If Winter Comes eBook

Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 343 pages of information about If Winter Comes.

He arranged to spend the night at the Officers’ Rest House near Victoria station.  Arriving about nine and disinclined for food, he strolled up to St. James’s Park and walked about a little, then back to the station and into the yard to buy a paper.  He stood on a street refuge to let by a cab coming out of the station.  As it passed he saw its occupants—­two women; and one saw him—­Nona!  Of all incredible things, Nona!

She stopped the cab and he hurried after it.

“Nona!”

“Marko!”

She said, “I’m hurrying to Euston to catch a train.  Tony’s mother is with me.”

He could not see her well in the dim light, but he thought she looked terribly pale and fatigued.  And her manner odd.  He said, “I’m just going back.  But you, Nona?  I thought you were in France?”

“I was—­this morning.  I only came over to-day.”

How funny her voice was.  “Nona, you look ill.  You sound ill.  What’s up?  Is anything wrong?”

She said, “Oh, Marko, Tony’s killed.”

“Nona!”

...  That came careering headlong, as though malignity, bitter and wanton, had loosed a savage bolt.

Tybar killed!  The cab was away and he was standing there.  Tybar killed.  She had said they were hurrying to Scotland, to Tony’s home.  Tybar killed!  He was getting in people’s way.  He went rather uncertainly to the railings bounding the pavement where he stood, and leaned against them and stared across into the dim cavern of the station yard.  Tybar dead....[2]

[Footnote 2:  At a much later date Nona told Sabre of Tony’s death: 

“It was in that advance of ours.  Just before Vimy Ridge.  At Arras.  Marko, he was shot down leading his men.  He wouldn’t let them take him away.  Re was cheering them on.  And then he was hit again.  He was terribly wounded.  Oh, terribly.  They got him down to the clearing station.  They didn’t think he could possibly live.  But you know how wonderful he always was.  Even in death that extraordinary spirit of his....  They got him to Boulogne.  I was there and I heard quite by chance.”

“You saw him, Nona?”

She nodded.  “Just before he died.  He couldn’t speak.  But he’d been speaking just before I came.  He left a message with the nurse.”

She drew a long breath.  “Marko, the nurse gave me the message.  She thought it was for me—­and it wasn’t.”

She wiped her eyes.  “He was watching us.  I know he knew she was telling me, and his eyes—­you know that mocking kind of look they used to have?  Poor Tony!  It was there.  He died like that....  Marko, you know I’m very glad he just had his old mocking way while he died.  Now it’s over I’m glad.  I wouldn’t have had him sorry and unhappy just when he was dying.  He was just utterly untouched by anything all his life, not to be judged as ordinary people are judged, and I know perfectly well he’d have wished to go out just his mocking, careless self to the last.  He was utterly splendid.  All that was between us, that was nothing once the war came.  Always think kindly of him, Marko.”

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If Winter Comes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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