WHEN I changed the then beautiful town of Bournemouth for the undoubtedly attractive one of Croydon, having almost unaccountably become sub‐librarian there in 1904, I found myself among a set of what proved to be rather remarkable people. “A smart young fellow,” had been my first chief's description of my new one, Louis Stanley Jast, and in the economy of words he was wont to use, this meant much. Of course, before I went for the interview, I tried to gather something of L. S. J. He was versatile, I was told, and volatile, a poet, orator, traveller, one who could not suffer fools with proverbial gladness, who expected you to look him straight in the eyes, where he certainly looked you. This, in itself, was quite enough. However, I came out of the ordeal most pleasantly, after the Chairman, Alderman H. Keatley Moore, one of the best advocates public libraries have had, remarked “If you please Mr. Jast, I am sure you will be very happy with him,” and Alderman Frederick Foss (father of Hubert Foss, the musical composer and critic) had added, “Jast! Fancy anyone being happy with you—Good God!” I believe it is possible to get on with any chief if one is loyal to his purposes, but although I was as raw as a provincial could be, I found that I had reached a place where encouragement and appreciation almost anticipated every effort.
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