Author: William J. Locke
Release Date: January 11, 2005 [EBook #14669]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK Jaffery ***
Produced by Rick Niles, Charlie Kirschner and the
[Illustration: It was his great arms that lifted her feather-weight with extraordinary sureness and gentleness. (See page 165)]
J.J. Little & Ives Company
New York, U.S.A.
This book on which it has pleased you to bestow your especial affection I dedicate to you with my love. It is a memory of many happy hours and many dreams that we have shared.
You remember how it was begun, one spring morning two years ago, with the opening scene of the first chapter gay before my eyes as I wrote. You remember the excitement of ending it before the Christmas of 1913; so that we could start with free consciences, early in the New Year, on our Egyptian journey.
C’est bien loin, tout cela! War overtook it in its serial course; and now, in book form, it must go out to the world as an expression of the moods and fancies almost of a past incarnation.
These dream figures with whom we delighted, like children, to people our home, are now replaced by other guests tragically real, as big-hearted as those most loved of our shadow-folk. Yet sometimes they seem still to live. . . . While correcting the final proofs we have been tempted to modify the end, to bring the story of Jaffery more or less up to date; but we have felt that any addition would be out of key, so far are we from that happy Christmastide when, in gaiety of heart, I wrote the last words.
Yet we know, you and I, that Jaffery Chayne is even now over there, across the Channel; no longer writing of war, but doing his soldier’s work in the thick of it, like a gallant gentleman. And don’t you feel that one day he will come again and we shall hear his mighty voice thundering across the lawn. . . ?
It was his great arms that lifted her feather-weight with extraordinary sureness and gentleness Frontispiece
Where the lonely figure in black and white sat brooding 64
Jaffery, considerably disconcerted, handled the cleek 78