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Bozo  seemed  an  interesting  man,  and  I  was  anxious  to see more of him. That evening I went down to the Embank-ment  to  meet  him,  as  he  had  arranged  to  take  Paddy  and myself to a lodging-house south of the river. Bozo washed his  pictures  off  the  pavement  and  counted  his  takings—it was about sixteen shillings, of which he said twelve or thir-teen would be profit. We walked down into Lambeth. Bozo limped  slowly,  with  a  queer  crablike  gait,  half  sideways, dragging  his  smashed  foot  behind  him.  He  carried  a  stick in each hand and slung his box of colours over his shoulder. As we were crossing the bridge he stopped in one of the al-coves to rest. He fell silent for a minute or two, and to my surprise I saw that he was looking at the stars. He touched my arm and pointed to the sky with his stick. ‘Say, will you look at Aldebaran! Look at the colour. Like a—great blood orange!’ From the way he spoke he might have been an art critic in a picture gallery. I was astonished. I confessed that I did not know which Aldebaran was—indeed, I had never even noticed that the stars were of different colours. Bozo began to  give  me  some  elementary  hints  on  astronomy,  pointing out-the chief constellations. He seemed concerned at my ig-
Down and Out in Paris and London1 norance. I said to him, surprised: ‘You seem to know a lot about stars.’ ‘Not  a  great  lot.  I  know  a  bit,  though.  I  got  two  letters from the Astronomer Royal thanking me for writing about meteors. Now and again I go out at night and watch for me-teors. The stars are a free show; it don’t cost anything to use your eyes.’ ‘What a good idea! I should never have thought of it.’ ‘Well,  you  got  to  take  an  interest  in  something.  It  don’t follow  that  because  a  man’s  on  the  road  he  can’t  think  of anything but tea-and-two-slices.’ ‘But isn’t it very hard to take an interest in things—things like stars—living this life?’ ‘Screeving, you mean? Not necessarily. It don’t need turn you into a bloody rabbit—that is, not if you set your mind to it.’ ‘It seems to have that effect on most people.’ ‘Of  course.  Look  at  Paddy—a  tea-swilling  old  mooch-er, only fit to scrounge for fag-ends. That’s the way most of them  go.  I  despise  them.  But  you  don’t  NEED  to  get  like that.  If  you’ve  got  any  education,  it  don’t  matter  to  you  if you’re on the road for the rest of your life.’ ‘Well, I’ve found just the contrary,’ I said. ‘It seems to me that when you take a man’s money away he’s fit for nothing from that moment.’