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Between the Windrush and the Colne
I found a little house of stone-
A little wicked house of stone.


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The Ootober day was bright- braoken flamed to the skyline. ening towards late afternoon Inside were folds of anoient when Leithen and I climbed pasture with here and there & the hill above the stream and thorn - bush, falling to oame in sight of the house. gardens, and, on one side, to All morning a haze with the the smooth award of a terrace sheen of pearl in it had lain on above a tiny lake. At the the folds of downland, and the heart of it stood the house like vision of far horizons, whioh a jewel well set. It was a is the glory of Cotswold, had miniature, but by the hand of been veiled, 80 that

every & master, The style was late valley seemed as a place en- seventeenth-century, when an olosed and set apart. But now agreeable classio convention & glow had come into the air, had opened up to sunlight and and for a little the autumn comfort the dark magnificence lawns stole the tints of sum- of the Tador fashion. The place mer,

The gold of sunshine had the spacious air of a great was warm on the grasses, and mansion, and was finished in only the riot of colour in the every detail with a fine sorupuberry-laden edges of the fields lousness. Only when the eye and the slender woodlands told measured its proportions with of the failing year.

the woods and the hillside did We were looking into a green the mind perceive that it was oup of the hills, and it was & small dwelling. The stone all a garden. A little place, of Cotswold takes curiously bounded by slopes that defined the colour of the weather. its graciousness with no hint Under thunder-olouds it will of barrier, so that a dweller be as dark as basalt; on a grey there, though his view was but day it will be grey like lava; half a mile on any side, would but in sunshine it absorbs the yet have the sense of dwelling sun. At the moment the little on uplands and commanding house was pale gold, like the world. Round the top honey. edge ran an old wall of stones, Leithen swung a long leg beyond which the Ootober across the stile.

Copyright in the United States of America.

Pretty good, isn't it?” he the eighteenth century, and said. “It's pure authentie Sir the Applebys got it. They Christopher Wren. The name were a jovial lot of hunting is worthy of it, too. It is squires, and let the library called Falloirole."

go to the dogs. Old Colonel He told me its story. It had Appleby was still alive when been built after the Restora. I oame to Borrowby. Sometion by the Carteron family, thing went wrong in his inside whose wide domains ran into when he was nearly seventy, these hills. The Lord Carteron and the dootors knooked him of the day was a friend of the off liquor. Not that he drank Merry Monaroh, but it was not too much, though he did bimas a sanctuary for orgies that self well. That finished the he built the house. Perhaps poor old boy. He told me he was tired of the gloomy that it revealed to him the splendour of Minster Carteron, amazing traththat during a and wanted a home of his own long and, as he hoped, puband not of his ancestors' shoog- lioly useful life he had never ing. He had an elegant taste been quite sober. He was a in letters, as we oan learn from good fellow, and I missed him his neat imitations of Martial, when he died. . . . The place his pretty Bucolics, and the went to a remote cousin called more than respectable Latin Giffen," hexameters of his Ars Vivendi. Leithen's

eyes, they Being a great nobleman, he goanned the prospeot, seemed had the best skill of the day amused. to construot his hermitage, and “Julian and Ursula Giffen. hither he would retire for... I dare say you know the months at a time with like- names. They always hunt in minded friends to a world of couples, and write books about books and gardens. He seems sociology and advanced ethios to have had no ill-wishers; and psyobios - books called contemporary memoirs speak either The New This or of him charitably, and Dryden That,' or 'The Truth about spared him four lines of on- Something or Other.' You comium. “A selfish old dog," know the sort of thing. Leithen called him. “He had They're deep in all the pseudothe good sense to eschew poli- sciences. . Decent souls, ties and enjoy life. His soul but you can guess the type. is in that little house. He only I oame across them in a case did one rash thing in his career I had at the Old Bailey-de-he anticipated the King, his fending a ruffian who was master, by some years in turn. charged with murder. І ing Papist."

hadn't & doubt he deserved I asked about its later his- hanging on twenty counts, tory.

but there wasn't enough evi"After his death it passed dence to conviot him on this to a younger branch of the one. Dodderidge was at his Carterons. It left them in worst-it was just before they

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indaoed him to retire - and new. Pioneers' they

they call his handling of the jury was themselves-funny little an& masterpiece of misdireotion. olad people adventuring into Of course there was a shindy. the cold desert with no maps. The thing was a soandal, and Giffen once desoribed himself it stirred up all the humani. and his friends to me as 'fortarians till the murderer was ward-looking,' but that, of almost forgotten in the ini- course, is just what they are quities of old

old Dodderidge. not. To tackle the future you You must remember the case. must have a firm grip of the It filled the papers for weeks. past, and for them the past Well, it was in that connection is only a pathological ouriosity. that I fell in with the Giffens. They're up to their necks in I got rather to like them, and the mud of the present. . . I've been to see them at their Bat good, after a fashion; and house in Hampstead. Golly, innocent- sordidly innocent. what a place! Not & obair Fate was in an ironioal mood fit to sit down on, and colours when she saddled them with that made you want to howl. that wicked little house." I never met people with heads “ Wioked” did not seem to go fall of feathers."

me to be a fair word. It gat I said something about that honey-coloured among its garbeing an odd milieu for him. dens with the meekness of a

“Oh, I like human beings dove. The sound of a bioyole -all kinds. It's my profession on the road behind made as to study them, for without turn round, and Leithen adthat the practice of the law vanoed to meet a dismounting would be lean affair. rider. There are hordes of people like He was a tallish fellow, some the Giffens-only not so good, forty years old perhaps, with for they really have hearts of one of those fluffy blond beards gold. They are the rootless that have never been shaved. stuff in the world to-day-in Short-sighted, of course, and revolt against everything and wore glasses.

wore glasses. Biscuit-coloured everybody with any ancestry. knickerbockers and stookings A kind of innooent self-right- lad his lean limbs. eousness-wanting to be the Leithen introduced me. people with whom wisdom “We are walking to Borbegins and ends.

They are rowby, and stopped to admire mostly sensitive and tender- your house. Could we have hearted, but they wear them- just a glimpse inside? I want selves out in an eternal dissi- Jardine to see the staircase.” denoe. Can't build, you know,

Mr Giffen was very willing. for they objeot to all tools, but “I've been over to Clyston to very ready to crab. They send a telegram. We have

. soorn any form of Christianity, some friends for the week-end but they'll walk miles to pat- who might interest

interest you. ronise some wretched seot that Won't you stay to tea ?” has the merit of being brand- There was a gentle formal


courtesy about him, and his fine Italian shrine of marble, voice had the facile inton- and the floor was mosaio, blue ations of one who loves to and white, in a quaint Byzantalk. He led us through a tine pattern. There was the little gate, and along a shorn game air of sunny cheerfulness green walk among the braoken as in the rest of the house. to a postern which gave en. No mystery could find a lodgtrance to the garden. Here, ment here. It might have though it was October, there been a chapel for three cenwas still a bright show of roses, turies, but the place was pagan. and the jet of water from the The Giffens' changes were no leaden Cupid dripped noise- sort of deseoration. A greenlessly among fallen petals. baize table filled most of the And then we stood before the floor, surrounded by chairs doorway, above which the old like a committee room. On Carteron had inscribed a line new raw-wood shelves were of Horace.

files of papers and stacks of I have never seen anything blue-books and those desioquite like the little hall. Gated works into which reThere were two, indeed, sepa- formers of society torture the rated by a stairoase of a wood English tongue. Two typethat looked like olive. Both writers stood on a side-table. were paved with black and “It is our workroom," Giffen white marble, and the inner explained, "where we hold our was oval in shape, with & Sanday moots. Ursula thinks gallery supported on slender that a week-end is wasted walnut pillars. It was all in unless it produces some piece miniature, but it had a spa- of real work. Often a quite ciousness which no mere size valuable committee has its could give. Also it seemed to beginning here. We try to be permeated by the quint- make our home & refuge for essence of sunlight. Its air busy workers, where they need was of long-desoended, oon- not idle but oan work under fident, equable happiness.

happy conditions." There were voices on the "A college situate in a terrace beyond the hall, olearer air,'

» » Leithen quoted. Giffen led us into a room on But Giffen did not respond the left. “You remember the except with a smile; he had house in Colonel Appleby's probably never heard of Lord time, Leithen. This was the Falkland. chapel. It had always been A woman entered the room, the chapel.

the a woman who might have been change we have made. pretty if she had taken a little I beg your pardon, Mr Jardine, pains. Her reddish hair was You're not by any chance & drawn tightly back and dressed Roman Catholio?'

in a hard knot, and her olothes The room had a white panel- were horribly inoongruous in & ling, and on two sides deep remote manor house. She had windows. At one end was a bright eager eyes, like a bird,


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and hands that fluttered ner- our chief piece of good forvously. She greeted Leithen tune." with warmth.

We took our leave, for we “We have settled down had no desire for the company marvellously,” she told him. of Dr Swope and Mr Peroy “Julian and I feel as if we Blaker. When we reached the had always lived here, and highway we halted and looked our life has arranged itself so back the little jewel. perfeotly. My Mothers' Cot- Shafts of the westering sun tages in the village will soon now caught the stone and be ready, and the Club is to turned the honey to ripe gold. be opened next week. Julian Thin spires of amethyst smoke and I will carry on the classes rose into the still air. I ourselves for the first winter. thought of the well-meaning Next year we hope to have restless couple inside its walls, a really fine programme. . . . and somehow they seemed out And then it is so pleasant to of the picture. They simply be able to entertain one's did not matter. The house friends. Won't you stay was the thing, for I had never to tea? Dr_Swope is here, met in inanimate stone such and Mary Elliston, and Mr an air of gentle masterfulness. Peroy Blaker-you know, the It had a personality of its own, member of Parliament. Must clean-out and secure, like a you hurry off? I'm so sorry. high-born old dame among the

What do you think of females of profiteers. And our workroom ? It was utterly Mrs Giffen claimed to have terrible when we first came given it her impress! here-- sort of decayed chapel, That night in the library at like a withered tuberose. We Borrowby, Leithen discoursed have let the air of heaven of the Restoration. Borrowby, into it."

of which, by the expenditure I observed that I had never of much care and a good deal seon a house so full of space of money, he had made and light.

civilised dwelling, is a Tudor “Ah, you notice that? It manor of the Cotswold type, is a ouriously happy place to with high - pitched live in. Sometimes I'm almost roofs and tall stone ohimneys, afraid to feel so light-hearted. rising sheer from the meadows But we look on ourselves as with something of the masonly trustees. It is a trust we siveness of a Border keep. have to administer for the He nodded towards the linen. common good. Yon know, fold panelling and the great it's a house on whioh you can oarven ohimneypiece. lay your own impress. I can “In this kind of house you imagine places which dominate have the mystery of the elder the dwellers, bat Fullcircle is England. What was Raleigh's plastio, and we can make it phrase? 'High thoughts and our own as much as if we had divine contemplations. The planned and built it. That's people who built this sort of

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