“And here you may sit on a hot spring day, very well content to look at blue sea, white windmills, red cottages bright green grass, church tower, and distant martello tower on the south.”
I have lived for some years on the East coast described here, with salt marshes but no white windmills, as far as I have seen. And I have also visited Rendlesham and Sutton Hoo, important to this story. And perhaps Dunwich, that I have also visited. In fact I wrote one of my published fiction works on the beach there in the 1980s.
This story of the Three Crowns, and the finding of the equivalent Crown to the ‘shadowy third’ in literature elsewhere, and then being dogged to death, by retrieving it via research into the Agers, where shingle can bear no footprints, and the several layers of stories told within stories here to help stop its insidious effect coming through too far. And that suspicious ‘Boots’ who questionably helped these layers of narration but radiated onward to ‘shoes’ and then over-bony bare feet. And a coat like a moveable blot on the landscape. A Zeno’s Paradox, also, of two half-hours and ‘half a mile’. There are two other mentions of ’half’ in this work. To match the halves in ‘Oh Whistle’. And a sense that reading this free-wheeling text means you need to put it back where it came from. So I hope writing about it has at least halted the ‘restrained hostility’ of its curse for a nonce…
“The boots was just collecting shoes in the passage: or so we thought: afterwards we were not sure.”
“We went straight up to our room. Paxton was there, reading quite peaceably. ‘Ready to come out shortly?’ said Long, ‘say in half an hour’s time?’ ‘Certainly,’ he said: and I said we would change first, and perhaps have baths, and call for him in half an hour.”
“Paxton wasn’t there–only his book.”
All my ongoing reviews of M. R. James: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/my-ongoing-reviews-of-m-r-james-stories/