Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 5/6

story 12 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 12 the forbidden woman by warwick Deeping Royal Army Medical Corps Hilary Blake went down through the tangled shrubs of the garden that was half a wilderness and a strange white aw was on his face twice he paused turned and looked back she was still there on the terrace set high against the sunset a strange wet sunset in which streaks of opalescent blue showed dimly through a vaporous glow of scarlet and gold queer slate-colored clouds sailed low down across the sky the Far woods were the color of amethyst but Judith of the terrace was outlined against a clear breadth of gold she was watching him and he could imagine the provoking set of her head and that enigmatic smile of hers that made men wonder she had been strangely kind to him that evening and the fire of her beauty was in his blood how was it that she had been a young widow these five years and that no man had won her a second time she was proud with a vague elusive pride a pride that baffled and kept men at a distance and yet it had seemed to him that there was a great sadness behind those eyes a dread of something a loneliness that waxed impatient sudden silences would fall on her he had found her looking at him in a queer and tragic way as though she saw some shadow of fate falling between them a spray of syringe a brushed across his face as he walked on down the tangled path it was wet and fragrant and with sudden exultation he crushed it against his mouth the smell of it was of June and of her he went on head in air marveling at all the tangle of chances that had brought this great thing to him a year ago he had been captain Blake of the seventh foot leading redcoats by the Canadian lakes he remembered that letter coming to him that letter that told him how two deaths had made him Blake of brockenhurst manner there had been that wild dinner in that block house by the lakes when all the fine fellows had drunk to Blake of Raccoon Hurst and red eagle and his Braves had gone mad with fire water and set the storehouse alight by shooting into the thatch he had not seen Bracken Hurst since he was a boy he had come to it a little elated and he had discovered her Hillary had just let the wicket-gate clash behind him he turned sharply and old you threw a deep shade here shedding off the sunset and leaning against a fence under it Hillary saw a big man in a long green coat both riding breeches and top boots he wore a black unpowered wig under his three-cornered hat and this dark wig set off the sallow and impassive breadth of a face that showed to the world a laconic arrogance he had a little book of fishing flies in his hands and as he played with it casually his eyes looked at Hillary Blake with an ironical insolence that was but have failed Blake hardly knew the man saved by sight and reputation he was sir Roy 7 of moore hall a man with a mystery round him and more duels to his credit than his neighbors cared to mention in fact there was a sort of dread of him dominating the neighborhood he lived practically alone a more haul up yonder against the northern sky a grim secretive sort of creature who rode and shot and fished alone good evening to you and Blake sighs added what may you be doing outside Judith strange garden fence the man seemed to have been waiting for that challenging look in the others I he gave a queer an almost noiseless laughs and put his fly book away in his pocket I have a hunting crop hung on the fence sir Roy Severn tucked it with a certain cynical ostentation under his arm I think we are strangers captain Blake I think we are sir my way is your way for a mile or so do you take the path through the park I do he moved on and the man in green set himself beside him the sunset was on their faces and up yonder Judith of the terrace still stood outlined against a glow of gold Blake saw his companion look steadily towards her and there was something in that look that made his blood simmer mrs. Judith stays out late on so damp and evening and what is it to you if she does my friend said Blake sighs the man in green laughed that quiet threatening laugh of his you come here very often captain Blake I beg your pardon sir I said you come here very often you are new to these part I know them better than you do a cold anger began to stir in Hilary Blake my business is my own sir Roy Severn pray leave it at that the other answered him sharply I deny that captain Blake I deny that flatly it is my business to tell you that Judith strange is a dangerous woman the path had reached a spot where great oaks were gathered together casting a half gloom over the grass under their canopies the stormy sky showed yellow and red Blake stopped dead and faced the man in green I think sir you are a little mad or very insolent I am neither the one nor the other you will leave a certain name untouched in my presence he saw two like points of light shine out of the others eyes that is the language that all of them have used captain Blake your good cousin talked like that sir though what right he had to mouth such heroics only his own silly conceit could tell i have heard a great deal of such talk he shrugged and laughed it never moved me one iota Blake stared at him moved you sir what cause was there for you to be moved one way or the other saved that if you spoke lightly of a lady it was right that some man should smite you on the mouth that no man has ever done indeed I speak of Judith strange as I please I think not sir captain Blake you have never seen me handle a sword or mark my man with a pistol he drew himself up squaring his shoulders and his arrogant face was a threat a face that loomed big and white and fanatical under the gloom of the trees Blake's eyes grew dangerous come out into the open sir what is at the bottom of all this boasting sir Roy Severn bowed to him captain Blake let me suggest to you that you go no more to Judith Strange's house let me suggest sir that you mind your own business Judith strange is my business the younger man took a step forward and his left arm went up Severns hunting crop world suddenly and struck Blake's fist so that one of the knuckle bones cracked the pain of it made Blake's tried to and fro biting his lips you fiend Severn laughed you cannot hurt me my friend I never met a yet who could face me in the pit Judith strange captain Blake is to be my wife and I have a sort of jealousy in me that is dangerous to gavs I say what I please about the woman I mean to marry Blake's face had gone dead white but not with physical pain I don't take you sir oh come sir come you appear to know very little about women Judith strange would flirt on her wedding morning but I captain Blake want no youngsters playing round the woman I mean to marry if moths come to my candle if I snuff them out only twice sir have been dared to fight with me they did not need a second dose he tucked his hunting crop under his arm took off his hat ironically and left Blake standing for the moment Hilary Blake's anger had died out of him he saw sir Roy Severn disappear among the trees and felt himself a fool for having ridden the high the man had had the laugh of him it was all natural and logical enough sir Roy Severn could be accused of neither madness nor insolence if he resented another man paying court to the woman who was to be his wife but Judith and that wet sunset and the walk upon the terrace that leave-taking the brushing of the syringe a across his mouth a flare of pain rushed through him he thought of the exultation of an hour ago of the wonder of joy that had been in his heart had she been playing with him fooling him what was he to believe he was lost in the chaos of his own emotions of love anger scorn eight shame and savage regret he would go back and hear the truth from her own lips but no the laughter of a Coquette would it be too bitter for him to bear Great God was she that heartless thing why should he believe this man's word against her throw over all that was sacred because of Severns confidence nears Hilary turned they began to walk back along the path staring at the ground in front of him forgetting his bruised hand the splendor was dying in the west and a blue Twilight flowing into the valleys the hills looked black and cold Hillary she had come on him suddenly out of the Twilight and the red brocade dress that she was wearing seemed to catch the last rays of the Sun set and to glow amid the gloom she was breathing fast as though she had been running and he could see the rising and falling of her breasts Hillary had stopped dead his head held high mrs. Judith but that haughty pose of his was no more than or frost on a sunny morning she came close to him till he saw the shine in her eyes the proud rage of her white throat and the way that glowing red brocade suede up and down below ass mother of white lace even the lover in him had guessed her capable of great passion but now that he saw the full flair thereof he stood silent and astonished that brute was waiting for you I had looked for it that is why I stayed upon the terrace I knew that it must happen someday soon sir Roy Severn her passion did not give him time to speak so Hilary blake he has frozen or frightened you after his fashion you hold your head high and look at me with haughty eyes must I defend myself I who have never justified myself to any man by heaven why should i stoop to defend myself before any man why even before you her whole figure seemed to glow in the Twilight like metal at red eat but her face was a stark white her eyes challenged him he drew his breath in deeply for this tempest of passion played upon the half smothered fire in the end like the win Judith what have I said yet I'll say it let us have it spoken then I too will speak he looked at her and a sudden generous shame smote him no by heaven she beat her hands together yes by heaven but I can guess what Severn said that I am to be his wife that I have played with men his silence answered her he lied do you hear he lied my God how I hate that man she stood very still a moment but it was the stillness of a wrath that found nothing strong enough to carry it to self-expression listen for five years ever since my husband died this man has persecuted me Judith marry me he has asked month by month but I know that I hated him from the first and I did not hide my hate but he is a devil that man he seemed to thrive on the naze I gave him and he came and quarreled month by month by way of making love i forbade him the house he laughed and said be sure that I shall not let you marry another man I shall scare them away or kill them if they refuse to be scared and he was as good as his word men saw to me I did not seek nor did I love any of those who came to me to make love what did it matter each man dropped away in turn and came no more three were cowards two fought Roy Severn and were wounded he swore that he would kill them the next time and they took him at his word love was not worth the risk then he would waylay me somewhere and be smooth and courteous and sneering Judith he would say no man will put me out of his path you will marry me or remain a widow and when I threatened to go away Mary despite him he threatened in return my dear I shall follow you and if you trick me by marrying you will be a widow again within a month strange as the tail sounded like knew that it was the truth and a fierce exultation woken him if she had not cared which he had told him this the man is mad mad yes but most occur sively logical in his madness the sevens have been like that sometimes I feel that I shall take his life or that he will take mine Blake took a step towards her Judith I am no more than the other men the cowards and the two who would not dare the uttermost I shall not answer you by heaven you must why even if you have no love for me shall I slink away and not fight for the right to be near you there is a devil in me that can match the devil in Roy Severn she gave a queer in articulate cry and the fire died out of her eyes no no that is why I followed you tonight Hilary I knew that you were not like those others you knew that then no no listen I have a feeling in me sometimes that I am a woman who is fatal to men fatal to those who love me a month ago I might not have cared but now I care too much Hilary promise never to see me again he gave a grim yet exultant laughs that is impossible Judith I will break this fate of yours he drew closer but put him back with her hands no no have I not told you that this man is a devil no one in these parts would dare to cross him he can shoot as no mortal man should shoot and they say that the best French swordsman could not touch him it is death he drew himself up and his eyes smiled suddenly if it be death well what of that my love is stronger than Severns love I too can use foil or pistol and a cavalry saber is like neither of these I shall fight this man she stood white and mute a moment her hands hanging limply then suddenly her hands were upon his shoulders her passionate face looking into his Hilary oh my dear no no I cannot bear it go away leave me I shall have your blood upon my hands and then I think I shall go mad he caught her and held her Judith I cannot leave you so I must kill severn but he dear the man is mortal I say I shall kill him yet if you kill him he lifted her face to his well I might have to go over the water for a while but I should come back Hillary he felt all the woman in her stirring in his arms Hilary I should be with you then not here oh if it were possible dear is this the truth the uttermost truth the very heart of my heart he looked at her very dearly and then kissed her upon the mouth so be it go back my beloved I have work to do he had to free himself almost by force for her dread continued no no I shall never see you again I swear that you shall dear heart let me go he put her hands aside very gently Judith go home and wait by morning i may have news for you in half an hour Blake was on the edge of the more walking as though for a wager a mere kart track led over the more two more home and on either side of it were stretched masses of win and Heather a moon was just rising and all the countryside was spread below the distant cliffs drawing a black outline about the glimmer of the sea but Blake was watching the cart track in front of him he had cut an oak sapling with his clasp knife in one of the park plantations so that he should have something to match against Royce Severns hunting crop Blake had guessed that he might catch his man on the homeward road and catch him he did just where the track turned eastwards over the ridge of the more 50 paces ahead of him Blake saw a black figure rise against the skyline almost between him and the rising moon Sirois 7 the black figure paused and waited there against the steel gray sky who's there the moonlight showed him Hilary Blake ah captain Blake come to apologize so soon no sir only to tell you that you are a liar he could not see Severns face for he had his back turned towards the moon so you do not believe me captain Blake no I do not sir or I should not have turned so far out of my way to call you a liar and a coward both men felt that it had come that they were like dogs doomed to be at each other's throats but Severn strolled forward with a casual air flicking his hunting crop to and fro as though he were beating time to a piece of music and that arrogant self confidence of his fooled him he had to do with an athlete that night a man who had matched himself to run and leap against Indians and not with some heavy squirreling or town gallant out of condition with drink and cards for Blake took a standing leap at severn covered ten foot of ground at the spring and got such a blow home as sent the big man sprawling Blake was on him and had wrenched the hunting crop away he broke it across his knee and threw the pieces into a first Bush if you want a broken fist sir I have an oak sapling that will wipe out that blow you gave me two hours ago but seven was up in are too wild a rage for sticks or fisticuffs fool I should have warned you with a sword prick through the arm but now by the woman I mean to marry I will kill you leave it at that choose your weapons I'll meet you with whatever you please Blake smiled overset teeth I claim cavalry sabers I have to you shall have your choice Severn snarled at him you prefer being slashed two pricked huh very good one second each will serve at six tomorrow morning when you please Severn became suddenly and splendidly polite captain Blake it will be a pleasure what do you say to that little field at the back of the fur plantation on the main road down yonder you know it yes at six then I have a friend at my house who will act for me I shall be happy to choose one of your Sabres I wish you a very good night his politeness had thinned to an ironical and sneering playfulness but Blake had been born with a stiff back yet he saw how Roy Severn had trodden on the courage of those other men and half cowed them before they had crossed swords it is a pretty thing a cavalry saber sir may you to pass a good night I shall go home and get some sleep and so they parted Hilary Blake turned back for brockenhurst and in half an hour found himself standing in the brick porch of Colonel mandrels house at the end of brockenhurst village the Colonel's old soldier serve an answered is not is your master in Thomas sure sir he is n and alone and alone sir Colonel Munro was sitting at the open window of his library that looked towards the sea two candles and silver candlesticks stood on the oak table and their pale light seemed to mingle with a moonlight that streamed in at the window the old soldier with a hawk speak of a nose and the iron gray head had been sitting there thinking directly the door had closed and the sound of Thomas's footsteps could be heard apart Blake told his business Colonel I want you to second me I fight Royce Severn at six tomorrow morning the old soldier SAT forward in his chair then after a moment's silence curse Roy Severn heroes and drawing himself to his full height looked searchingly at Blake from under his straight grey eyebrows what has made you quarrel with Roy Severn a love affair sir mandrel pulled out his tortoise shell snuff box and took snuff vigorously so you want to marry Judith strange I know how Severn has persecuted her it is a pity someone has not shot the Beast I have thought of doing it myself but do you know what you were doing Blake I am going to marry Judith strange yes yes all very well that but this man Severn can shoot and fence like the devil himself he is the coolest and the most deadly beast when there is fighting a foot who has the choice of weapons I have sir i have chosen cavalry sabers the colonel threw up his right hand with a stiff gesture of delight sabers excellent Severns love is the foil there are some men Blake who can never take kindly to saber play just as some men would rather be slashed than pinked through the liver sabers excellent he walked up and down limping slightly from an old wound that he had God at Fontenoy where do we meet lad in the little meadow behind the fur plantation above gamers farm at six at six I take the sabres 7 has his choice a friend is to second him I know that friend of his a little brown beast of a French fencing master sabers excellent look you lad speed is the great thing against a man like Severn go at it like a cavalry charge I have known good swordsman knocked over by mere slashing boys in the cavalry charge it is no use playing the cunning game with Roy Severn thank you sir I am out to kill him in the first 30 seconds I know something about sabers the colonel came and tapped him on the shoulder Blake you had better sleep here go up and get those savers now it is start that is an idea sir I want to pack a beliefs and get all the money I have in the house I will ride my black horse down here and stable him for the night lad you don't contemplate dying that's the spirit if I have to go sir I'll not leave Severn alive behind me Judith shall be free it was a cloudless June morning when Hilary Blake and Colonel Mandrell got on their horses and took the lane that led round the back of the village past the mill Blake's Canadian campaigning had hardened him and he had slept for three hours he carried a leather valise strapped to his saddle the colonel had the Sabres wrapped in a black cloth under his arm missed still clung about the valleys and they could not see the sea they passed gamers farm and came to the fur plantation it was black and still and secret and gloom hung with in the crowded trunks like a curtain a rough gate opened through a ragged hedge they dismounted and leading their horses disappeared into the wood Judith strange had not slept for a man had come riding late up the drive between the old oaks and had left a letter with the majordomo and galloped away again as though fearful of being called back the letter had been sealed with red wax and Judith had broken the seal and read the letter by candle light in the long parlor Judith I love you I fight Severn tomorrow morning and you shall be free do not try to come between us for you will fail Hillary Blake she had turned the letter over in her hands and her gaze had rested on the red wax of the seal she had broken the color of blood she had been seized by a foreboding of evil by the thought that this thing was prophetic that tomorrow the man who loved her might be dead she fought against this dread in her own heart but she did not sleep her servants were Abed the candles had burnt out in the long parlor and the full moon shone over the sea Judith had stepped through the open window onto the terrace and she walked to and fro there in the moonlight feeling that she was helpless to hinder the workings of her own fate then she rebelled thrust her forebodings aside and refused to believe in her own fears she returned to the house found a little hand lamp burning in the paneled hall and taking it went up the broad stairs to her room at the end of the long gallery there was a valise under the bed she pulled it out and began to fill it with clothes and to collect her jewellery and store it away in a rosewood case bound with brass nor did she forget the guinea she kept in the secret drawer of her Bureau then she dressed herself as for a journey with a kind of tenderness towards herself and towards her love putting on one of her red brigades and a black beaver hat with black feather she looked long at herself in her glass touching her black hair with her fingers on which she had thrust the most precious of her rings emeralds and rubies glittered in the lamplight and her eyes were almost as feverish as the precious stones she sat down in a chair by one of the windows and waited hours past the dawn showed in the east the lamp had burnt all its oil and had flickered out the silence was utter an anguish of restlessness returned a clock struck five she rose passed out of the room down the dim stairs and through the long parlor onto the terrace the freshness of the dawn was there and the birds were awake in the thickets she began to walk up and down up and down over the stone flags with a heavy mist lying in the valleys below and the sea hidden by a great grape all the boom of a gun came from the sea it was some fog bound ship firing a signal the clock in the turret struck six a gardener appeared upon the terrace saw Judith walking there stared and slunk away she was conscious of a strange oppression at the art a sudden spasmodic quickening of her suspense she could walk no longer but sat down on the do wet parapet and waited suddenly the mist lifted the great trees in the park seemed to shake themselves free of their white shrouds the vapor lifted away like smoke the grass slopes and hollows showed a glittering grayish green Judith stood up her eyes dark and big in a pale face for far away over yonder something moved amid the trees she pressed her hands over her bosom and waited and then she saw a galloping horse and a man bending forward in the saddle a little figure distant in the morning light which was it she strained her eyes but could not satisfy her suspense twice had Roy seven ridden to her in just such a fashion to make mocking love to her and tell her that he had left a rival powd and beaten suddenly her heart lept in her the man had galloped near he had seen the figure on the terrace he waved his hat she gave a strange cry ran to the terrace steps and down them to the path that led through the wilderness they met where a climbing rose trailed in the branches of a half-dead almond tree Blake had left his horse at the wicket-gate she saw the grim radiance of his face Hilary I have killed Roy Severn she swayed forward and he had her in his arms o my beloved you are as white as death dear I have suffered he kissed her Judith you are free but this man's blood she clung to him let us go away let us go away together yes I have money and my jewels and my valise back I will order the coach they cannot harm you Hilary for killing him and yet he looked in her eyes and understood dear we will leave the thought of it behind us come there is no time to lose we can make rye town before noon they went up the terrace steps hand in and end of story 12 story 13 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 13 Eliza and the special by Barry Payne royal naval air service Eliza I said after we had retired to the drawing room as we almost always do after our late dinner nowadays unless of course the lighting of an extra fire is involved Eliza I have this afternoon come to rather an important decision I must ask you to remember the meaning of the word decision it means that a thing is decided it may be perfectly natural to you to beg me not to risk the exposure to the weather and the possible attacks by criminals or German spies but where my conscience has spoken I am so to speak adamant if you would kindly cease playing with the cat you would be able to pay more attention to what I am saying what I want you to realize is that no entreaties or arguments can possibly move me this nation is at present plunged by the way said Eliza you don't mind my interrupting but I've just thought of it miss Lakers says she can't think why you don't offer yourself as a special and I don't see why you shouldn't either this Eliza I said is one of the most extraordinary coincidences that have befallen me in the whole course of my life if an author would have put such a thing in a book every reader would remark on its improbability but the fact remains at the very moment when you spoke I was on the point of telling you that I had decided to become a special constable that's all right then said Eliza I'll tell miss Lakers wonder you didn't think of it before anything in the evening paper tonight you are hardly taking my decision in the way that might have been expected I said however we will let that pass we must now take the necessary steps what do you mean said Eliza you just go to the station and I was not thinking of that there is this question of exposure to the weather a warm way Scott sufficiently low in the back to give protection to the kidneys is I understand essential we must also procure a flask well I shouldn't if I were you if you take whiskey when you're on duty and then anything happens you only put yourself in the wrong my dear Eliza I said I was not dreaming of taking stimulants while on duty afterwards perhaps in moderation but not during I was referring to one of those flasks which keeps soup or cocoa hot for a considerable period this question of exposure to the weather is rather more serious than you seem to oh that kind of flask well that's different and do be more careful when you're uncrossing your legs you as near as possible kicked the cat that time as I told her she had quite failed to grasp the situation or to take a proper interest in it her reply that I was too funny simply had no bearing on the subject now I'm not a snob far from it but I do think that in the Special Constabulary a little more regard might be paid to social status I was required for certain hours of the night to guard a small square building connected with the waterworks it was in a desperately lonely spot fully a hundred yards from the main road and approached by a footpath across a desolate field I make no complaint as too bad unless a man has pretty good nerves he had better not become a special constable but I do complain and with good reason that in this task I was associated with Hopley Hopley is a plumber in quite a small way some ten or twelve years ago when I was merely an employee of the firm in which I am now a partner I gave Hopley some work at the time of taking the order he called me sir and was most respectful later he used very coarse language and said he would not leave my kitchen until the account had been settled remember this because it was the last time that I had to pawn my watch fortunately Hopley seemed to have forgotten the incident and to have forgotten me on the other hand he seemed quite oblivious of the fact that there was any social barrier between us he always addressed me as an equal and even as an intimate friend making allowances for the unusual circumstances the nation being at war I did not put him back in his place but after all I asked myself was it necessary with a little more organization it would not have happened I will admit that I found him useful at drill and generally tried to be next him he seemed to know about drill and gave me the required pull or push which makes so much difference but when we two were guarding that building i found him most depressing he took a pessimistic view of the situation he said that any special who was put to guard a waterworks was practically sentenced to death because the Germans had got the position of every Water Works in the kingdom charted and the Zeppelin's had their instructions then he talked over the invasion of England and the murder of a special constable and told ghost stories by day I could see almost before Eliza pointed it out that an incendiary bomb would do more active work in a gasometer than in a reservoir but in the darkness of the small hours I am well distinctly less critical and I may add that the only mistake we have made yet was entirely due to Hopley it was a nasty foggy night and I saw a shadowy form approaching I immediately went round to the other side of the building to report to hop Li and he said that this was just the sort of night the Germans would choose for some of their dirty work it was he who instructed me about taking cover and springing out at the last minute we sprang simultaneously Hopley on one side and myself on the other and if it had been anybody but Eliza we should have made a smart job of it I had forgotten my cocoa flask and Eliza was bringing it the place where I was posted this was unfortunate for Hopley as she hit him in the face with the flask I think that I personally must have slipped on a banana skin or it may have been due to the sudden surprise at hearing Eliza's voice Eliza said she was sorry about ha please knows but that we really ought not to play silly jokes like that when on duty because we might possibly frightened somebody the other night I was discussing with Hopley the possibility of my being made a sergeant not a chance he said no absolute earthly old sport and then he passed his hand in a reflective way over his nose that if only your missus could have joined he said she'd have been an inspector by now in the story 13-story 14 of the times Red Cross story book by famous novelist serving in His Majesty's forces by various this LibriVox recording is in the public domain story 14 the probation of Jimmy Baker by Albert Kinross army service corps one the bank was in the High Street a broad leafy place of stone houses and a regularly planted trees the most of cecum however is a neither broad nor leafy nor regular old town so they call it a picturesque welter of thatched and cream washed cottages climbs the hills and clusters around the harbor new town with its bank and high street and electric lighting and things was added when the railway came into this bank one bright September morning stepped miss Mamie Stewart barrage of lansing in the state of michigan from lansing in the state of michigan to see come in the county of Somerset is a foreign distant cry and the transition requires money for it satisfactory accomplishment miss Mamie had money a diminishing wad that folded up in a neat black leather case she stepped into the bank unfolded her ward and handed an American Express company's check across the counter the young man who did duty there reminded her that she must sign it that's the second time I forgotten said maybe and wrote her name in the appointed space all gold or would you like a note inquired the young man miss Mamie thought that she would like a note and then she altered her mind and exchanged the note for gold and then she altered her mind once more and took the note the young man smiled amiably and blushed a little for the transaction was fast becoming confidential and he was told that the note would do for mrs. Bilson he knew mrs. Bilson as a party who let lodgings are you comfortable there he ventured as comfortable as one can be in this old England of yours a laugh a snapping of her handbag a swish of skirt and she was gone other and duller customers engaged the young man till four o'clock once or twice that day he thought of me me and wondered whether she was ever coming back again the next afternoon he caught a glimpse of her seated high on ishara bank and just returned from an excursion she spent a poor laqueer he said and went off to play tennis a game that invariably occupied his leisure hours of daylight after the bank had closed there was little else to do in cecum the next day he met her face to face and he blushed a deep pink for she had recognized him she gave him a bright little bow he stopped she inquired whether he had anything to do and nothing at all was his answer the Tennis Club could go hang was an inward ejaculation that escaped miss Mamie Stewart barrage they bought things for her supper and her breakfast and she also wanted a new pair of gloves and asked the young man where she could get them he did his best for her and carried the parcels and explained that a Florin was not the same as half a crown she had given up mrs. Bilson who had overcharged her and was now doing her own catering just like you English she add Gailey and led the way to a shop where they sold debenture cream this latter delicacy it appeared was just lovely and not to be had at all in the United States won't you come in she asked when at last they reached her door the young man hesitated isn't it proper inquired miss Mamie the young man smiled well I guess we'll just be improper the young man followed her into a sitting room that overlooked the street indoors Mamie tucked up her sleeves and made a salad and the young man sat on the sofa and watched her what's your name she asked Baker James Baker always been at that old bank since i left school like it not very much why do you stay there oh I don't know got put there and here in England people stay where they're put I suppose so any prospects I may be a manager someday get a branch office like this when you're pie-faced and bald her frankness was alarming but Jimmy Baker rather liked it when I'm 40 or so he admitted how old are you now she asked the question without looking up from her salad 23 on 22 said she huncle Walter died and left me a thousand and so I thought I come to England and have a good time I'm going to be a schoolteacher when it's over I've been to college when you been to college you can do without a chaperone and I'd nobody to go with me and nobody to ask fathers married again and I don't remember mother I was a baby when she died you got any folks Baker had everything and everybody his father farmed near Biddeford his mother and sisters looked after the dairy his brothers were at school or in positions similar to his own what did they give you at the bank she asked he named the figure of his meager salary my you're not going on working for that I have to he answered well it's no business of mine and now she rang for the landlady and introduced mr. Baker as a guest who was staying to supper to miss Mamie Stewart barrage had explored X more and then stir and pour lock and the other wonderful and romantic places that are within walking or driving distance of the little town she had perhaps just scratched the surface yet for all that it was ecstatic to take tea in the shadow of age old castles or wander through villages that look as though they had come straight out of a picture book till she met Jimmy Baker however one thing had been lacking in this romance the final touch she saw it at last and clearly too it had not been so very prominent before Jimmy's Ingenuus face brought it home to her she wanted a companion doing England and having a good time was all very well but without a companion it was only half the good time it might have been and there was Jimmy free to go a roaming every evening after five or even earlier so she annexed him and such of cecum as new Jimmy whispered that this annexation was not entirely one-sided he was 23 and she was 22 and it was the month of the Harvest Moon and all the years stored tenderness they climbed the winding paths that led to the church close together on a bench they rested and found the sea through narrow lanes they strolled and thence upward to purple heather and the misty hills and their Mamie discovered that she had not been mistaken the final touch was a hand laid on hers and an inward wound like that which comes when music is too sweet to magical the night she gave her lips to him obliterated America and especially lansing in the state of michigan she wanted to stay here forever in his arms and the moon poised above dunker e beacon this place was no longer England it had become the land of hearts desire let me look and look she cried I shall never see anything like this again and with his arm on her neck and cheek against cheek they SAT there ought to buy a world bathed in moonlight themselves transfigured smitten and silenced by the great mystery of first awakened the love it seemed to me that she had been born anew been here admitted into some strange all satisfying faith Baker's holiday an annual fortement were in he might refresh himself as best he could was due next Monday he had been saving up for it during 50 weeks of the year he was a bank Clark the other two he was permitted to be a man by a predestinate coincidence or so they deemed it may me strip expired on the same date a fortnight from the Monday she must go to Liverpool and thence return to lansing in the state of michigan she had her birth on the steamboat all was paid for and arranged thus two weeks and some odd days remain to them before she sailed it was on the Saturday that they made up their minds to get married which of the two first jumped to that decision is hard to say and does not matter specially that they jumped to it is enough the Saturday found them at gravis tub of dunster and the inspiration came during a pause it seemed as simple as the line of dung curry beacon that great Hill whose monstrous bulk is so precise next day in the smoke room of the pier hotel they consulted reference books they could go to London tomorrow and be married on the Tuesday it said provided they paid the fees they clubbed their money together and went from then onward unseen hands seemed to guide them first to their lodgings thence to the office of the vicar-general where they bought a license Mamie had stayed in London and had a residential qualification it appeared and next day to the church where they were married they came out into the street again and no one knew their secret they shared the memory of a sacrament taken in the wilderness where the droning curate and paid witnesses were a small account beside the flame that had fused them into man and why the golden sunlight of that exquisite our went hand in hand they faced London was as though made for them the old heart of the giant city could still rejoice it seemed and was ready to crown true lovers and fold them in mantels of shimmering tissue and cloth of gold they wandered through the feast glares and a man stopped them and asked them the way to Bell yard neither of them knew had he inquired the road to paradise they could have told they grew hungry at last their wedding breakfast was eaten in a restaurant off Hatton Garden the regular customers of the place Jews for the most part and dealers in the staple article of backorder smiled the racial smile of genial incredulity as these two entered and found room but neither Jim norm Amy had a doubt for in their eyes that met across the narrow table shone a light more precious and more enduring than that emitted by all the diamonds rubies and emeralds of Hatton Garden the night found them in Rye a southern place that Mamie had chosen she had so often longed to see it three the boy and girl shared everything in those two weeks pain and bliss the joy of early morning the wistfulness of Twilight and the first white star their money was in one purse they spent it together choosing things to eat and drink or little gifts that would remind them when their hour was come over there young heads hung the shadow they had the courage to outface it tomorrow was yet distant and when it dawned they would praise God for what had been and could never be removed they knew all there was to know and a strange pride thrilled them a tenderness that neither had foreseen love was even greater than their dreams of it and therefore knowledge the see strength and the lands strength had tested soul and body had blessed these two with infinite renewals and unassailable virginity from Ryan winchelsea they had wandered to Haifa long that coastline avoiding dungeon and pausing at lid new romney and dimchurch with its sands each morning they had bathed and often at sunset these old places fascinated them and especially Mamie who came from lansing in the state of michigan what a lot you know he said one day amazed at her book learning I'm going to be a schoolteacher she laughed back and besides I like it no it's not the history the dates and things that fascinates me but I seem to have been here before she explained adding lots of us Americans feel that way about it as though well as though you'd come from here he helped her that's right as though we'd come from here and perhaps we have she added gaily finishing with our names barrage so we must have done I never look upon you as a foreigner said he at least I haven't sense and he hesitated since she inquired since I first wanted to kiss you do it again Jimmy was quite prepared to take up the challenge but she had fled he caught her behind the plump martello tower where she was hiding and did it again after that they returned to firmer ground sitting on the beach and looking out over the channel you must leave that old bank began Mamie it served his purpose it brought us together yes that's just it and now it's brought us together we can drop it he had seen her point I don't want you to go on working for them she pursued I want you to work for us for me Jimmy nodded I've thought of that as well he answered they give you a wretched salary and when you're an old gazook and nobody wants you they say perhaps it's time he got married and put you in charge of a little office like that at cecum that's it said Jimmy banking's no good in this old country unless you're somebody son or rich on your own account but I know what she added brightening Jimmy SAT up you must go into some regular article like woolens or Cotton's or should things a good salesman's always got a chance do you know I thought of that as well cried young Baker my brother Tom travels with wholesale groceries and he's doing well if you haven't got money you've got to make business and then the firm's bound to pay you it can't help itself my old uncle was always saying that and so it was resolved that when Mamie went back to America Jim should quit the bank and get hold of a regular article only that way could they to come together again unless they wish to wait till he had become the old gazook of mameys prophecy for the day of parting came he stood on the key at Liverpool and watched the great boat out of sight a mist filled his eyes but when at last he turned on his heel and faced reality once more a courage rows within him and he resolved to conquer or to parish he would conquer conquer conquer all the way to London the train seemed to be repeating that burden seemed to be branding it stamping it in deep bitten letters on his heart of hearts and with that repetition mingled and in FA ssible memory of her and her fine courage they had kissed goodbye that morning in the room of their hotel and again in the tiny cabin where there was scarce room to swing a cat believed in me he had whispered her slim body close press to his own and once more believe in me believe in me if I didn't believe in you she had answered I would just drop overboard and no more said and if there's anything else when you get over there you'll tell me she had understood him I'll tell of course I'll tell and then it's no fun being a woman is it Jim she had added with a little laugh now in the train he fed on those last moments and would conquer or perish conquer conquer conquer echoed the onrushing train he was in cecum that night and had given notice next morning got another job as the manager and yes in London answered young Baker the other seemed to envy him his chance of escape a month from then armed with a first-class character and seven pounds in gold Jimmy set out for the metropolis he had told his father as much as he dared tell that unromantic old man he hadn't been home for his holiday this year he said because he wanted to get away somewhere quiet and think about his future now he had come to a decision unless one had capital or influence banking was no good for a poor man it was best to learn about some staple article like woolens or cotton or coal and stick to that his father said we'll see and the rest of that weekend past much as usual do you know I think you're right said the old man on the Monday morning I never thought much of that banking but your mother says it's a genteel trade almost like parson Anor being a lawyer jim baker went up to London and these west country folk being a sturdy stock no one at home or even at cecum had any doubt but that he would find a living Mamie meanwhile had removed to Buffalo New York and had their begun her school teaching letters came and went at first by every post then not quite so often and at last it was agreed that when there was nothing of any consequence to say a postcard would be enough I don't want you to be worried by all this wrote Mamie you've got your work to do and I guess I've got mine sometimes do the romantic youth she seemed the least bit hard hearted he mustn't let the thought of her hinder him she insisted yet often she wrote two letters to his one Baker's business hours were spent in looking for the staple article he tried several before he dropped on to his feet cocoa to begin with then clocks and watches and finally leather he resolved to stick to leather firstly because everybody used it and secondly because he felt instinctively that the man who had engaged him was of the sort who would give a fellow a chance this gentleman a middle-aged Scotsman gamble by name had a warehouse in Bermondsey and to him young Baker went as invoice Clark now he wrote leather to Mamie who answered for a while on cards a suspicion flashed across him during this fancied period of neglect but she had said no word about that and she had promised the suspicions died down with her first long letter she had removed to Cleveland where she had taken a new position that explained it all and Mamie was forgiven the next year he spoke French and German after a fashion of his own and could attend to foreign customers in the autumn he was promoted to the warehouse and allowed to sell one day he went out and came back with a contract running into four figures and then instead of an increase of salary he stipulated for a small commission his employer made no opposition indeed mr. Campbell rather preferred this new arrangement Baker was beginning to put by money and from across the ocean came in answering whoop shouts and ecstasy's of triumph has step-by-step these two drew nearer to the promised land her letters had now become a spur a call never a goad never a lash but there they were egging him on a challenge and yet a support a martial music playing him into battle in the night he blessed her often he lay awake groping for the memory of that sweet slim body so past the years till he had made a home for her the long-awaited day had dawned at last his Commission's had reached the sum they had agreed with his savings he had taken a modest house and furnished it she had only to walk inside he told his chief now become his friend he took him into his competence and unfolded their whole story so that's what put the devil inside you cried Campbell and slapped him on the back go you off to Liverpool he added and don't come back till you wanted make it a week Baker for you're not indispensable though you think you are and tell the dear girl I sent you and that I want to shake hands with her she's given me the best salesman in all Berman's e do you hear that Jimmy hurted and laughed and there was a pride in his laughter as well as a deep joy few men had a wife like his he knew scarce one in all he had run across these six hot years arrived home that night he found the last letter she had posted from the other side husband and lover she wrote hold on to something tight i have a deer surprise for you i am bringing your boy to his father I never told you before because I wanted you to be free because I wanted you to go ahead and not bother about me and about us he was born in the spring when I only sent postcards that was why I only sent postcards and that was why I removed to Cleveland afterwards I had my marriage paper to show so it didn't matter much and I let out and worked for the two of us and now he's close on six years old he's just like you Jim the same sturdy lens the same clear forehead and good blue eyes with him I have been able to bear all this separation he knows you and loves you and today he is mad with joy because at last we're going to live with Father forgive me for hiding this from you but I didn't want to be a drag upon you I wanted you to have a clear road and go the shortest way when you meet us at Liverpool you'll tell me whether I did write my god cry Jimmy Baker my god I've got a son as well and it was like her to like her to say nothing and stand aside for me 5 in Liverpool Baker met them and the boy was just as she had described him with his father's eyes and forehead and strength of chest and limb that subtle something which makes blood no its own blood flesh its own flesh United these two on the landing stage mamie stood aside holding in her tears as father and son hugged one another for the first time he had kissed her before the child and she was glad of that his quick embrace his look of had been a reassurance a reward that wiped out in one stroke the pain of those long years their doubts their fears suspense ha's and privations from a slip of a girl she had grown in his splendid womanhood and he the lad that she remembered was standing there a man they left the boy with grandparents and aunts a whole cloud of new relations and then alone they stole off to see command dunster and the shadow of dung curry beacon it was May earth sea and sky were tender with their own tenderness in the youth of all things green new fledged or bursting into flower they found echo and symbol of their own renewal lovers they had been here when he had served in that old bank and lovers they were once more now that steadfastness and self-mastery had brought them a far deeper passion would you go through it all over again he asked her knowing her answer ere he spoke over and over again if it had to be but God is merciful to Lover's she replied I have learnt that thinking thinking how it all happened I too he said few things there were that these two had not thought together though time and ocean rolled between London claimed them and work and their new home mr. Campbell invited himself to supper on the evening of their arrival the living image of you Baker he said when Jimmy jr. was introduced the living image and then I want you to stay on with us at Berman Z you can have a share call it Campbell and Baker shall we may me for the old ruffian had insisted on addressing Mamie by her Christian name the offer was accepted and in parting only one man in a thousand could have done what you have done said mr. Campbell and only one woman in a hundred thousand Mamie you've done the impossible you're geniuses he added laughing at them and as an afterthought if my boy ever gets married on the quiet and plays the fool I'll break his blithering neck for him end of story 14-story 15 of the times red cross story book by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various this LibriVox recording is in the public domain story 15 the ghost that failed by desmond coke loyal north lancashire regiment the blue lady wailed disconsolate Lee in the paneled room in her mortal life 400 years before she had always been somewhat behind the times and now she was in arrears by the space of a whole silly season she was grappling with a stale problem do we believe the blue lady concluded emphatically that we did not believe and hence her wailing she had seen the age of skepticism coming for more than three hundred glad years men had crossed themselves and shuddered when she went moaning through the sombre rooms of you crafthall secure in her reputation she had been content once only in the evening to interrupt the revelry and then conscious that all eyes had been upon her stately progress to seek contentedly her spectral couch but with the growth of science had risen also disbelief once stagecoaches were discarded and people came to you croft by esteemed wrong train she felt that any other Marvel must lose cast she did not fail to observe that as she passed along the rooms there were those who though they trembled would not turn and made pretense of not observing her then came the hideous day on which the hall harbored a deputation from a society of research who loaded themselves with cameras dull books and revolvers before spending a night in the paneled room the blue lady has became a self-respecting ghost slept elsewhere and would not show herself to these ill-mannered creatures so that next day the press declared the famous you croft goes to be a myth this was terrible but for worse was to come the family who had held you Croft since feudal times the blue ladies own family showed with old age a preference for sleep and in as much as an ungrateful populace refused to pay them for this function reduced means led to the abandonment of you Croft it was taken by Lord SIL thurs who had made tinned meat and a million by methods equally ambiguous he turned the moss hung Chapel into a garage and fitted electric light throughout the hall the blue lady struck in every vulnerable part resolved to drive the silk irks out for the first three days of their residence she missed no chance of floating in on Lady Syl thirsk at moments likely to embarrass her her ladyship showed no symptoms of annoyance or a fear though sometimes if not alone she would look up and say oh here's that blue one again in tones which the blue one took to be of terror cleverly concealed on the fourth day the sylph jerks had a nice to stay and the blue lady embraced this as a chance to learn what real impression she had made waiting till dessert was on the table so that her ladyship might not think it necessary to hide her fear before the servants she swept into the dining room and passed close beside the nice elfrida shuddered what was that she cried what's what asked her aunt while her uncle said a banana and fell to his dessert again no something cold it made me shudder just as if something had gone by the blue lady ambushed behind a vast tool leathered screen gloated over her success oh that said lady silicas that's one of the fixtures a spook we rather like her it's so picturesque an old world ain't it some people can see her I always can she's blue quite an inoffensive movie blue oh I distinctly like her she's a novelty you know and she'll be so cooling in the summer but even she started at the ghastly groan which issued from behind the leather screen for some weeks the blue lady did not deign to show herself until they be Silver's began to find fault the landlord she implied had swindled her it became clear to the spectre that all hopes of driving out these upstarts by terror had been idled dreams and now on Christmas Eve the night dedicate of old to her compatriots she had given herself up to despair she did not even care to walk she wailed disconsolate Lee in the paneled room it was thus that the gaunt Baron found her the gaunt Baron did not belong to you Croft but was attached to a neighboring house now empty with nobody to terrify at home he found visits to the blue lady are not unpleasing variant of the monotony except that she was several centuries his junior he felt for her an emotion which went to a dangerous degree beyond respect he was pained to find her wailing what wailing he cried coming on her through the oaken panels and nobody to hear you the blue lady raised a tortured face towards him who would not wail and who should hear me fools they cannot hear me many of them do not even see me bah they have no sense except the sense of taste with truffles before them they seen nothing else while tonight is Christmas Eve the gaunt Baron made a suggestion in a mild kindly way but the blue lady turned upon him almost angrily as though he had been the culprit yes tonight is Christmas Eve and what are they doing where is the Yule Log where is the wassail where the dim light of glowing embers they'll sit in the glare of this new light of a big party and play what they call bridge and if they feel a mystic chill will draw the curtains or turn the hot air pipes full on what do these fools know about romance the word is dead I saw some of their novels while the house was shut of gallantry nowhere in the volume are not made weakling making love to his friend's wife or two infants fueling of passion like mere vulgar serfs love for these people ends with marriage to begin again after divorce you are bitter the gaunt barren held his head beneath his arm a fact which gave to all his utterances something of the tone of a ventriloquist bitter so would you be better it's all very well for you with the manner empty but me with these vulgarians barren these mortals are beating us we're pretty well played out played out look at our very speech they've ruined that do I speak like a woman of the day of good Queen Bess do you speak like a baron of King like an ancient Baron you do not and it was Stephen said the Baron quietly mark me baron you are near the end either lady Selkirk tour myself leaves you croft there is no room here for a self-respecting Spectre they use the headman's block for mounting on their horses if I cannot drive them out I go and where well if I cannot leave the earth oh why was I ever murdered then I must sleep beneath the hedges till I find an empty house Baron that time is near I have tried everything and nothing seems to frighten them lady self curse serves liquors in the old banquet hall at midnight and as I don't appear as though I should she says the theater is closed for alterations and repairs oh it is unbearable unbearable dear lady answered the gaunt Baron do not despair i managed to say some minutes ago that it was Christmas Eve let me explain it is now closed upon the hour of midnight the time and day on which we ghosts are thought by men to have our greatest power even those who don't believe in us are a little influenced by the tradition as 12 rikes everyone is half expectant that is your moment burst upon them wailing and raving they are sure to see some of the guests will insist on leaving you craft and the sill thurs will not like a house where parties are impossible quick there is the gurgle that precedes the whole clock striking in three minutes midnight will be here hasten sweet Dame hasten i will be at hand to watch you downstairs during this dialogue lady sill thurs had been talking to her niece Alfreda dear in a few minutes they'll all be here for the midnight seance and I have something that I want to tell you first why what is it auntie Estelle Frieda you look terribly serious I am serious darling girl let me be frank I think it is time that you were married not only understand because of your poor parents but also for your own happiness and when I see a man who can make you both rich and happy well but who interrupted Elfrida who my dear girl are you blind why Bobby Lord ban court yes Lord bang court don't look as though I had shot you while you silly dear thing you must know Bobby is madly in love with you all this week he has followed you about like an obedient dog and all the week you've ignored him as though he were a naughty mongrel why I'm sure I've treated him just like anybody else I never my dear Elfrida you will be the death of me do you think he wants no more of you are you living in the Middle Ages or is this the 20th century do you expect him to come and steal you away by night and force nowadays the girl must do her part Bobby is a splendid fellow an old friend of mine rich young passably good-looking I think he's handsome decidedly Elfrida said without a thought and then blushed scarlet her aunt laughed and I think you're in love with him she said I know he only wants a little encourage not quite so much ice to the square inch my dear won't you try for my sake I'll try aunty yes I could be very happy with him if he asked me but i don't think i could it's so hard lady self there's kissed her I don't ask anything you little goose except that you should be just humanly kind to poor Bobby I think he'll do the rest I'll try said elfrida dubiously her aunt she reflected was not of a nature to see how terrible it would be if people should believe her to be angling for Lord bang court better that he could choose someone else then he should marry her on such a rumor oh here they are cried ladies sale thirst as her husband brought his flock into the room shouting I've collected everyone gamblers and all for the seance except Bobby can't find him oh I wish he were here the lady will surely walk on Christmas Eve said the hostess if she doesn't I mean to demand my money back oh there's the hour say quiet everyone blue lady forward please there look there she pointed excitedly at the old gallery once for minstrels now irrigated by a pianola organ behind it so can pillars past a vague female figure dressed in blue moaning horribly and waving distraught arms above her flowing hair immediately cries of every sort rows from the Watchers I can't see her it's a cinematograph what ho Lord Bobby GAD she's gone slicked through the music stool I still can't see her now there's nothing there do a cakewalk now encore as she vanished someone clapped his hands and with a laugh the whole party joined in the applause the scene had not been very impressive from a theatrical point of view the ghosts entrance had been ruined by the number on the temper of its audience those who had not seen at scoff those who had till reminded of the music stool seen dimly through the figure half believed the blue lady to be an alias of Lord bank or then as one by one they realized that what had passed was in very truth a ghost the guests hushed their laughter until the Babel sank almost into silence it was in such a low that Bobby entered why what a stony seance he exclaimed missing me or seen a ghost yes so delightful the blue lady actually came said lady so first who alone seemed totally unruffled Bobby laughed the unforced laughs of healthy youth oh ho I see why you were silent but you can't green me thanks I'm not quite so burdened oh no not at all we have seen it really one or two guests hastened to assure him Lord banquet laughed more heartily than ever why I believe you've honestly deceived yourself this is glorious you really think you saw the ghost who could doubt asked a plump Dowager who intended henceforth to adopt a pose intensely spiritual what doubt exists when the gray after lifts its veil have you ever seen a ghost Lord ban court Bobby tried to hide his smiles I'm afraid and glad I haven't if I did I should go off my nut I think but I don't think I ever shall with these words he moved towards the circle of ghosts ears and chose with unerring aim of all the bacon chairs that next Elfrida lady sill thurs beamed contentedly I seem to have miss a lot said the irrepressible Bobby as he sat down and added impudently but I hope that I've been missed a lot alfreda remembered her aunts warning but she also fancied as the self-conscious will that all the gathering still somewhat silent had heard the question and would hear the answer she could fancy their scorn at her scheming tactics Bobby looked expectantly towards her it was certainly a unique experience she said stiffly Bobby's face fell lady sill thirsk shrugged her shoulders there exclaimed the blue lady safe within the paneled room I knew how your mad scheme would work you heard they cat called they on cord me asking for some new dance they gave me a round of applause when I went off I can stay here no longer to be insulted always impetuous said the gaunt Baron quietly you rushed off after the applause I waited and heard what alters the whole question namely asked the lady in ill-tempered Lord bond court did not see you has never seen a ghost doesn't believe in them he said distinctly if I saw one I should go off my nut this being schoolboy and smart for going mad I began to see the blue lady brightened visibly exactly you must catch him alone no more of these convivial audiences and then drive him mad he is an old friend of Lady sill thirsk rich and titled she would not stay here after that you must reek your worst on him I can only wail she answered gloomily I have no chains or blood or severed head the words inspired the headless Baron ah he cried I will come and help tonight I ought not to show myself out of my own house but oh what is etiquette in such a crisis bear and deer baron you have saved me I am an old-fashioned woman and at such time I need a man it was night it had to be precise then night for several hours and the whole household was at length tucked up in bed sleep had come none too easily to at least three members to Elfrida worrying about the real sentiments of Barbie to Bobby worrying about the real sentiments of Elfrida and two ladies sill thurs worrying about the real sentiments of both the last-named in particular past long upon her sleepless bed she was puzzled she half understand L Frida's foolish diffidence she could not understand the Barbies idiotic silence why did he not speak he was not of a sword to be lightly daunted by the fear of a rebuff or had she made a false diagnosis was he not in love at all and at length even she turned over on her side with a contented groan sleep reigned over you Croft Hall but in Bobby's room far off along the West Wing dark deeds were decidedly afoot for more than half an hour a headless Knight clanking horribly in every joint of his dim gleaming armor had chased to and fro a blue clad lady who wailed in awful wise and tossed arms of agony to the wallpapered ceiling through all this Lord bond court slept smilingly upon his noble bed then the gaunt Baron consulted with the blue lady and a change of tactics was the result the armoured figure now rattled round the room browsing more noise than any antiquated motor the while a frantic Dame pursued him with blood-curdling wails Bobby stirred a little murmured sleepily turned over and showed every symptom of having relapsed into even deeper slumber the ghosts were in despair dawn draws on said the gaunt Baron suddenly I always knew when I was beaten come sweet Dame a man who can sleep like that will make his mark some day in the House of Lords he vanished and after one despairing glance the blue lady flung herself angrily through the oaken door it was at this moment by a subtle irony of fate that Lord bang court awoke the sense of some presence lingered with him and he SAT upright in bed his sleepy eyes were caught by a blue skirt which vanished from the doorway his sleepy mine failed to perceive that the door had not been open who he said and lay thinking thinking deeply for Lord bond court he was very young and like most young Nobles not inclined to underestimate his own import after the first moment of surprise he felt no doubt as to the wearer of the blue skirt it was Elfrida he was rather unobservant as to women's dresses and all that you know but he felt fairly certain that she had worn a blue costume at dinner yes it could be no one else it was almost certainly Elfrida el Freitas iciness was but a cloak when she had snubbed him by day she would creep by night and gaze upon his sleeping moonlit face how beautiful his heart thrilled at the revelation he had hesitated so far to speak it would never do for him Lord bond court to risk refusal by a nobody his mother and her long course of tuition had taught him proper pride but now now at the first chance he would throw himself his rank his wealth is everything before the no body and feel no fear as to the verdict tomorrow tomorrow and when tomorrow came as it does some time come despite the proverb he rose early and went out in the garden as he had shaved each morning he had seen Alfredo walking in the grounds below he had never dared to join her everything today was different though the weather was certainly absurdly cold for early rising she was there before him in among the white or laden you walks she turned at his coming you are early this morning Lord bond court ma he responded meaningly the early bird catches the first worm it struck him for a moment as a compliment and rather neat but he pined for something less definite Elfrida he said going close to her I may call you Elfrida I could not wait you encouraged me last night and you gave me hope and now I want more you won't take even that away I want far more I want you I want you to be my wife will you Elfrida don't be cruel I want you to say yes L freitas head was in a whirl she did not know how she had encouraged him she could remember nothing of last night except that she had lost a chance that he had seemed offended she could not guess at what had changed his attitude she only knew that what her aunt wanted above all what she herself longed for had somehow come to pass only knew that her loved ones arms were around her she said yes sweet Dame said the gone to Baron later in the paneled room I have been scouting and alas bring evil news Lord bond court took you last night for Elfrida was encouraged to propose and is accepted lady sil thurs is delighted says the wedding shall be here and she must turn this dear chamber into a dressing room she says she will clear out the musty paneling it is all unfortunate unfortunate wailed the blue lady it all comes of listening to a man see what your mad scheme has done Baron forgive my bitterness I am defeated I told you these mortals had vanquished us I set out to do a little evil in the good old way and see what I have done I have made everybody happy farewell you Croft must know me no more farewell farewell forever with an abysmal grown she vanished through the paneling unless she has found an ancient empty house she is perhaps sleeping underneath the hedges end of story 15 story 16 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 16 the miracle a tale of the Canadian Prairie by Ralph stock artists rifles the old man slowly shook his head and looked out through the ranch house window to where the sea of yellow grass merged into the purple haze of the horizon I'm sorry dude he said in his gruff draw blamed sorry the young man stood before him choking backwards he longed to utter and twisting his hat out of recognition in the effort words of what use had they ever been with Joe Gilchrist all his life he had used as few as possible himself and shown little patience with those who did otherwise why should it be different now blamed sorry the colorless voice repeated I had no notion things were going this way or I to put him straight right away it'll hurt all the more now I guess but I can't help it dude you're not the man that's all why the others voice carried resentment what's the matter with me anyway the grizzled head turned slowly the Keen deep-set eyes surrounded by a tracery of Manute wrinkles from looking into long distances rested on the young man's troubled face in a level emotionless scrutiny nothing said Joe Gilchrist as a man nothing or you wouldn't have been my Foreman the last ten years but as a husband for Joyce he smiled faintly and shook his head at that moment dode Sinclair could have killed this man whose life he had saved more than once he knew the iron resolve behind that smile and shake of the head I'm the man she chose he jerked out at seventeen was the quiet rejoinder she's a woman Joe Gilchrist tilted his head to one side and scratched his cheek it was a habit of his when anything puzzled him she chose you did she who she had to choose from douds and claire opened his mouth to speak closed it again and fell to twisting his hat with renewed vigor well he began awkwardly there was Dave Willard and that dude schoolmaster on battle creek and and you want to tell me Dave Willett and a dude schoolmaster on battle creek's a fair show for a girl the old man paused you can't dode not me dode looked down at a pair of work Warren riding boots then up into the others face what's the matter with Dave Willett he demanded hotly or a dozen others who'd give their ears for her I know were not fit to lick her boots what man would be but we're as good as most round these parts ah these parts muttered the old man these parts but they ain't the world owed you've got to get that into your head though maybe it'll be a job they're good enough for me and me and the rest of us but they're not good enough for my daughter she doesn't say that no because she never seen anything else Joe Gilchrist broke off with a gesture of uneasiness shut that door I want to ask you something the young man obeyed mechanically and when he turned the other was leaning forward in the pine Paul rocker whittling flakes from a plug of tobacco I want to ask you what you think I've been doing the last 15 years he drawled you ought to know but if you don't I'll put your wise I've been trying to make money out of breeding horses at ain't Daisy pickin but after hoping a bit despair in a bit and work in the bit I've made it there it is on 4 legs in a pretty middle and bunch of horses and what's it for me you know my wants toad Sinclair no it's for Joyce Joyce has got to have her chance he stopped abruptly with an in drawing of his thin lips that the other knew well and commenced to rub the tobacco between his horny poems dode Sinclair still stared at his boots you're going to take her east he muttered you're going back on the Prairie Joe Gilchrist rose slowly from his chair and pointed through the window with the stem of this pipe you see ten kettle Butte he said evenly there to the east of hungerford when they read my will they'll find they've got to pack me up there some way in the Democrat I guess but that's where I'm going to be and I'm telling you now so you'll remember when you feel like saying I've gone back on the Prairie but Joyce has got to have her chance he stood looking out of the window for a space then turned with the air of one disposing of an unpleasant topic you can round up the boys will be here any day after a week I'm sellin half the bunch you're to run the place when we go dode Sinclair turned on his heel at the door he hesitated then looked back at the thin bent figure by the window maybe the Prairie won't let you he said when he had gone Joe gilchrist hood motionless staring at the door what the Dickens does he mean by that he growled and frowned as he lit his pipe Joyce Gilchrist was perched on the corral polls when dode came out to her he won't listen to me he said tracing dejected patterns in the dust with his spur says you've got to have your chance chance what chance Joyce looked down at him wonderingly chance' getting a better man than me the girl was at his side in a flash looking into his face with anxious interrogation dode dode what do you mean what does he mean he means he's going to take you away Joyce East where the guys come from he's been working for that for the last 15 years and God help me so have I without knowing it the horses is a pretty considerable bunch now and but I won't go flash the girl i won't go dode her hand was on his arm I'll talk him over you'll never do that said dode never I know Joe better in you though he is your dad he's got that queer set look besides he's right right yes he always is you've made good you ought to go east and live swell this is no country for a woman you say that he says it and he's always right but you don't say it you don't say it dode her hands were on his shoulders now he could feel her warm breath on his face my god he burst out you know I love every inch an atom of you his hands were trembling at his side's you know that I'd do anything anything but we can't go against him some way I couldn't do it I feel I'd stolen you that I wasn't giving you what was your due he's right he's always right the girl stamped a small work Warren riding boot in the dust I wish I wish all the horses were dead I wish we had to start all over again I won't go so there I'll talk to him he'll say yes you see she left him and hurried towards the house a slim figure of health and lightness in a short dun-colored riding skirt and dilapidated soft felt hat dode Sinclair watched her go nothing short of a miracle will make him say that he mused and he was right for the next week the grass flats below the Gilchrist ranch echoed with the thunder of galloping hooves and the shrill whinnying of Mayor and fall from every point of the compass horses flowed into the valley with distended nostrils and untrimmed manes and tails streaming in the wind some had never yet seen a house and at sight of the low line of pine log stables and Corral's turned tail and fled in terror until overtaken and headed back by tireless writers on steaming mounts on the final day Joyce Gilchrist helped her father to mount the old piebald kaeun that he loved and wrote down with him to inspect the herd doats and Clare saw them coming and turned swiftly on his companion a lean wire of a man in the unpretentious workmen light uniform of the Northwest Mounted Police here they come he said in a voice harsh with apprehension if you don't want to see an old man drop dead an old man has done more for you fellas than anyone on the range take your men and horses into that stable the policemen followed his glance and saw two black dots moving slowly down the trail he's got to know he said sternly yes he's got to know ain't that enough curse it man can you see there's ways that do in these things sudden like that it break him up Joe Gilchrist knows how to take his medicine no man better but I know him I tell you the horses are his life there's time enough for him to know three days replied the policeman shortly the regulations allow three days for glanders he's bound to know then why not now dode sinclair laid his hands on the other shoulders and looked into his Stern set face because I'm asking you Jim he said maybe your memory short maybe you forget the early days now you're a corporal try back a bit try back to the spring of nineteen hundred when the Chinook came and thought out the war Lodge muchy a bit previous and you thought it bare and it didn't and the elegant fix I found you in you don't need to tell me dode said the other looking away up the trail but you know what fenton's like and suddenly he threw back his head well open the door then Joe Gilchrist rode slowly through the heard some of the brood mares he knew by name had known them for 15 years see that pot-bellied gray with the roan foal he said to dode got her for fifteen dollars off the Indians at Red Deer we've had her 15 years and she's had 12 foals seems to me she's about done now though got that P kid look hasn't lost her winter coat yet dode answered shortly and moved on towards the edge of the herd ragged that's all pretty Midland bunch mused the old man he had never been known to say more about his horses pretty midland sure said dode and watched the Pinto ambling up the trail then he dismounted and opened the stable door I'm leaving two men said the policeman you can corral them tonight and the bed will be along tomorrow dode leant against the stable and watched him out how many do you think he began the vet will be along tomorrow the other repeated shortly and set Spurs to his horse the next day and the next the grass flat Corral's creaked and strained and rattled while an endless procession of horses fought and worked its way along the narrow shoots halted a brief moment while one of its number was subjected to the squeeze and a minus two examination by a sweating police vet and passed on some to another corral and some did ibly few to the open prairie and freedom dode sinclair watched the work like a man in a trance when it was done the corral gate was flung open and the horses it had held were headed up the valley and still up to where it ended in a deep gully of gumbo and yellow gravel on three sides the animals were hemmed in by almost sheer cliff a hundred feet high on the fourth by ten northwest mounted policeman with leveled rifles and set faces there is only one cure for glanders queer that buyer don't come said Joe Gilchrist three days before douds and claire had ridden out to meet a florid little man in a livery buggy on the town trail and after five minutes conversation the latter had turned his horses and driven off in a cloud of dust blamed queer they've been losing flesh if they're herded much longer towards evening the old man became Restless both choice and dote noticed it but neither was quite prepared when returning from the Westfield to find the homestead empty except for the Chinese cook and the Pinto kiyoon gone from the stables he's gone to have a look at the herd dode said but alone and on Pinto exclaimed the girl you know how she stumbles I must go and find him she stumbles but she don't fall said toad let him be this once alone that's the best way for him to find out he told her all while Joyce at like one turned to stone when he had done she looked up into his face then then we have got to start all over again she whispered pretty near dode looked out through the window the Setting Sun was dying the sea of yellow grass a rich Auburn and Joyce was at his side but his thoughts were with the lone rider down on the grass flats he would find the corral empty the gates open he would follow the tracks up the Coulee and still up until he came to the deep gully of gumbo and yellow gravel dode remembered that the you nekked gray with their own full lay at the outside of the ghastly circle her mild eye staring glass le down the valley beyond that his thoughts refused to travel it was eight o'clock before Joe Gilchrist returned he stapled the Pinto himself and came into the sitting room where Joyce and dode SAT pretending to read with his usual slow heavy step the pine pole rocker Creek and they could hear him whittling at his plug of tobacco but they could not bring themselves to look up that doll tonight ain't ya he queried suddenly his voice was so natural that for a fleeting moment tho thought impossible that he could know but when he looked up there was no longer any doubt in his mind the strong old face was drawn and Haggard in spite of the smile he had summoned to his lips his keen eyes were leveled on the younger man in a penetrating but not unkindly look I guess you were right dode he drawled the Prairie knows how to cure swelled head and the other two knew that the miracle had come to pass end a story 16 you

2 thoughts on “Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 5/6

  1. Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 5/6
    Parts of this video:
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1UHHJjv8gQ
    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 (this video)
    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 | 5/6
    12: [00:00:00] – The Forbidden Woman
    13: [00:31:14] – Eliza And The Special
    14: [00:38:49] – The Probation Of Jimmy Baker
    15: [01:04:39] – The Ghost That Failed
    16: [01:28:38] – The Miracle

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