Simple Simon Smith by Dale Collins

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Dale Collins
Forgotten Books
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Excerpt from Simple Simon Smith

Like many another parent Mrs. Smith had failed to see the flaw inherent in the name she had chosen. To her it had seemed that Simon was just right for her wide-eyed and wondrous baby - uncommon and with a bit of style without being fancy. The alliteration chimed happily. In the circumstances Mr. Smith didn't care what she called the kid. But at school, of course, and in the village, in the Royal Air Force, in the prisoner-of-war camps, and home again, Smith always and inevitably was Simple Simon. Oddly, it fitted him to perfection, but no one will ever know just how much the name conditioned the child and the man.

In the whiteness of the moon Simon floated on the still surface of the sea, naked and at ease, like the figure of some god out of old mythology. Conch-shells should have sounded strange and sweet music; shining dolphins should have played about. His strong body with its flowing lines, his shapely head and chiselled features would have delighted Praxiteles, for by queer chance Mrs. Smith's boy had been cast in a classic and heroic mould. He was much the most handsome fellow born in living memory in Royals Bottom - as handsome as any fellow born foreign outside, if it came to that - but he remained Simple Simon.

There he reclined on the bosom of the deep, remote from the world, alone in the great quiet with the lopsided moon and the dimmed stars, dreamy, the long lashes almost closing over eyes so darkly brown that they were nearly black, mind and muscles relaxed after all the tiresome fuss and bustle of the last forty-eight hours.

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Simple Simon Smith

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