The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason

The Four Feathers

byA. E. W. Mason

Kobo ebook | January 24, 2016

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Lieutenant Sutch was the first of General Feversham's guests to reach Broad Place. He arrived about five o'clock on an afternoon of sunshine in mid June, and the old red-brick house, lodged on a southern slope of the Surrey hills, was glowing from a dark forest depth of pines with the warmth of a rare jewel. Lieutenant Sutch limped across the hall, where the portraits of the Fevershams rose one above the other to the ceiling, and went out on to the stone-flagged terrace at the back. There he found his host sitting erect like a boy, and gazing southward toward the Sussex Downs.

"How's the leg?" asked General Feversham, as he rose briskly from his chair. He was a small wiry man, and, in spite of his white hairs, alert. But the alertness was of the body. A bony face, with a high narrow forehead and steel-blue inexpressive eyes, suggested a barrenness of mind.

"It gave me trouble during the winter," replied Sutch. "But that was to be expected." General Feversham nodded, and for a little while both men were silent. From the terrace the ground fell steeply to a wide level plain of brown earth and emerald fields and dark clumps of trees. From this plain voices rose through the sunshine, small but very clear. Far away toward Horsham a coil of white smoke from a train snaked rapidly in and out amongst the trees; and on the horizon rose the Downs, patched with white chalk.

"I thought that I should find you here," said Sutch.

"It was my wife's favourite corner," answered Feversham in a quite emotionless voice. "She would sit here by the hour. She had a queer liking for wide and empty spaces."

"Yes," said Sutch. "She had imagination. Her thoughts could people them."

General Feversham glanced at his companion as though he hardly understood. But he asked no questions. What he did not understand he habitually let slip from his mind as not worth comprehension. He spoke at once upon a different topic.

"There will be a leaf out of our table to-night."

"Yes. Collins, Barberton, and Vaughan went this winter. Well, we are all permanently shelved upon the world's half-pay list as it is. The obituary column is just the last formality which gazettes us out of the service altogether," and Sutch stretched out and eased his crippled leg, which fourteen years ago that day had been crushed and twisted in the fall of a scaling-ladder.

"I am glad that you came before the others," continued Feversham. "I would like to take your opinion. This day is more to me than the anniversary of our attack upon the Redan. At the very moment when we were standing under arms in the dark—"

"To the west of the quarries; I remember," interrupted Sutch, with a deep breath. "How should one forget?"

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Title:The Four FeathersFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 24, 2016Publisher:CPLanguage:English

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ISBN:9990051390537

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