2021-04-18 10:11:22

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ENGLISH His internal organs, heard in action through a stethoscope, resembled the noise made by the humming of a dynamo at full pitch. CHAPTER FIVE

"How's the fair patient?" I hurried to ask as the three of us went."No," said he, to some further question of the corporal; "I'm to wait here for the command."

"Go away, madam!" bellowed the officer as his men thundered into the upper hall. "Now, Captain Ferry, there are six of us here and three under each of your windows. Do you--?"I moved away, looking back at him, and seeing by his starved look how he was racking his jaded brain for some excuse to go with me, I honestly believe I was sorry for him. The chaplain was a thick-set, clean-shaven, politic little fellow whose "Good-mawning, brothah?" had the heavy sweetness of perfumed lard. We conversed fluently on spiritual matters and also on Ned Ferry. He asked me if the Lieutenant was "a believer."It was an unpleasant episode, but fortunately the object of such misplaced and ugly hilarity scarcely seemed to notice the outrage. Mr. Bumpus was not lacking in courage. After a few more groans and sighs, and a final rubbing of that part of him that had been injured, he placed himself in preparation to receive the next ball. The spectators loudly applauded[Pg 31] him, and the bowler, perhaps unwilling to risk another misadventure, moderated his delivery. Mr. Bumpus struck the ball lightly, and it sped away through the slips. A fielder darted after it, but there was ample time for a run. "Come on!" shouted Mr. Bumpus, and started to puff and blow his way down the pitch.

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"I seecurious, only one lamp-post, though. In my country they grow like trees, you knowwhole forests of themgalaxy of lightsnecessaryilluminate multiform world.""Gawd," he gasped, "it's a blooming ghost."

"It isn't in the game," Allingham began. But the other had gone out.He had almost reached the top of the hill, and was about to change his gear, when a figure loomed up out of the darkness and made straight for the car. The Doctor hastily jammed his brake down, but too late to avert a collision. There was a violent bump; and the next moment the car began running backwards down the hill, followed by the figure, who had apparently suffered no inconvenience from the contact.What was he going to do next? He had[Pg 22] reached to the end of the field and stopped abruptly. Apparently, the presence of another barrier acted as a complete check to further movement. For several seconds he remained perfectly still. He was now about a hundred yards from Arthur, but the latter had good eyesight, and he was determined to miss nothing.

The figure of a girl rose out of a bower of palms and ferns and stood before Gordon Bruce with a shy welcome in her violet eyes. Just for a moment Bruce found himself contrasting this fresh English beauty with the Lalage Southern loveliness to the detriment of the latter. There was a purity and sweetness, a wonderful tenderness of expression about Hetty Lawrence that had always appealed to Bruce."Can't you hear," he squeaked, red in the face.

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"Yes, you thought you were deceiving me."

Now the Curate, apart from a tendency to lose his head on occasion, was a perfectly[Pg 101] normal individual. There was nothing myopic about him. The human mind is so constituted that it can only receive certain impressions of abnormal phenomena slowly and through the proper channels. All sorts of fantastic ideas, intuitions, apprehensions and vague suspicions had been dancing upon the floor of the Curate's brain as he noticed certain peculiarities about his companion. But he would probably not have given them another thought if it had not been for what now happened."Ah! Major, that is not fair to Quinn!" said Ferry. Yet when he took up the paper again he gazed on it with a happy gravity; it made him a captain. "By the by," he said, "that Yankee horse that Dick Smith captured at Sessions's; I'd like to buy that horse from you, Major." They made the sale. "And there's that captured ambulance still here, Major, with its team eating their heads off."

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Apr-18 10:11:22