A Story of Pim, 1928

When his son Ronald (Winkie) was a child, Leslie Howard had invented a series of bed-time stories for him. In her book, Leslie Ruth, the younger daughter, writes: “The two miscreants found time on Leslie’s rare evenings at home to sneak off for a bed-time story. Winkie often wondered whose bed-time it was, for Leslie was put to sleep by the figments of his own imagination. During these sessions a couple of lads were invented– a couple of lads indeed who, but for Ruth’s [her mother] vigilant eye, could have been Leslie and Winkie. They were called Pim and Peter. The adventures of these intrepid fellows were always ‘continued in our next’, as Leslie dozed off at a critical moment and then was forced to confess that Pim and Peter were in such awful circumstances that he was licked for the time being. As a result of this, ‘Hairpin’ was born. ‘Hairpin’ was a ‘situation saver’… The whole adventure series, which was to last for years, was liberally sprinkled with private and rather grubby schoolboy jokes over which the fair heads bent together in paroxysms of mirth.”

I always wished I could listen to one of those stories, so I was really excited when I found one of Leslie’s stories reported by Harriet Eager Davis, in an article she wrote for an old magazine, The Outlook of May 30, 1928.

Pim’s Yacht

A Story a Brodway Star Tells His Small Boy

by Harriet Eager Davis
Illustrated by Luxor Price

“Although, for the public, it is Leslie Howard who occupies the spot-light as the hero of Galsworthy’s “Escape,” evidently at home on Long Island young Winkie, aged ten, claims the center of the stage. One need only see the twinkle in Mr. Howard’s eye as he mentions his son to imagine the delight of Father’s return from tour, when he spins another tale of “Pim.” “Pim” is a super-boy who knows everything, who always gets the better of grown-ups, and who bears a strange resemblance to Winkie himself, his adventures varying with the ebb and flow of the younger Howard’s own interests. Among Pim’s– and Winkie’s– passions is a love of boats; hence this tale of maritime adventure.”

Pim’s Yacht
As told by Leslie Howard

(The Outlook, May 30, 1928)

Read the full text of this article here: http://www.unz.org/Pub/Outlook-1928may30-00190

Pym's Yacht

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