When William Came eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 157 pages of information about When William Came.
of men that mattered.  Hunting-box and stable and gun-room dwindled to a mere pin-point in the universe, there were other larger, more absorbing things on which the mind dwelt.  There was the grey cold sea outside Dover and Portsmouth and Cork, where the great grey ships of war rocked and swung with the tides, where the sailors sang, in doggerel English, that bitter-sounding adaptation, “Germania rules t’e waves,” where the flag of a World-Power floated for the world to see.  And in oven-like cities of India there were men who looked out at the white sun-glare, the heat-baked dust, the welter of crowded streets, who listened to the unceasing chorus of harsh-throated crows, the strident creaking of cart-wheels, the buzz and drone of insect swarms and the rattle call of the tree lizards; men whose thoughts went hungrily to the cool grey skies and wet turf and moist ploughlands of an English hunting country, men whose memories listened yearningly to the music of a deep-throated hound and the call of a game-bird in the stubble.  Yeovil had secured for himself the enjoyment of the things for which these men hungered; he had known what he wanted in life, slowly and with hesitation, yet nevertheless surely, he had arrived at the achievement of his unconfessed desires.  Here, installed under his own roof-tree, with as good horseflesh in his stable as man could desire, with sport lying almost at his door, with his wife ready to come down and help him to entertain his neighbours, Murrey Yeovil had found the life that he wanted—­and was accursed in his own eyes.  He argued with himself, and palliated and explained, but he knew why he had turned his eyes away that evening from the little graveyard under the trees; one cannot explain things to the dead.

CHAPTER XIX:  THE LITTLE FOXES

   “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines”

On a warm and sunny May afternoon, some ten months since Yeovil’s return from his Siberian wanderings and sickness, Cicely sat at a small table in the open-air restaurant in Hyde Park, finishing her after-luncheon coffee and listening to the meritorious performance of the orchestra.  Opposite her sat Larry Meadowfield, absorbed for the moment in the slow enjoyment of a cigarette, which also was not without its short-lived merits.  Larry was a well-dressed youngster, who was, in Cicely’s opinion, distinctly good to look on—­an opinion which the boy himself obviously shared.  He had the healthy, well-cared-for appearance of a country-dweller who has been turned into a town dandy without suffering in the process.  His blue-black hair, growing very low down on a broad forehead, was brushed back in a smoothness that gave his head the appearance of a rain-polished sloe; his eyebrows were two dark smudges and his large violet-grey eyes expressed the restful good temper of an animal whose immediate requirements have been satisfied.  The lunch had been an excellent one, and it was jolly to feed out of doors in the warm spring air—­the only drawback to the arrangement being the absence of mirrors.  However, if he could not look at himself a great many people could look at him.

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When William Came from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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