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The Adventures of Harry Revel online

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donations. He feathered _his_ nest. And Miss Plinlimmon's gone down
into Cornwall to live with a Major Brooks - a kind of relation of
hers, so far as I can make out. They tell me she've come into

I had a question on my lips, but Mr. Jope interrupted.

"I haven't the pleasure of your acquaintance, sir," he began
politely, addressing Mr. George, "and by the look of 'ee, you must
date from before my time. But speakin' as one man to another, how do
you get along with that boy?"

The door was slammed in our faces.

Mr. Jope and I regarded one another. "Ben," said I, "it's urgent, or
I wouldn't leave you. I must start at once for Minden Cottage."

His face fell. "And I was planning a little kick-up at Symonds's,"
he said ruefully; "a fiddle or two - to celebrate the occasion;
nothing out o' the way. The first time you dropped on us, if you
remember, we was not quite ourselves, owing to poor dear Bill: and
I'd ha' liked you to form a cheerfuller idea of the place. But if
'tis duty, my lad, England expec's and I'm not gainsaying. Duty, is

"Duty it is," said I. "You walked up to yours nobly, and I must walk
on to mine."

So we shook hands, and I turned my face westward for the ferry.

I had over-calculated my strength, and limped sorely the last mile or
two before reaching Minden Cottage. Miss Plinlimmon opened the door
to me, and I forgot my pain for an instant and ran into her arms.
But behind her lay an empty house.

"The Major is in the garden," she said. "You will find him greatly
changed, I expect. Even since my coming I have noticed the

I walked through to the summer-house. The Major was fingering his
Virgil, but laid it down and shook hands gravely. I had much to tell
him, and he seemed to listen; but I do not think that he heard.

Miss Plinlimmon - dear soul, unknowingly - had prepared for me the very
room to which Isabel had led me on the night of my first arrival, and
in which she had knelt beside me. Miss Plinlimmon had scarcely known
Isabel, and I found her cheerfulness almost distressing when she came
to wish me good night.

"And I have composed a stanza upon you," she whispered, "if you care
for such things any longer. But you must understand that it has
been, so to speak, improvised, and - what with the supper and one
thing and another - I have had no time to polish it."

I said sleepily that, unpolished though it were, I wished to hear it
thus; and here it is:

"Wounded hero, you were shattered
In the ankle - do not start!
Much, much more it would have mattered
In the immediate neighbourhood of the heart.
The bullet sped comparatively wide;
And you survive, to be Old England's pride."


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Online LibraryArthur Quiller-CouchThe Adventures of Harry Revel → online text (page 15 of 15)