Just ahead of the latest episode of our monthly audio adventure for members of The Mark Steyn Club, let me remind those despairing of the week's developments than there's nothing healthier than taking a short break from the hell of the hamster-wheel news-cycle and exploring the delights of our Tales for Our Time home page. It's configured in Netflix tile style, with the stories organized by category - thrillers, fantasy, romance, etc - which we hope will make it easy for you to find a favorite diversion of an evening. If it doesn't, please let us know.
Tennessee Steyn Clubber Vann Fleming is wondering whether love is lovelier the second time around:
I have fallen in love with Dede Mason for the the second time as I finish part 31 of your reading of Burning Daylight. The first time I fell in love with Dede was in '07 when I sailed into the Choptank river on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake in search of Devon Island... I found Dede in the Unicorn Book shop in Trappe Maryland where I was shown the store's copy of Daylight after I said I thot I had read most of London, was there anything he might suggest.
So thanks much for bringing this long lost love of mine back to life.
My pleasure, Vann. If, like Mr Fleming, you're a wee bit behind with Burning Daylight, you can access all previous episodes here. And, with that, welcome to Part Forty-One of a most unusual blend of Jack London roistering and romance. In tonight's instalment, Daylight is feeling his years:
He got out of bed and looked at himself in the long mirror on the wardrobe door. He wasn't pretty. The old-time lean cheeks were gone. These were heavy, seeming to hang down by their own weight. He looked for the lines of cruelty Dede had spoken of, and he found them, and he found the harshness in the eyes as well, the eyes that were muddy now after all the cocktails of the night before, and of the months and years before. He looked at the clearly defined pouches that showed under his eyes, and they shocked him. He rolled up the sleeve of his pajamas... Those weren't muscles. A rising tide of fat had submerged them. He stripped off the pajama coat. Again he was shocked, this time by the bulk of his body. It wasn't pretty. The lean stomach had become a paunch. The ridged muscles of chest and shoulders and abdomen had broken down into rolls of flesh.
He sat down on the bed, and through his mind drifted pictures of his youthful excellence, of the hardships he had endured over other men, of the Indians and dogs he had run off their legs in the heart-breaking days and nights on the Alaskan trail, of the feats of strength that had made him king over a husky race of frontiersmen.
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Please join me right here tomorrow evening for another episode of Burning Daylight.