upstreet. Next he stopped before a tailor's window. He could see a reflection of himself in the faded brown suit gotten from a production the year before the war. The sunlight was very hard on seams and buttonholes. He walked on and became conscious of a face he knew—Bryce-Green. He says to come with him and have lunch. Bryce-Green was a wealthy patron in that South Coast convalescent camp. Caister answered that he'd be delighted. He asks Caister if he knows this place and proceeds to order cocktails. Caister thanks him for the lobster and says to himself that he's an amateur, but a nice man. They sat opposite one another at one of the two small tables. Bryce-Green says luck and Caister replies the same. Bryce-Green then asks Caister what he thinks of the state of the drama. Caister replies...
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