If Winter Comes eBook

Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 462 pages of information about If Winter Comes.

“Look here, get the hang of the thing.  Get a bearing on some of these people.  There was the coroner getting off his preamble—­flavouring it with plenty of ‘distressings’ and ‘painfuls’ and ’father of the deceased well known to and respected by many of us-es.’  Great big pudding of a chap, the coroner.  Sat there impassive like a flabby old Buddha.  Face like a three-parts deflated football.  Looked as if he’d been poured on to his seat out of a jug and jellified there.  There was old Bright, the girl’s father, smouldering like inside the door of a banked-up furnace; smouldering like if you touched him he’d burst out into roaring flame and sparks.  There was Mr. Iscariot Twyning with his face like a stab—­in the back—­and his mouth on his face like a scar.  There was this solicitor chap next him, with his hump, with his hair like a mane, and a head like a house, and a mouth like a cave.  He’d a great big red tongue, about a yard long, like a retriever’s, and a great long forefinger with about five joints in it that he waggled when he was cross-examining and shot out when he was incriminating like the front nine inches of a snake.

“That chap!  When he was in the full cry and ecstasy of his hunt after Sabre, the perspiration streamed down his face like running oil, and he’d flap his great red tongue around his jaws and mop his streaming face and chuck away his streaming mane; and all the time he’d be stooping down to Twyning, and while he was stooping and Twyning prompting him with the venom pricking and bursting in the corners of his mouth, all the time he was stooping this chap would leave that great forefinger waggling away at Sabre, and Sabre clutching the box, and his face in a knot, and his throat in a lump and choking out, ’Look here—.  Look here—­’

“I tell you, old man ...  I tell you....

“Sabre, when they started to get at it, was sitting on the front bench braced up forwards and staring towards what he was hearing like a man watching his brother balancing across a narrow plank stretched over a crater.  He had his hands on the crook of his old stick and he was working at the crook as if he was trying to tear it off.  I wonder he didn’t, the way he was straining at it.  And every now and then while Humpo was leading on the witnesses, and when Sabre saw what they were putting up against him, he’d half start to his feet and open his mouth and once or twice let fly that frightful ‘Look here—­’ of his; and old Buddha would give him, ‘Be silent, sir!’ and he’d drop back like a man with a hit in the face and sit there swallowing and press his throat.

“I tell you....

“I was standing right across the court at right angles to him.  I was wedged tight.  Scarcely breathe, let alone move.  I wrote on a bit of paper to Sabre that I was here and let him get up and ask for me; and I wrapped it round half-a-crown and pushed it across the heads of the mob to a police sergeant.  He gave it to Sabre.  Sabre snatched the thing as if he was mad at it, and read it, and buzzed it on the floor and ground his heel on it.  Just to show me, I suppose.  Nice!  Poor devil, my gooseberry eyes went up about ten degrees.  Bit later I had another shot.  I—­well, I’ll come to that in a minute.”

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If Winter Comes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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