Paradise Lost

Welcome to Part Twenty-Six of the latest audio entertainment in our series Tales for Our Time: Jack London’s Burning Daylight. Thank you so much for all your comments about our tales. Gayle Yee, a Mark Steyn Club member and my fellow Ontarian, writes:

I adore the Tales for Our Time, your cadence and the various voices you use is pleasing and humorous. I bet your little girl loved story time and looked forward to bedtime with you. I have been making my way through the library in the collection, and have listened to many of the books. May I suggest Bleak House by Charles Dickens, it would be a nod to the legal battle you have been enduring against Michael Mann and the hockey stick, as the Jarndyce versus Jarndyce case winds its way through the court in Victorian England and destroys a young man and his health. Like you have said in some of your columns, the collateral damage of stagnation of society is the waste of human capital.

That’s an interesting suggestion, Gayle. I’m not sure I’m quite reading along with Jarndyce vs Jarndyce as I’ve been living it for a decade. But I’ll take it under consideration…You’re right, by the way, that my little girl loved her bedtime stories: I can still hear her uncontrollable fits of giggles during the parlay-voo chapter of Huck Finn.

In tonight’s episode of Burning Daylight, Daylight finally hears from Ferguson on how he wound up in Sonoma Valley:

“I’d been hunting through here when I was a boy, on vacations from college, and when I was all down and out it seemed a yearning came to me to go back to the country. So I quit, quit everything, absolutely, and came to live in the Valley of the Moon—that’s the Indian name, you know, for Sonoma Valley. I lived in the lean-to the first year; then I built the cabin and sent for my books. I never knew what happiness was before, nor health. Look at me now and dare to tell me that I look forty-seven.”

“I wouldn’t give a day over forty,” Daylight confessed.

“Yet the day I came here I looked nearer sixty, and that was fifteen years ago.”

They talked along, and Daylight looked at the world from new angles. Here was a man, neither bitter nor cynical, who laughed at the city-dwellers and called them lunatics; a man who did not care for money, and in whom the lust for power had long since died. As for the friendship of the city-dwellers, his host spoke in no uncertain terms…

I wonder what Ferguson would make of California country now – rich wineries, on the one hand, and all the less blessed places surrendered to illegal immigration and drug addiction.

Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Twenty-Six of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.

Tomorrow, Friday, I’ll be back with Part Twenty-Seven of Burning Daylight. If you’re minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you’re more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we’ve covered Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Orwell, Kipling, Kafka, Louisa May Alcott, Scott Fitzgerald and more), we’ve introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You’ll find more details here.

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