Rediscovered: Hobart Gondor Wagglestaff?

Another Autograph Hound Super-Sunday rolls around, relentlessly, like time itself.

I thought Brian Leno might finally have snapped, after the last weekend’s round of superb John Hancockery from Kevin Cook.

Brian popped me a note: “Cook’s stuff was fantastic. I almost broke down and cried, like Alexander the Great.

“No more autograph worlds for me to conquer.

“Kevin Cook got there first.”

But then Kevin asked if Brian happened to have an H.G. Wells.

The battered autograph boxer surged back onto his feet!

Brian reports: “I went digging for it. Broke one arm and lost three toes but I found it, really it wasn’t easy. Initialed H.G.W with his typical flair. One of my gems. 

“Part of my youthful years were spent in theatres watching The Time Machine (1960), First Men in the Moon (1964) or War of the Worlds (1953). Later I discovered The Invisible Man (1933) and then came Island of Lost Souls (1932), truly a favorite. Charles Laughton is magnificent as Dr. Moreau and of course Bela Lugosi as the ‘Sayer of the Law’ is unforgettable.

“The Wells note gives his address as 47, Chiltern Court, Clarence Gate, N. W. 1, and he moved here, according to J. Hammond and his An H. G. Wells Chronology, in July of 1930.

“The card appears to be dated Jan. 22, 1934, which makes it all fit.

“It seems to start “Dear May/ Warm approval. I’m here but won’t” — at least that’s what I dope out. He appears to be stating that he’ll write a longer letter another time.

“Wells’ handwriting is not all one would wish for — in fact, reading what he wrote is almost impossible.

“The last word I believe is supposed to be ‘letter’ but looks like a reading on a heart monitor.

“Anybody with good enough eyes to decipher this I’d be happy to hear from.

“The important thing, however, is the H.G.W at the end, and it’s pretty cool to have Wells’ phone number included on the note.

“Certainly Wells is not a cheap autograph to obtain, but plenty examples are available — none for pocket change.

“I did get lucky with my Wells signature though, not too terribly high, a bargain. It kept me, and my wallet, out of the House of Pain.”

A notable example, says I, of an “initial signature” — but here’s the thing: HALF of an H.G. Wells signature consist of initials anyway, right?

Now, pardon me while I punch Mr. Wells’ phone exchange into my cell, and see what happens to the space-time continuum. . . .

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