By Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch.






NIGHT THE SECOND--The Meeting at the Baths.

NIGHT THE THIRD--The Grand research.

NIGHT THE FOURTH--Adventure of the Police Station.

NIGHT THE FIFTH--Adventure of the "Catalafina".

NIGHT THE SIXTH--Adventure of the Picturedrome.




NIGHT THE NINTH--The Hunt is Up.

NIGHT THE TENTH--Pilgrimage of Hate.

NIGHT THE ELEVENTH--Science of the Chase.






NIGHT THE SIXTEENTH--Captain Macnaughten.


NIGHT THE EIGHTEENTH--"And so they came to the Island . . ."





NIGHT THE TWENTY-SECOND--The Second Man escapes.



NIGHT THE TWENTY-FIFTH--The Paying of the Score.




If the red slayer thinks he slays,

Or if the slain think he is slain,

They know not well the subtle ways

I keep, and pass, and turn again.

EMERSON: _Brahma_.

The best kind of revenge is not to become like him.



Otway told this story in a dug-out which served for officers' mess of

a field-battery somewhere near the Aisne: but it has nothing to do

with the War. He told it in snatches, night by night, after the

manner of Scheherazade in the _Arabian Nights Entertainments_, and as

a rule to an auditory of two. Here is a full list of:



Major Sir Roderick Otway, Bart., M.C., R.F.A.


Lieut. John Polkinghorne. R.F.A., of the Battery.

Sec. Lieut. Samuel Barham, M.C. R.F.A., of the Battery.

Sec. Lieut. Percy Yarrell-Smith. R.F.A., of the Battery

Sec Lieut. Noel Williams, R.F.A., attached for instruction.

But military duties usually restricted the audience to two at a time,

though there were three on the night when Barham (Sammy) set his C.O.

going with a paragraph from an old newspaper. The captain--one

McInnes, promoted from the ranks--attended one stance only. He dwelt

down at the wagon-lines along with the Veterinary Officer, and

brought up the ammunition most nights, vanishing back in the small

hours like a ghost before cock-crow.

The battery lay somewhat wide to the right of its fellows in the

brigade; in a saucer-shaped hollow on the hill-side, well screened

with scrub. Roughly it curved back from the straight lip overlooking

the slope, in a three-fifths segment of a circle; and the officers'

mess made a short arc in it, some way in rear of the guns.

You descended, by steps, cut in the soil and well pounded, into a

dwelling rather commodious than large: for Otway--who knew about

yachts--had taken a fancy to construct it nautical-wise, with lockers

that served for seats at a narrow saloon table, sleeping bunks

excavated along the sides, and air-holes like cabin top-lights,

cunningly curtained by night, under the shell-proof cover.

"It cost us a week," he wrote home to his sister, "to get the place

to my mind. Since then we have been adding fancy touches almost

daily, and now the other batteries froth with envy. You see, it had

to be contrived, like the poet's chest of drawers."

A double debt to pay:

Doss-house by night and bag-of-tricks by day.

And here we have lived now, shooting and sleeping (very little

sleeping) for five solid weeks. All leave being off, I have fallen

into this way of life, almost without a thought that there ever had

been, or could be, another, and feel as if my destiny were to go on

at it for ever and ever. And this at thirty-five, Sally!

"It must be ever so much worse for the youngsters, one would say.

Anyway I have had ten good years that they are missing . . .

Cambridge, Henley, Lord's; Ascot, and home-to-tidy, and afterwards

the little Mercedes, and you and I rolling in to Prince's and the

theatre, whilst good old Bob is for the House, to take _his_

exercises walking the lobbies; clean linen after the bath, and my own

sister beside me--she that always knew how to dress--and the summer

evening over Hyde Park Corner and the Green Park. . . . No, I mustn't

go on. It is _verboten_ even to think of a white shirt until the

Bosch hangs out the tail of _his_.

"My youngsters are missing all this, I tell myself. Yet they are a

cheerful crowd, and keep smiling on their Papa. The worst is, a kind

of paralysis seems to have smitten our home mails and general

transport for close upon a fortnight. No letters, no parcels--but

one case of wine, six weeks overdue, with half the bottles in shards:

no newspapers. This last specially afflicts young Sammy Barham, who

is a glutton for the halfpenny press: which again is odd, because his

comments on it are vitriolic.

"No books--that's the very worst. Our mess library went astray in

the last move: no great loss perhaps except for the _Irish R.M._,

which I was reading for the nth time. The only relic that survives,

and follows us everywhere like an intelligent hound, is a novel of

Scottish sentiment, entitled _But and Ben_. The heroine wears

(p. 2) a dress of 'some soft white clinging material'--which may

account for it. Young Y.-Smith, who professes to have read the work

from cover to cover, asserts that this material clings to her

throughout: but I doubt the thoroughness of his perusal since he

explained to us that 'Ben' and 'But' were the play-names of the lad

and his lassie. . . . For our personal libraries we possess:

"_R.O._--A hulking big copy of the _International Code of

Signals_: a putrid bad book, of which I am preparing, in odd

moments, a recension, to submit to the Board of Trade. Y.-Smith

borrows this off me now and then, to learn up the flags at the

beginning. He gloats on crude colours.

"_Polkinghorne_--A Bible, which I borrow, sometimes for private

study, sometimes (you understand?) for professional purposes.

It contains a Book of Common Prayer as well as the Apocrypha.

P. (a Cornishman, something of a mystic, two years my senior and

full of mining experiences in Nevada and S. America) always

finds a difficulty in parting with this, his one book. He is

deep in it, this moment, at the far end of the table.

"_Sammy Barham_, so far as anyone can discover, has never read a

book in his life nor wanted to. He was educated at Harrow.

Lacking the _Daily Mail_, he is miserable just now, poor boy!

I almost forgave the Code upon discovering that his initials,

S.B., spell, for a distress signal, 'Can you lend (or give) me a


"_Yarrell-Smith_ reads Penny Dreadfuls. He owns four, and was

kind enough, the other day, to lend me one: but it's a trifle

too artless even for my artless mind.

"Young _Williams_--a promising puppy sent up to me to be

walked--reads nothing at all. He brought two packs of Patience

cards and a Todhunter's _Euclid_; the one to rest, the other to

stimulate, his mind; and I've commandeered the _Euclid_.

A great writer, Sally! He's not juicy, and he don't palpitate,

but he's an angel for style. 'Therefore the triangle DBC is

equal to the triangle ABC--pause and count three--'the less to

the greater'--pause--'which is absurd.' Neat and demure: and

you're constantly coming on little things like that.

'Two straight lines cannot enclose a space'--so broad and

convincing, when once pointed out!--and why is it not in

_The Soldiers' Pocket-Book_ under 'Staff Axioms'?

"When you make up the next parcel, stick in a few of the unlikeliest

books. I don't want Paley's _Evidences of Christianity_: I have

tackled that for my Little-Go, and, besides, we have plenty of 'em

out here: but books about Ireland, and the Near East, and local

government, and farm-labourers' wages, and the future life, and all

that sort of thing.

"Two nights ago, Polkinghorne got going on our chances in another

world. Polkinghorne is a thoughtful man in his way, rising

forty--don't know his religion. I had an idea somehow that he was

interested in such things. But to my astonishment the boys took him

up and were off in full cry. It appeared that each one had been

nursing his own thoughts on the subject. The trouble was, none of us

knew very much about it--"

Otway, writing beneath the hurricane-lamp, had reached this point in

his letter when young Barham exclaimed to the world at large:

"Hallo! here's a tall story!"

The C.O. looked up. So did Polkinghorne, from his Bible. Sammy held

a torn sheet of newspaper.

"Don't keep it to yourself, my son," said Otway, laying down his pen

and leaning back, so that his face passed out of the inner circle of

the lamplight.

Sammy bent forward, pushed the paper nearer to this pool of light,

smoothed it and read:

"'Thames-side Mystery

"'A Coroner's jury at C--, a 'village' on the south bank of the

Thames, not a hundred miles below Gravesend--'"

"Seems a lot of mystery about it already," observed Polkinghorne.

"Don't they give the name of the village?"

"No; they just call it 'C--,' and, what's more, they put 'village'

into inverted commas. Don't know why: but there's a hint at the



Sammy proceeded.

"'--Was engaged yesterday in holding an inquest on the body of an

unknown man, found lying at highwater mark in a creek some way

below the village. A local constable had discovered the body:

but neither the officer who attended nor the river police could

afford any clue to the deceased's identity. Medical evidence

proved that death was due to drowning, although the corpse had

not been long immersed: but a sensation was caused when the

evidence further disclosed that it bore an incised wound over

the left breast, in itself sufficient to cause death had not

suffocation quickly supervened.

"'The body was further described, in the police evidence, as that

of a middle-aged man, presumably a gentleman. It was clad in a

black 'evening-dress' suit, and two pearl studs of some value

remained in the limp shirt-front; from which, however, a third

and fellow stud was missing. The Police Inspector--who asked

for an open verdict, pending further inquiry--added that the

linen, and the clothing generally, bore no mark leading to

identification. Further, if a crime had been committed, the

motive had not been robbery. The trousers-pockets contained a

sovereign, and eighteen shillings in silver. In the waistcoat

was a gold watch (which had stopped at 10.55), with a chain and

a sovereign-purse containing two sovereigns and a

half-sovereign: in the left-hand breast pocket of the

dinner-jacket a handkerchief, unmarked: in the right-hand pocket

a bundle of notes and a worn bean-shaped case for a pair of

eyeglasses. The glasses were missing. The Police had carefully

dried the notes and separated them. They were nine one pound

notes; all numbered, of course. Beyond this and the number on

the watch there was nothing to afford a clue.'--"

Here Barham paused for a glance up at the roof of the dug-out, as two

explosions sounded pretty near at hand. "Huns saying good-night," he

interpolated. "Can't have spotted us. Nothing doing aloft these

three days."

Polkinghorne looked across the light at the C.O., who sat

unaccountably silent, his face inscrutable in the penumbra.

Taking silence for "yes," Polkinghorne arose and put his head outside

for a look around.

"Queer story, you'll admit, sir?" put in Sammy Barham during this

pause. "Shall I go on, or wait for the rollicking Polly to hear it

out?--for the queerest part is to come."

"I know," said Otway, after some two or three seconds' silence.

"Eh? . . . But it's just here, sir, the thing of a sudden gets

mysteriouser and mysteriouser--"

Polkinghorne came back. "Nerves," he reported. "They're potting all

over the place. . . . Here, Sammy, pass over that scrap of paper if

you've finished reading. I want to hear the end."

"It hasn't any," said Otway from the shadow.

"But, sir, when I was just warning you--"

"Dashed good beginning, anyway," said Polkinghorne; "something like

_Our Mutual Friend_."

"Who's he?" asked Sammy.

"Ingenuous youth, continue," Otway commanded. "Polky wants to hear

the rest of the paragraph, and so do I."

"It goes on just like a detective story," promised Sammy. "Just you

listen to this:--

"'An incident which may eventually throw some light on the

mystery interrupted the Coroner's summing up and caused

something of a sensation. This was the appearance of an

individual, evidently labouring under strong excitement, who,

having thrust his way past the police, advanced to the Coroner's

table and demanded to have sight of the body. The man's

gestures were wild, and on being asked his name he answered

incoherently. His manner seriouslyaffected one of the jury,

who swooned and had to be removed from Court.

"'While restoratives were being applied at the 'Plume and

Feathers' Inn (adjacent to the building in which the inquest was

held), the Coroner held consultation with Police and Foreman of

  • revenge [ri´vendʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.报复 n.报仇;报复   (初中英语单词)
  • audience [´ɔ:diəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听众;观众;接见   (初中英语单词)
  • paragraph [´pærəgrɑ:f] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.段;节 vt.将…分段   (初中英语单词)
  • circle [´sə:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆圈 v.环绕;盘旋   (初中英语单词)
  • construct [kən´strʌkt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.建造;构(词);造句   (初中英语单词)
  • sleeping [´sli:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.睡着(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • missing [´misiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.缺掉的;失踪的   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • intelligent [in´telidʒənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.聪明的;理智的   (初中英语单词)
  • sentiment [´sentimənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.情绪;多愁善感   (初中英语单词)
  • submit [səb´mit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.使服从;使忍受   (初中英语单词)
  • professional [prə´feʃənəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.职业的 n.自由职业   (初中英语单词)
  • miserable [´mizərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.悲惨的;可怜的   (初中英语单词)
  • distress [di´stres] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.痛苦 vt.使苦恼   (初中英语单词)
  • promising [´prɔmisiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有希望的;有为的   (初中英语单词)
  • writer [´raitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.作者;作家   (初中英语单词)
  • constantly [´kɔnstəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.经常地;不断地   (初中英语单词)
  • pointed [´pɔintid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尖(锐)的;中肯的   (初中英语单词)
  • parcel [´pɑ:sl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.包裹;一批 vt.区分   (初中英语单词)
  • astonishment [ə´stɔniʃmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.吃惊;惊异   (初中英语单词)
  • writing [´raitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.书写;写作;书法   (初中英语单词)
  • mystery [´mistəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神秘;秘密;故弄玄虚   (初中英语单词)
  • yesterday [´jestədi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&ad.昨天;前不久   (初中英语单词)
  • medical [´medikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.医学的;医疗的   (初中英语单词)
  • sensation [sen´seiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.感觉;轰动;轰动一时   (初中英语单词)
  • handkerchief [´hæŋkətʃif] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手帕,手绢   (初中英语单词)
  • bundle [´bʌndl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.包,捆;包袱(裹)   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • detective [di´tektiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.侦探 a.侦探的   (初中英语单词)
  • incident [´insidənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小事件;事变   (初中英语单词)
  • evidently [´evidəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明显地   (初中英语单词)
  • excitement [ik´saitmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.兴奋;骚动;煽动   (初中英语单词)
  • thrust [θrʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.猛推;冲;刺;挤进   (初中英语单词)
  • advanced [əd´vɑ:nst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.先进的;高级的   (初中英语单词)
  • seriously [´siəriəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严肃;严重,重大   (初中英语单词)
  • battery [´bætəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.炮兵连;炮台;电池   (高中英语单词)
  • roughly [´rʌfli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.粗糙地;毛糙地   (高中英语单词)
  • saloon [sə´lu:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大厅;餐车   (高中英语单词)
  • destiny [´destini] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.命运   (高中英语单词)
  • cambridge [´keimbridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.剑桥   (高中英语单词)
  • whilst [wailst] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.当…时候;虽然   (高中英语单词)
  • fortnight [´fɔ:tnait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.两星期   (高中英语单词)
  • specially [´speʃəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.专门地;特别地   (高中英语单词)
  • senior [´si:niə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.年长的 n.前辈   (高中英语单词)
  • mining [´mainiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.采矿;矿业   (高中英语单词)
  • nevada [ne´vɑ:də] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.内华达   (高中英语单词)
  • enclose [in´kləuz] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.围住,圈起;附上   (高中英语单词)
  • ireland [´aiələnd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.爱尔兰   (高中英语单词)
  • thoughtful [´θɔ:tfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.深思的;体贴的   (高中英语单词)
  • constable [´kʌnstəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警察;警官   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • mutual [´mju:tʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.相互的;共同的   (高中英语单词)
  • ammunition [,æmju´niʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.军火,弹药   (英语四级单词)
  • astray [ə´strei] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&a.在歧途上(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • heroine [´herəuin] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女英雄;女主人公   (英语四级单词)
  • parting [´pɑ:tiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.分离(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • triangle [´traiæŋgəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.三角(形);三角关系   (英语四级单词)
  • corpse [kɔ:ps] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.尸体   (英语四级单词)
  • verdict [´və:dikt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.裁决,判决;判定   (英语四级单词)
  • robbery [´rɔbəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.抢劫(案);盗取   (英语四级单词)
  • right-hand [´rait´hænd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.右手的,右边的   (英语四级单词)
  • warning [´wɔ:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警告;前兆 a.预告的   (英语四级单词)
  • eventually [i´ventʃuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.最后,终于   (英语四级单词)
  • consultation [,kɔnsəl´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.商量;会诊;查阅   (英语四级单词)
  • foreman [´fɔ:mən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.领班;陪审团主席   (英语四级单词)
  • segment [´segmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.部分;段;弓形   (英语六级单词)
  • paralysis [pə´rælisis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.麻痹;瘫痪   (英语六级单词)
  • smitten [´smitn] 移动到这儿单词发声  smite的过去分词   (英语六级单词)
  • mystic [´mistik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神秘的;难以理解的   (英语六级单词)
  • holding [´həuldiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.保持,固定,存储   (英语六级单词)
  • identity [ai´dentiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.身份;同一性;一致   (英语六级单词)
  • middle-aged [´midl´eidʒid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.中年的   (英语六级单词)
  • presumably [pri´zju:məbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.推测起来;大概   (英语六级单词)
  • pending [´pendiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迫近的;悬而未决的   (英语六级单词)
  • affected [ə´fektid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.做作的;假装的   (英语六级单词)
  • applied [ə´plaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.实用的,应用的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:21:09
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