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Daily RC Article 156

The Multifaceted Persona of Lord John Roxton


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Lord John Roxton and I turned down Vigo Street together and through the dingy portals of the famous aristocratic rookery. At the end of a long drab passage my new acquaintance pushed open a door and turned on an electric switch…Everywhere there were mingled the luxury of the wealthy man of taste and the careless untidiness of the bachelor. Rich furs and strange iridescent mats from some Oriental bazaar were scattered upon the floor. Pictures and prints of great price and rarity hung thick upon the walls…But amid these varied ornaments there were scattered the trophies which brought back strongly to my recollection the fact that Lord John Roxton was one of the great all-round sportsmen and athletes of his day. A dark-blue oar crossed with a cherry-pink one spoke of the old Oxonian and Leander man, while the boxing-gloves were the tools of a man who had won supremacy with each.

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In the center of the rich red carpet was a black and gold Louis Quinze table, a lovely antique, now sacrilegiously desecrated with marks of glasses and the scars of cigar-stumps. On it stood a silver tray of smokables…My silent host proceeded to charge two high glasses. Having indicated an arm-chair to me and placed my refreshment near it, he handed me a long, smooth Havana. Then, seating himself opposite to me, he looked at me long and fixedly with his strange, twinkling, reckless eyes – eyes of a cold light blue, the color of a glacier lake. His eyebrows were tufted and overhanging, which gave those naturally cold eyes an almost ferocious aspect, an impression which was increased by his strong and furrowed brow.

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Through the thin haze of my cigar-smoke I noted the details of a face which was already familiar to me from many photographs... Something there was of Napoleon III, something of Don Quixote, and yet again something which was the essence of the English country gentleman, the keen, alert, open-air lover of dogs and of horses.

Lord John Roxton has some points in common with Professor Summerlee, and others in which they are the very antithesis to each the same spare, scraggy physique. As to his appearance…he is exceedingly neat and prim in his ways, dresses always with great care in white drill suits and has high brown mosquito-boots and shaves at least once a day. Like most men of action, he is laconic in speech, and sinks readily into his own thoughts, but he is always quick to answer a question or join in a conversation, talking in a queer, jerky, half-humorous fashion. His knowledge of the world, of South America, is surprising, and he has a whole-hearted belief in the possibilities of our journey which is not to be dashed by the sneers of Professor Summerlee.

In the opening of "The Lost World," Lord John Roxton is introduced through a visit to his lavish yet untidy home, blending luxury with the artifacts of a great sportsman. The room, adorned with priceless art and trophies, offers a glimpse into Roxton's multifaceted character, showcasing his athletic prowess and refined tastes. Described as a blend of Napoleon III and an English country gentleman, his appearance combines primness with an adventurous spirit. Roxton's laconic manner and vast knowledge, especially about South America, paint a picture of a man ready for an extraordinary journey, undeterred by skepticism.
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