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Within the Tides   By: (1857-1924)

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First Page:

Scanned and proofed by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

WITHIN THE TIDES

TALES

. . . Go, make you ready.

HAMLET to the PLAYERS.

[Picture: Decorative graphic]

LONDON & TORONTO J. M. DENT & SONS LTD. PARIS: J. M. DENT ET. FILS

FIRST EDITION February 1915 REPRINTED April 1915; August 1919

To MR. AND MRS. RALPH WEDGWOOD

THIS SHEAF OF CARE FREE ANTE BELLUM PAGES IN GRATITUDE FOR THEIR CHARMING HOSPITALITY IN THE LAST MONTH OF PEACE

Contents

PAGE THE PLANTER OF MALATA 3 THE PARTNER 119 THE INN OF THE TWO WITCHES 175 BECAUSE OF THE DOLLARS 223

THE PLANTER OF MALATA

CHAPTER I

In the private editorial office of the principal newspaper in a great colonial city two men were talking. They were both young. The stouter of the two, fair, and with more of an urban look about him, was the editor and part owner of the important newspaper.

The other’s name was Renouard. That he was exercised in his mind about something was evident on his fine bronzed face. He was a lean, lounging, active man. The journalist continued the conversation.

“And so you were dining yesterday at old Dunster’s.”

He used the word old not in the endearing sense in which it is sometimes applied to intimates, but as a matter of sober fact. The Dunster in question was old. He had been an eminent colonial statesman, but had now retired from active politics after a tour in Europe and a lengthy stay in England, during which he had had a very good press indeed. The colony was proud of him.

“Yes. I dined there,” said Renouard. “Young Dunster asked me just as I was going out of his office. It seemed to be like a sudden thought. And yet I can’t help suspecting some purpose behind it. He was very pressing. He swore that his uncle would be very pleased to see me. Said his uncle had mentioned lately that the granting to me of the Malata concession was the last act of his official life.”

“Very touching. The old boy sentimentalises over the past now and then.”

“I really don’t know why I accepted,” continued the other. “Sentiment does not move me very easily. Old Dunster was civil to me of course, but he did not even inquire how I was getting on with my silk plants. Forgot there was such a thing probably. I must say there were more people there than I expected to meet. Quite a big party.”

“I was asked,” remarked the newspaper man. “Only I couldn’t go. But when did you arrive from Malata?”

“I arrived yesterday at daylight. I am anchored out there in the bay—off Garden Point. I was in Dunster’s office before he had finished reading his letters. Have you ever seen young Dunster reading his letters? I had a glimpse of him through the open door. He holds the paper in both hands, hunches his shoulders up to his ugly ears, and brings his long nose and his thick lips on to it like a sucking apparatus. A commercial monster.”

“Here we don’t consider him a monster,” said the newspaper man looking at his visitor thoughtfully.

“Probably not. You are used to see his face and to see other faces. I don’t know how it is that, when I come to town, the appearance of the people in the street strike me with such force. They seem so awfully expressive.”

“And not charming.”

“Well—no. Not as a rule. The effect is forcible without being clear. . . . I know that you think it’s because of my solitary manner of life away there... Continue reading book >>




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