14 May 1893
Several weeks having passed since the terryifying loss of my Season Ticket, I had been lodging in that miserable abode of pain and suffering, Croydon Workhouse, where, at the utmost extremity after my daily expenditure on railway tickets had seen my life savings whittled away to nothing, I had taken refuge in the hard bosom of Parish charity. There, to the company of other miserable wretches who filled their hours picking oakum, I nightly returned from my London studio to nurse my anguish over a mug of the thinnest cocoa heated up over a candle stump and a slice of bread scraped with lard. After some weeks of silence in which I grew to believe that Her Majesty’s Revenue Inspectors were as fabled as the Vittra, an envelope bearing their frank arrived. So hungry was I that forthwith I steamed off the penny farthing stamp and licked up the life giving nourishment of its glue. The letter within commanded me to appear at the hour of 18.30 a week hence at Waterloo Station where I must be interrogated by a Revenue Inspector. I should bring proof of identity, a bank statement – I laughed hollowly – and a character reference provided by a doctor, a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace. The Inspectorate in its wisdom did not ask me to vouchsafe the word of a bank manager, knowing that no man Who Has Lost His Season Ticket is in any position to ask favours of his bank manager.