Edna notes that he had a dreadful lisp but talked all the time anyway and considered himself the next Picasso. According to her he used to paint applauding pictures of erotic fruit. Rowland also states he had an interesting way with bananas in his lewd still life paintings.
Edna sees him years later, by chance on the 6th of December 1931, he is picking up cigarette butts from the platform and she fears he is sleeping at Happy Valley. He is described as a broken man who had once dreamed of artistic triumph. When he meets Edna he is so embarrassed he will barely speak to her. However she gives him her card so that he knows how to find Woodlands House. He is too prideful to return there with her.
He symbols the shifting of classes many people suffered during the Great Depression. Once attending an ambitious art school and dreaming of being the next Picasso he is reduced to picking up cigarette butts, thus highlighting the devastating effect of the Great Depression.