Paternoster Row



In Cloth Gilt, 6s.


"The story fascinates; it contains some of the best descriptions of

fox-hunting we have met with, and there is a crispness in the

delineation of all the characters which proves that the author is no

commonplace dabbler in fiction."--_Pall Mall Gazette_.

"One of the most humorous and lively books that have appeared this

year. It contains some fine descriptions of hunting, and a vivid

picture of county society. The whole book is written with vivacity and

dash."--_Country Life_.

"Told with a literary skill and a mature judgment which promise well

for future work from the author."--_Times_.


"Miss R. Ramsay has written but two novels, but if her future work

fulfils the promise of these, or even maintains their standard, her

public should be large and enthusiastic. She describes fox-hunting

from the true sportsman's point of view, but with a dashing vivacity

and humour. There is rare matter in even the best of contemporary

sporting novels, but there is more in Miss Ramsay's. There is no doubt

that Miss Ramsay possesses exceptionalliterary gifts."--_Gentlewoman_.

"It is a jovial story, vigorously and vivaciously written. The book is

invigorating, fresh, and quite excellent in its descriptions of hunting

scenes, hunting country, and hunting weather."--_Manchester Guardian_.

"This story, briskly written, has plenty of exhilarating pictures of

the hunting field in its lively course. It has plenty of fresh, breezy

humour in the delineation of people who hunt, is clever in

construction, and written with a literary skill that keeps the story

always going."--_Scotsman_.





The lamp flickered and jumped at the stamping in the bar.

There was a frantic quality in that noise, laughter and exclamation

mixed with a wild shouting that made the crazy partition quiver. It

was a mad reaction from the common weight of despair.

From the bed in the room behind you could watch the door....

Paradise Town was a broken link in the chain of civilization; it might

have been written in letters of rusted blood on the map. Its pioneers

had forsaken it cursing, its trees had been burned for firewood, its

earth had been riddled in vain for gold. All that was left of it was

huddled near the shanty where men could buy drink and blur the spell of

awful loneliness that shut them away from life. It was worse at night.

With the darkness fell a heavier sense of the distance of human help,

and Paradise was an island in a black sea of haunted land. East and

west, wide and silent, the unknown emptiness lapped it in.

Ill-luck and some bitter trick had stranded the M'Kune Tragedy Company

in this dreadful place. Night after night they played in a shingle hut

with their uselessscenery stacked outside; night after night M'Kune

broke it to his scared company that they hadn't yet got their fares.

Fear and a kind of superstition worked in their minds until they were

seized with panic. In the daylight the men hung about the bar,

muttering; and the women herded by themselves, packed like hens in a

strange run, hysterically afraid. Prisoners in a desert, when night

had fallen they wandered away to the railroad track and watched.

Towards midnight would rise a red gleam on the far horizon, and they

would hear a distant rumbling, gathering to a roar, till the darkness

was split by a whizzing bar of light. By it went, the great, glaring

thing full of life, terrible in its rush, and leaving the night

immeasurably darker. Among the watchers the men would affect to

whistle. If they couldn't board her to-night they might manage it

to-morrow.... But the women caught each other's hands fast, and

shuddered. Latterly they had felt as if the train were a devil that

counted and kept them there.

But their desperateplight inspired them. Never in their lives had

these poor mummers so hurled themselves into their parts; never again

would they murder and cheat and punish with such passionate realism.

Their fate hung upon it. Penniless and trapped, their solitary chance

of rescue lay in witching all Paradise to stare at them and furnish the


"Keep it up," urged M'Kune when a tired actress flagged. The hut was

full and airless, but a few men were sullenlyhanging back in the

doorway, drawn thither, but arguing if it was worth it to step inside.

"Keep it up!" hissed M'Kune.

And the heroine flung herself between the hero and the villain's knife,

slipped as she ran, and was hurt, but struggled up and cried out her

tottering defiance, bringing the house down before she dropped on her


That was the last night of crazed endeavour. The curtain came rocking

down, and the villain--M'Kune--cheated the gallows to run feverishly

through his receipts. All Paradise was vociferating behind that

flapping rag, but amidst the din the players had heard their manager's

yell of triumph. They had made up their fares at last.

The Tragedy Company scattered and fled, each in search of his own

belongings; but they had little to gather, and the night wind blew them

together like drifting leaves. They durst not squander their means of

escaping, durst not loiter. The train, thundering by in its midnight

passage, must lift them out of this nightmare town. Waiting they

filled the bar, singing and shouting like lunatics, beside themselves

with joy.

The door in the partition rattled, but stayed shut, and on the inner

side was silence. Nobody lifted the latch, though the bursts of noise

shook it from time to time. A selfish panic had left no room for any

other feeling. Probably they had all forgotten that one of the Tragedy

Company who could not escape out of Paradise; and it was all in vain

that the crazy bedstead was turned in its corner to face the door.

She lay without moving. It seemed as if there were nothing of her but

the long black hair covering the pillow. In their hurry those who had

carried her in had not taken out all the pins, and a few glistened in

it still. Looking closer, one saw that her hands were clenched tight

against her breast, as if to keep her heart quiet.

How fast the minutes went! It must be nearly train time. And surely

there was a vast thing, pulsing, pulsing, like an engine, far away in

the night? She could bear the hubbub of voices, but not the dread of

silence. Was it quite impossible to rise up and struggle to them, and

reach a human face? ... Suddenly she took a panting breath, short like

a sob, still gazing.

The door had opened at last, and a woman looked in hastily, and,

flinging a word over her shoulder to the rest, stepped forward,

shutting out the streak of light and the voices in the bar. Then she

paused, irresolute. It was so dim in here, the atmosphere was so

anxious.... And nothing stirring ... just a glimmer of wild black hair.

"You poor little thing!" she said.

Her voice was warm with the cheap kindness of a nature tuned to play

with emotion, but incapable of feeling it from within. Her sympathy

smacked of the stage, but as far as it went was ready to proffer easy


"Like the Flight out of Egypt, isn't it?" she said. "It's a shame to

leave you behind. If M'Kune would hear reason, and any of us had a

cent to spare, I'd make a bundle of you, and carry you on to the train

myself. But it won't run to it. I asked him. We're nothing but

ranting beggars.... You'd better write to your friends."

The girl on the bed laughed.

So much of despair betrayed itself in that tragic note that the woman

was startled. She came a little nearer.

"You don't mean it's as bad as that?" she said, lower. "All dead?--I

might have known it. They wouldn't have let a thing like you fling

about with us. But you'll be all right; you'll rub along somehow. We

all do.... And that man who was once a doctor--"

But at her words a quick terror came to drive out the girl's submission

to despair. She threw out her hands, clutching at the other woman's


"What?" said she, comprehending. "Then the brute's charity and

promising to M'Kune--Oh, Lord, what a horrible place it is----!"

"Don't go!" The girl's voice was a choking cry.

The woman swung round and listened. Were the rest starting already?

Her fine eyes darkened. She was wrapped up for the night journey in a

faded crimson cloak, her usual wear in tragedy, alike as empress and

villainess. Its dull glow warmed a beauty that was, like her soul, not

quite real. Perhaps she was repenting the hasty impulse that had

brought her in. But she could not pull herself loose from that piteous


The younger one looked up beseechingly in her face. Her spirit failed

her; she hardly knew what an impracticable thing she was asking, how

uselessly she was clinging, in her horror of friendlessness.

"I'm so frightened ... I'm so frightened..." she whispered, panting

because the effort hurt her; her lips were pale, and her forehead was

damp with pain.

Suddenly the woman clapped her hands.

"I've got it!" she said. Her face cleared, and she began to laugh like

one whose mind was rid of a burden. Twisting a ring off her finger,

she caught the little desperate hand still clutching at her skirt, and

thrust the ring on.

"There!" she said. "Change with me."

"I can't understand," said the girl faintly. The other woman burst

into vehement explanation.

"It's Providence!" she said. "Never tell me--! I'm used to this life

with its ups and downs, and its glitter of luck ahead. It's in my

bones; the restlessness, and all that. I couldn't give it up. I

wouldn't. But you--! You didn't guess there was a lawyer tracking me,

did you?--that I'm a widow?--that I'm wanted to go and live in England

with his mother. Perhaps she'd have to pay somebody if I hadn't a

sense of duty.... _Me_ picking up stitches in her knitting, yawning in

a parlour with a parrot!--But you'd be safe there, you child--!"

She paused for breath, triumphant.

"I'll tell him to fetch you," she said. "The lawyer. Wait a minute--I

have his letter; warning me that there is no money in it--no

settlements, as he calls it. I'd be depending on the old woman's

chanty, like any stray cat."

She went down immediately on her knees, and plunged into a kit-bag that

she had slung on her arm, turning out its miscellaneous load. There

was a shiver of glass as she fumbled, spilling things right and left;

and the stale air was scented with heliotrope.

"That's all you want," she said, throwing a heap of papers on the bed.

"Here's his photograph. You can have it. I can't tell you much about

him, but you'll find the clues in there. He was good-looking, too,

poor fellow; a great gawk of a good-for-nothing working with his hands.

John Barnabas Hill--the boys called him Lord John among themselves, and

persuaded me he was incognito. But when I asked him after the wedding

if I was now my lady, he just laughed and laughed; and I went right off

in a passion and never saw him again. It wasn't his fault. I was just

too eager; that's all there was to it. And I'll tell the lawyer I've

left you ill in this wilderness. He'll rush to your side, and take it

for granted that you are me. Don't look so scared. What's the matter?"

"I can't do it," the girl panted, staring with a dizzy wonder at the

casual Samaritan on her knees. Surely the lamp was sinking, the

darkness seemed dangerously near, the kneeling figure brilliant in a

blur. She tried to keep a picture of that kind human face wherewith to

fill the darkness, while instinctively repudiating her mad suggestion.

"Rubbish!" said the woman. "It's the simplest thing. You do

nothing.--And you're an actress."

"But I cannot," the girl said over and over again, holding fast.

"You'll hurt nobody," urged the woman, attaining to some imperfect

apprehension of an attitude of mind that would not, even in extremity,

buy help with falsehood. "If I'm willing to have you stand in my

shoes, who else has a right to grumble? It's perfectly fair all round.

Look! I'm stuffing these papers under your pillow. I'll tell them all

outside that an English lawyer is coming for you, and that'll make

things easy. Don't hinder me leaving you with a clear conscience.

I've been your friend, haven't I? Hush, hush! I tell you you must....

I'll not let you die in this den. I'll not be haunted----!"

There was a tramping in the bar without. They were going. She tumbled

her belongings into the bag, and clapped it shut. The rest of them

were calling her.

"Luck!" she said, "and good-bye."

Her eyes dimmed unexpectedly, and she bent in a shamefaced hurry,

printing a kiss on the girl's cheek ... and fled.

The door closed. In imagination one might see the midnight train

thundering towards the watchers--hear the grinding of the brakes. To

the bustle had succeeded a dreadful stillness. They had all gone like

shadows, and the listener was deserted.

"I can't ... I can't ... I can't!" she reiterated in a sobbing whisper,

casting the strange chance from her with a last effort of

consciousness. The lamp was dying, and the world seemed to be turning

round. In that unfriended darkness the ring on her finger was

glittering like a charm.


The day's hunting was over.

Of the hundreds who had jostled each other in the first run, a

disreputable few survived, pulling up after that last gallop. They

grinned contentedly, drawing out their watches. Thirty-five minutes

from the wood; a straight fox and elbow-room. It had been worth

stopping out for, though now the dusk was thickening fast, and the

huntsman was calling off his hounds.

"Where's Rackham?" asked one man, peering into the hollow.

"Gone home. I saw his back as we came through Pickwell."

"That wasn't Rackham. That was Bond, hurrying home to tea."

"He's probably come to grief. His horse had had about enough when I

lost him."

Another man popped his head over the hedge that had worsted him. His

hat was stove in, and his tired animal was blowing on the farther side.

"_He's_ all right," he said. "The devil looks after his own. I turned

the most horrible somersault back yonder, through my horse catching his

leg in a binder; and before I could pick myself up, over shoots

Rackham, practically on the top of us. If he'd even given me time to

roll into the ditch!--Down he went to the water.... I wish I could

think he was swimming in it."

"He's not far, anyhow. Hark to him. I'd know that laugh of his a mile

off. There he goes--'Haw, haw, haw!'--all by himself, in the valley."

They turned their heads to listen, with a broadening and sympathetic

  • lively [´laivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活泼的;热烈的   (初中英语单词)
  • literary [´litərəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.文学(上)的   (初中英语单词)
  • humour [´hju:mə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.幽默,诙谐   (初中英语单词)
  • laughter [´lɑ:ftə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.笑,笑声   (初中英语单词)
  • quiver [´kwivə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.抖动 n.颤动(声)   (初中英语单词)
  • reaction [ri´ækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.反应(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • civilization [,sivilai´zeiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.文明,文化   (初中英语单词)
  • paradise [´pærədais] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天堂;乐园   (初中英语单词)
  • haunted [´hɔ:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.常出现鬼的,闹鬼的   (初中英语单词)
  • tragedy [´trædʒidi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.悲剧;惨案;灾难   (初中英语单词)
  • dreadful [´dredful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怕的;讨厌的   (初中英语单词)
  • useless [´ju:sləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无用的,无价值的   (初中英语单词)
  • daylight [´deilait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光;黎明   (初中英语单词)
  • midnight [´midnait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.午夜;漆黑   (初中英语单词)
  • horizon [hə´raizən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.地平线;范围;视野   (初中英语单词)
  • affect [ə´fekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.影响;感动;假装   (初中英语单词)
  • desperate [´despərit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.拼死的;绝望的   (初中英语单词)
  • punish [´pʌniʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(惩)罚;痛击;折磨   (初中英语单词)
  • rescue [´reskju:] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.救援;挽救   (初中英语单词)
  • thither [´ðiðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.到那里 a.那边的   (初中英语单词)
  • endeavour [in´devə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.努力,试图,尽力   (初中英语单词)
  • triumph [´traiəmf] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.胜利 vi.得胜,战胜   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • selfish [´selfiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.自私的,利己的   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • hastily [´heistili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.急速地;草率地   (初中英语单词)
  • atmosphere [´ætməsfiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大气;空气;气氛   (初中英语单词)
  • emotion [i´məuʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.感情;情绪;激动   (初中英语单词)
  • flight [flait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.逃走;飞行;班机   (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)
  • despair [di´speə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.绝望   (初中英语单词)
  • terror [´terə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;惊骇   (初中英语单词)
  • horrible [´hɔrəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怕的;恐怖的   (初中英语单词)
  • impulse [´impʌls] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.推动(力);冲动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • horror [´hɔrə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;战栗   (初中英语单词)
  • forehead [´fɔrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.额,前部   (初中英语单词)
  • glitter [´glitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.光辉 vi.闪烁,炫耀   (初中英语单词)
  • lawyer [´lɔ:jə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.律师;法学家   (初中英语单词)
  • knitting [´nitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.编织(物);接合;联合   (初中英语单词)
  • shiver [´ʃivə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使)颤抖;碎片   (初中英语单词)
  • working [´wə:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.工人的;劳动的   (初中英语单词)
  • passion [´pæʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.激情;激怒;恋爱   (初中英语单词)
  • wilderness [´wildənis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.荒地,荒野   (初中英语单词)
  • brilliant [´briliənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.灿烂的;杰出的   (初中英语单词)
  • willing [´wiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.情愿的,乐意的   (初中英语单词)
  • imagination [i,mædʒi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.想象(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • gallop [´gæləp] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.奔驰;急速行进   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathetic [,simpə´θetik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.同情的,有同情心的   (初中英语单词)
  • mature [mə´tjuə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.成熟的 v.(使)成熟   (高中英语单词)
  • enthusiastic [inθju:zi´æstik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.热情的,热心的   (高中英语单词)
  • frantic [´fræntik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.发狂的;急忙的   (高中英语单词)
  • partition [pɑ:´tiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.分割;划分   (高中英语单词)
  • loneliness [´ləunliniz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.孤独,寂寞   (高中英语单词)
  • scenery [´si:nəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.舞台布景   (高中英语单词)
  • superstition [,su:pə´stiʃən, ,sju:-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.迷信(行为)   (高中英语单词)
  • plight [plait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.境况;困境;苦境   (高中英语单词)
  • passionate [´pæʃənit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.易动情的;易怒的   (高中英语单词)
  • solitary [´sɔlitəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.独居的;孤独的   (高中英语单词)
  • actress [´æktris] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女演员   (高中英语单词)
  • hanging [´hæŋiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.绞刑 a.悬挂着的   (高中英语单词)
  • defiance [di´faiəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.蔑视,挑衅;反抗   (高中英语单词)
  • streak [stri:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.纹理 v.用线条(条纹)   (高中英语单词)
  • tragic [´trædʒik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.悲剧的;悲惨的   (高中英语单词)
  • charity [´tʃæriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.施舍;慈悲;博爱   (高中英语单词)
  • crimson [´krimzən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.深(紫)红(的)   (高中英语单词)
  • faintly [´feintli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.微弱地,软弱无力的   (高中英语单词)
  • falsehood [´fɔ:lshud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.错误;撒谎   (高中英语单词)
  • grumble [´grʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.抱怨;发牢骚   (高中英语单词)
  • perfectly [´pə:fiktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.理想地;完美地   (高中英语单词)
  • hinder [´hində, ´haində] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.阻止 a.后面的   (高中英语单词)
  • bustle [´bʌsəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(使)匆忙 n.匆忙   (高中英语单词)
  • stillness [´stilnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不动;无声,寂静   (高中英语单词)
  • humorous [´hju:mərəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.富于幽默的,诙谐的   (英语四级单词)
  • exceptional [ik´sepʃənəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.异常的,特别的   (英语四级单词)
  • vigorously [´vigərəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.精力旺盛地;健壮地   (英语四级单词)
  • briskly [´briskli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.轻快地;活泼地   (英语四级单词)
  • shingle [´ʃiŋgəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.盖屋板;木瓦   (英语四级单词)
  • gathering [´gæðəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.集会,聚集   (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)
  • gallows [´gæləuz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.绞刑架   (英语四级单词)
  • amidst [ə´midst] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.=amid   (英语四级单词)
  • nightmare [´naitmeə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.梦魇;恶梦   (英语四级单词)
  • stirring [´stə:riŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活跃的;热闹的   (英语四级单词)
  • glimmer [´glimə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.闪光   (英语四级单词)
  • incapable [in´keipəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无能力的;不能的   (英语四级单词)
  • proffer [´prɔfə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.提供;贡献   (英语四级单词)
  • empress [´empris] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女皇;皇后   (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)
  • miscellaneous [,misə´leiniəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.混杂的;兴趣杂的   (英语四级单词)
  • instinctively [in´stiŋktivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.本能地   (英语四级单词)
  • belongings [bi´lɔŋiŋz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.所有物;行李   (英语四级单词)
  • unexpectedly [´ʌniks´pektidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.意外地;突然地   (英语四级单词)
  • listener [´lisənə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(收)听者,听众之一   (英语四级单词)
  • drawing [´drɔ:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.画图;制图;图样   (英语四级单词)
  • hunting [´hʌntiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.打猎   (英语六级单词)
  • dashing [´dæʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.勇猛的;生气勃勃的   (英语六级单词)
  • forsaken [fə´seik] 移动到这儿单词发声  forsake的过去分词   (英语六级单词)
  • firewood [´faiəwud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.柴,薪   (英语六级单词)
  • sullenly [´sʌlənli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不高兴地   (英语六级单词)
  • loiter [´lɔitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.闲逛,消磨时间   (英语六级单词)
  • impracticable [im´præktikəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不切实际的   (英语六级单词)
  • vehement [´viəmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.猛烈的;热烈的   (英语六级单词)
  • good-looking [] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.漂亮的,美貌的   (英语六级单词)
  • dangerously [´deindʒrəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.危险   (英语六级单词)
  • wherewith [wɛə´wiθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.用什么;用以   (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)
  • calling [´kɔ:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.点名;职业;欲望   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:48:17
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