The Diary of a Nobody
Charles Pooter

February 9.—Exactly a fortnight has passed, and I have neither seen nor heard from Gowing respecting his extraordinary conduct in asking us round to his house, and then being out.  In the evening Carrie was engaged marking a half-dozen new collars I had purchased.  I’ll back Carrie’s marking against anybody’s.  While I was drying them at the fire, and Carrie was rebuking me for scorching them, Cummings came in.

He seemed quite well again, and chaffed us about marking the collars.  I asked him if he had heard from Gowing, and he replied that he had not.  I said I should not have believed that Gowing could have acted in such an ungentlemanly manner.  Cummings said: “You are mild in your description of him; I think he has acted like a cad.”

The words were scarcely out of his mouth when the door opened, and Gowing, putting in his head, said: “May I come in?”  I said: “Certainly.”  Carrie said very pointedly: “Well, you are a stranger.”  Gowing said: “Yes, I’ve been on and off to Croydon during the last fortnight.”  I could see Cummings was boiling over, and eventually he tackled Gowing very strongly respecting his conduct last Saturday week.  Gowing appeared surprised, and said: “Why, I posted a letter to you in the morning announcing that the party was ‘off, very much off.’”  I said: “I never got it.”  Gowing, turning to Carrie, said: “I suppose letters sometimes miscarry, don’t they, Mrs. Carrie?”  Cummings sharply said: “This is not a time for joking.  I had no notice of the party being put off.”  Gowing replied: “I told Pooter in my note to tell you, as I was in a hurry.  However, I’ll inquire at the post-office, and we must meet again at my place.”  I added that I hoped he would be present at the next meeting.  Carrie roared at this, and even Cummings could not help laughing.

The Diary of a Nobody is the fictitious diary of Charles Pooter, written by George Grossmith and originally serialised in Punch magazine in 1888 and 1889.
The text of this version is taken from the Gutenberg etext, and the weblog format was engineered by Kevan Davis (initially a straight weblog in 2004, then rewritten as an auto RSS generator in April 2007).