Five Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 278 pages of information about Five Tales.
thinking—­thinking of his wife!  Feeling suddenly morbid, Mr. Bosengate arrested the swing and stood up.  Absurd!—­all his well-being and mood of warm anticipation had deserted him!  ‘A d—–­d world!’ he thought.  ’Such a lot of misery!  Why should I have to sit in judgment on that poor beggar, and condemn him?’ He moved up on to the terrace and walked briskly, to rid himself of this disturbance before going in.  ‘That commercial traveller chap,’ he thought, ’the rest of those fellows—­they see nothing!’ And, abruptly turning up the three stone steps, he entered the conservatory, locked it, passed into the billiard room, and drank his barley water.  One of the pictures was hanging crooked; he went up to put it straight.  Still life.  Grapes and apples, and—­lobsters!  They struck him as odd for the first time.  Why lobsters?  The whole picture seemed dead and oily.  He turned off the light, and went upstairs, passed his wife’s door, into his own room, and undressed.  Clothed in his pyjamas he opened the door between the rooms.  By the light coming from his own he could see her dark head on the pillow.  Was she asleep?  No—­not asleep, certainly.  The moment of fruition had come; the crowning of his pride and pleasure in his home.  But he continued to stand there.  He had suddenly no pride, no pleasure, no desire; nothing but a sort of dull resentment against everything.  He turned back; shut the door, and slipping between the heavy curtains and his open window, stood looking out at the night.  ‘Full of misery!’ he thought.  ’Full of d—–­d misery!’

II

Filing into the jury box next morning, Mr. Bosengate collided slightly with a short juryman, whose square figure and square head of stiff yellow-red hair he had only vaguely noticed the day before.  The man looked angry, and Mr. Bosengate thought:  ‘An ill-bred dog, that!’

He sat down quickly, and, to avoid further recognition of his fellows, gazed in front of him.  His appearance on Saturdays was always military, by reason of the route march of his Volunteer Corps in the afternoon.  Gentleman Fox, who belonged to the corps too, was also looking square; but that commercial traveller on his other side seemed more louche, and as if surprised in immorality, than ever; only the proximity of Gentleman Fox on the other side kept Mr. Bosengate from shrinking.  Then he saw the prisoner being brought in, shadowy and dark behind the brightness of his buttons, and he experienced a sort of shock, this figure was so exactly that which had several times started up in his mind.  Somehow he had expected a fresh sight of the fellow to dispel and disprove what had been haunting him, had expected to find him just an outside phenomenon, not, as it were, a part of his own life.  And he gazed at the carven immobility of the judge’s face, trying to steady himself, as a drunken man will, by looking at a light.  The regimental doctor,

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Five Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook