Nevil Shute free books for your kindle, tablet, IPAD, PC or mobile. Nevil Shute ebooks free download - Download Nevil Shute's ebooks free in PDF, EPUB and. by Nevil Shute 42 editions - first published in Download DAISY. Join Waitlist. You will be first in line! Cover of: A Town like Alice. Author: Shute, Nevil [Norway, Nevil Shute] () Edition used as base for this ebook: New York: Ballantine Books, undated. Date first.
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eBooks-Library publishes Nevil Shute (Nevil Shute Norway) and other eBooks ENSN, The Far Country, , , k, eBook, Download PDF - 'The Far. sidi-its.info: Nevil Shute sidi-its.info: Null DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. download 1 file eBooks and Texts. Uploaded by Public. On the Beach is a post-apocalyptic novel written by British-Australian author Nevil Shute after he emigrated to Australia. The novel details the experiences.
FP now includes eBooks in its collection. This book is a member of the special collection Special Collection: On the Beach is a post-apocalyptic novel written by British-Australian author Nevil Shute after he emigrated to Australia. The novel details the experiences of a mixed group of people in Melbourne as they await the arrival of deadly radiation spreading towards them from the northern hemisphere following a nuclear war a year previously. As the radiation approaches each person deals with their impending death in different ways.
Where there is a romantic element, sex is referred to only obliquely. Many of the stories are introduced by a narrator who is not a character in the story. The most common theme in Shute's novels is the dignity of work, spanning all classes, whether an Eastern European bar "hostess" Ruined City or brilliant boffin No Highway. Shute lived a comfortable middle-class English life. His heroes tended to be middle class: Usually, like himself, they had enjoyed the privilege of university, not then within the purview of the lower classes.
However as in Trustee from the Toolroom , Shute valued the honest artisan and his social integrity and contributions to society more than the contributions of the upper classes. Aviation and engineering provide the backdrop for many of Shute's novels. He identified how engineering, science and design could improve human life and more than once used the apparently anonymous epigram "It has been said an engineer is a man who can do for five shillings what any fool can do for a pound Shute does this by including elements that can be considered fantasy or science fiction in novels are classified as mainstream.
These are based in elements that would be considered religious, mystical, or psychic phenomena in the British vernacular when they were written. These include: Buddhist astrology and folk prophecy in "The Chequer Board"; the effective use of a ouija board in "No Highway"; a messiah figure in "Round the Bend"; and past and future lives with a psychic connection, near-future science fiction, and Aboriginal psychic powers in "In the Wet.
At that time I had not seen his house, though I saw plenty of it later on. He had his garden between two long waterholes on rather a remote part of Dorset Downs station, about fifteen miles from the homestead. The waterholes were really part of a river that ran only in the wet season and joined the Dorset River lower down; in the dry the land between these waterholes was very fertile and adjacent to permanent water for irrigation. Here Liang Shih cultivated two or three acres of land and on it he grew every kind of vegetable in great profusion; he had an old iron windmill to pump water, and he worked from dawn till dark.
He had a house built on a little rising knoll of ground near by, above the level of the floods.
Twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, he would drive into town in a two-wheeled cart drawn by an old horse to sell his vegetables, and then he would go straight back home. He did not drink at all.
I met Stevie next morning in the street as I was on my way to the hospital. The bar did not open until ten o'clock, and he was looking pretty bad; his hair was matted, his eyes bloodshot, and his hand shaking. Clearly he had slept out somewhere, because his shirt and trousers were dirty with earth, and there was a little hen manure on his left shoulder. He mouthed his dry lips, and said, "Good on you. They told me last night in the hotel. You're Roger, aren't you? He'd give you a drink any time.
This mugger, he's scared of the bloody policeman. They'll be dry before ten, and it'll pass the time. I've got to go up to the hospital, but I'll be back by then, and I'll shout you a drink for Black Joke. A razor, if you want to use it. I'll be back before ten, and then we'll come back here and have a beer. I went up to the hospital--I forget what for, or who the patients were. I didn't stay long in the wards; I call them wards for courtesy, though they were no more than three bedrooms with two beds in each.
When I was ready to go Sister Finlay asked me to stay for a cup of tea; they usually gave me morning tea when I went to the hospital. I went into the sitting room where Nurse Templeton was pouring out.
There were only the two of them to staff the little place. He gets drunk or gets in a fight, or just falls down and hurts himself, and then he comes to us and we have to patch him up.
Last time he went to sleep in Jeff Cumming's yard behind the house, and Jeff's dog came and bit him in the arm. But he didn't stay that way. She nodded. It's not as if he was a vicious man. But the drink's got him now, and he's got to have it.
That, or something else. She said, "He lives out in the bush, with that Chinaman who brings in vegetables. Out on Dorset Downs. She glanced at me, and hesitated. Hargreaves," she said at last. I don't know about Stevie, but Liang Shih's a Hindoo or a Buddhist or something, and there's an idol stuck up in a sort of niche in the wall. She laughed.
I shouldn't think he's anything, except a Beerist. Stevie was sober, and he looked ever so much better--quite respectable. The Sergeant says it's only when he gets some money and comes into town he gets like this. He's all right living with Liang Shih out in the bush. I left the hospital soon after that and went back to the vicarage. Stevie had washed himself and he had made an attempt to shave, but he had cut himself and given it up; he was now sitting on the rotten verandah steps with my towel around his waist while his shirt and trousers, newly washed, hung in the sun over the rail.
Clothes dry in ten minutes in North Queensland, in the dry. The hotel will be open in ten minutes. I knew that three nights ago, out in the bush. I know when something's going to happen--I do, cobber. But I know more 'n any of them. I'll show them all one day. I know more than any of them. Mark my words. He came forward with alacrity, buttoning his trousers as he came.
Sergeant Pilot, maternity jacket 'n all, 'n wings on it, flying R. Armentears, St. Omer, Bethune--I know all them places, 'n what they look like from on top.
I know more than any of them, cobber. Pisspot Stevie! He walked down to the hotel. I did not see him that day at the races. He was in the bar at tea time, rather drunk, but I avoided getting drawn into the bar that night. I went to the dance later on to put in an appearance for half an hour.
The Ladies Committee had done their best to decorate our rather sombre Shire Hall, and they managed to produce an orchestra composed of Mrs. Everybody seemed to be having a good time and I stayed there till about eleven o'clock, when the fight took place. It happened on the verandah outside the bar of the Post Office Hotel. When I heard about it and got out into the street to try and stop it, it was all over. The police were marching Ted Lawson off to spend the night in the cooler, one on each side of him dragging him along and standing no nonsense; the crowd were putting Stevie, streaming blood, into a utility to take him to the hospital.
It seemed that Ted had been very rude to Stevie, calling him Pisspot, and Stevie, very drunk, had hit out at Ted and by a most incredible fluke had knocked him down. Ted was a man of about twenty-five, a ringer on Helena Waters Station, too young by far to hit such an old man. However, they fought on the verandah and with the first blow Ted knocked Stevie out; as he fell he caught his left ear on the edge of the verandah or against a post and tore it half off, which made another job for Sister Finlay.
There was nothing much that the parson could do about it till the morning, so I went back to the vicarage and said a prayer before I went to bed for wandering, foolish men. When I got to the hospital next morning Stevie was just leaving for the hotel. Sister Finlay had put a couple of stitches in his ear and dressed it, and he now wore a large white bandage all around his head. He had little to say to me, and we watched him as he shambled down the hot, dusty road to the town a quarter of a mile away.
The police let Ted out of their little gaol about the middle of the morning after giving him a good dressing down for hitting an old man, and Ted came back into circulation rather ashamed of himself.
To make amends, for Ted was quite a decent lad, he went straight to find Stevie and to stand him a drink, so that bygones should be bygones. Bygones were still being bygones that afternoon out at the rodeo; Stevie and Ted were firm friends and half drunk, and the name Pisspot was being bandied about in the most amicable way without any offence at all.
That was the last day of the races, and there was a fancy dress dance that night in the Shire Hall at which I had to help in judging the costumes and giving away the prizes.
Few of the men had managed to do anything about a fancy dress, but all the girls had attempted it and it had given them a great deal of pleasure; there were two Carmens and four Pierrettes. The prizegiving was not till about half past eleven, and when it was over I was shepherded into the hotel by Jim Maclaren for some refreshment as a reward for my labours.
Ted and Stevie were there, still drinking, still the firmest of friends, and Stevie was singing My Little Grey Home in the West for the entertainment of the company, singing in a cracked voice as many of the words as he could remember, and beating time with one hand. I stood at the other end of the bar drinking the one beer with which I hoped to escape, and chatting to the men.
Presently Stevie saw me and made towards me unsteadily, clutching the bar as he came to steady his course. I shook hands with him, and again he held my hand. I disengaged my hand. Now you beat it. The old man stood holding on to the bar, swaying a little, his head grotesque in the white bandage. It suddenly occurred to me that he was half asleep. Now you buzz off and leave him be. We've got business to talk here. There was a long pause, and then he said, "He's a good cobber, but he's in the wrong job.
Hargreaves I'll dot you one and bust the other ear. I put a hand upon Jack's arm. Where are you sleeping, Stevie?
There was no answer. One of the men said, "He hasn't got a bed, Mr. He just sleeps around, any place he fancies. I turned to Mr. Roberts behind the bar. He should sleep somewhere on a bed tonight, with that bandage. He can sleep on that. Jim and Jack Picton grasped Stevie by each arm and marched him out into the back yard; I followed them.
They stopped there in the still moonlight for a certain purpose, and then they took him up the outside stairs to the back verandah and deposited him upon the vacant bed. If I see you downstairs again tonight I'll break your bloody neck. We took his boots off and dropped them down beside the bed and pushed him down on it.
Jim said, "Want a blanket, Stevie? You'd better have a blanket. Here, take this. Nobody's shouting you another drink tonight, and if you come downstairs again I'll break your neck. That's straight. I will. Nobody believes what Pisspot Stevie says. I said in a low tone to Jim Maclaren, "I'll stay up here till he goes off to sleep. He won't be long. I'll see you downstairs later. I wanted to avoid going back with Jim to the bar. It was very still on the verandah after they had gone.
Half of the verandah was in brilliant, silvery moonlight, half in deep black shadow, hiding the beds. Under the deep blue sky a flying fox or two wheeled silently round the hotel in the light of the moon.
I could tell you things. Old Liang, he knows, all right. He tol' me all about it. He knows. It was somewhat dangerous, but the night was quiet, and I wanted to explore the depths of this old man. I know. I got the most beautiful dreams, 'n more and more the older that I get.
Soon I'll be living next time more 'n this time. That's a mystery, that is. Liang says it's right, 'n no one ever dies. Just slide off into the next time, into the dream. It wasn't very comprehensible, but one would hardly have expected it to be because Stevie was very drunk. I asked for curiosity, "What do you dream about? All about Queens and Princes and that, and flying, and being in love. All across the world, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, all across the world, and carrying the Queen.
I stood by the verandah rail in silence, wondering at the jumble of words generated by the muddled, alcohol-poisoned brain. Flying, because this man long ago had been a pilot, though that seemed incredible now. Being in love--well, that lasts till the grave in some men. The Queens and Princes--figures on a pack of cards, perhaps.
The pipe, and lying down--did that mean opium? It was at least a possibility for one who shared a home with an old Chinaman. A phrase of Sister Finlay's came into my mind; had she been hinting at that? I stood there silent under the bright moon thinking about all these things till the steady rhythm of breathing from the darkness told me that Stevie was asleep.
Then I went quietly down the wooden stairway to the yard and slipped away from the hotel, and went back to my vicarage to go to bed. I did not see much more of Stevie after that. The race meeting was over, and most of the people left town early next morning to go back to their stations. Stevie hung around for a couple of days, moody and bad-tempered because he was out of money and there was nobody left in town to stand him a drink except a couple of engineers belonging to the Post Office and Reg McAuliffe selling life insurance to the residents.
Finally Sister Finlay took the stitches out of Stevie's ear, started him off with a clean bandage, and dismissed him. Somebody going out to Dorset Downs gave him a lift in a truck, and that was the end of him.
Everybody in the town was glad to see him go. I started then to get acquainted with my parish. Miss Foster very kindly undertook to carry on the little daily hymn service for the school children, and I set out one day to go to Godstow to see what was to be done about St. I travelled on the mail truck and we stopped at every house and station on the way, of course--perhaps once every twenty miles or so.
It was very hot and dusty and I wore a khaki shirt and shorts, but I had my case with me, of course, containing my cassock and surplice and the sacramental vessels, and I baptized three children on the first day, and held two Celebrations. The driver of the mail truck was most kind and waited for me while I held these services, although it meant that he would have to drive far on into the night to keep his schedule.
Sergeant Donovan was riding in the truck with us, because he had police business out in the same direction. We stayed at Beverley that first night with Mr. One or two matters that concerned Stevie were still running through my mind, and rather foolishly I raised the question of opium at the tea table.
I said, "Old Stevie said one thing that night in the hotel, Jim, after you went down. He said he got beautiful dreams. But he said he gets them when he's lying down with a pipe. Would you say he smokes opium? He lives with that Chinese. Sergeant Donovan said a little tersely, "No reason to think that. He could smoke tobacco, couldn't he? I said no more, but later in the evening Jim Maclaren had a word with me privately.
Liang Shih smokes opium--what Chink doesn't? It doesn't do them any harm, no more than smoking tobacco. Liang grows the poppies in his garden out on Dorset Downs, along with all the other stuff. Donovan knows all about it.
He'd pack up and go and grow his lettuces and poppies somewhere else, and then there'd be nothing but tinned peas in Landsborough.
IN THE WET
Arthur reckons that it's more important that the town should get fresh vegetables than that he should go out of his way to persecute one old Chinaman, for doing what he's done all his life and that doesn't hurt him anyway.
Right is not wholly right, nor wrong completely wrong in the Gulf Country. I said no more about the opium. With that, I put Stevie out of my mind. I had more important things to think about, because the dry season was already well advanced and I had determined that before the rains came in December and stopped travelling I would visit every family in my rather extensive parish, and hold a service upon every cattle station.
That may not seem a very ambitious programme for five months because there are only a hundred and ten families all told, but it meant a great deal of travelling. I did not care to leave Landsborough for longer than a week; I was trying to get the people of the town into the habit of going to their parish church again, and I felt it to be very important that I should be there on Sundays if it were humanly possible.
I had no transport of my own so I had to depend on the mail truck or on lifts in casual vehicles travelling about the area, and these seldom fitted in with my desire to be back in Landsborough every Sunday. I worked hard all through the dry that year, and I succeeded in getting to know most of my parishioners.
I think they appreciated it, because as time went on I began to get messages more and more frequently asking that I should go back to some family to comfort some dying old woman, or to conduct a funeral service over a new, hastily dug grave, or to baptize a baby. These calls set back my schedule, of course, but I was able to attend to all of them and get to the place where I was needed within two or three days. There was another race meeting at Landsborough in September, but I did not go to it.
A clergyman can do little in a town that is enjoying a race meeting; his opportunity for service comes at quieter times. It seemed to me that I was better occupied in visiting in the more distant parts of the parish, and I did not bother to return to Landsborough until that Saturday.
By then the meeting was over and most of the people had gone back to their stations, but half a dozen station owners and managers had stayed in the town with their wives to come to church on Sunday, and that was a great encouragement to me. I asked Sister Finlay if she had had Stevie up at the hospital.
He's got that sort of grey look about him. Curtis was here with the flying ambulance and I asked him to have a look at Stevie if he got a chance, but they got a call to go to Forest Range on the second day to take an Abo stockman to the hospital at the Curry with broken ribs. I don't think he ever saw Stevie. But it's a bit difficult, with him living out there in the bush.
I don't suppose he'd come in to see a doctor, and anyway, the doctor would be gone before we could get a message to him, probably. It's only a fancy that I got when I saw him, this time. It may have been just that he had a hangover that day. I kept it in my mind that I should go out to the market garden upon Dorset Downs before the wet, to visit Liang Shih and Stevie in their home.
But a visit such as that came low down on my list of priorities; I could not hope to do much for them spiritually, and their house was off the beaten track and difficult for me to get to without a truck of my own. I always meant to go to them before the wet, and I never went. Those last few weeks were very exhausting. November is always a hot month in North Queensland, and that year it was particularly trying. I was hurrying against time, moreover, to finish getting around my parish while travelling was still easy, and I took a good deal out of myself.
I knew that when the rains set in about Christmas time I should have plenty of time for rest in my vicarage, since it would be impossible to move very far from Landsborough till March or April. I drove myself hard in those last few weeks; I'm not a young man any longer, and I must confess that I got very tired indeed.
We got a few short rainstorms early in December and as usual these made conditions worse than ever, for they did little to relieve the heat and brought the humidity up very high.
Every movement now made one sweat profusely, and once wet one's clothes stayed wet for a long time. I got prickly heat which is a thing I seldom suffer from, and the continuous itching made it very difficult to sleep.
Everyone began to suffer from nervous irritability and bad temper, and everyone looked anxiously each day for the rains that would bring this difficult season to an end. The rains came at last, a few days before Christmas. For three days it rained practically without ceasing, heavily and continuously. The dusty roads gradually turned into mud wallows, and motor traffic ceased for the time being.
Landsborough retired into winter quarters, so to speak.
I lay on my bed for most of those three days revelling in the moderation of the heat and in the absence of sunshine, and reading the fourth volume of Winston Churchill's war memoirs which an old friend had sent me from Godalming. The wet brought its own problems, of course. I had to go down to the hotel twice a day for my meals and it was still so hot that a raincoat was almost unbearable; if one walked down in a coat one got as wet from sweat as if one went without one.
If the rain was light I went without a coat, because wet clothes are no great hardship in the tropics. The difficulty, of course, lay in getting any dry clothes to put on; my vicarage has no fireplace and there was now no sunshine to dry anything.
Roberts was very kind and let me dry some of my washing by her kitchen fire, but the difficulty was a real one, and I often had to wear wet clothes all day and sleep in a wet bed. Christmas came and went. We had a carol service in the church with Good King Wenceslaus and See Amid the Winter Snow , and Miss Foster had to spend some time and energy in explaining to the children what snow was, a task made more difficult by the fact that she had never seen it herself.
We had a children's party in the Shire Hall with a Christmas tree with imitation snow on it, and I dressed up as Santa Claus and gave the presents away. The aeroplane from Cloncurry brought us the cinema operator with his projector, three dramas, and Snow White which none of the children had ever seen, so altogether we had quite a merry time.
After these excitements things went rather flat in Landsborough, and the rain fell steadily. In these conditions and although I had been taking my pills, I fell ill with an attack of malaria. It was nothing like so bad as the first bout that I had had in Salamaua, and I knew what to do about it now. I lay in bed sweating and a little delirious for a day, dosing myself; Mrs.
Roberts was very kind and brought some things up to my vicarage and either she or Coty looked in every two hours to make me a cup of tea. On the second day Sister Finlay heard that I was ill and came to see what was the matter, and gave me a good dressing down, and wrapped me up in blankets and took me to the hospital in Art Duncan's utility which got bogged a hundred yards from the hospital so that I had to get out and walk the rest of the way.
Finlay and Templeton put me to bed in more comfortable surroundings than I had been in for some time, and I stayed in hospital for the next week.
The fever spent its force after the first few days, as I had known it would, and they let me get up for dinner and sit in a dressing gown to write my parish magazine, going to bed again before tea. My temperature was generally normal at that time though it rose a point or so each evening, but that was nothing to worry about. I was sitting writing in their sitting room on the afternoon of January the 8th; I remember the date particularly because it was two days after Epiphany.
I had not been able to preach in Church the previous day, the first Sunday after Epiphany, and so I was writing what I wanted to tell my parishioners in the magazine. January the 8th it was, and I was sitting writing in the middle of the afternoon when I heard the sound of a horse and wheels.
I got up and went to the verandah, and I saw Liang Shih draw up before the hospital in the vegetable cart. I was surprised to see him, because we had had no fresh vegetables since Christmas and we all thought that we should see no more until the rains were over and the roads improved.
Sister Finlay and Templeton were lying down; I went and called them, and then went back to the verandah. It was raining a little; Liang was getting down from his two-wheeled vehicle and tying the reins to the fence. He had an old Army waterproof sheet tied with a bit of string around his shoulders to serve as a cape; under that he was in his working shirt and dirty, soaked trousers; he wore a battered old felt hat upon his head to shed the rain.
What have you got for us? I come see Sister. Stevie, he got sick in stomach.
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Sister Finlay came out on to the verandah behind me. I turned, and told her that Stevie was sick. She nodded briefly, and I knew that she had been expecting this. She shook her head. Perhaps there was a tiny hesitation. Very hot water, sister. Liang said, "He no understand me--him mind away. I no can lift him, put in jinker. I no know what to do, and then I think better come for help. She stood biting her lip for a minute.
Then road or-right. A mile or more of shallow water wasn't quite so good, but the old horse could pull the light two-wheeled cart where no motor vehicle could go. If we go at once, can we get to your place before dark?
It was nearly three in the afternoon, and in that overcast weather it would be dark before six. I had never been to Liang's house but I had been told that it was ten miles out; clearly in the conditions the old horse would not go very fast. I turned to Sister Finlay. I'll come with you, sister.
She hesitated for a moment. I don't want you getting a relapse. All I want is somebody to help me get him on the cart and bring him in. No, you stay here. I'll pick up Donovan on the way out. It was sensible, of course; I had only been out of bed a day or two.
I went and slipped on a pair of trousers and a raincoat and shoes, and set off down the road to the police sergeant's house. Donovan came out to meet me on the verandah.
Donovan," I said. Art's gone to Millangarra--he rode out this morning. Is it anything important? I don't know what to suggest, unless she took one of the black boys. Dicky might go. I shook my head. When Arthur comes in, tell him where we've gone, will you? If we're not back by ten o'clock tomorrow morning, ask him to ride out that way and have a look. I'm just a bit afraid that with all this rain the water may be rising. I met Liang and Sister coming towards me in the cart as I walked back towards the hospital.
She said no more, because it would be most dangerous to go wandering about in darkness in the flooded Queensland bush; it was imperative that the journey should be finished in daylight. We stopped for a minute or two at the vicarage while I went in and picked up my little case of sacramental vessels and a small electric torch, and then we started out upon the road to Dorset Downs.
It was raining steadily. One of the characteristics of that part of North Queensland is that it is entirely featureless; it is a flat country with no hills or mountain ranges, covered in sparse forest and intersected with river beds. The view is exactly the same whichever way you look, and the sun gives little guidance in the middle of the day at that time of the year, for it is directly overhead. It is a very easy country to get bushed in; the sense of direction can be easily lost, and when that happens the only safe course is to camp till the evening when the setting sun will show the direction of the west.
That afternoon there was no sun in any case; we plodded on through the rain, the old horse sometimes trotting on hard patches but more often walking and labouring in the shafts to pull the jinker over the soft ground.
In half an hour I had lost all sense of direction; we might have been going north or south, or east or west for all I knew. Liang, however, knew the way; from time to time he showed us broken trees or a side track branching off into the bush that were familiar signposts to him on the road he knew so well.
We were all of us wet through in a very short time, of course, but with the temperature still in the eighties that was no great matter; there was little risk of a chill, because there was no wind at all. We sat there in a row on the bench seat of the jinker, motionless but for the movement of our bodies as the wheels bumped and swayed over the uneven ground, not talking, depressed.
The grey, monotonous scene and the hot, steaming rain, and perhaps a sense of the futility of our mission to relieve this drink-sodden old man, all these conspired to rob us of all wish to talk.
For my part, although it was my duty to go to offer spiritual consolation to any man near to his death, I went with the knowledge that my offer to Stevie would almost certainly be spurned, and I could not help thinking of the cheerful, green painted hospital rooms that I had left to come upon this somewhat worthless errand. Presently we came to pools and standing water on the road, and soon the pools were continuous and we were driving through water several inches deep, the old horse making a great splashing as he plodded on.
I roused myself, and said to Liang, "Has the water risen much since you came out this morning? He kept on steadily, and though now we could seldom see the track it was clear that he never left it, for the wheels rolled beneath the water on fairly hard ground. With the approach of evening the light began to fail, or possibly it was that the clouds were getting thicker. I asked Liang, "How much further have we got to go? How long before we get there? Presently we came to land that undulated slightly, so that islands of dry land appeared among the floods, and here we had to go more cautiously, for we were getting to a region that was cut up by tributaries of the Dorset River.
We crossed one or two small creeks, places that Liang identified carefully and where the depth of water reached almost to the wheel hubs. Presently, as we drove cautiously through one of these rising creeks, we saw a very unpleasant sight.
There were three or four Hereford cows standing on a dry piece of land quite near to us, part of the Dorset Downs station. One of these cows standing near the water's edge had a small calf running with her, only two or three days old.
The cow raised her head to look at us as we splashed past, and moved in curiosity a little nearer to us, and to the water's edge. The calf moved nearer to the water, too. I happened to be looking at them, and I saw the whole thing happen. The long nose of a crocodile thrust quietly up out of the water and the jaws closed upon the near foreleg of the calf; there was a great thrashing in the water and a struggling as the brute dragged the calf under.
The thrashing and the struggling went on under the water for a time, and then everything was still. The cow did nothing about it, but stood looking puzzled. We went on in silence after that, busy with our own thoughts, and now the water was over a foot deep, and the light was definitely going. Presently Liang pointed with his whip to a ridge of dry land ahead of us, perhaps a mile away across the surface of the water.
He nodded, and at that moment we went down into the hole. It was impossible, of course, to see the track ahead of us, and perhaps I had distracted Liang's attention from the course. Whatever was the reason, one moment we were on firm ground and the next moment the old horse was swimming, and the jinker was rolling down an underwater bank pushing the horse further out.
Liang dropped the reins and stood up, and plunged over the side to go to the horse's head; he must have known the ground, for he was wading hardly more than waist deep.
I hesitated for a moment, and then, shamed by the old Chinaman, I plunged in from my side to go to the horse on the near side and to lighten the jinker. The water was out of my depth, and I swam to the horse's head with the thought of a crocodile searing on my mind, terrified. My feet touched ground at the same moment as the horse's feet, and then Liang and I were on each side of his head as he fought and strained to climb the steep underwater bank and pull the sinking jinker up it. Sister Finlay was standing up, uncertain whether to get out and swim.
I shouted to her to stay where she was. With a series of strains and heaves the horse pulled the jinker up the bank and stood in a foot of water, quivering with fright. I was quivering no less, and even Liang was disturbed, I think, because we all got back into the jinker in remarkably short time, out of the way of the crocodiles.
And then I saw that everything was far from right. The tailboard of the jinker had fallen down, and Sister Finlay's case and my case of sacramental vessels were no longer in the cart with us. Very late, on the night of which I am writing, I was driving home over the South Downs, after a dinner in Winchester. I forget for the moment what that dinner was about; I do not think it can have been connected with my old school; because I was driving home in a very bad temper, and so I think it must have been the Corn Associatio James Macfadden died in March when he was forty-seven years old; he was riding in the Driffield Point-to-Point.
He left the bulk of his money to his son Douglas. The Macfaddens and the Dalhousies at that time lived in Perth, and Douglas was a school friend of Jock Dalhousie, who was a young man then, and had gone to London to become junior partner in a firm of solicitors in Chancery Lane, Owen, Dalhousie, and Peters.
I am now the senior partner, and Owen and Dalhousie and Peters have been dead for many years, but I never changed the name of the firm. It was natural that Douglas Macfadden should put his affairs into the hands of Jock Dalhousie, and Mr. Dalhousie handled them personall Some men of noble stock were made, some glory in the murder blade, Some praise a Science or an Art, but I like honourable Trade!
James Elroy Flecker I came into aviation the hard way. I was never in the R. My father was, and is, a crane driver at Southampton docks, and I am one of seven children, five boys and two girls.
I went to the council school like all the other kids in our street, and then when I left school dad got me a job in a garage out on the Portsmouth Road.
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