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Two Men_ A Romance of Sussex

Two Men_ A Romance of Sussex
Title: Two Men_ A Romance of Sussex
Release Date: 2018-08-05
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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TWO MEN:

A ROMANCE OF SUSSEX

BY

ALFRED OLLIVANT


Necessity the Spring of Faith
and Mould of Character


GARDEN CITY NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
1919



Copyright, 1919, by
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
All rights reserved, including that of
translation into foreign languages,
including the Scandinavian



BY THE SAME AUTHOR
Bob, Son of Battle
Danny
The Gentleman
Redcoat Captain
The Taming of John Blunt
The Royal Road
The Brown Mare
Boy Woodburn



TO
BEACHBOURNE
AND THE FRIENDS I MADE THERE
1901-1911



CONTENTS


BEAU-NEZ

BOOK I

FATHER AND SON

CHAPTER

I   Mr. Trupp
II   Edward Caspar
III   Anne Caspar
IV   Old Man Caspar
V   Ernie Makes His Appearance
VI   The Manor-House
VII   Hans Caspar's Will


BOOK II

THE TWO BROTHERS

VIII   Beachbourne
IX   The Two Boys
X   Old and New
XI   The Study
XII   Alf Shows His Colours
XIII   Alf Makes a Remark
XIV   Evil
XV   Mr. Trupp Introduces the Lash
XVI   Father, Mother and Son
XVII   Ernie Goes for a Soldier


BOOK III

THE SOLDIER

XVIII   Ernie Goes East
XIX   The Regiment
XX   Ernie in India
XXI   The Return of the Soldier
XXII   Old Town
XXIII   The Changed Man
XXIV   Alf
XXV   The Churchman
XXVI   Mr. Pigott


BOOK IV

RUTH BOAM

XXVII   The Hohenzollern Hotel
XXVIII   The Third Floor
XXIX   The Man of Affairs
XXX   Reality
XXXI   The Ride on the Bus
XXXII   On The Hill
XXXIII   Under the Stars


BOOK V

CAPTAIN ROYAL

XXXIV   His Arrival
XXXV   His Origin
XXXVI   The Captain Begins His Siege
XXXVII   He Drives a Sap
XXXVIII   The Serpent
XXXIX   The Lash Again
XL   Clash of Males
XLI   The Decoy Pond
XLII   The Captain's Flight
XLIII   The Ebb-Tide
XLIV   Ernie Leaves the Hotel


BOOK VI

THE QUEST

XLV   Old Mus Boam
XLVI   Ernie Turns Philosopher
XLVII   Alf Tries to Help
XLVIII   Two Meetings
XLIX   Alf Marks Time


BOOK VII

THE OUTCAST

L   The Crumbles
LI   Evelyn Trupp
LII   The Return of the Outcast
LIII   The Find
LIV   The Brooks


BOOK VIII

TREASURE TROVE

LV   The Pool
LVI   Frogs' Hall
LVII   The Surprise
LVIII   The Dower-House
LIX   Alf Tries to Save a Soul
LX   The End of a Chapter



BEAU-NEZ
BOOK I
FATHER AND SON


TWO MEN

BEAU-NEZ

Old Beau-Nez shouldered out into the sea, immense,immovable, as when the North-men, tossing off him in theirlong-boats, had first named him a thousand years before.

Like a lion asleep athwart the doors of light, his headmassive upon his paws, his flanks smooth as marble, he rested.

The sea broke petulantly and in vain against the bouldersthat strewed his feet. He lay squandered in the sunshinethat filled the hollows in his back and declared the lines ofhis ribs gaunt beneath the pelt.

Overhead larks poured down rivulets of song from thebrimming bowl of heaven. The long-drawn swish of thesea, a sonorous under-current that came and went in rhythmicalmonotone, rose from the foot of the cliff to meet thesilvery rain of sound and mingle with it in deep andmysterious harmony.

It was May. The sides of the coombes were covered withcloth of gold: for the gorse was in glory, and filled the airwith heavy fragrance; while the turf, sweet with thyme, wasbejewelled with a myriad variety of tiny flowers.

In earth and sea and sky there was a universal murmuringcontent, as though after labour, enduring for ons, theMother of Time had at last brought forth her Son and, asshe nursed him, crooned her thankfulness.

Out of the West, along the back of the Downs, dippingand dancing to the curve of the land like the wake of a shipover a billowy sea, a rough road swept up to the head,passing a dew-pond, the old race-course still fenced in, and afarm amid stacks at the head of a long valley that curledaway towards a lighthouse pricking up white against the blueon the summit of the cliff in the eye of the misty morning sun.

The name of the lighthouse was Bel- or Baal-tout, remindingmen by its title of the god their fathers worshippedon high places here and elsewhere throughout the world withhuman sacrifices—the god of the Philistine of every age andcountry, and not least our own.

On Beau-nez itself a tall flagstaff overtopped a littlecluster of white coast-guard stations, outside which a tetheredgoat grazed.

Beside the flagstaff stood a man, watching a tan-sailedThames barge leisurely flapping across the shining floor ofwater beneath.

He too was massive: a big man with swarthy eyes set in apale face, very sure of himself. So much you could tell bythe carriage of his head, and the way he stood on his feet.He was not used to opposition, it was clear, and would notbrook it; while the coat with the astrakhan collar he waswearing added to his air of consequence.

Behind him in the road stood the dingy fly and moth-eatenhorse that had brought him up the hill.

The big man turned his back on the sun and walked slowlyto the top of the steep coombe which overlooked the townthat lay beneath him like a fairy city in the mists along thefoam-lined edge of the bay, reaching out over the Levels tothe East, and flinging its red-coated skirmishers up the lowerslopes of the Downs.

"How the town grows!" mused the big man.

A brown excrescence on the smooth turf of the coombebeneath him caught his eye. At first he mistook it for abadger's earth; then he saw that it was a man lying on hisback. The man's hands were behind his head, and his softhat over his eyes; but he was not sleeping. One lank leg wascrossed over a crooked knee, and the dangling foot kickedrestlessly to and fro.

That foot was sandalled.

The man in the astrakhan coat slowly descended towardsthe recumbent figure. His eyes were ironical, his expressionalmost grim.

For a moment he stood looking down upon the unconsciousdreamer whose pale brown hair peeped from beneath a hat ofa shape more familiar in the Quartier Latin than on Englishshores.

Then he prodded the other in the side with his toe.

The young fellow roused with a start and blinked up intothe big man's face.

"Hullo, f—father," he cried with a slight stutter, androse in perturbation: a ramshackle young fellow, taller eventhan his father, but entirely lacking the other's girth andauthoritative presence. A soft beard framed his long face, andhe was wearing the low flannel collar that in the seventieswas the height of bad form.

"Just like you, Ned," said the elder with a grimness thatwas not entirely unkind.

The son bent and brushed his knees unnecessarily. Hisface twitched, but he did not attempt to answer.

"Your mother's very ill," said the big man casually. Hetook a letter from his pocket and thrust it towards his son.

The young man read it and handed it back.

"Is she h—happy?" he asked, his face moved and moving.

"She's away all the time—like her son," the otheranswered; and added more mildly—"She doesn't know anyone now—not even the latest parson." He turned andclimbed the hill again.

On the summit by the flagstaff he paused and looked rounddeliberately.

"Might build an hotel here," he said thoughtfully."Should pay."



BOOK I
FATHER AND SON


CHAPTER I
MR. TRUPP

When in the late seventies young Mr. Trupp, abandoningthe use of Lister's spray, but with meticulousantiseptic precautions derived from the greatman at University Hospital, performed the operation ofvariotomy on the daughter of Sir Hector Moray, and she lived,his friends called it a miracle, his enemies a lucky fluke.

All were agreed that it had never been done before, andthe more foolish added that it would never be done again.

Sir Hector was a well-known soldier; and the operationmade the growing reputation of the man who performed it.

William Trupp was registrar at the Whitechapel at thetime, and a certainty for the next staff appointment. When,therefore, while the columns of the Lancet were still hot withthe controversy that raged round the famous case, the youngman told Sir Audrey Rivers, whose house-surgeon he hadbeen, that he meant to leave London and migrate to thecountry, the great orthopdist had said in his grim way tothis his favourite pupil:

"If you do, I'll never send you a patient."

Even in his young days Mr. Trupp was remarkable forthe gruff geniality which characterized him to the end.

"Very well, sir," he said with that shrewd smile of his."I must go all the same."

Next day Sir Audrey read that his understudy was engagedto Evelyn, only daughter of Sir Hector Moray of Pole.

Evelyn Moray came of warrior ancestry; and her father,known on the North-West Frontier as Mohmund Moray,was not the least distinguished of his line. The family hadwon their title as Imperialists, not on the platform, but bygenerations of laborious service in the uttermost marches ofthe Empire. The Morays were in fact one of those rarefamilies of working aristocrats, which through all theinsincerities of Victorian times remained true to the old knightlyideal of service as the only test of leadership.

Evelyn then had been brought up in a spacious atmosphereof high endeavour and chivalrous gaiety remote indeed fromthe dull and narrow circumstance of her lover's origin.Profoundly aware of it, the young man was determined that hislady should not suffer as the result of her choice.

Moreover he loved the sea; he loved sport; and, not least,he was something of a natural philosopher. That is to say,he cherished secret dreams as to the part his profession wasto play in that gradual Ascent of Man which Darwin hadrecently revealed to the young men of William Trupp'sgeneration. Moreover he held certain theories as to the practiceof his profession, which he could never work out in HarleyStreet. It was his hope to devote his life to a campaignagainst that enemy of the human race—the tubercle bacillus.And to the realization of his plans the sea and open spaceswere necessary.

A colleague at the Whitechapel, who was his confidant,said one day:—

"Why don't you look at Beachbourne? It's a comingtown. And you get the sea and the Downs. It's ideal foryour purpose."

"It's so new," protested the young surgeon. "I can'ttake that girl out of that home and plant her down in a rawplace like Beachbourne. She'd perish like a violet inCommercial

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