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The Road to Mandalay A Tale of Burma   By: (1849-1920)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

THE ROAD TO MANDALAY

A Tale of Burma

by

B. M. Croker

Cassell and Company, Ltd London, New York, Toronto & Melbourne First published October 1917. Reprinted December 1917, March and May 1918 Popular Edition 1919.

TO

LT. COLONEL A. E. CONGDON

LATE ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS

FROM HIS OLD FRIEND

THE AUTHOR

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

1. BLINDS DOWN 2. WHAT HANNAH SAID 3. THE CLOSED HOUSE 4. KICKS AND HALFPENCE 5. CLOUDS 6. AN EMPTY OFFER 7. "THE MONSTER" 8. BOUND FOR BURMA 9. THE "BLANKSHIRE" 10. THE LAND OF PROMISE 11. A BURMESE HOSTESS 12. EAST AND WEST 13. "KEEP AN EYE UPON HER" 14. THE MANTLE OF FERNANDA 15. THE CHUMMERY 16. MR. AND MRS. ABELSALTER 17. AT THE PLAY 18. THE CHINESE SHOP 19. CHAFF 20. THE PONGYE 21. THE COCAINE DEN 22. THE APPROACHING DREAD 23. MYSTERY AND SUSPICION 24. SENTENCE OF DEATH 25. THE LATE RICHARD ROSCOE 26. FITZGERALD IMPARTS INFORMATION 27. A ROPE TRICK 28. MA CHIT 29. MUNG BAW 30. ENLIGHTENMENT 31. SEEING IS BELIEVING 32. ON DUTY 33. SOPHY 34. ALL IS OVER 35. MUNG BAW LIES LOW 36. THE BOMBSHELL 37. THE TUG OF WAR 38. SERGEANT MAJOR RYAN

THE ROAD TO MANDALAY

CHAPTER I

BLINDS DOWN

"What do you think, Mitty? All the blinds are down at 'Littlecote,'" announced Miss Jane Tebbs, bursting open the drawing room door and disturbing her sister in a surreptitious game of patience. In well ordered households the mistress is understood to have various domestic tasks claiming her attention in the morning. Cards should never appear until after sunset.

"Blinds down?" echoed Miss Tebbs, hastily moving a newspaper in the hope of concealing her ill doing. "Why are you in such a taking, Jane? I suppose the family are away."

"Rubbish!" exclaimed her relative, sinking into a chair and dragging off her gloves. "Did you ever know them all away together? Of course, Mrs. Shafto goes gadding, and Douglas is at Sandhurst, but 'he' seldom stirs. It is my opinion that something has happened. The Shaftos have lived at 'Littlecote' for ten years, and I have never seen the blinds down before to day."

"Oh, you are so fussy and ready to imagine things!" grumbled Mitty, who meanwhile had collected and pocketed the cards with surpassing dexterity. "I don't forget the time when the curate had a smart lady in his lodgings, and you nearly went out of your mind: rampaging up and down the village, and telling everyone that the bishop must be informed; and after all your outcry she turned out to be the young man's mother!"

"That's true. I confess I was misled; but she made herself up to look like a girl of twenty. You can't deny that she powdered her nose and wore white shoes. But this is different. Drawn blinds are a sign of trouble, and there is trouble at 'Littlecote,' as sure as my name is Jane."

"Then, in that case, why don't you go up to the house and inquire?" The query suggested a challenge.

" Mitty ! You know perfectly well that I have never been inside the door since Mrs. Shafto was so rude to me about the book club, when I wrote and protested against the 'loose' novels she put upon her list. Why, you saw her letter yourself!"

Here a pause ensued, during which Miss Jane blew into every separate finger of her gloves and folded them up with the neatest exactitude. Presently she murmured with a meditative air:

"I was thinking of asking Eliza to run over."

"Oh, you may ask!" rejoined her sister, with a sniff of scorn, "but Eliza won't stir. There's a beefsteak pudding for dinner. And that reminds me that this is the egg woman's day, and I must see if she has called. I shall want three dozen."

And without another word the elder Miss Tebbs bustled out of the room and abandoned her relative to solitude and speculation... Continue reading book >>




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