'I suffered very much in that shop through all the summer months. At that time we went to live at Malmaison and it was heartrending to think of George and Alfred [reader's brothers] playing Scouts and Indians in the park there whilst I sat hidden away in a musty corner behind the cash desk, in semi darkness near the hot irons, crouched on a small stool for days on end in the ?dead season? with nothing to do. Outside the rue Castiglione flamed in broiling sun. I spent the time reading so called ?penny dreadfuls?: Deadwood Dick, Buffalo Bill and others. In my murky corner I lived many perilous adventures and many hair-raising escapes.
I was the hero and so forgot to grow lachrymal. This was the beginning of my literary education and my first taste for books. My crowning moment was when I succeeded in winning a Sunday school first prize, R. L. Stevenson?s ?Treasure Island?'.