The Red Planet eBook

William John Locke
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about The Red Planet.
One night he got a whole listening post like that.  He does a lot of things a second in command hasn’t any business to do, but his men would follow him anywhere.  He bears a charmed life.  I could tell you lots of things—­but I see my old General’s getting restive.”  He rose, stretched out his hand.  “At any rate, take my word for it—­if there’s a man in the British Army who doesn’t know what fear is, that man is Leonard Boyce.”

He nodded in his frank way and rejoined his old General.  As I had had enough exciting information for one visit to town, I motored back to Wellingsford.


My house, as I have already mentioned, is situated at the extreme end of the town on the main road, already called the Rowdon Road, which is an extension of the High Street.  It stands a little way back to allow room for a semicircular drive, at each end of which is a broad gate.  The semicircle encloses a smooth-shaven lawn of which I am vastly proud.  In the spandrels by the side of the house are laburnums and lilacs and laurels.  From gate to gate stretch iron railings, planted in a low stone parapet and unencumbered with vegetation, so that the view from road to lawn and from lawn to road is unrestricted.  Thus I can take up my position on my lawn near the railings and greet all passers-by.

It was a lovely May morning.  My laburnums and lilacs were in flower.  On the other side of the way the hedge of white-thorn screening the grounds of a large preparatory school was in flower also, and deliciously scented the air.  I sat in my accustomed spot, a table with writing materials, tobacco, and books by my side, and a mass of newspapers at my feet.  There was going to be a coalition Government.  Great statesmen were going to forget that there was such a thing as party politics, except in the distribution of minor offices, when the claims of good and faithful jackals on either side would have to be considered.  And my heart grew sick within me, and I longed for a Man to arise who, with a snap of his strong fingers, would snuff out the Little Parish-Pump Folk who have misruled England this many a year with their limited vision and sordid aspirations, and would take the great, unshakable, triumphant command of a mighty Empire passionately yearning to do his bidding...  I could read no more newspapers.  They disgusted me.  One faction seemed doggedly opposed to any proposition for the amelioration of the present disastrous state of affairs.  The salvation of wrecked political theories loomed far more important in their darkened minds than the salvation, by hook or crook, of the British Empire.  The other faction, more patriotic in theory, cried aloud stinking fish, and by scurrilous over-statement defeated their own ends.  In the general ignoble screech the pronouncements of the one or two dignified and thoughtful London newspapers passed unheeded....

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The Red Planet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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