Far to Seek eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 591 pages of information about Far to Seek.

Roy smiled—­having jumped at the connection.  “I’m afraid,” he said, “one can.”

“You think big trouble is coming—­organised trouble?”

“I do.  That is, unless some ‘strong silent man’ has the pluck to put his foot down in time, and chance the consequences to himself.  Thank God, we’ve another John Lawrence in the Punjab.”

“And it’s the Punjab that matters——­”

“Especially a certain P.C.  Regiment—­eh?”

Lance was in arms at once:—­that meant he had touched the spot.  “No flies on the Regiment.  Trust Paul.  It’s only—­I get bothered about a Sikh here and there.”

“Quite so.  The blighters have taken particular pains with the Sikhs.  Realising that they’ll need some fighting stuff.  And Lahore’s a bad place.  I expect they sneak off to meetings in the City.”

“Devil a doubt of it.  Mind you, I trust them implicitly.  But, outside their own line, they’re credulous as children—­you know.”

“Rather.  In Delhi, I had a fair sample of it.”

Another pause.  It suddenly occurred to Lance that his precious Sikhs were not supposed to be the topic of the evening.  “You’re quite fit again, Roy.  And those blooming fools chucked you like a cast horse——­” he broke out in a spurt of vexation.  “I wish to God you were back with your old Squadron.”

And Roy said from his heart, “I wish to God I was.”

“Paul misses you, though he never says much.  The new lot from home are good chaps.  Full of brains and theories.  But no knowledge.  Can’t get at the men.  You could still help unofficially in all sorts of ways.—­Why not come along back with me?  Haven’t you been pottering round here long enough?”

Roy shook his head.  “Thanks all the same, for the invite.  Of course I’d love it.  But—­I’ve things to do.  There’s a novel taking shape—­and other oddments.  I’ve done precious little writing here.  Too much entangled with human destinies.  I must bury myself somewhere and get a move on.  April it is.  I won’t fail you.”

Lance kicked an unoffending log.  “Confound your old novel!”—­A portentous silence.  “See here, Roy, I don’t want to badger you.  But—­well—­if I’m to go back in moderate peace of mind, I want—­certain guarantees.”

Roy lifted his eyes.  Lance frankly encountered them; and there ensued one of those intimate pauses in which the unspeakable is said.

Roy looked away.  “Aruna?” He let fall the word barely above his breath.

“Just that.”

“You’re frightened—­both of you?  Oh yes—­I’ve seen——­” He fell silent, staring into the fire.  When he spoke again, it was in the same low, detached tone.  “You two needn’t worry.  The guarantee you’re after was given ... in July 1914 ... under the beeches ... at Home. She foresaw—­understood.  But she couldn’t foresee ... the harder tug—­now she’s gone.  The ... association ... and all that.”

“Is it—­only that?”

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Far to Seek from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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