It took only five semi-vigorous knocks to bring the great man to his door. The figure that stood before me, I thought, was very small and had just been crying and/or sleeping. I was wrong on both accounts. Speyer was in fact much the same size as me, but his front room, for reasons unknown, lay a foot or so below street level. His tired and swollen eyes, meanwhile, were caused by hay-fever. Why a man with hay-fever should chose to spend all his time sitting at the foot of a tree in his garden is a question I have never been able to answer – but there it is.
Like the stubborn mollusc inching towards the distant cabbage patch, so the memoir continues.