Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 1/6

story one of the times Red Cross storybook by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org recording by david whales the times Red Cross story book by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various story one dimmu c and the pistol by aew mason manchester regiment one in the maps of morocco you will see stretching southwards of the city of Mecca neighs a great track of uncharted country it is lawless and forbidden land even the Sultan mullah el Hassan that great fighter omitted it from his expeditions but certain tribes are known to inhabit it such as the been immature and certain villages can be assigned a locality such as a good eye which lies one long day's journey from the Renegades gate of mekinese at a girl a dmoz I was born and lived for the first 15 years of his life Timothy the Englishman as he was called though in features and color he had the look of an Arab with just a strain of Negro blood at the age of 15 a desire to see the world laid hold upon Demasi as far as the eye could see from any mound about the village there stretch on every side a rolling plain silent and empty hardly a bird sang in the air above it and everywhere it was dark with bushes where in the flowers of asphodel gleamed pale and small dim OU z wearied of the plain one thin reddish line meandered uncertainly from north to south a stone's throw from the village where the feet of men and mules passing at rare intervals through many centuries had beaten down a path along this path dimmu see allowed his fancies to carry him into a world of enchantment and one spring morning his feet carried him along it too for half a dozen men of the Bene mature carrying almonds and walnuts and emeka nez happened to pass a girl at a moment when Dempsey was watching and his mother was at work on a patch of till drown out of sight Demasi had no other parent than his mother he ran into the hut with its 10th roof of sacking and its sides of rough hurdles which was his home searched in a corner for a big brass barreled pistol which had long been the pride of the establishment and hiding it under his ragged djellaba he ran down the track and joined himself on to the tiny caravan the next morning he came to mekin is where he parted company with the tribesmen timothy had not so much as a copper loosed upon him but on the other hand he had a pistol and the whole world in front of him and what reasonable boy could want more all that day he wandered about the streets gaping at the houses at the towers of the mosques and at the stalls in the markets but as the afternoon declined hunger got hold of him his friends of yesterday had vanished somehow he must get food he fingered the pistol under his djellaba irresolute Lee he walked along a street which he came to know afterwards as the so Cuba in the middle was built a square tent of stone with an open our chat each side an appointed roof of fluted tiles trailed over by a vine just beyond this stone tent the street narrowed and on the left-hand side a man who sold weapons squatted upon the floor of a dark booth how much as dim as E producing his pistol but loath to let it go the shopman looked at Emma C and looked at the pistol then he tossed it carelessly behind him into the litter of his booth matt is no good as sure as my name is Moustafa it would not kill a rabbit but see my heart is kind i will give you three dollars he counted them out demo see stolidly shook his head seven said he Mustafa reached behind him for the pistol and flung it down at dempseys feet take it away said he I will not haggle with foolish boys who have stone a thing of no value and wish to sell it at a great price take it away get out of my charity i will give you four dollars five said Timothy and five he received he bought rice and eggs in the market and turned under an old archway of green tiles into the Phan Duc inna there he cooked his food at a fire eight and proposed to sleep but fate had laid her hand upon Demasi he slept not at all that night he SAT with his back propped against the filigree plaster of one of the pillars and listen to a more of the sharada tribe who smoked Keith and talked until morning yes said the Shahada man I have traveled far and wide now I go to my own village of sokoto on jebel Zarin have you been to thurs asked dim Lucy eagerly I have lived in Fez I served in the army of my lord the Sultan until I was bored with it it is a fine town and a large one the river flows in a hundred streams underneath the houses in every house there is running water but it is nothing to the town of moulay idriss demo see clasped his hands about his knees Oh tell me tell me he cried so loudly that in the shadows of the Fond ack men stirred upon their straw and cursed him I have also traveled to Rabat a great town upon the sea whether many consoles come in fireships a great town draped with flowers and cactus but it has nothing to mullah eateries there are no consoles in mullah eateries all through his talk the name of mula either is the sacred city on the slope of Jebel zahran came and went like a shuttle of a loom the sharada more thought highly of the life n moulay idriss since it was possible to live there without work pilgrims came to visit the shrine of the founder of the Moorish empire with offerings in their hands and the whole Township lived and lived well upon those offerings moreover there were no Europeans or consoles as he termed them the more spoke at length that with hatred of the Europeans pale ungainly creatures and ridiculous clothes given over to the devil people with a clever knack of invention no doubt in the matter of firearms and cameras and spy glasses but man for man no match for any more only three cities are safe from them now in all Morocco sha-sha one in the north taffie lot in the south and moulay idriss but mullah ether ESA's safest once a party of them Englishman came rising up the steep road to the gate even there but from the walls we stoned them back God's curse on them let them stay at home but they must always be pushing somewhere Demasi recognizing in himself a point of kinship with the consoles said gravely I am an Englishman the sharada man laughed as though he had heard an excellent joke and continued to discourse upon the splendors of moulay idriss until the sleepers weight in their corners and the keeper flung opened the door and the grey daylight crept into the Fond Duke Oh tell me said Timothy the city is far from here set out now you will be a mullah either is before sunset demo see rose to his feet I will go to mullah III said he and it went out into the cool clear air the sharada more accompanied to demos e to the bar dang gate and there they parted company the boy going northward the more following the eastward track towards fez he had done his work though what he had done he did not know at noon Demma ck maponics which stretched about his native agoura far away upon his left the dark serrated edge of Jebel gallon stood out against the sky nearer to him upon his right Rose the High Rock of Jebel Tsar hone in some fold of that mountain lay this fabulous city of mula e3's Tennessee walked forward a tiny figure in that vast solitude there were no villages there were no trees anywhere the plateau extended ahead of him like a soft leaving see as far as the eye could reach it was covered with bushes and flower and here and there an acre of miracles or a field of blue lupins decked it out as though someone had chosen to make a garden there then suddenly upon demo seized right the hillside open and in the recess he saw moulay idris a city high placed and dazzlingly white which tumbled down the hillside like a cascade divided at its apex by a great white mosque the mosque was the tomb of moulay idriss the founder of the empire Demasi dropped upon his knees and bowed his forehead to the ground mullah III seeeee he whispered in a voice of exultation yesterday he had never even heard the name of the town today the mere sight of it lifted him into a passion of fervor those white walls masked a crowded city of filth and noise and smells but moc walked on air and his desire to see more of the world died away altogether he was in the most sacred place in all Morocco and there he stayed there was no need for him to work he had the live long day were in to store away in his heart the sayings of his elders and amongst those sayings there was not one that heard more frequently than this there are too many Europeans in Morocco fanaticism was in the very stones of the town demos II saw it shining sombrely in the eyes of the men who paced and rode about the streets he felt it behind the impassivity of their faces it came to him as an echo of their constant prayers timas II began to understand it once or twice he saw the Europeans during that spring for close by in the plane a great stone arch and some broken pillars showed where the Roman city of volubly sad stood and by those ruins once or twice a party of Europeans and camped demo see visited each encampment begging money of the consoles and watched with curiosity the queer mechanical things they carried with them cameras their weapons they're folding mirrors their brushes and combs but on each visit he became more certain that there were too many Europeans in Morocco a jihad is needed said one of the old men sitting outside the gate a holy war to exterminate them it is not easy to start a jihad replied mo Zhi the elder stroke their beards and laughed superciliously you are young and foolish Dumuzi a single shot from a gun and all mogura beam is inflamed yes and he that fired the shot certain of paradise not one of them had thought to fire the shot they were chatterers of vain words but the words sank into demo Z's mind for demos II was different he began to think as he put it as a matter of fact he began to feel he went up to the tomb of moulay idriss bribed the guardian who SAT with a wand in the court outside the shrine to let him pass and for the first time in his life stood within the sacred place the shrine was dark and the ticking of the clocks in the gloom filled Zim Aziz soul with awe and wonderment for the shrine was crowded with clocks grandfather clocks with white faces and gold faces and enameled faces stood side by side along the walls marking every kind of our eight-day clock stood upon pedestals and Nicias and the whole room word and ticked and chimed never had embassy dreamed of anything so marvelous there were glass balls too dangling from the roof on silver strings and red baize hanging from the tomb tomasi bowed his head and prayed for the jihad and as he prayed in that dark in solitary place there came to him an inspiration it seemed that mullah eateries himself laid his hand upon the boy's head it needed only one man only one shot to start the jaw he raised his head and all the ticking clocks cried out to him thou art the man demos II left the shrine with his head high in the air and proudness in his gate for he had his mission there after he lay in wait upon the track over the plane to make ynez watching the north and the south for the coming of the traveler during the third week of his watching he saw advancing along the track mules carrying the baggage of Europeans demos II crouched in the bushes and let them pass with the muleteers a good way behind them the Europeans rode slowly upon horses as they came opposite to dim as e1 a dark thin man stretched out his arm and turning to his companions said challenger there is moulay idriss at once Demasi sprang to his feet he did not mean to be robbed of his great privilege he shook his head lar lar he cried padmaja moulay idris they will stone you you go to Mecca Nez the man who had already spoken laughed we are not going to mullah either is he replied he was a man named Arden who had spent the greater part of many years in Morocco going up and down that country and the guise of a more and so counterfeiting accent and tongue and manners that he had even prayed in their mosques and escaped detection you are English at de mosey yes come on challenger and then to his astonishment as his horse stepped on demos II cried out actually in English one two three and away Arden stopped his horse where did you learn that he asked and he asked in English but Timothy had spoken the only five words of English he knew and even those he did not understand Arden repeated the question in Arabic and Emma see answered with a smile y2m English oh are you said Arden with a laugh and he wrote on these Moors love a joke he learned the words over there no doubt from the tourists at voluble ease do you see those blocks of stone along the track yes answer challenger how do they come here old mullah Ishmael the Sultan built the greater palace at mccann as 200 years ago from ruins of all you belize these stones were dragged down by the captives of the sally pirates and by the English prisoners from tangier said challenger suddenly yes replied arden with some surprise for there was a certain excitement in his companions voice and manner the English were prisoners until the siege ended and we gave up Tangier and they were released when a mullah Ishmael died all these men dragging stones just dropped them and left them where they lay by the track there they have remained ever since it's strange isn't it yes said Challinor thoughtfully he was a young man with the look of a student rather than a traveler he wrote slowly on looking about him as though at each turn of the road he expected to see some Englishman in at a turn uniform of the Tangier foot leaning upon a block of masonry and wiping the sweat from his brow two of my ancestors were prisoners here at Mickey Nez he said they were captured together at the fall of the Henrietta fort in 1680 and brought up here to work on mullah Ishmael's palace it's strange to think that they dragged these stones down this very track I don't suppose that the country has changed at all they must have come up from the coast by the same road we followed pasts the same villages and heard the paria dogs bark at night just as we have done arden glanced and surprised at his companion I did not know that I suppose that is the reason why you wish to visit make ynez Challinor sudden desire to travel inland to this town had been a mystery to Arden he knew challinor well and knew him for a dilettante an amiable amateur of the Arts a man always upon the threshold of a new interest but never by any chance on the other side of the door and above all stay at home now the reason was explained yes Challinor admitted I was anxious to see make eNOS both men came home when peace was declared I suppose said Arden no only one came home James Challinor the other Luke turned renegade to escape the sufferings of slavery and was never allowed to come back the two men were brothers i discovered the story by chance i was looking over the papers in the library one morning in order to classify them and i came across a manuscript play written by a challenger after the restoration between the leaves of the play an old faded letter was lying it had been written by james on his return to Luke's wife telling her she would never see Luke again I will show you the letter this evening that's a strange story said Arden was nothing heard of Luke afterwards nothing no doubt he lived and died in Mecca Nez challenger looked back as he spoke demo see was still standing amongst the bushes watching the travellers recede from him his plan was completely formed there would be a jihad tomorrow and the honour of it would belong to demos e of a guru he felt in the leathern wallet which swung at his side upon a silk orange colored cord he had ten dollars in that wallet he walked in the rear of the travelers to Mecca Nez and reached the town just before sunset he went at once to the great square by the Renegades gate where the horses are brought to roll in the dust on their way to the watering fountain there were many there at the moment and the square was thick with dust like a mist but through the mist in a corner demo see saw the tents of the travelers and in front of the tents from wall to wall a guard of soldiers sitting upon the ground in a semi-circle demo see was in no hurry he loitered there until darkness followed upon the sunset and the stars came out he saw lights burning in the tents and through the open doorway one the man who had spoken to him arden stretched upon a lounge chair reading a paper which he held in his hand Demasi went once more to the fonda hina and made up for the wakeful night he had passed here with a more of the sharada tribe by sleeping until morning with a particular soundness to the paper which Arden was reading was the faded letter written at Bury Street st. james's on April 14 1684 by the James Challinor who had returned to the wife of Luke challenger who had turned renegade Arden took a literal copy of that letter and it is printed here from that copy berry street st. James's April 14 1684 my dear Pamela I have just now come back from Whitehall where I was most graciously received by His Majesty who asked many questions about our sufferings among the Moors and promised rewards with so fine a courtesy and condescension that my four years of slavery were all forgotten indeed my joy would have been rare but I knew that the time would come when I must go back to my lodging and write to you news that will go near to break your heart why did my brother not stay quietly at home with his wife at whose dear side his place was but he must suddenly leave his house and come out to his younger brother at tangier who was never more sorry to see any man than I was to see Luke for we were hard-pressed the Moors had pushed their trenches close under our walls and any night the city might fall and now I am come safely home though there is no dear heart to break for me and Luke must forever stay behind for that is the bitter truth we shall see no more of Luke and you my dear are widowed and yet no widow oh why did you let him go knowing how quick he is to take fire and how quick to cool I too am to blame for I kept him by me out of my love for him and that was his undoing in May I commanded the Henrietta fort and Luke was a volunteer with me for five days we were attacked night and day we were cut off from the town there was no hope that way and all our ammunition and water consumed and most of us wounded or killed so late in the night of the 13th we were compelled to surrender upon promise of our law luke and I were carried up to Macon is and they're set to build a wall which was to stretch from that town to Morocco city so that a blind man might travel all those many miles safely without a guide I will admit that our sufferings were beyond endurance we slept underground in close earth dungeons down to which we must crawl on our hands and knees and that day we labored in the sunlight starved and thirsting no man knowing when the whip of the taskmaster would fall across his back and yet sure it would fall Luke was not to be blamed to be pitied rather he was of a finer more delicate nature what was paying to us was anguish and torture to him one night I crept down into my earth alone and the next day he walked about Mickey Nez with the robes of a more he had turned renegade I was told that the Bashaw had taken him into a service but I never had the opportunity of speech with him again although I once heard his voice that was six months afterwards when peace had been reestablished between his majesty and the emperor part of the terms of the peace was that the English captives should be released and sent down to the coast but the renegade must stay behind I pleaded with a bash all that Luke might be set free to but could by no means persuade him we departed from a knez one early morning and on the city wall stood the bath Shaw's house and as I came opposite to it I saw a hand wave farewell from a narrow window slit and heard Luke's voice cry farewell bravely Pamela bravely James challenger when arden had finished this letter he walked out of the tent passed through the semi circle of sentinels and stood in front of the Renegades gate there challenger joined him and both men looked at the great arch for a while without speaking it rose black against a violet and starlit sky the pattern of its colored tiles could not be distinguished but even in the darkness something of its exquisite delicacy could be perceived Luke Challinor very likely worked upon that arch said Arden yet as I read that letter it seemed so very human very near as though it had been written yesterday I wonder what became of him said challinor from some house on the city wall he waved his hand to his brother and cried farewell bravely I wonder what became of him I will take a photograph of that gate tomorrow said Arden three the next morning demo see came out of the fonda kena and walked to the little booth of the so kuba Mustafa was squatting upon the floor and with a throbbing heart Dennis II noticed the familiar pistol shining against the dark wall behind it had not been sold give it to me he said Mustafa took the pistol from the nail on which it on it is worth $14 said he but see to every man his chance comes I am in a good mind today my health is excellent and my heart is light you shall have it for 12 demos II took the pistol in his hand it had a flintlock and was mounted in polished brass and a cover of brass was on the heel of the butt mez not worth 12 i will give you seven for it Mustafa raised his hands and a gesture of indignation seven dollars he cried in a shrill angry voice hear him seven dollars look it comes from our khatir in the sous country where they make the best weapons he pointed out to demoscene letters upon the plate underneath the lock there it is written demos II could not read but he nodded his head sagely yes it is worth seven said he the shopman snatched it away from the boy I will not be angry for it is natural to boys to be foolish but I will tell you the truth I gave eight dollars for it after much bargaining but it has hung in my shop for a year and no one anymore has money therefore I will sell it to you for um 10 he felt behind his back and showed them a Z at eliza ng glint of the brass barrel demos II was unshaken it has hung in your shop for four months said he a year that is why I will sell it to you at the loss of a dollar liar and son of a liar replied the boy without any heat and grandson of a liar I sold it to you for five dollars four months ago i will give you eight for it today he counted out the eight dollars one by one on the raised floor of the booth and the shopman could not resist very well he cried furiously take it and may your children starve as mine surely will you are a pig and son of a pig replied Emma Z calmly have you any powder he changed his ninth dollar and bought some powder you will need bullets to said Mustafa I will sell you them very cheap oh you are lucky do you see those signs upon the barrel the pistol is charmed and cannot miss them as he looked at the signs engraved one above the other on the barrel there was a crown and a strange letter and a lion he had long wondered what those signs meant he was very glad now that he understood but I will not buy lead bullets said demos E wisely the pistol may be enchanted so that it cannot miss but there are also enchantments against lead bullets so that they cannot hurt so Demma see walk de way and begged a lump of rock salt from another booth instead he cut down the lump until it fitted roughly into the hexagonal barrel of his pistol then he loaded the pistol and hiding the weapon in the wide sleeve of his djellaba sauntered to the great square before the renegade skate there were groups of people standing about watching the tents and the inevitable ring of centuries but when Dempsey was still loitering he would have loitered for a fortnight if need be for there were no limits to demos ease patience arden came out of the tent with his camera and Challinor followed with a tripod stand the two consoles past the line of guards and set up the camera in front of the renegade skate she was quite impartial which of the two should be sacrificed to begin the job but again an ironical fate laid its hands upon him it was Arden who was to work the camera it was Arden therefore who was surrounded by the idlers and was safe challinor on the other hand had to stand quite apart so as to screen the lens from the direct rays of the Sun a little more to the right challenger said Arden that'll do he put his head under the focusing cloth and the next instant he heard a loud report followed by shouts and screams and the rush of feet and when he tore the focusing cloth away he saw a challenger lying upon the ground the sentries agitatedly rushing this way and that and the bystanders to a man in full flight them as he had chosen his opportunity well he stood between two men and rather behind them and exactly opposite Challenger all eyes were fixed upon the camera even challengers it was true that he did see the Sun glitter suddenly upon something bright that he did turn that he did realize that the right thing was the brass barrel of a big flintlock pistol but before he could move or shout the pistol was fired and a heavy blow like a blow from a cudgel struck him full in the chest challinor spoke no more than a few words afterwards the lump of rock salt had done the work of an explosive bullet he was just able to answer a question of Arden's did you see who fired the boy who came from mullah edius whispered challenger he shot me with a brass barreled pistol that seemed to have made a most vivid impression upon his mind for more than once he repeated it but Emma's II was by this time out of the Renegades gate and running with all his might through the olive grove toward the open lawless country south of macon eze by the evening he was safe from capture and lifted up with pride certainly no jihad had followed upon the murder and that was disappointing but it was not demos ease fault he had done his vest according to his lights meanwhile it seemed prudent to him to settle down quietly at a cooler I he was nearly 16 now demos II thought that he would settle down and marry here the episode would have ended but for two circumstances in the first place demos II carried back with him from Mecca Nez the brass barreled pistol and in the second place Arden two years later acted upon a long-cherished desire to penetrate the unmapped country south of macon is he traveled with a mule as a jew peddler knowing that such a man for the sake of his where's Mego where a more may not of his troubles during his six months wanderings now is not the time to speak it is enough that at the end of the six months he set up his canvas shelter one evening by the village of a guru the men came at once and squatted chattering about his shelter is there a woman in the village as Arden who will wash some clothes for me and the shake of the village rose up and replied yes the Frenchwoman i will send her to you arden was perplexed it seemed extraordinary that in a little village in a remote and unusually lawless district of Morocco there should be a French Blanche is but he made no comment and spread out his wares upon the ground in a few moments a woman appeared she had the Arab face the Arab color but she stood unconcernedly before arden and said in Arabic I on the French woman give me the clothes you want washing arden reached behind him for the bundle he addressed her in French but she shook her head and carried the bundle away her place was taken by another a very old dark woman who was accompanied by her youth carrying a closed basket pigeon said the old woman good fat live pigeons Arden was fairly tired of that national food by this time and waved her away very well said she she took the basket from the youth placed it on the ground and opened the lid then she clapped her hands and the pigeons flew out as they rose into the air she laughed and cried out in English one two three away Arden was fairly startled what words are those he exclaimed English the old woman replied in Arabic I am the English woman and the men of the village who were clustered round the shelter agreed as though nothing could be more natural yes she is the English woman and what do the words mean the old woman shrugged her shoulders my father used them just as I did she said she spoke with a certain pride in the possession of those five uncomprehending words he learned them from his father I do not know what they mean it was mystifying enough to Arden that in a country were hardly and more of a foreign tribe and certainly no Europeans had ever been known to penetrate there should be a French woman who knew no French and an English woman with five words of English he did not understand but there was more than this to start a Lardon he had heard those same words spoken once before by a Moorish boy who had declared himself to be an Englishman and that Moorish boy had murdered his friend Challinor Arden glanced carelessly at the youth who stood by the old woman side that is your son said he yes that is demo z demo Z's cheeks wore the shadow of a beard he had grown Arden could not pretend to himself that he recognized the boy who had sprung up from the asphodel bushes a few miles from mullah ether tease he bethought himself of a way to test his suspicions he took from his wares an old rusty pistol and began to polish it a firearm he knew to be a lure to any more demos e drew nearer arten paid no attention but continued to polish his pistol a keen excitement was gaining on him but he gave no sign at last demo Z reached out his hand Arden placed the pistol in it demo z turned the pistol over and gave it back God is no good Arden laughed there is no better pistol in a glory he said contemptuously in his ears there was the sound of challengers voice repeating and repeating he shot me with a brass Gerald pistol a brass barreled pistol the contempt in his tone stung demo Z I have a better said he and at that the old woman touched him warningly on the arm demos II stopped at once and the couple moved away Arden wondered whether this was the end there was a chance that it was not demos II might return to compare his pistol with Arden's and to establish its superiority Arden waited all the evening in a strong suspense and a ten o'clock when he was alone demos II stepped noiselessly into the shelter and laid his brass barreled pistol on the ground in the light of the lamp it is better than yours it comes from Agadir in the sous country where the best pistols are made see those letters prove it arden had no doubt that he now had challengers murderer sitting at his table but he looked at the letters on the pistol barrel to which demo seapoint 'add the words were in english and made up the name bennett there was also engraved upon the brass of the barrel London the pistol was an old horse pistol of English make even its period was clear to Arden for above the lion and the crown was the letter C Arden pointed to those marks what do they mean they are charms to prevent it missing Arden said nothing his thoughts were busy on other matters this pistol was a pistol of the time of Charles the second of the time of the tangier siege how long have you had it he asked my father owned it before me and his father before him very likely I do not know Arden's excitement was increasing he began to see dim strange possibilities suppose he reasoned that this pistol had traveled up to Macon as in the possession of an English prisoner suppose that by some chance the prisoner had escaped and wandered and suddenly he saw something which caught his breath away he bent down and examined the brass covering to the heel of the but upon that plate there was an engraved crest and the crest was challengers Arden kept his face bent over the pistol questions raced through his mind had that pistol belong to Luke Challinor who had turned renegade 200 years ago had he married in his captivity had his descendants married again until all trace of their origin was lost except this pistol and five words of English and the name English woman ah but if so who was the French woman it was quite intelligible to Arden why demos II had slain Challinor fanaticism was sufficient reason but supposing the mozy were a descendant of Luke it was all very strange challenger was the last of his family the last of his name had the family name been extinguished by a challenger Arden returned to Mecca Nez the next day and making search through the help of the Bashaw who was his friend amongst documents which existed he at last came upon the explanation the Renegades who were made up not merely of English prisoners of Tangier but of captives of many nationalities taken by the Sallee pirates had about the year 1700 become numerous enough to threaten mcinnes consequently the Sultan had one fine morning turned them all out of the town through the renegade skate and bitten them go south and found a city for themselves they had founded agoura they had been attacked by the Benham tour with diminishing numbers they had held their own they had intermarried with the natives and now 200 years later all that remained of them were the Frenchwoman demos ii and his mother there could be no doubt that challenger had been murdered because he was a european by one of his own race there could be no doubt that the real owner of the challenger property which went to a distant relation on the female side was a Moorish youth living at the village of a guru but Arden kept silence for a long while end of story one story two of the times Red Cross storybook by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various this LibriVox recording is in the public domain story to the woman by a a Milne royal Warwick regiment one it was April and in his little bed room in the Muswell Hill boarding house where mrs. Morrison assisted as you found out later by Miss dirty Morrison took in a few select paying guests George Crosby was packing spring came in softly through his open window it whispered to him tales of green hedges and misty woods and close cropped rolling grass callers said George trying to shut his ears to it handkerchiefs ties I knew I'd forgotten something ties he pulled open a drawer ties shirts where's my list shirts ties he wandered to the window and looked out Muswell Hill was below him but he hardly saw it three weeks he murmured heaven for three weeks and it hasn't even begun yet there was the splendor of it it hadn't begun it didn't begin till tomorrow he went back in a dream to his packing callers he said shirts ties ties miss Gerty Morrison had not offered to help him this year she had not forgotten that she had put herself forward the year before when George had stamford and blushed he found blushing very easy in the Muswell Hill boardinghouse and algae trailed the humorist of the establishment had winked and said George old boy you're in luck Gertie never packs for me algae had continued the joke by smacking his left hand with his right and saying in an undertone naughty boy how dare you call her gertie and then in a falsetto voice Oh mr. Crosby I'm sure and never meant to put myself forward then mrs. Morrison from her end of the table called out but i can see that i shall have to explain the muswell hill Minaj to you I can do it quite easily while George is finishing his packing he is looking for his stockings now and that always takes him a long time because he hasn't worn them since last April and they are probably under the bed well mrs. Morrison sits at one end of the table and cars suppose it is to see evening cold be four hash mr. trail she asked and algae probably says yes please which makes two of the borders laughs these are too pale brothers called faucet younger than you who read this have ever been and enthusiastic admirers of algae trail they're great ambition is to paint the town red one Saturday night they have often announced their intention of doing this but so far they do not seem to have left their mark on London to any extent very different is it with their hero and mentor on boat race night four years ago algae trail was actually locked up and dismissed next morning with a caution since then he has often talked as if he were a Cambridge man the presence of an emmanuel La Crosse blue in the adjoining cell having decided him in the choice of a university meanwhile his hash is getting cold let us follow it quickly it is carried by the servant to miss Gertie Morrison at the other end of the table who slaps in a helping of potatoes and cabbage what asparagus again says algae seeing the cabbage we are in luck mrs. Morrison throws up her eyes at mr. Ransome on her right as much as to say less there ever such a boy and Miss Gertie threatens him with a potato spoon and tells him not to be silly mr. Ransome looks approvingly across the table at trail he has a feeling that the Navy the Empire and the old country or in some way linked up with men of the world such as algae or that to put it in another way a radical nonconformist would strongly disapprove of him it comes to the same thing you can't help liking the fellow mr. ransom is wearing an MCC tie partly because the bright colors make him look younger partly because unless he changes something for dinner he never feels quite clean you know in his own house he would dress every night he is 50 tall dark red faced black moustached growing stout an insurance agent it is his great sorrow that the country is going to the dogs and he dislikes the setting of class against class the proper thing to do is to shoot them down opposite him and looking always as if he had slept in his clothes as mr. Owen Jones called mr. Jones up by algae he argues politics fiercely across mrs. Morrison my dear fellow he cries to ransom you're nothing but a reactionary to which ransom who is a little doubtful what a reactionary is replies all I want is to live at peace with my neighbors I don't interfere with them why should they interfere with me whereupon mrs. Morrison says peaceably live and let live after all there are two sides to every question a little more hash mr. Owen Jones George has just remembered that his stockings are under the bed so I must hurry on as it happens the rest of the borders do not interest me much there are two German clerks and one French clerk who's broken English is always amusing and somebody with a bald dome shaped head who takes in answers every week three years ago he had sung Annie Laurie after dinner one evening and mrs. Morrison still remembers sometimes to say won't you sing something mr. blank whatever his name was but he always refuses he says that he has the new number of answers to read there you are now you know everybody let us go upstairs again to George Crosby is there anything in the world jollier than packing up for a holiday if there is I do not know it it was the hour or two hours or three hours of George's life it more than that four days beforehand he had been packing to himself sorting out his clothes while he bent over the figures at his desk making and drawing up lists of things that he really mustn't forget in the lunch an hour he would look in at hoses windows and nearly by a blue shirt because it went so well with his brown knickerbocker suit you or I would have bought it it was only five and six pence every evening he would escape from the drawing room that terrible room and hurry upstairs to his little bedroom and there sit with his big brown kit bag opened before him dreaming every evening he had meant to pack a few things just to begin with his tweed suit and stockings and nailed shoes for instance but he was always away in the country following the white path over the hills as soon as ever his bag was between his knees how he ate to take his body there too it was only three weeks to wait two weeks a week three days tomorrow tomorrow he was almost frightened to think of it lest he should wake up perhaps you wonder that George Crosby hated the Muswell Hill boarding house perhaps you don't for my part I agree with mrs. Morrison that it takes all sorts to make a world and that as a mr. blank I forget his name the dome-shaped gentlemen once surprised us by saying there is good in everybody if only you can find it out at any rate there is humor I think if George had tried to see the humorous side of mrs. Morrison select guests he might have found life tolerable and yet the best joke languishes after five years I had hoped to have gone straight ahead with this story but I shall have to take you back five years it won't be for long believe me no writer likes this a diving back into the past he is longing to get to the great moment when rosamunda puts her head on George's shoulder and says but we shall come to that what I must tell you now before my pen runs away with me is that far years ago George was at Oxford with plenty of money in his pocket and a vague idea in his head that he would earn a living somehow when he went down then his only near relation his father died and George came down with no money in his pocket and the knowledge that he would have to earn his living at once he knew little of London east of the Savoy where he had once lunched with his father I doubt if he even knew the Gaiety by sight when his father's solicitor recommended a certain Islington boarding house as an establishment where a man of means could be housed and fed for as little as 30 shillings a week and a certain firm in Finn church street as another establishment where a man of gifts could earn as much as 40 shillings a week George found out where Islington and ventured streets were and fell mechanically into the routine suggested for him that he might have been happier alone looking after himself cooking his own meals or sampling alone the cheaper restaurants hardly occurred to him life was become suddenly a horrible dream and the boardinghouse was just a part of it however three years of isn't and was enough for him he pulled himself together and move to Muswell Hill there we have him back at Muswell Hill now and I have not been long have I he has been two years with mrs. Morrison I should like to say that he is happy with mrs. Morrison but he is not the terrible thing is that he cannot get hardened to it he hates Muswell Hill he hates trail and the faucets and ransom he hates miss Gertie Morrison the whole vulgar familiar shabby sociable atmosphere of the place he hates someday perhaps he will pull himself together and move again there is a boardinghouse at Finsbury Park he has heard of two if you had three weeks holiday in the year three whole weeks in which to amuse yourself as you like how would you spend it algae trail went to Brighton in August you should have seen him on the pier the faucet brothers adieu and weymouth the naples of england they did good if slightly obvious work on the esplanade and fairly white flannels this during the day eight thirty in the evening found them in the Alexandra gardens dressed it is doubtful if the Weymouth boarding house would have stood it at dinner so they went up directly afterwards and changed mr. Ransome spent August at Folkestone where he was understood to have a doubtful wife she was really his widowed mother you would never have suspected him of a mother but there she was in folkestone thinking of him always and only living for the next August it was she who knitted him the MCC tie he had noticed the colors in the Piccadilly window miss Gertie went to cliftonville not margate and where did George go the conversation at dinner that evening would have given us a clue or perhaps it wouldn't so you're off tomorrow mrs. Morrison had said well I'm sure I hope you'll have a nice time a little sea air will do you good where are you going Crosby asked ransom with the air of a man who means to know George looked uncomfortable one not quite sure he said awkwardly I'm going a sort of walking tour you know stopping it ends and things I expected to well depend a bit you know well if you should happen to stop at Sandra gun said algae give them all my love old man won't you then you won't have your letters sent on asked mrs. Morrison oh no thanks I don't suppose I shall have any any how if you're going on a walking tour said Owen Jones why don't you try the Welsh mountains I always wonder you don't run across to Paris said the dome-shaped gentleman suddenly it only takes he knew all the facts and was prepared to give them but algae interrupted him with a knowing whistle ah Paris jajaja placed me among the demos else what ho I don't think naughty boy Crosby's first impulse he had had it before was to throw his glass of beer at algie's face the impulse died down and his resolve hardened to write about the Finsbury Park boarding house at once he had made that resolution before too then his heart jumped as he remembered that he was going away on the morrow he forgot trail and finsbury park and went off into his dreams the other boarders discussed walking tours and holiday resorts with animation Gerda Morrison was silent she was often silent when Crosby was there and always when Crosby's affairs were being discussed she knew he hated her and she hated him for it I don't think she knew why he hated her it was because she lowered his opinion of women he had known very few women in his life and he dreamed dreams about them they were wonderful creatures a little higher than the Angels and beauty and mystery and holiness hung over them someday he would meet the long desired one and miracle she would love him and they would live happily ever afterwards at he wondered sometimes whether an angel would live happy ever afterwards at bedford park Bedford Park seemed to strip the mystery and the holiness and the Wonder from his dream and yet he had seen just the silly little house at bedford park that would suit them and even angels if they will come to earth must live somewhere she would walk to the gate every morning and wave him goodbye from under the flowering laburnum for i need not say that it was always spring in his dream that was why he had his holiday in april for it must be spring when he found her and he would only find her in the country another reason was that in august miss Morrison went to cliftonville not Margate and so he had a fortnight at muswell hill without miss Morrison for it was difficult to believe in the dreams when a Gerty Morrison was daily before his eyes there was a sort of hard prettiness there which might have been beauty but where were the mystery and the Wonder and the whole eNOS none of that about the Gertie who was treated so familiarly by the faucets and the trails and their kind and answered them back so smartly you can't get any change out of Gertie trail often said on these occasions almost Crosby wished he could he would have had her awkward bewildered indignant overcome with shame it distressed him that she was so lamentably well equipped for the battle at first he pities her then he hated her she was betraying her sex what he really meant was that she was trying to topple over the beautiful image he had built I know what you're going to say what about the girl at the ABC shop who spilled his coffee over his poached egg every day at 135 precisely hadn't she given his image a little push to I think not he hardly saw her as a woman at all she was a worker like himself sexless in the evenings perhaps she became a woman wonderful mysterious holy I don't know at any rate he didn't see her then but Miss Morrison he saw at home she was pretty and graceful and feminine she might have been not the woman that would have been presumption on his part but a woman and then she went and called algae trail as silly boy and smacked him playfully with a teaspoon trail the CAD about town the ogre of women no wonder the image rock well he would be away from the trails and the Morrisons and the faucets for three weeks it was April the best month of the year he was right and saying that he was not quite sure where he was going but he could have told mrs. Morrison the direction he would start down the line with his knapsack and his well filled kit bag by and by he would get out the name of the station might attract him or the primroses on the banks leave his bag and knapsack on shoulder follow the road sooner or later he would come to a village he would find an N that put him up on the morrow the landlord could drive in for his and then three weeks in which to search for the woman 3 a south wind was blowing little baby clouds along a blue sky lower down the rooks were talking busily to each other in the tall Elms which lined the church and lower down still the fox hound puppy SAT himself outside the blacksmiths and waited for company if nothing happened in the next 20 seconds he would have to go and look for somebody but somebody was coming from the door of the dog and duck opposite a tall lean brown gentleman stepped briskly in his hand a pair of shoes the fox hound puppy got up and came across the road sideways to him welcome welcome he said effusively and went round the tall lean brown gentleman several times hello duster said the brown gentleman coming with me today come along said the Fox hound puppy excitedly going with you I should just think I am which way shall we go wait a moment I want to leave these shoes here duster followed him into the blacksmith shop the blacksmith thought he could put some nails in gentlemen shoes and horses shoes he explained weren't quite the same thing the brown gentleman admitted the difference but felt sure that the blacksmith could make a job of anything he tried his hand at he mentioned which the blacksmith knew that he was staying at the dog and duck opposite and gave his name as carfax come along said duster impatiently good morning said the brown gentleman to the blacksmith lovely day isn't it come along old boy he strode out into the blue fresh morning duster all around him but when they got to the church 50 yards no more the fox hound puppy changed his mind he had had an inspiration the same inspiration which came to him every day at this spot he stopped let's go back he said not coming today laughed the brown gentleman well goodbye you see I think I'd better here after all said the fox hound puppy apologetically something might happen are you really going on well you'll excuse me won't you he ambled back to his place outside the blacksmith's shop the tall lean brown gentleman who called himself carfax walked on briskly with spring in his heart above him the rooks talked and talked the hedges were green and there were little baby clouds in the blue sky shall I try to deceive you for a page or two longer or shall we have the truth out at once better have the truth well then the gentleman who called himself carfax was really George Crosby you guessed of course you did but if you sent a mystery you were wrong it was five years ago that Crosby took his first holiday he came to this very end the dog and duck and when they asked him his name he replied Geoffrey carfax it had been an inspiration in the train to be Jeffrey carfax for three weeks seemed to cut him off more definitely from the Fenchurch Street office and the Islington boardinghouse George Crosby was in prison working a life sentence Geoffrey carfax was a free man in search of the woman romance might come to Geoffrey but it could never come to George they were two different persons then let them be two different persons besides glamour hung over the mere act of giving a false name George had delightful thrills when he remembered his deceit and there was one heavenly moment of panic on the last day of his first holiday when to avoid detection he shaved off his mustache he was not certain what the punishment was for calling yourself Geoffrey carfax when your real name was George Crosby but he felt that with a clean-shaven face he could laugh at Scotland Yard the downward path however is notoriously an easy one in subsequent years he let himself go still farther even the one false name wouldn't satisfy him now and if he only looked and at a neighboring in for a glass of peer he would manage to let it fall into his conversation that he was guy Cole Hurst or as llaves crane or he had a noble range of names to choose from only limited by the fact that GC was on his cigarette case and his kitbag his linen was studiously unmarked saved with the hieroglyphic of his washerwoman a foolish observation in red cotton which might mean anything the tall lean brown gentleman then taking the morning air was George Crosby between ourselves we may continue to call him George it is not a name I like he hated it too but George he was undoubtedly yet already he was a different George from the one you met at Muswell Hill he had had two weeks of life and they had made him brown and clear-eyed and competent I think I said he blushed readily at mrs. Morrison sporting house the fact was he felt always uneasy in London awkward uncomfortable in the open air he was at home ready for he knew not what dashing adventure it was a day of spring to stir the heart with longings and memories memories have forgotten of all the April's of the past touched him for a moment and then as he tried to grasp them fluttered out of reach so that he wondered whether he was recalling real adventures which had happened or whether he was but dreaming over again the dreams which were always with him one memory remained it was on such a day as this five years ago and almost in this very place that he had met the woman yes I shall have to go back again to tell you of her five years ago he had been staying at this same in it was his first holiday after his sentenced to prison he was not so resigned to his law five years ago he thought of it as a bitter injustice and the wonderful woman for whom he came into the country to search was to be his deliverer so that I am afraid she would to have been not only wonderful mysterious and holy but also rich for it was to the content at ease of his early days that he was looking for release the little haven in bedford park had not come into his dreams indeed i don't suppose he had even heard of bedford park at that time it was Islington or the manor house anything in between was Islington but of course he never confessed to himself that she would need to be rich and he found her he came over the hills on a gentle April morning I saw her beneath him she was caught it seemed in a hedge how gallantly George bore down to the rescue can I be of any assistance he said in his best manner and that I think is always the pleasantest way to begin between can I be of any assistance and with all my worldly goods I thee endow one has not for to travel I'm caught she said if you could observe George spiking himself fearlessly I say you really are wait a minute it's very kind of you there he has done it oh thank you so much she said with a pretty smile oh you've hurt yourself the sweet look of pain on her face it's nothing said George nobly that it really was nothing one can get a delightful amount of blood and sympathy from the most insignificant scratch they hesitated a moment she looked on the ground he looked at her then his eyes wandered round the beautiful day and came back to her just as she looked up it is a wonderful day isn't it he said suddenly yes she breathed it seemed absurd to separate on such a day when they were both wandering and heaven had brought them together I say dash it said George suddenly what are you going to do are you going anywhere particular oh not very particular neither am i can't we go there together I was just going to have lunch so was I well there you are it would be silly if you SAT here and ate what are yours by the way only mutton I'm afraid ah mine are beef well if you SAT here and ate mutton sandwiches and I SAT a hundred yards further on and ate beef ones we should look ridiculous shouldn't we it would be rather silly she smiled so they sat down and had their sandwiches together my name is carfax he said Geoffrey carfax Oh George and to a woman however she wouldn't tell him hers they spent an hour over lunch they wandered together for another hour need I tell you all the things they said but they didn't talk of London oh I must be going she said suddenly I didn't know it was so late no I know my way don't come with me goodbye it can't be goodbye said George and dismay I've only just found you where do you live who are you don't let spoil it she smiled it's been a wonderful day a wonderful little piece of a day we'll always remember it I don't think it's meant to go on it stops just here I must see you again said George firmly will you be there tomorrow at the same time at the place where we met oh my my she sighed and i mightn't but George knew she would then goodbye he said holding out his hand my name is Rosamund she whispered and fled he watched her out of sight marveling how bravely she walked then he started for home his head full of strange fancies he found a road an hour later the road went on and on it turned and branched and doubled he scarcely noticed it the church clock was striking seven as he came into the village it was a wonderful lunch he took with him next day chicken and tongue and cake and chocolate and hard-boiled eggs he aided alone by the corner of a wood five miles from the hedge which captured her at half-past three that day was a nightmare he never found the place again though he tried all through the week remaining to him he had no hopes after that day of seeing her but only to have found the hedge would have been some satisfaction at least he could sit there and sigh and curse himself for a fool he went back to Islington knowing that he had had his chance and missed it by next April he had forgotten her he was convinced that she was not the woman the woman had a sill to be found he went to another part of the country and looked for her and now he was back at the dog and duck again surely he would find her today it was the time it must be almost the place would the loved one be there he was not sure whether he wanted her to be the woman of five years ago or not whoever she was she would be the one he sought he had walked some miles funny if he stumbled upon the very place suddenly memories of five years ago were flooding his mind had he really been here or had he only dreamed of it surely that was the hill down which he had come surely that clump of trees on the right had been there before and could that be the very hedge it was and there was a woman caught in it for George ran down the hill his heart thumping heavily at his ribs she had her back towards him can I be of any assistance he said in his best manner but she didn't need to be rich now there was that little house at bedford park she turned around it was gertie Morrison silly of him of course it wasn't miss Morrison but it was extraordinarily like her prettier though why Mr Crosbie she said it was gertie Morrison you he said angrily he was furious that such a trick should have been played upon him at this moment furious to be reminded suddenly that he was George Crosby of Muswell Hill Muswell Hill the boardinghouse good law dirty Morrison algae trails gertie yes it's me she said shrinking from him she saw he was angry with her she vaguely understood why then George laughed after all she hadn't deliberately put herself in his way she could hardly be expected to avoid the whole of England outside Muswell Hill until she knew exactly where George Crosby proposed to take his walk what a child he was to be angry with her when he laughed she laughed too little nervously let me help he said he scratched his fingers fearless Leon her behalf what should he do afterwards he wondered his day was spoiled anyhow he could hardly leave her oh you've hurt yourself she said she said it very sweetly and a voice that only faintly reminded him of the gertie of Muswell Hill it's nothing he answered as he had answered five years ago they stood looking at each other George was puzzled you are miss Morrison aren't you he said that somehow you seem different you're different from the Mr Crosbie I know am I how was dreadful to see you at the boardinghouse she looked at him timidly you don't mind my mentioning the boardinghouse do you mind why should I after all he still had another week well you want to forget about it when you're on your holiday fancy her knowing that and are you on your holiday too she gave a long deep sigh of content yes she said he looked at her with more interest there was color in her face her eyes were bright in her tweed skirt she looked more of a country girl than he would have expected let's sit down he said I thought you always went tomorrow too Cliftonville for your holiday I always go to my aunts there in the summer it isn't really a holiday it's more to help her she has a boarding house too and it really is Cliftonville only of course it's silly of mother to mind having a cold market Clifton bills much worse than market really I hate it this can't be good in morrison thought George it's a dream when did you come here I've been here about 10 days a girlfriend of mine lives near here she asked me suddenly just after you'd gone I mean about a fortnight ago mother thought I wasn't looking well and not to go I've been before once or twice I love it and do you have to wander about the country by yourself I mean doesn't your friend I say i'm asking you an awful lot of questions I'm sorry that's all right but of course I love to go about alone particularly at this time of year you understand that of course he understood it that was not the amazing thing the amazing thing was that she understood it he took his sandwiches from his pocket let's have lunch he said I'm afraid mine are only be minor worst she smiled they're only mutton a sudden longing to tell her of his great adventure of five years ago came to George if you had this suggested it to him in March it's rather funny he said as he untied his sandwiches I was down here five years ago I know she said quietly George SAT up suddenly and stared at her it was you he cried yes you could lord but your name you said your name was wait a minute is that that's it Rosenman it is Gertrude Rosamund I call myself Rosamund in the country I like to pretend I'm not the she twisted a piece of grass in her hands and looked away from him over the hill the horrible girl of the boardinghouse George got onto his knees and lent excitingly over her tell me do you hate and loathe and detest trail and the faucets and ransom as much as I do she hesitated mr. ransom has a mother in folkestone he's very good too he's not really bad you know sorry wash out ransom trail and the faucets yes oh yes oh yes yes yes her cheeks flame she cried it and she clenched her hands George was on his knees already and he had no hat to take off but he was very humble will you forgive me he said I think I've misjudged you I mean he stammered I mean I don't mean of course it's none of my business to judge i'm speaking like a prig i oh you know what I mean I've been a brute to you will you forgive me she held out her hand and he took it this had struck him when he had seen it on the stage as an absurdly dramatic way of making friends but it seemed quite natural now let's have lunch she said they began to eat in great content same old sandwiches smile George I say I suppose I needn't explain why I called myself Geoffrey carfax he blushed a little as he said the name I mean you seem to understand she nodded he wanted to get away from George Crosby I know and then he had a sudden horrible recollection I say you must have thought me a beast I brought a terrific lunch out with me the next day and then I went and lost the place did you wait for me Gertie would have pretended she hadn't turned up herself but Rosamund said yes I waited for you I thought perhaps you had lost the place I say said George what Lots I've got to say to you when did you recognize me again fancy my not knowing you it was three years and you'd shaved your mustache so I had but I could recognize people just as easily without it she laughed happily it was the first joke she had heard him make since that day five years ago besides we're both different in the country I knew you as soon as I heard your voice just now never at all at muswell hill by Jove said George just fancy he grinned at her happily after lunch they wandered it was a golden afternoon the very afternoon they had had five years ago once when she was crossing a little stream in front of him and her foot slipped on a stone he called-out take care Rosamond and thrilled at the words she let them pass unnoticed but later on when they crossed the stream again lower down he took her hand and she said oh thank you jeffrey they came to an end 40 how pretty she looked pouring out the tea for him not for him for them the two of them she and he his thoughts became absurd towards the end of the meal something happened she didn't know what it was but it was this he wanted more Jam she said he'd had enough well then he wasn't to have much and she would help him herself he was delighted with her she helped him and something in that action brought back swiftly and horribly the goethe morrison of Muswell Hill the Gertie who sat next to algae and helped him to cabbage he finished his meal in silence she was miserable not knowing what had happened he paid the bill and they went outside in the open air she was Rosamund again but Rosamund with a difference he couldn't bear things like this as soon as they were well away from the end he stopped they leant against a gate and looked down into the valley at the Golden Sun tell me he said I want to know everything why are you what are you in London and she told him her mother had not always kept a boarding house while her father was alive they were fairly well-off she lived a happy life in the country as a young girl then they came to London she hated it but it was necessary for her father's business then her father died and left nothing so did my father said George under his breath she touched his hand in sympathy I was afraid that was it well mother tried keeping a boardinghouse she couldn't do it by herself I had to help that was just before I met you here oh if you could know how I hated it the horrible people it started with two borders then there was one we as I smacked the other ones face mother said that wouldn't do well of course it wouldn't I tried taking no notice of them well that wouldn't do either I had to put up with it that was my life I used to pretend I was on the stage and playing the part of a landlady's vulgar daughter you know what I mean you often see it on the stage that made it easier it was really rather fun sometimes I suppose I over played the part made it more common that it need a pen it's easy to do that by and by it began to come natural perhaps I am like that really we weren't anybody particular even when father was alive then you came I saw you were different from the rest I knew you despised me and quite right too but you really seem to hate me I never quite knew why I hadn't done you any harm it made me hate you too it made me want to be specially vulgar and common when you were there just to show you I didn't mind what you thought about me you were so superior I got away in the country sometimes I just love that I think I was really living for it all the time I always called myself Rosamund in the country I hate men why are they such beasts to us always they are beasts said George giving his sex away cheerfully but he was not thinking of trail and the faucets he was thinking of himself it's very strange he went on all the time I thought that the others were just what they seemed to be and that I alone had a private life of my own which I hid from everybody and all the time you perhaps trail is really somebody else sometimes even ransom has his secret his mother what a horrible prig I've been no no oh but you were and a coward I never even tried I might have made things much easier for you you're not a coward yes I am I just funct life it's too much for me I've said and I've crept into my shell and let it pass over my head and I'm still a coward I can't face it by myself Rosamond will you marry me and helped me to be braver no no no she cried and pushed him away and laid her head on her arms and wept saved George saved now's your chance you've been rash and impetuous but she has refused you and you can withdraw like a gentleman just say I beg your pardon and move defense berry park next month and go on dreaming about the woman not a landlady's vulgar little daughter but George George what are you doing he has taken the girl in his arms he is kissing her eyes and her mouth and her wet cheeks he is telling her ah I washed my hands of him five John Lowe be landlord of the dog and duck was on the track of a mystery something to do with the anarchist and suchlike to chief clue lies in the extraordinary fact that on three Sundays in succession parson has called George Crosby bachelor of this parish when everybody knows that there isn't a Crosby in the parish and that the gentleman from London who stayed at his end for three weeks and comes down Saturdays for which purpose he leaves his bag and keeps on his room this gentleman from London I tell you as mr. Geoffrey CARFAX leastways it was the name he gave John moby need not puzzle his head over it Geoffrey carfax is George Crosby and he is to be married next Saturday at a neighboring village church in which Gertrude Rosamund Morrison a spinster of this parish has also been called three times mr. and mrs. Crosby will then go up to London and break the news to mrs. Morrison not until you are my wife said George firmly do you go into that boardinghouse again he was afraid to see her there you dere said Rosamund and she wrote to her mother that the weather was so beautiful and she was getting so much stronger and her friend so much wanted her to stay that and so on it is easy to think of things like that when you are in love on the Sunday before the wedding George told her that he had practically arranged about the little house in Bedford Bart and I'm getting on at the office ripping Lee it's really quite interesting after all I shall get another rise in no time you dere said Rosamund again she pressed his hand tight and but really you know I think we might leave them now they have both much to learn they have many quarrels to go through many bitter misunderstandings to break down but they are alive at last and so we may say goodbye end of story too story three of the times Red Cross storybook by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various this LibriVox recording is in the public domain story three the cherub by oliver onions army service corps it was provided in the roster of garrison duties section guards and pickets that a century should march and return along that portion of the grey wall that lay between the cell gate steps and the tower of the ancient south bore a hundred yards away but fate alone had determined that that sentry should be private hey and since private hey was barely tall enough to look forth from the grey embrasures of the outer wall to the pleasant may chester plane where the placid river wound the same fate had further decreed that his gaze should be directed inwards over the tall trees below em to the row of Georgian houses of mellow plum like brick that stood beyond the narrow back gardens and past these again two other trees and other houses to where the Minster towers arose in the heart of the ancient city only occasionally did a fleeting pathetic wonder cross private keys mind whether there was an irony in this a lithograph of uniforms outside the post office guards artillery and malicious all in one frame had turned his thoughts to the army seven years before and the recruiting sergeant had clinched the matter until then he had been a builder's Clark he was just five and twenty he had a pink round face wide open blue eyes the slightest of blond moustaches and his soft slack mouth seemed only to be held closed by his chin strap he always looked hot and on the point of perspiration knowing something of the building trade it had been his amusement while on his lofty beat to work out in his mind the interiors of the Georgian houses of which he saw only the outsides with the chimney stacks thus and thus the fireplaces were probably destroyed after such and such a fashion white sash windows irregular they placed among the IV doubtless gave on landings waste and cistern pipes were traceable to sources here and there and private hey had his opinion on each of the chimney calls that turned this way and that with the wind he knew the habits two of the folk on who's back gardens he looks down the nurse in native robes reminded him of his five years in India the old lady in black merino who fed the birds was familiar and he liked to see the children who spread white cloths on the grass beneath the pair and cherry trees and held their small tea parties sometimes he wondered whether to them so far above them he did not look like one of the scarlet geraniums of their own window boxes it had been during the previous spring that the incoming of a new tenant to the end house of the row had interested him mildly he had watched the white jacketed house painters at work and had reflected that the small window they were covering with a colored transparency was probably that of a bathroom then the new tenants had moved in and one day a small plump woman's figure had appeared shaking a tablecloth at the top of the narrow garden the Sentry had stopped suddenly in his feet and broken into the sweat he always seemed on the point of even at that distance he had recognized her and when after some minutes he had begun to think again the only idea that had come to him was why during the seven years in which he had not ceased to think of Molly westwood had he never once pictured her in a blue gown but she was Molly hula now he knew that and he knew hula to architect and surveyor hula had been the foreman of Peterson's building yard in the days when II Tom hey civilian had been Peterson's junior Clarke he remembered him as an ambitious sort of chap who while Tom hey had flown his kite as he put it had bought himself a case of instruments and a real tape and studied and made himself an ark Tom Hayes duties had been confined to the day book hula and Peterson between them contained the true account of the Peterson business and hey had not guessed the reason for this until in India he had received the newspaper that contained the account of Peterson's bankruptcy then he had tumbled the examination showed Peterson's books to have been ill kept with a sagacity and foresight that had drawn forth ironical compliments from the Registrar himself your chief witness abroad too excellent the Registrar had commented no hula was not the fellow to tell all he knew about contractors and palm oil and peck you leitung clarks of works hula was the kind of man who got on since hula had come to live in the end house private hey eyes right when he turned at the South bar and ice left when he turned again at the Sauget steps had counted the days when Molly had appeared at the windows or shaken the tablecloth in the narrow garden his amusement was no longer with chimney pots and bathrooms it was to tell over to himself the dissolute life he had led since Molly had turned her back on him somehow it seemed to exalt her it was not that he had ever lied or stolen or left a friend in trouble to the pink faced private these things were not merely wicked they were dead off a much worse thing he drew the line at things that were off but he had committed a monotonous routine of other sins beginning usually at the canteen continuing at the regulation ends or at the Kohlberg Music Hall and ending on the defaulter sheet with a CB and one day his colonel had said to him hey you remind me of a cherub who kicks about in the mud and glories to think himself and em that had puzzled and troubled hey for he liked the fine old colonel for he had ranked himself with the magnificently wicked in on Wars short of anything that was off was he not at one in the matter of in Abreu and for brawling in the street why his officers might make war with ceremony and all that but the cherub flattered himself he was an item of the reckless heroic glorious stuff they had to do it with and the since Molly by refusing him had driven him to all this the sight of her ought surely to have inspired him in his courses it troubled him that it did not do so on the contrary he never felt less inclined to fuddle himself or to click his heels over the gallery rail of the Coburg then when he had seen her when he did not see her these things were less difficult and that again was wrong to regulate his conduct at all by the sight of another man's wife was of all dead off things the deadest now hula as the Sentry knew had no family but when the following spring the apple trees put forth their pink and the white cloud sailed high over Manchester and the note of the cuckoo floated on the air the cherub became Moody and bashful and changed color ten times in an hour thrushes and black birds flew back and forth from their nests and Molly to her figure dwarfed by his point advantage sund herself in the garden sometimes the cherub blushed red as his tunic he ought to have gone to the Coburg and played the very deuce instead off-duty he wandered unhappily alone then one day he missed her and his eyes scanned the house and her windows timorously six weeks passed then one morning he saw that the white lines were drawn his face became white as wax the next day he saw the tail of a coach beyond the end of the house he exceeded his beat descended the sow get steps and stood trembling and watching then he gave a great sob of relief the coach had turned the horse wore white conical peaks of linen on its ears the mark of a child's funeral the small procession passed and the Arab resumed his beat that evening the colonel stopped him as he crossed the barrack yard hey I'm glad you've given us so little trouble lately I'd try to keep it up if I were you yes sir said the cherub saluting and the colonel nodded kindly and passed on the July Sun beat fiercely down on the grey walls and the sentries tunic was of a glaring Bulls red not a breath moved the trees below and the click of his heels sounded monotonous Lee within the shadow of the South bar where the steps wound down to the street a frock-coat square built man of forty with clipped whiskers and crafty eyes watched the Sentry approach for the second time he cleared his throat and said Tom this time the Sentry turn I ain't allowed to talk on duty he said the man within the shadow waited he waited for half an hour and then the clatter of the relief was heard at sending the turret presently private hey past him without looking at him he descended after him and in the street spoke again I ain't off duty yet you can come to the buttercup said private a the bar of the Buttercup was below the level of the street and the gas-jet burned all day over it's zinc covered counter in the back parlour behind it hoola awaited private hey the cherubs voice was heard shouting an order and he entered the snug the uncoated barman followed him with the liquor and retired did you want to speak to me the cherub demanded I did Tom I did how are you getting on spit it out hula murmured smoothly ah the same blunt spoken honest Tom that was at Peterson's you remember peterson's and the old days tom I'd let the old days drop if I was you I thought you had done so did I Tom so did I but every breast has its troubles you've heard the expression Tom that there is no cupboard without its skeleton keep your cupboards and skeletons to yourself does a new bathroom answer all right nicely Tom I thank you did you know Peterson was back in nature sir Oh is he I expect he wants to talk over the old days with his friend hula same as you with me well you was a precious pair of Rascals though for myself mark you I like to see honor among such hush Tom he's back and seeking you he'd better be careful its twenty years is that but what I wanted to say tom is that it would save a lot of trouble a lot of trouble if you weren't to see him Oh hula my man yes Tom do you know what I think you are who lust hammered it was so hard to get a start in business the competition he'd gone straight except for that once I think you're the blackguard 'used office scamp in the trade and I wouldn't be found dead in a ditch with you that's juicy coming from me I'm no saint but just a common-or-garden Tommy with a default er sheet it's a sin to read and I say you're a blackguard and dead off hoola cringed he'd gone straight since Peterson had already pushed him for twice what he'd had out of it it was hard to be persecuted like this hard the cherub revolved in his mind a phrases of elaborate and overdone irony suddenly hula mentioned his wife and the pink of the cherubs face deepened come into the yard he said hula followed him into a dusty plot where hen scratched in cases and barrels lay scattered everywhere what did you say the soldier demanded the architects face was of an unwholesome white and hey spat he saw that hula feared he was going to strike him she's been ill tom and must be got away to the Mediterranean Peterson sucking me dry he thinks I'm afraid of him you used to be fond of her tom all at once private haze wrath gave place to utter wretchedness and he began to stride up and down the yard tears rose into his eyes and presently rolled unchecked down his cheeks he approached hula and said in a quavering voice a fortnight ago was that a boy eula murmur it's a mercy he's dead if he'd have been like you the cherub sob and then he forgot all about hula he forgot everything except that little Molly Westwood had been through an agony was ill must be got away and that he might help her and ineffable soft thrill stirred at his heart he wicked Tom hey might help her and presently he stood before hula again looking wistfully at him you ain't lyin hula Oh Tong and suppose suppose I was to thank peterson's as big a thief as you and treat him as such treat him as such if he dares to speak to me you understand hula don't put it that way Tom then I may take it Tom Oh go go I want to be by myself the porch Arab moan and hula turning once to dart a hateful glance at him over his shoulder passed through the public house it's a birria for you this time Tom the guard whispered adjusting his pipe clades belt what in Thunder made you go and do it the cherubs tunic was unbelted and the color had fled from his simple face he made no reply was drunk Barker setia hadn't been in the canteen anyway the chaps in or spittle of bloomin civilian too he saluted stiffly the major had passed on his way to the outbuilding that had been furnished for a court-martial and the bear a clock struck eleven half a dozen officers in full uniform SAT about a long trestle table and the sunlight that came through the tall windows lay across the pens and ink and pink blotting paper that were spread before the court the colonel at the head of the table talked to Warren the regimental surgeon I'm absurdly upset Warren it's ridiculous the faith I have in the fellow moreover I have reason to know that he has a touch drink for weeks he's been in the habit and in such cases a sudden discontinuance sometimes but the point isn't whether he was drunk or not it's an unprovoked attack on this fellow Peterson or whatever his name is the colonel side oh well I can't overlook this are you ready gentlemen and orderly opened the door and the prisoner was brought in between two armed guards he saluted the court and then stood at attention the guards fell back two or three witnesses sat on a bench within the door the colonel did not at once look at private hey and the charge was read the principal witness lay in hospital but sufficient evidence of the fact of the assault would be produced and the president desired the prisoner to plead the plea was scarcely audible but it was understood to be not guilty and the first witness was called the cherub new not in what queer way had hurt him that his Colonel refused to look at him he didn't much care of what happened but he would have liked the colonel to think well of him a witness was telling how the prisoner had reeled spoken thickly offered his bayonet and finally flung the man down the steps of the turret of the South bar would the witness consider the prisoner to have been drunk the court asked and the witness replied that he should the steps were old and worn might not the man have slipped the court suggested and the witness reminded the court that the prisoner had staggered and offered his bayonet had the injured man spoken to the prisoner the witness thought not he had seemed to be on the point of speaking but the prisoner had cut him short exclaiming I don't want to talk to dead offs like you asked if he had anything to say the prisoner shook his head I wasn't drunk sir he said other witnesses were called the case went drowsily forward and the major yawned the colonel was whispering to the doctor again and then for the first time he looked at the prisoner do you know this Peter said I worked for him when I was a civilian sir the prisoner answered have you any grudge against him I didn't want to talk to him sir but suppose he should speak to you again a brief gleam of satisfaction crossed the cherubs mild blue eyes i frightened him too bad for that sir he said and then as the Colonel's grave eyes did not cease to regard there came a quick little break in his voice I wasn't drunk sir I wouldn't tell you a lie sir nor do anything that's off there's marks against mia many but not for things that's off i ask you to believe i wasn't drunk sir clear the court said the colonel the guard the prisoner and the witnesses filed out and the door closed and the colonel leaned forward in his chair he seemed disproportionately move gentlemen he said if the prisoner is to be seriously punished I ask you to remember it's dismissal and imprisonment let me make a suggestion it was a very hot day he's been in India possibly an old sunstroke Oh a bit discredited that observed the doctor he would be punished of course but more leniently it's all I can put forward it rests with the court he leaned back again troubled in the hum of consultation he heard Warren's slightly sarcastic laugh and thought he heard the major say oh let it go at that Neville seems to want it very well sir said the major by and by we are agreed and as the cherub returning with the guard received the milder sentence he looked humbly and gratefully at his colonel he recognized that there are things that a commanding officer cannot overlook but that a private gentleman on occasion may end of story three you

2 thoughts on “Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 1/6

  1. Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 1/6
    Parts of this video:
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1UHHJjv8gQ (this video)
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAJRQ_zpmq4
    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esefP4OJ4vM
    Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjgXxijUUjU
    Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDdxpC8HaQ0
    Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ciPOsXqdNA

  2. Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 1/6
    1: [00:00:00] – Dimoussi And The Pistol
    2: [00:40:04] – The Woman
    3: [01:25:19] – The Cherub

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