When I reached the saddling enclosure I did not at once discover him; an unpleasant sight met my eyes instead. Bolton Byrne, livid and withered—his face like an old woman’s, I thought—rode across the empty field, angrily lashing his poney’s flanks. He slipped to the ground, and as he did so, struck the shivering animal a last blow clean across the head. An unpleasant sight—
The Command Light, top in the tier of all the hierarchy of red-yellow-green-white Status-Board indicators, flashed alive.
Lady Charlotte??s solicitor was a lean, long, faded blond of forty-five or so. He was the descendant of five generations of Lincoln??s Inn solicitors, a Low Churchman, a man of notoriously pure life, and very artful indeed. He talked in a thin, high tenor voice, and was given to nibbling his thumbnail and wincing with his eyes as he talked. His thumbnail produced gaps of indistinctness in his speech.
“Courage, my dear Madame. Courage! You see, your late husband insured his life for rather a large sum, and in such a case the Company always has to satisfy itself as to a few details. They have empowered me to act for them. You can rest assured that I will do all in my power to render the matter not too unpleasant for you. Will you recount to me briefly the sad events of Wednesday?”
“Is that so?” asked he languidly.
"I suppose," she went on idly, "there are no end of extraordinary stories buried away all over India. Do you think it is true that lots of white women were carried off in the Mutiny and were never seen again, or only heard of by accident?"
Jorgenson stamped into the trading-post building. His eyes were stormy and his jaw was set.
Vividly do I remember spending a few days at Greeba Castle shortly after the time when the publication of a story of his, that was running serially in a ladies’ paper, was suddenly and dramatically stopped by the editor of that paper on the score of its alleged immorality. The story was about to be produced in book form and, of course, the editor’s action had provided a fine advertisement; this fact, however, did not appear to console the novelist in the least. The most sensitive of men, he was crushed by this very public charge of writing immoral literature.
Mr. Broad sighed more deeply. “Ah, it’s a problem.... You may ask why I don’t speak directly to Mr. Delane ... but it’s so delicate, and he’s so uncommunicative. Still, there are Institutions....
blossoms in the warm, still air that seemed to hold no sound. He waited, anxious, angry, on the steps, listening intently for the roll of wheels and the beat of a pony's hoofs on the hard road. Once or twice he thought he heard the sounds he expected, but they died away without coming nearer, if they had really been audible at all; and then, as he waited and listened, there rose sharply, cruelly, in his mind the memory of another night in India, many years ago, when, from another bungalow, in another station, he had heard the rattle of a dog-cart driving swiftly into the adjoining compound. He became conscious of the scent of violets. In desperate resentment he moved forward to try and free himself from this spell of hideous recollection, and as he moved his foot struck against a flower-pot. He realised then that it was a pot of violets, and viciously he kicked it over the plinth of the veranda, and heard it smash to pieces as it fell.详情 ➢
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