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(without typos) from the publisher. 1919. Excerpt: ... their talk
had been entirely about the Colonel and Clive. Madame de Florac had
spoken especially, and much more freely than was her wont. She had
told many reminiscences of Thomas Newcome and his early days; how
her father taught him mathematics when they were quite poor, and
living in their dear little cottage at Blackheath; how handsome he
was then, with bright eyes, and long black hair flowing over his
shoulders; how military glory was his boyish passion, and he was
for ever talking of India, and the famous deeds of Clive and
Lawrence. His favourite book was a history of India-- the "History"
of Orme. "He read it, and I read it also, my daughter," the French
lady said, turning to Ethel; " ah I may say so after so many
years." Ethel remembered the book as belonging to her grandmother,
and now in the library at Newcome. Doubtless the same sympathy
which caused me to speak about Thomas Newcome that evening,
impelled my wife likewise. She told her friends, as I had told
Florac, all the Colonel's story; and it was while these good women
were under the impression of the melancholy history, that Florac
and his guest found them. Retired to our rooms, Laura and I talked
on the same subject until the clock tolled Christmas, and the
neighbouring church bells rang out a jubilation. And, looking out
into the quiet night, where the stars were keenly shining, We
committed ourselves to rest with humbled hearts; praying, for all
those we loved, a blessing of peace and goodwill. CHAPTER LXXVII
SHORTEST AND HAPPIEST IN THE HISTORY On the ensuing Christmas
morning I chanced to rise betimes, and entering my dressing-room,
opened the windows, and looked out on the soft landscape, over
which mists were still lying; whilst the serene sky above, and the
lawns and leafless woods in the foreground near, w...
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