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When the World Shook; being an account of the great adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot   By: (1856-1925)

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WHEN THE WORLD SHOOK

Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot

by H. Rider Haggard

DEDICATION

Ditchingham, 1918.

MY DEAR CURZON,

More than thirty years ago you tried to protect me, then a stranger to you, from one of the falsest and most malignant accusations ever made against a writer.

So complete was your exposure of the methods of those at work to blacken a person whom they knew to be innocent, that, as you will remember, they refused to publish your analysis which destroyed their charges and, incidentally, revealed their motives.

Although for this reason vindication came otherwise, your kindness is one that I have never forgotten, since, whatever the immediate issue of any effort, in the end it is the intention that avails.

Therefore in gratitude and memory I ask you to accept this romance, as I know that you do not disdain the study of romance in the intervals of your Imperial work.

The application of its parable to our state and possibilities beneath or beyond these glimpses of the moon I leave to your discernment.

Believe me,

Ever sincerely yours,

H. RIDER HAGGARD.

To The Earl Curzon of Kedleston, K.G.

CONTENTS

1. ARBUTHNOT DESCRIBES HIMSELF

2. BASTIN AND BICKLEY

3. NATALIE

4. DEATH AND DEPARTURE

5. THE CYCLONE

6. LAND

7. THE OROFENANS

8. BASTIN ATTEMPTS THE MARTYR'S CROWN

9. THE ISLAND IN THE LAKE

10. THE DWELLERS IN THE TOMB

11. RESURRECTION

12. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND YEARS!

13. ORO SPEAKS AND BASTIN ARGUES

14. THE UNDER WORLD

15. ORO IN HIS HOUSE

16. VISIONS OF THE PAST

17. YVA EXPLAINS

18. THE ACCIDENT

19. THE PROPOSALS OF BASTIN AND BICKLEY

20. ORO AND ARBUTHNOT TRAVEL BY NIGHT

21. LOVE'S ETERNAL ALTAR

22. THE COMMAND

23. IN THE TEMPLE OF FATE

24. THE CHARIOT OF THE PIT

25. SACRIFICE

26. TOMMY

27. BASTIN DISCOVERS A RESEMBLANCE

28. NOTE BY J. R. BICKLEY, M.R.C.S.

WHEN THE WORLD SHOOK

Chapter I. Arbuthnot Describes Himself

I suppose that I, Humphrey Arbuthnot, should begin this history in which Destiny has caused me to play so prominent a part, with some short account of myself and of my circumstances.

I was born forty years ago in this very Devonshire village in which I write, but not in the same house. Now I live in the Priory, an ancient place and a fine one in its way, with its panelled rooms, its beautiful gardens where, in this mild climate, in addition to our own, flourish so many plants which one would only expect to find in countries that lie nearer to the sun, and its green, undulating park studded with great timber trees. The view, too, is perfect; behind and around the rich Devonshire landscape with its hills and valleys and its scarped faces of red sandstone, and at a distance in front, the sea. There are little towns quite near too, that live for the most part on visitors, but these are so hidden away by the contours of the ground that from the Priory one cannot see them. Such is Fulcombe where I live, though for obvious reasons I do not give it its real name.

Many years ago my father, the Rev. Humphrey Arbuthnot, whose only child I am, after whom also I am named Humphrey, was the vicar of this place with which our family is said to have some rather vague hereditary connection. If so, it was severed in the Carolian times because my ancestors fought on the side of Parliament.

My father was a recluse, and a widower, for my mother, a Scotswoman, died at or shortly after my birth. Being very High Church for those days he was not popular with the family that owned the Priory before me. Indeed its head, a somewhat vulgar person of the name of Enfield who had made money in trade, almost persecuted him, as he was in a position to do, being the local magnate and the owner of the rectorial tithes... Continue reading book >>




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