Horace Annesley Vachell.

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HE TRIUMPH
OF TIM



HORACE ANNESLEYVACHELL



/




THE TRIUMPH OF TIM
HORACE ANNESLEY VACHELL



By HORACE ANNESLEY VACHELL



NOVELS

THK TRIUMPH OF TIM

SPRAGGE'S CANYON
QUINNEYS"

LOOT

BLINDS DOWN
JOHN VERNEY
THE OTHER SIDE

PLAYS

QUINNEYS*

SEARCHLIGHTS

JELF'S



GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
NEW YORK



THE TRIUMPH
OF TIM



AUTHOR OF "QUINNEYS'," "BLINDS DOWN," "JELF'S,"
"JOHN VERNEY," ETC., ETC.




NEW YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



Copyright, 1916,
BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OP AMERICA



TO MY UNCLE AND GODFATHER

ARTHUR LYTTELTON-ANNESLEY

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK



2133477



CONTENTS



BOOK ONE: WHITE

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE VICAR OF LITTLE PENNINGTON 11

II. DAFFY . . ^ 28

III. IN THE HAPPY VILLAGE 44

IV. IVY JELLICOE 62

V. SCOURGINGS 86

BOOK TWO: GREEN

I. BUFFETINGS , 105

II. DREGS 120

III. POPPIES AND MANDRAGORA 135

IV. AGUA CALIENTE 151

V. MAGDALENA 167

BOOK THREE: BROWN

I. SANTA BARBARA 185

II. THE CHERUB . . 197

III. SUNSHINE AND SHADOW 212

IV. DROUGHT 224

V. WHEN TROUBLES COME 239

VI. Aoiosi ..25}

vil



viii CONTENTS

BOOK FOUR: BLACK

CHAPTER PAGE

I. REHABILITATIONS 267

\

II. POT-BOILING 280

III. ALETHEA 289

IV. ACCORDING TO LASHER 299

V. FORTUNE SMILES 316

BOOK FIVE: GREY

I. SPINDRIFT 333

II. JACK 346

III. ILLUMINATION 362

IV. RECONSTRUCTION 375

V. TWILIGHT , 390



BOOK ONE: WHITE



"To attain knowledge, strength, wisdom, to know life and folly and
disaster and triumph these are the things, this is youth, this is the food
for the heart, for the spirit. To attain these all sacrifice is good, is splendid;
is not sacrifice at all, but a gift rather, a great gift. To do, to be, to grow,
to put out roots into the world and suck nutriment from the living rock and
living soil! There is naught else, children of the sea, of the Island, of the
land encompassed by the Father of Waters!"

MORLEY ROBERTS, in "Flying Cloud."



BOOK ONE: WHITE
CHAPTER I

THE VICAR OF LITTLE PENNINGTON



THE Vicar's name was White. In Little Pennington,
however, everybody spoke of him reverentially as the
Vicar. He had succeeded a famous man, a poet and a
prophet to whose grave in Little Pennington churchyard
pilgrims from overseas still bring themselves and votive
wreaths. Tertius White was neither poet nor prophet. He
would have made an admirable man of business, a great
solicitor or administrator, because essentially he was inter-
ested in the affairs of others. He never sought preferment,
reigning quietly over a Hampshire parish bordered on the
east by breezy, high-lying downs ; on the west and north by
vast woods.

He was thirty-five, when he made a romantic marriage,
running away with the only daughter of an Irish peer,
an elopement which created something of a scandal at the
time, for the father was furious and swore that he would
never acknowledge the runaways. Nor did he. But he sent
after them a portrait of his daughter painted by Pynsent
before he achieved fame, a portrait which hung in the
parson's study above the fireplace, challenging attention
because it seemed preposterously out of tune with the or-
dered harmony of that historical workshop. Here his prede-
cessor had laboured for more than a quarter of a century.
The pilgrims regarded it as a shrine, because it contained
the desk, the chair and the bookcases of the poet. Its

ii



Timothy

austere simplicity impressed all visitors. There we^e many
books in plain bindings, a few engravings of sacred sub-
jects, cocoanut matting upon the floor, three Windsor chairs,
and a large window through which could be seen a high,
carefully-trimmed yew hedge and above it, soaring into the
soft skies, the spire of the village church. The big desk
faced this window, and the pilgrims always understood
the significance of the outlook, the symbolism of the high
fence and the inexorable spire.

Behind the desk hung Mrs. White's portrait.

Some of the more sophisticated pilgrims may have won-
dered whether the parson deliberately worked with his back
to the picture, now admitted to be a masterpiece. For
Pynsent had painted more than a portrait. Tim's lovely
mother, like Lionardo's Gioconda, stood smilingly repre-
sentative of Woman, the dulce monstrum of the Early
Fathers, the magnet which might lure men's souls to de-
struction. The face indicated great possibilities for good
or evil. Half a dozen strokes of the brush could have
made of it a saint or a sinner. Herein, of course, lay its
attractiveness and interest. This radiant creature had
bloomed delightfully. It was difficult to believe that she
had died prematurely. One realised that she must still
live in the person of her child, for life flamed in her eyes,
the joy of life so fierce a passion to some, which must, one
is constrained to believe, survive the disintegration of the
body, an imperishable essence seeking other habitations.

Mrs. White died shortly after Tim was born; the Vicar
never spoke of her, not even to Tim.

The boy respected this silence, although it informed his
childhood with curiosity and mystery. The room in which
the portrait hung became an inquisitorial chamber. In it
Tim was called to account for his outgoings and ingoings
and shortcomings. To his credit he told no lies, although
much of the truth was sometimes suppressed. Generally
his father would send for him after breakfast. His nurse
would say:

12



The Vicar of Little Pennington

"You are wanted, Master Tim, in your pa's study."

Invariably, the father would be seated at his desk, piled
high with papers and pamphlets. Tim would seat himself
on the hard edge of a Windsor chair, and wait till his sire,
with exasperating deliberateness, laid down his pen. The
Vicar, upon such occasions, spoke gently to the urchin in
a voice singularly sweet but impersonal. As a child Tim
vaguely realised that this calm, slow utterance was irre-
sistible. Nobody presumed to argue with the Vicar when
he adopted this tone, the tone of a wise and merciful judge.
As a rule certain formalities were observed.

"Well, Tim, you are in mischief again?"

Very soon Tim learned that a simple "Yes," or a nod
of a curly head, embarked him safely along the lines oi
least resistance.

"What are we going to do?"

This "we" was terribly disconcerting. It implied fellow-
ship, the warming of a small heart's cockles, implying also
a sense of responsibility. To get into mischief might be
to a healthy boy a ha'penny matter; to drag a saintly
father into the mud of petty peccadilloes became an odious
affair, for the boy knew that the father would insist upon
doing what the son might elect to leave undone. For ex-
ample, Tim could remember the morning when he refused
to apologise to an old woman in the village who had con-
fiscated a cricket ball wandering too often into her cab-
bages. Tim avenged himself by catapulting a cucumber
frame. Three marbles were found amongst the cucum-
bers, overwhelming proof that the misdemeanant was not
a village boy, who would have used pebbles. The Vicar
pointed a finger at the marbles.

"Ours," he said; for he had bought the marbles and
given them to Tim.

"Yes," Tim replied.

"We must apologise."

"Sha'n't, daddy."

"I shall. Come with me."

13



Timothy

Important work was abandoned immediately. Father
and son marched down the village street, hand in hand,
till the old woman's cottage was reached. The Vicar tapped
v at the door

"May we come in?"

This was the regular formula, acknowledged by curtseys
and smiles. The Vicar entered no cottage without permis-
sion.

"I am here to apologise on behalf of this young man. I
make myself responsible for the damage he has done. I am
sincerely sorry that he has caused you this annoyance."

"I'm not sorry," said Tim, boldly. "She bagged my ball."

"Did you?" asked the parson quietly.

"Yes, sir. I warned 'un again an' again. Seemin'ly, Mas-
ter Tim thinks that cricket balls is manure for an old
woman's cabbages an' cauliflowers."

"Keep the ball till he grows wiser. Good-day."



II

Tim was sent to the village school when he was eight
years old. The squire of Little Pennington happened
to be one of the last of England's country gentlemen. He
had been the friend far more than the patron of Tertius
White's predecessor, working shoulder to shoulder with
him in the development of a great estate much impoverished
by the mortgages which plastered it. Tim loved the old
Squire, a genial autocrat in a high-collared blue coat, who
welcomed a schoolboy as courteously as an ambassador.
Great men came to Pennington Park, because their host was
a distinguished scholar and Parliamentarian. Many won-
dered why he had abandoned the great world for Little
Pennington. The position of Speaker of the House of Com-
mons had been within his grasp. He refused that and other
honours because his estate needed him. After his death a
tenant said of him : "I had often occasion to ask Sir Gilbert
14



The Vicar of Little Pennington

some particular favour. I can never remember his refusing
me without giving me a perfectly adequate reason." This
furnishes a glimpse of the man. He was an ardent Church-
man and Tory. No Nonconformists, for instance, were to
be found amongst his tenants; no Radicals disturbed the
village peace. Wisely, or unwisely, this kindly autocrat im-
posed his convictions upon his own people. He had made
sacrifices for them, and they knew it. He had swept away
poverty and vice and ignorance from Little Pennington.
He was a Tory in the sense of conserving religiously what
he held to be worth conserving, but he was the first to
champion the better education of the masses, and to pro-
vide out of his own pocket first-class teachers in his own
schools. He encouraged cricket on Sundays; he gave his
tenants free access to his park.

Tim was sent to the village school because Sir Gilbert
Pennington had chosen the schoolmaster. Here again we
have a significant instance of what example may achieve.
The village dominie, Arthur Hazel, refused in his turn pre-
ferment, devoting life and energies to his scholars. The
village doctor, fired by this altruism, remained staunch at
his post. It seemed to be understood on all hands that there
was work to do in Little Pennington worth the doing. The
fame of the model village helped to sustain the standard
set by squire and parson, and those under them. Even the
gentlepeople in and about the village, the retired colonels
and admirals and Indian commissioners were, so to speak,
weeded out not so much by the squire or parson as by the
force of public opinion. Undesirable tenants wandered in
and out of this charmed circle. The right sort (in the
Squire's eye) remained whether conscious or unconscious
of their privilege. Little Pennington became known as "the
happy village." Outsiders might and did scoff at the ad-
jective. Insiders smiled complacently.



Timothy



in

It is a curious fact that the unkindness, or indifference,
or even cruelty, which is the lot of a new boy at genteel
preparatory schools is almost unknown in our National
Schools. The children in our villages and towns are, with
rare exceptions, happy at school, and soon learn to like it.
Tim enjoyed himself very well, and came to an understand-
ing of his fellows, boys and girls, which endured when much
else was forgotten. He had the knack of making friends,
particularly with those older than himself, and ran in and
out of half the cottages in the village. Moreover, he would
call ceremoniously upon Sir Gilbert, and inform him gravely
that a cottage roof was leaking. The old man listened to
his prattle with twinkling eyes, and profited by it. For ex-
ample, the great house was full of beautiful pictures. Tim
adored beauty. He would stand entranced before a Gains-
borough or a Reynolds and repeat his intention of becoming
a painter of lovely women. One morning he found a blank
space upon the wall of the north drawing-room.

"Where is the yellow lady ?" he asked of Sir Gilbert.

The Squire answered him after his own fashion.

"She is building new cottages."

"When is she coming back, Sir Gilbert?"

"She will not come back."

Tim nodded.

"You have sold her?"

"Yes."

"How could you?"

"Come, come, who told me not so long ago that certain
persons were thinking of emigrating to Canada, because
there was not house-room for them ?"

"Did you sell the yellow lady to keep the Panels here?"

"To keep them and others."

Tim weighed this conscientiously.
16



The Vicar of Little Pennington

"It was fuggy for 'em," he admitted, "but villagers don't
mind fug much. Do they know?"

"Certainly not; I rely upon your discretion not to tell
them."

"I'd have kept the yellow lady," said Tim decidedly.
"Canada is a jolly decent place. The Panels wanted to go,
but, of course, in Little Pennington nobody does what they
want, do they?"

Sir Gilbert smiled grimly.

"That is your honest opinion, eh?"

"They do what Father and you tell 'em to do. It's
rather dull. When I grow up I shall try to please myself."

"I'm sorry."

"Why?"

"I'm sorry that I shall not be alive to hear from your
own lips the results. Do you feel very dull in Little Pen-
nington ?"

"Only when I'm very extra good," said Tim, after a
pause. "And you see, Sir Gilbert, I'm very seldom good."

"Original Sin !" murmured Sir Gilbert.

Alone with the Parson, the old man repeated this con-
versation, adding with a chuckle : "He is a rebel."

The father winced, sensible that Tim's revelation had
been vouchsafed to another. The Squire continued geni-
ally: "I suppose it's the Irish in him. Forninst the Gov-
ernment. The Sheridan tincture what?"

"Yes; he puzzles me." After a pause, the Vicar con-
tinued less calmly : "What a tragedy this inability of
one generation to understand another!"

Sir Gilbert laughed; and yet he had taken seriously
enough the fences between himself and his sons, taken them,
perhaps, in too big a stride. He pressed his companion's
arm with his finely shaped fingers.

"A generation lies between us, White, and I am sure
that you understand me and that I understand you."

'We are of the same generation. I believe that I was
born old. I hardly remember being young. I mean by that

17



Timothy

I cannot recall feeling exuberantly boyish. We were very
poor; I had to make my way, to plot and plan for myself
and others. I liked the struggle; I am not complaining;
but there it is. And my experience discolours my view-
point of Tim. I never see Tim quite clearly."

"I do," said the Squire trenchantly. "What an attractive
little sinner it is!"

"Too attractive," murmured the Vicar. "He gets what
he wants too easily particularly love and attention, quick-
sands both of them, unless a strong hand is on the helm."

"Our hands are not weak, White."

"They are growing daily weaker."

"Will he win this scholarship?"

"I think so."

Already, it had been settled that Tim's chance of being
educated at a great public school depended on his wits.
But Tertius White, who had won scholarships, knew that
Tim might be crammed cunningly to pass a given examina-
tion; he could never develop into a scholar or be satisfied
with a scholar's ambitions.

"And afterwards ?"

The parson shrugged his shoulders.

"That lies on the lap of the gods, quite beyond my vision."

"Have you not a glimpse of him as a painter?"

"A painter? Any form of Art exacts a long apprentice-
ship. Tim loathes drudgery. He will rush at his future,
leap into it without looking."

"We must do the looking."

"If he will let us."

IV

Tim was twelve when his future was thus discussed, a
strong handsome boy, amazingly like his mother, who looked
down upon him with a faintly derisive smile whenever he
sat before the parson upon the hard stool of Penitence.

Tertius White consoled himself with the reflection that
18



The Vicar of Little Pennington

the boy was really penitent intermittently. He could take
a caning from Arthur Hazel with tearless composure, but
a deserved reproof from his father might provoke a pas-
sion of weeping. Then he would plunge into mischief
again with an uplifted heart.

His resource confounded his elders. The Vicar read
prayers before breakfast, and Tim was expected to present
himself in parade order. If his appearance indicated im-
perfect ablutions, or undue haste in the putting on of gar-
ments, he was despatched to his bedroom again. One morn-
ing, the Vicar's suspicions were aroused, because Tim's
forgetfulness of a hairbrush or a necktie seemed about to
become chronic. Tim, moreover, exhibited disappoint-
ment when his father's critical eye failed to observe the
deficiencies of his toilet. Tim knelt down with a frown
upon his face. During Lent, the parson said lightly at
breakfast :

"You wanted to cut prayers this morning."

Tim's face betrayed uneasiness.

"Last Wednesday you forgot your necktie; to-day you
didn't brush your hair. Own up ! Did you forget, or did
you want to cut prayers?"

"I wanted to cut prayers."

"Why?"

"I do such a lot of praying."

"You have a lot to be thankful for. Do you grudge
thanking me or Sir Gilbert when we give you a good time ?"

"It doesn't take so long to thank you or Sir Gilbert."

"We don't do so much for you."

Tim rallied his wits; then he said triumphantly:

"You and Sir Gilbert just hate to be thanked too much.
Sir Gilbert says, 'Tut, tut,' and you say, 'Run along.' I
should think that God got tired of being thanked again
and again. I know I should."

The Vicar said hastily:

"Well, well, you are hardly old enough to realise what

19



Timothy

sincere prayer means, not to God himself, but to the one
who prays."

"If you tell me, I'll try to understand."

Tim fixed his sparkling eyes upon the parson's face, lean-
ing his head upon his hands in an attitude of profound at-
tention. The Vicar accepted the challenge after a moment's
hesitation.

"Why do we eat three or four times a day? Because
we are hungry, because the body needs constant nourish-
ment. It is the same with the soul, Tim. It cannot ex-
pand without prayer, which means far more than thanks-
giving. It is very important that you should be grateful
to God, for He has given much to you, and will require
much from you. How will you pay Him back?"

"I don't know."

"By doing His will, by opening your heart, so that His
Will may flow through it, and direct your life aright.
Prayer, apart from thanksgiving, means communion with
God, it means being with Him, it means walking and talk-
ing with Him. He comes when you want Him. And
prayer brings God to earth, and exalts Man to Heaven. It
is indeed the golden thread between earth and Heaven."

Tertius White spoke quietly, never taking his eyes from
the boy's face. He could see that his words had produced
an effect. Tim understood. He had forgotten his break-
fast.

"Goon! Please go on!"

"I have said enough, Tim."

"Of course this just settles it."

"Settles what, my boy?"

"I shall become a parson like you, because a parson does
more praying than anybody else. I always wondered why
you were so good, and often I've wondered why you looked
so so "

"Yes?"

"So far away. You were with God. I shall not cut
20



The Vicar of Little Pennington

prayers any more, daddy, and I'll make Ernest Judd pray
with me."

"Amen !" said the Vicar.

Tim hastily finished his breakfast and disappeared. It
happened to be Saturday, and a whole holiday. At the end
of the village, hard by the Pound, Ernest Judd was waiting
for Tim. A great expedition had been planned involving
excitements, a breaking of the sacred law of trespass, and
possible injury to life and limb, for the boys believed, or
pretended to believe, that Lanterton Wood concealed man-
traps ! There was a real man-trap in the stable yard of
Pennington House, a monstrous affair, enough to strike
terror into the heart of the most daring poacher. Sir Gil-
bert was too humane a man to use man-traps, and his woods
were open to Tim and Ernest. Really and truly, bird's-nest-
ing was better in the Pennington woods, because the Squire
cared little for game-preserving, and would not allow jays
and kites and hawks to be shot by his keepers. But it
would be senselessly dull to enter any domain from which
trespassers were not rigidly excluded.

Tim walked the length of the village, slightly under-
studying his father's leisurely stride and general deport-
ment. He greeted all and sundry with studied courtesy.
At the grocer's he entered to buy a penn'orth of pear drops.
The grocer sang in the choir, and grew a silky, apostolic
beard. Tim admired him enormously.

"Marnin', Master Tim."

"Good-morning, Mr. Benner. How is Mrs. Benner?"

"No better, pore soul! nor likely to be this side o' the
grave. Where be going, Master Tim?"

"That's a secret, Mr. Benner."

"Up to larks, I'll be bound."

"You are mistaken."

"What a queer little gentleman to be sure! Now, tell
us what you be up to, and I'll give 'ee better weight."

Tim hesitated.

"You sing in the choir, Mr. Benner?"

21



Timothy

"Ah! That I do, and have done this many a year."

"You pray?"

"Most upliftingly."

Tim said solemnly : quoting Sir Gilbert :

"I rely upon your discretion, Mr. Benner, not to repeat
what I tell you. Ernest Judd and I are going to pass the
day in prayer. Somebody else may join us. Good-day."

He walked sedately out of the shop, leaving a gaping
and gasping grocer behind him.



Passing the Pennington Arms, which happens to be the
last house in the village, Tim broke into a dog-trot. He
passed swiftly the meadows where plovers' eggs might be
found in early April and pulled up pantingly at the Pound.
On the topmost rail Erny Judd was sitting, smoking a
brown-paper cigarette.

"You be late," said Erny.

"I know, Journey, I've a lot to tell you."

Journey, a pleasing amalgam of Erny and Judd, nodded.
He could boast, with rare veracity, that he had taught the
Vicar's son to read. It happened in this wise. Tim was
very backward in reading when he joined the village school,
and Mr. Hazel had been duly prepared for this. He took
Tim in hand, and became humorously sensible of the ur-
chin's indifference and inattention. Whereupon, being a
man of parts, he said curtly:

"I can't waste my valuable time with you, Tim. Ernest
Judd will give you a lesson. Come here, Erny."

Tim's pride was outraged, but Hazel had understood
what was needful. Tim made up his mind to reveal to
Erny and his master powers of application hitherto latent.
Erny's superiority as a reader of two syllable treatises was
soon rolled in the dust. Nevertheless the boys remained
friends, partly, perhaps, because Erny's father was recog-

22



The Vicar of Little Pennington

nised and respected by scapegraces as a troublesome and
incorrigible character. He had been a sailor before the
mast, returning to the village blind of both eyes. He could
sing a mellow song, tell many tales of sea and land, and
carry more ale without showing it than any man in Little
Pennington. He earned a few shillings a week by playing
the fiddle; and his wife, a hard-working woman, was head
laundry-maid at Pennington House.

"We ain't a going to no Lanterton Wood," began Tim.
Alone with Journey, he used the village vernacular, aban-
doning it in serious moments.

"Why isn't us?" said Journey.

"Because we be two mis'able sinners. We be going to
the Cathedral."

"The Cathedral? There ain't no nestesses in they
beeches."

The Cathedral had been so named by the poet and prophet,
a noble group of lofty beech trees in the heart of Penning-
ton High Wood. From some such group Bradford and
Ransam and William of Wykeham may have derived in-
spiration. The rounded trunks soared upwards till they
met overhead in Nature's exquisite fan-vaulting. Beneath,
the moss lay thick and verdant. Aisles, transepts and chan-
cel were there awaiting the worshippers.

Tim carried a brown paper parcel tied with string. Jour-
ney stared at it interrogatively with a hungry expression.
It might contain cake, apples and roly-poly pudding. His
face fell when Tim extracted a not too clean nightgown and
a yard of black riband.

Tim dropped the vernacular.

"I shall go into the vestry and put on my surplice. You
kneel down and pray."

"I'll be danged if I do."

"Look here, Journey, something wonderful is going to
happen, if you behave yourself. I'm expecting Somebody."

"Who be you expectin'?"

"God."



Timothy

"Gosh!"

"You kneel down and pray. Open your sinful heart."

" 'Tain't more sinful than yours."

"You kneel down, or I'll have to punch your head."



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