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.
when Sabre was entering Tidborough School.  He had attracted Mr. Fortune’s special attention by disclosing a serious scamping of finish in a set of desks and he had risen to head clerk when Sabre was at Oxford.  On the day that Sabre entered the firm he had been put “on probation” in the position he now held, and on the day that Sabre’s father retired he had been confirmed in the position.  He regarded Sabre as an amateur and he was privately disturbed by the fact that a man who “did not know the ropes” and had not “been through the mill” should come to a position equal in standing to his own.  Nevertheless he accepted the fact, showing not the smallest animosity.  He was always very ready to be cordial towards Sabre; but his cordiality took a form in which Sabre had never seen eye to eye with him.  The attitude he extended to Sabre was that he and Sabre were two young fellows under a rather pig-headed old employer and that they could have many jokes and grievances and go-ahead schemes in companionship together.  Sabre did not accept this view.  He gave Twyning, from the first, the impression of considering himself as working alongside Mr. Fortune instead of beneath him; and he was cold to and refused to participate in the truant schoolboy air which Twyning adopted when they were together.  Twyning called this “sidey.”  He was anxious to show Sabre, when Sabre first came to the firm, the best places to lunch in Tidborough, but Sabre was frequently lunching with one of the School housemasters or at the Masters’ common room.  Twyning thought this stand-offish.

II

Twyning was of middle height, very thin, black-haired.  His clean-shaven face was deeply furrowed in rigid-looking furrows which looked as though shaving would be an intricate operation.  He held himself very stiffly and spoke stiffly as though the cords of his larynx were also rigidly inclined.  When not speaking he had a habit of breathing rather noisily through his nose as if he were doing deep breathing exercises.  He was married and had a son of whom he was immensely proud, aged eighteen and doing well in a lawyer’s office.

He came in and closed the door.  He had a sheet of paper in his hand.

Sabre, engrossed, glanced up.  “Hullo, Twyning.”  He wrote a word and then put down his pen.  “Anything you want me about?” He lay back in his chair and stared, frowning, at the manuscript before him.

“Nothing particular, if you’re busy,” Twyning said.  “I just looked in.”  He advanced the paper in his hand and looked at it as if about to add something else.  But he said nothing and stood by Sabre’s chair, also looking at the manuscript.  “That that book?”

“M’m.”  Sabre was trying to retain his thoughts.  He felt them slipping away before Twyning’s presence.  He could hear Twyning breathing through his nose and felt incensed that Twyning should come and breathe through his nose by his chair when he wanted to write.

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Project Gutenberg
If Winter Comes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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