Hairless or shorn?

(M21)

“That’s right. Try to remember everything. Eat a little more bread. What did the reading-room look like?”

“Much as usual,” he at length muttered.

“Many people there?”

“Usual sort of number.”

“What did they look like?”

Soames tried to visualize them.

“They all,” he presently remembered, “looked very like one another.”

My mind took a fearsome leap.

“All dressed in sanitary woolen?”

“Yes, I think so. Grayish-yellowish stuff.”

“A sort of uniform?” He nodded. “With a number on it perhaps–a number on a large disk of metal strapped round the left arm? D. K. F. 78,910–that sort of thing?” It was even so. “And all of them, men and women alike, looking very well cared for? Very Utopian, and smelling rather strongly of carbolic, and all of them quite hairless?” I was right every time. Soames was only not sure whether the men and women were hairless or shorn. “I hadn’t time to look at them very closely,” he explained.

aus: Max Beerbohm: Enoch Soames. In: Seven Men (1919), mehr …