Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. I reflected on the subject of my spare-time literary activities. One beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with. A good book may have three openings entirely dissimilar and inter-related only in the prescience of the author, or for that matter one hundred times as many endings.
Examples of three separate openings—the first: the Pooka MacPhellimey, a member of the devil class, sat in his hut in the middle of a furwood meditating on the nature of the numerals and segregating in his mind the odd ones from the even. He was seated at his diptych or two-leaved hinged writing-table with inner sides waxed. His rough long-nailed fingers toyed with a snuff-box of perfect rotundity and through a gap in his teeth he whistled a civil cavatina. He was a courtly man and received honor by reason of the generous treatment he gave his wife, one of the Corrigans of Carlow.