Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Snake and Sword A Novel   By: (1885-1941)

Book cover

First Page:

SNAKE AND SWORD

A NOVEL

BY

PERCIVAL CHRISTOPHER WREN

DEDICATED TO MY WIFE ALICE LUCILLE WREN

CONTENTS

PART I.

THE WELDING OF A SOUL

I. The Snake and the Soul

PART II.

THE SEARING OF A SOUL

II. The Sword and the Snake

III. The Snake Appears

IV. The Sword and the Soul

V. Lucille

VI. The Snake's "Myrmidon"

VII. Love and the Snake

VIII. Troopers of the Queen

IX. A Snake avenges a Haddock and Lucille behaves in an un Smelliean Manner

X. Much Ado about Almost Nothing A Mere Trooper

XI. More Myrmidons

PART III.

THE SAVING OF A SOUL

XII. Vultures and Luck Good and Bad

XIII. Found

XIV. The Snake and the Sword

Seven Years After

PART I.

THE WELDING OF A SOUL.

CHAPTER I.

THE SNAKE AND THE SOUL.

When Colonel Matthew Devon de Warrenne, V.C., D.S.O., of the Queen's Own (118th) Bombay Lancers, pinned his Victoria Cross to the bosom of his dying wife's night dress, in token of his recognition that she was the braver of the twain, he was not himself.

He was beside himself with grief.

Afterwards he adjured the sole witness of this impulsive and emotional act, Major John Decies, never to mention his "damned theatrical folly" to any living soul, and to excuse him on the score of an ancient sword cut on the head and two bad sun strokes.

For the one thing in heaven above, on the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth, that Colonel de Warrenne feared, was breach of good form and stereotyped convention.

And the one thing he loved was the dying woman.

This last statement applies also to Major John Decies, of the Indian Medical Service, Civil Surgeon of Bimariabad, and may even be expanded, for the one thing he ever had loved was the dying woman....

Colonel Matthew Devon de Warrenne did the deed that won him his Victoria Cross, in the open, in the hot sunlight and in hot blood, sword in hand and with hot blood on the sword hand fighting for his life.

His wife did the deed that moved him to transfer the Cross to her, in darkness, in cold blood, in loneliness, sickness and silence fighting for the life of her unborn child against an unseen foe.

Colonel de Warrenne's type of brave deed has been performed thousands of times and wherever brave men have fought.

His wife's deed of endurance, presence of mind, self control and cool courage is rarer, if not unique.

To appreciate this fully, it must be known that she had a horror of snakes, so terrible as to amount to an obsession, a mental deformity, due, doubtless, to the fact that her father (Colonel Mortimer Seymour Stukeley) died of snake bite before her mother's eyes, a few hours before she herself was born.

Bearing this in mind, judge of the conduct that led Colonel de Warrenne, distraught, to award her his Cross "For Valour".

One oppressive June evening, Lenore de Warrenne returned from church (where she had, as usual, prayed fervently that her soon expected first born might be a daughter), and entered her dressing room. Here her Ayah divested her of hat, dress, and boots, and helped her into the more easeful tea gown and satin slippers.

"Bootlair wanting ishweets for dinner table from go down,[1] please, Mem Sahib," observed Ayah, the change of garb accomplished.

"The butler wants sweets, does he? Give me my keys, then," replied Mrs. de Warrenne, and, rising with a sigh, she left the dressing room and proceeded, via the dining room (where she procured some small silver bowls, sweet dishes, and trays), to the go down or store room, situate at the back of the bungalow and adjoining the "dispense khana" the room in which assemble the materials and ministrants of meals from the extra mural "bowachi khana" or kitchen. Unlocking the door of the go down, Mrs. de Warrenne entered the small shelf encircled room, and, stepping on to a low stool proceeded to fill the sweet trays from divers jars, tins and boxes, with guava cheese, crystallized ginger, kulwa , preserved mango and certain of the more sophisticated sweetmeats of the West... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books