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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

PART ONE: EARLY DAYS
I

MY CHILDHOOD was a queer and not altogether
happy one. Circumstances conspired to make
me shy and solitary. My father and mother died
before I was capable of remembering them. I was an
only child, entrusted to the care of an unmarried
aunt who lived quietly in the country. My aunt was
no longer young when I began to live in her comfort-
able, old-fashioned house with its large, untidy gar-
den. She had settled down to her local interests,
seldom had anyone to stay with her, and rarely left
home. She was fond of her two Persian cats, busied
herself sensibly with her garden, and was charitably
interested in the old and rheumatic inhabitants of the
village. Beyond this, the radius of her activities ex-
tended no further than the eight or ten miles which
she could cover in a four-wheeled dogcart driven by
Tom Dixon, the groom. The rest of the world was
what she described as "beyond calling distance".

Dixon was a smart young man who would have
preferred a livelier situation. It was he who per-
suaded my aunt to buy me my first pony. I was then
nine years old*

My aunt had an unexplained prejudice against
sending me to school So I remained at home until I
was twelve—inefficiently tutored by a retired elemen-
tary schoolmaster, a gentle, semi-clerical old person

7