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Fortitude   By: (1884-1941)

Book cover

First Page:

The Distributed Proofreading Team

FORTITUDE

by

Hugh Walpole

To

Charles Maude

The best of friends and the most honest of critics

CONTENTS

BOOK I: SCAW HOUSE

I INTRODUCTION TO COURAGE

II HOW THE WESTCOTT FAMILY SAT UP FOR PETER

III OF THE DARK SHOP OF ZACHARY TAN, AND OF THE DECISIONS THAT THE PEOPLE IN SCAW HOUSE CAME TO CONCERNING PETER

IV IN WHICH "DAWSON'S," AS THE GATE OF LIFE, IS PROVED A DISAPPOINTMENT

V DAWSON'S, THE GATE INTO HELL

VI A LOOKING GLASS, A SILVER MATCH BOX, A GLASS OF WHISKY, AND VOX POPULI

VII PRIDE OF LIFE

VIII PETER AND HIS MOTHER

IX THE THREE WESTCOTTS

X SUNLIGHT, LIMELIGHT, DAYLIGHT

XI ALL KINDS OF FOG IN THE CHARING CROSS ROAD

XII BROCKETT'S: ITS CHARACTERS AND ESPECIALLY MRS. BROCKETT

BOOK II: THE BOOKSHOP

I "REUBEN HALLARD"

II THE MAN ON THE LION

III ROYAL PERSONAGES ARE COMING

IV A LITTLE DUST

V A NARROW STREET

VI THE WORLD AND BUCKET LANE

VII DEVIL'S MARCH

VIII STEPHEN'S CHAPTER

BOOK III: THE ROUNDABOUT

I NO. 72, CHEYNE WALK

II A CHAPTER ABOUT SUCCESS: HOW TO WIN IT, HOW TO KEEP IT WITH A NOTE AT THE END FROM HENRY GALLEON

III THE ENCOUNTER

IV THE ROUNDABOUT

V THE IN BETWEENS

VI BIRTH OF THE HEIR

VII DECLARATION OF HAPPINESS

VIII BLINDS DOWN

IX WILD MEN

X ROCKING THE ROUNDABOUT

XI WHY?

XII A WOMAN CALLED ROSE BENNETT

XIII "MORTIMER STANT"

XIV PETER BUYS A PRESENT

XV MR. WESTCOTT SENIOR CALLS CHECKMATE

BOOK IV: SCAW HOUSE

I THE SEA

II SCAW HOUSE

III NORAH MONOGUE

IV THE GREY HILL

BOOK I

SCAW HOUSE

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION TO COURAGE

I

"'Tisn't life that matters! 'Tis the courage you bring to it" ... this from old Frosted Moses in the warm corner by the door. There might have been an answer, but Dicky Tasset, the Town Idiot, filled in the pause with the tale that he was telling Mother Figgis. "And I ran a mile or more with the stars dotted all over the ground for yer pickin', as yer might say...."

A little boy, Peter Westcott, heard what old Frosted Moses had said, and turned it over in his mind. He was twelve years old, was short and thick necked, and just now looked very small because he was perched on so high a chair. It was one of the four ancient chairs that Sam Figgis always kept in the great kitchen behind the taproom. He kept them there partly because they were so very old and partly because they fell in so pleasantly with the ancient colour and strength of the black smoky rafters. The four ancient chairs were carved up the legs with faces and arms and strange crawling animals and their backs were twisted into the oddest shapes and were uncomfortable to lean against, but Peter Westcott sat up very straight with his little legs dangling in front of him and his grey eyes all over the room at once. He could not see all of the room because there were depths that the darkness seized and filled, and the great fiery place, with its black stained settle, was full of mysterious shadows. A huge fire was burning and leaping in the fastnesses of that stone cavity, and it was by the light of this alone that the room was illumined and this had the effect as Peter noticed, of making certain people, like Mother Figgis and Jane Clewer, quite monstrous, and fantastic with their skirts and hair and their shadows on the wall. Before Frosted Moses had said that sentence about Courage, Peter had been taking the room in. Because he had been there very often before he knew every flagstone in the floor and every rafter in the roof and all the sporting pictures on the walls, and the long shining row of mugs and coloured plates by the fire place and the cured hams hanging from the ceiling ... but to night was Christmas Eve and a very especial occasion, and he was sure to be beaten when he got home, and so must make the very most of his time. He watched the door also for Stephen Brant, who was late, but might arrive at any moment... Continue reading book >>




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