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CHAPTER I A LESSON IN RESPECT FOR THE UNIFORM "AW, what's the difference between a soldier and a loafer?" demanded "Bunny" Hepburn. "A soldier ain't a loafer, and it takes nerve to be a soldier. It's a job for the bravest kind of a man," retorted Jud Jeffers indignantly. "Answer my c'nundrum," insisted Bunny. "It ain't a decent conundrum," retorted Jud, with dignity, for his father had served as a volunteer soldier in the war with Spain.... more...

Chapter 1: Fresh from Ireland. A number of officers of O'Brien's regiment of foot, forming a part of the Irish Brigade in the service of France, were gathered in a handsome apartment in the Rue des Fosses, on the 20th of June, 1701, when the door opened, and their colonel entered with a young officer in the uniform of the regiment. "I have asked you here, gentlemen all," he said, "to present to you a new comrade, Desmond Kennedy, who, through... more...

Chapter One. H.M.S. “Seafowl.” “Dicky, dear boy, it’s my impression that we shall see no blackbird’s cage to-day.” “And it’s my impression, Frank Murray, that if you call me Dicky again I shall punch your head.” “Poor fellow! Liver, decidedly,” said the first speaker, in a mock sympathetic tone. “Look here, old chap, if I were you, I’d go and ask Jones to give me a... more...

CHAPTER I Let a man, an arrow, and an answer each go straight. Each is his own witness. God is judge.—EASTERN PROVERB. A Sikh who must have stood about six feet without his turban—and only imagination knows how stately he was with it—loomed out of the violet mist of an Indian morning and scrutinized me with calm brown eyes. His khaki uniform, like two of the medal ribbons on his breast, was new, but nothing else about him... more...

CHAPTER ONE A Mission is Proposed I had just finished breakfast and was filling my pipe when I got Bullivant's telegram. It was at Furling, the big country house in Hampshire where I had come to convalesce after Loos, and Sandy, who was in the same case, was hunting for the marmalade. I flung him the flimsy with the blue strip pasted down on it, and he whistled. 'Hullo, Dick, you've got the battalion. Or maybe it's a staff billet. You'll be a... more...


CHAPTER IPORTRAITS "As to what the picture represents, that depends upon who looks at it."—Whistler. The French Mission in its profound wisdom had sent as liaison officer to the Scottish Division a captain of Dragoons whose name was Beltara. "Are you any relation to the painter, sir?" Aurelle, the interpreter, asked him. "What did you say?" said the dragoon. "Say that again, will you? You are in the army, aren't you? You are a soldier,... more...

With savage pity Marjorie regarded a sobbing girl whose face was distorted, and whose palsied hands were trying to straighten her veil and push back stray wisps of hair. Marjorie thought: "What a fool she is to cry like that! Her nose is red; she's a sight. I can control myself. I can control myself." An elderly man with an austere face, standing beside Marjorie, started to light a cigarette. His hands trembled violently and the match flickered... more...

Aboard a gunboat. “Well, Mr Burnett, what is it?” “Beg pardon, sir.” “Now, my good boy, have I not told you always to speak out in a sharp, business-like way? How in the world do you expect to get on in your profession and become a smart officer, one who can give orders promptly to his men, if you begin in that stammering, hesitating style? Here, I’m busy; what do you want?” “I beg pardon, sir,... more...

CHAPTER I ALLAN QUATERMAIN MEETS ANSCOMBE You, my friend, into whose hand, if you live, I hope these scribblings of mine will pass one day, must well remember the 12th of April of the year 1877 at Pretoria. Sir Theophilus Shepstone, or Sompseu, for I prefer to call him by his native name, having investigated the affairs of the Transvaal for a couple of months or so, had made up his mind to annex that country to the British Crown. It so happened... more...

Padre, when you died, you left a message for me. You asked me to go on writing, if I were in trouble, just as I used to write when you were on earth. I used to "confess," and you used to advise. Also you used to scold. How you used to scold! I am going to do now what you asked, in that message. I shall never forget how you packed me off to school at Brighton, and Brian to Westward Ho! the year father died and left us to you—the most... more...