The Broad Highway eBook

Jeffery Farnol
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 604 pages of information about The Broad Highway.
George, and, with my mind’s eye, I could see him as he was (perhaps at this very moment), fierce-eyed and grim of mouth, sitting beneath some hedgerow, while, knife in hand, he trimmed and trimmed his two bludgeons, one of which was to batter the life out of me.  From such disquieting reflections I would turn my mind to sweet-eyed Prudence, to the Ancient, the forge, and the thousand and one duties of the morrow.  I bethought me, once more, of the storm, of the coming of Charmian, of the fierce struggle in the dark, of the Postilion, and of Charmian again.  And yet, in despite of me, my thoughts would revert to George, and I would see myself even as the Pedler pictured me, out in some secluded corner of the woods, lying stiffly upon my back with glassy eyes staring up sightlessly through the whispering leaves above, while my blood soaked and soaked into the green, and with a blackbird singing gloriously upon my motionless breast.



As this life is a Broad Highway along which we must all of us pass whether we will or no; as it is a thoroughfare sometimes very hard and cruel in the going, and beset by many hardships, sometimes desolate and hatefully monotonous, so, also, must its aspect, sooner or later, change for the better, and, the stony track overpassed, the choking heat and dust left behind, we may reach some green, refreshing haven shady with trees, and full of the cool, sweet sound of running waters.  Then who shall blame us if we pause unduly in this grateful shade, and, lying upon our backs a while, gaze up through the swaying green of trees to the infinite blue beyond, ere we journey on once more, as soon we must, to front whatsoever of good or evil lies waiting for us in the hazy distance.

To just such a place am I now come, in this, my history; the record of a period which I, afterwards, remembered as the happiest I had ever known, the memory of which must remain with me, green and fragrant everlastingly.

If, in the forthcoming pages, you shall find over-much of Charmian, I would say, in the first place, that it is by her, and upon her, that this narrative hangs; and, in the second place, that in this part of my story I find my greatest pleasure; though here, indeed, I am faced with a great difficulty, seeing that I must depict, as faithfully as may be, that most difficult, that most elusive of all created things, to wit—­a woman.

Truly, I begin to fear lest my pen fail me altogether for the very reason that it is of Charmian that I would tell, and of Charmian I understand little more than nothing; for what rule has ever been devised whereby a woman’s mind may be accurately gauged, and who of all those wise ones who have written hitherto —­poets, romancers, or historians—­has ever fathomed the why and wherefore of the Mind Feminine?

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The Broad Highway from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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