A Genial Personality
He was, in these earlier years, intent upon a complete recovery and establishment of health. In the warmer weather bathing was his chief delight, but he took to tennis and badminton with the energy he bestows upon whatever occupation is to hand; a furious wind blew almost continuously across the court, and it delighted him to lure expert players into a game, and beat them easily while they struggled against the unaccustomed handicap with a growing exasperation. Walking and cycling were other favourite forms of exercise, and often he would take his work and wander for days about the Kentish countryside on foot or wheel, sleeping at inns and farms. So he achieved a sun-tanned, square-shouldered fitness, becoming the genial energetic personality—melancholy only in his photographs — who was an inexhaustible source of ideas, of exposition, of wit and laughter, and only incidentally, it seemed, the most vivid and forceful writer of his day.