Excerpt from Peter Homunculus: A Novel On this was written "Boy Wanted" in blue pencil scrawled by a hasty or a weary hand. An old man in an overcoat rusty with age, and for so long and so continuously worn as to cling to its owner's meagre shape, hung over the book-boxes and fingered the books, caressed those in calf with long, thin, dirty fingers, fluttered the leaves of others and occasionally with his forefinger cut the pages of a book uncut. It was a hot day, but the old man shivered and shook. Of the whole outside world he alone seemed to be alive to the existence of the little shop. Others passed it by, slouching Italians, provincials hurrying down from their hotels and boarding-houses in Bloomsbury to Piccadilly Circus, the centre of all things metropolitan; chauffeurs and mechanicians and men of the motor-car industry; little sempstresses; Jews and Jewesses with black bundles of clothes on their shoulder; loafers, touts; smart women and women unfortunate; actresses; slatternly women with babies in their arms; tourists with red Baedekers in their hands, Germans, French, Americans: boys whistling, shouting, running, hopping along on one roller skate, making hideous noises with mouth organs. Tradesmen's carts, motor cars, lorries, carriages, omnibuses rolled by. Over a roof opposite a man suspended in mid-air was mending a telephone wire. Some of the passers-by stopped to look at him, a crowd, gaping, heads craned. It swelled and filled the pathway. A pale melancholy-looking boy hurrying along, pushing his way through the throng, jostled the old man absorbed in the books and sent that in his hand flying. The old man quailed and the boy tottered. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.