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THE ROUGH ROAD 



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THE ROUGH ROAD 



WILLIAM J. LOCKE 

ACTHOR <W "the bed Fl. 



NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY 
LONDON: JOHN lANE, THE BODLEY HEAD 
TORONTO: a B. GUNDY .-. MCMXVIII 



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BY JOHN LAMB COKPANY 



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THE ROUGH ROAD 



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The Rough Road 



CHAPTER I 

THIS is the story of Doggie Trevor. It tdls 
of his doiogs and of a girl in England and a 
girl in France. Chiefly it is concerned irith 
the iimuence that enabled huu to win tlirough the 
War. Doggie Trevor did not get the Victoria Cross. 
He got no cross of distinction whatever. He did 
not even attain the sorrowful glory of a little white 
caxiss above his grave in the Western Front. Doraie 
was no hero of romance, ancient or modem. But 
he went through with it and is alive to tell the tale. 
The brutal of his acquaintance gave him the name 
of "Doggie" years before the War was ever thought 
of, because he had been brought up from babyhood 
like a toy Pom. The almost freak offspring of 
elderly parents, he had the rough worla against 
him from birth. His father died before he had 
cut a tooth. His mother was old CTiough to be his 
grandmother. She had the intense maternal in- 
stinct and the brain, such as it is, of an earwig. 
She wrapped Doggie — his real name was James 
Marmaduke — in cotton-wool and k^t him so 
until he was almost a grown man. Doggie had 
never a chance. She brought him up like a toy 
Pom until he was twenty-one — and then she died. 
Doggie, being comfortably off, continued the ma- 
ternal tradition and kept on bringing himself up 
like a toy Pom. He did not know what else to do. 
Then, when he was six-and-twenty, he found him- 
sdf at the edge of the world gazing in timorous 

7 

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8 THE ROUGH ROAD 

starkness down into the abyss of the Great War. 
Something kicked him over the brink ami sent him 
sprawling into the thick of it. 

That the world knows little of its greatest men 
is a conHnoDplace among silly aphorisms. With 
far mcM^ justice it may be stated that of its least 
men the world. knows nothing and cares less. Yet 
the Doggies of the War who on the cry of " Havoc 1" 
have been let loose, much to their own and every- 
body else's stupefaction, deserve the passing tribute 
sometimes, poor fellows, of a sigh, sometimes of a 
smile, often of a cheer. Very few of them — very 
few, at any rate, of the F.nglish Doggies — have 
tucked their little tails between their legs and run 
away. Once a brawny humourist wrote to Doggie 
Trevor "Sursum cauda." Doggie happened to be 
at the time in a water-logged front trench in Flanders 
€tnd the writer basking in the mild sunshine of 
Simla with his Territorial Regiment. Doggie, 
bidden by the Hedonist of circumstance to up with 
his tail, felt like a scorpion. 

Such feelings, however, will be more adequately 
dealt with hereafter. For the moment it is only 
essential to obtain a general view of the type to 
which Trevor belonged. 

If there is one spot in England where the presrait 
is the past, where the future is still more of the 
past, where the past wraps you and enfolds you in 
the dreamy mist of Gothic things, where the lazy 
meadows sloping riverward deny the passage of the 
centuries, where the very clouds are secmar, it is 
the cathedral town of Durdlebury. No factory 
chimneys defile with their smoke its calm air, or 
defy its august and heaven-searching spires. No 
rabble of factory hands shocks its few and sedate 
streets. Divine Providence, according to the de- 
vout, and the crfiss stupidity of the local authori- 
ties seventy years ago, according to progresfuve 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 9 

minds, turned the main line of railway twenty 
miles from the sacred spot. So that to this year 
of grace it is the very devil of a business to find out, 
from Bradshaw, how to get to Dordlebury, and, 
having found, to get there. As for setting away, 
God help you I But who ever wanted to get away 
from Dordlebury, except liie BiahopP In pre- 
motor days he used to ^itunble tremendously and 
threaten the House of Lords with Railway Bills 
and try to blackmail the Government with dark 
hints of resignation, and so he lived and threatened 
and made his wearisome diocesan round of visits 
and died. But now he has his episcopal motor- 
car, which has deprived him of his grievances. 

In the Close of Dordlebury, greenswarded, sOent, 
sentinelled by inunemorial elms that giuird the 
dignified Gothic dwellings of the cathemitd dimi- 
taiies, was James Marmaduke Trevor bom. His 
father, a man of private fortune, wjis Canon of 
Durdlebury. For many years he lived in the most 
commodious canonical house in the Close with his 
sisters Sophia and Sarah. In the course of time 
a new Dean, Dr. Conover, was appointed to Dur- 
dlebury, and, restless innovator that he was, under- 
mimed the North Transept and spht up Canon 
Trevor's home by mfurying Sophia. Then Smah, 
bitten b^ the madness, committed abrupt matri- 
mony with the Rev. Vernon Manningtree, Rector 
of Durdlebury. Canon Trevor, many years older 
than his sisters, remained for some months in be- 
wildered loneliness, until one day he found him ~ 
self standing in front of the Cathedral altar with 
Miss Mathilda Jessup, while the Bishop pronounced 
over them words diabofically strange yet ecclesi- 
astically familiar. Miss Jessup, thus transformed 
into ^fr8. Trevor, was a mature tind comfortable 
maiden lady of ample means, the only and orphan 
dau^ter of a late Bishop of Durdlebury. Never 

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10 THE ROUGH ROAD 

had there been such a marrymg and giving in 

marriage in the Cathedral circle. Chil<&en were 
bom in Decanal, Rectorial, and Canonical homes. 
First a son to the Manningtrees, whom they named 
Oliver. Then a daughter to the Conovers. Then 
a son, named James Marmaduke, after the late 
Bidhop Jessup, was bom to the Trevors. The 
profane say mat Canon Trevor, a profound patri- 
stic theologian and an enthusiastic palaeontologist, 
couldn't nmke head or tail of it all, and, unable to 
decide whether James Marmaduke should be attri- 
buted to the TertuHian or the NeoKthic period, 
expired in an agony of dubiety. At any rate the 
poor man died. The widow, of necessity, moved 
Irom the Close, in order to make way for the new 
Canon, and betook herself with her babe to Denby 
Hall, ibe comfortable house on the outskhts of the 
town in which she had dwelt before her marriage. 

The saturated essence of Durdelbury ran in Maiv 
maduke's blood: an honourable essence, a proud 
essence; an essence of all that is statically beau- 
tuful and dignified in English life; but an essence 
which, without admixture of wilder and more fluid 
elements, is apt to run thick and clog the arteries. 
Marmaduke was coddled from his birth. The 
Dean, then a breezy, energetic man, protested. 
Sarah Marmingtree protested. But when the Dean's 
eldesVbom died of diphtheria, Mrs. Trevor, in her 
heart, set down the death as a judgement on Sophia 
for criminal carelessness; and when yoimg Ouver 
Manningtree grew up to be an intolerable young 
Turk and savage, she looked on Marmaduke, and, 
thanking heaven that he was not as other boys were, 
enfolded him more than ever beneath her motherly 
wing. When Ohver went to school in the town 
and tore his clothes and roUed in mud and punched 
other boys' heads, Marmaduke remained at home 
under the educational charge of a governess. Oliver, 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 11 

lean and lanky and swift-eyed, swageered throu^ 
the streets unattended from ijie first day they sent 
him to a neighbouring kindergarten. As the mouQiB 
and years of nis childi^ life passed, he grew more and 
more independent and va^ibond. He swore blood 
brotherhood with a butcher-boy and, unknown to 
his pious parents, became the leader of a ferocious 
gang of pirates. Mannaduke, on the other hand, 
was never allowed to cross the road without femi- 
nine escort. Oliver had the profouudest contempt 
for Mannaduke. Being two years older, be kicked 
him whenever he had a chance. Mannaduke 
loathed him. Marmaduke shrank into Miss Gunter 
the governess's skirts whenever he saw him. Mib. 
Trevor therefore regarded Oliver as the youthful 
incarnation of Beelzebub, and quarrelled bitterly 
with her sister-in-law. 

One day Ohvo*, with three or four of his piratical 
friends, met Marmaduke and Miss Gunter and a 
little toy terrier in the High Street. The toy 
terrier was attached by a lead to Miss Gunter on' 
the one side, Marmaduke by a hand on the other. 
Oliver straddled rudely across the path. 

"Hallo! Look at the two httle doggiesl" he 
cried. He snapped his fingers at the terrier. "Come 
along. Tiny!" The terrier yapped. Oliver grinned 
and turned to Marmaduke. Come along, Fido, 
dear little doggie." 

"You're a nasty, rude, horrid boy, and I shall tell 
your mother," declared Miss Gunter, indignantly. 

But Oliver and his pirates laughed with the tni- 
culence befitting' their vocation, and bowing with 
ironical politeness, let their victim depart to the 
parody of a popular song: "Good-bye, Doggie, 
we shall miss you." 

From that day onwards Marmaduke was known 
as "Dc^gie" tbroughout all Durdlebury, save to 
his mother and Miss Gunter. The Dean himself 

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12 THE ROUGH ROAD 

grew to think of him as "Doggie." People to 
this day cfill him Doggie without any notion of the 
ormn of the name. 

To preserve him from prasecution Mrs. Trevor 
iealously guarded him &om association with other 
wys. He neither learned nor played any boyi^ 
games. In defiance of the doctor, whom she re- 
garded as a membtir of the brutal anti-Marmaduke 
League, Mrs. Trevor proclaimed Marmaduke's deli- 
cacy of constitution. ^ He must not go out into the 
rain lest be should get damp, nor into the hot sun- 
shine lest he should perspue. She kept him like 
a precious plant in a carefully warmed conservatory. 
Doggie, u^ to it from birth, looked cm it as his 
natiu^ environment. Under feminine guidance 
and tuition be embroidered and paicted screens 
and played the piano and the mandolin, and read 
Miss Charlotte Yonge and learned history from the 
late Mrs. Markman. Without doubt his life was 
a happy one. All that he asked for was seques- 
tration from Oliver and his associates. 

Now and then the cousins were forced to meet — 
at occasional children's parties, for instance. A 
httle daughter, Peggy, bad neen bom in the Deanery, 
replacing the lost nirat-bom, and festivals, to which 
came the extreme VQuth of Durdlebury, were given 
in her honour. She liked Marmaduke, who was 
five years her senior, because he was gentle and 
clean and wore such beautiful clothes and brushed 
his hair so nicely ; whereas she detested Ofiver, who, 
even at an afternoon party, looked as if he had just 
come out of a rabbit-hole. Besides, Marmaduke 
danced beautifully; Ofiver couldn't and wouldn't, 
disdaining such efi'eminate sports. His great joy 
was to put out a sly leg and send Doggie and his 
partner sprawling. Once the Dean caught him at 
it and called him a horrid Uttle beast, and threatened 
him with neck and crop expulsion if he ever did 

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TEIE ROUGH ROAD 13 

it again. Doggie, who had picked himself op and 
listened to the rebuke, said: 

** I'm very glad to hear you talk to him like that. 
Uncle. I thmk his behaviour is perfectly detes- 
table." 

The Dean's lips twitdied and he turned away 
abruptly. Oliver glared at Doggie. 

"Oh, my holy Auntl" he whispered hoarsely. 
"Just you wait till I get you alonel" 

Oliver ^t him alone, an hour later, in a passage, 
haviDg lain in ambush for him, and, after a few busy 
moments, contemplated a bruised and bleeding 
Dog^e blubbering in a comer. 

"Do you think my behaviour is detestable now?" 

"Yes," whimpered Doggie. 

" I've a good mind to go on Ucking you until you 
say 'no,'" said Oliver. 

"You're a great big bully," said Doggie. 

Oliver reflected. He did not like to be called a 
bully. "Look here," said he. "I'll stick my right 
arm down inside the back of my trousers and ^ht 
you with my left." 

" I don't want to fight, I can't %ht," cried Doggie. 

Oliver put his hands in his pockets. 

"Will you come and play Kiss-in-the-Ring, then?" 
be asked sarcastically. 

" No," rephed Doggie. 

"Wdll, don't say I haven't made you generous 
offers," said Oliver, and stalked away. 

It was all very well for the Rev. Vernon Manning- 
tree, when discussing this incident with the Dean, 
to dismiss Doggie with a contemptuous shrug and 
call him a little worm without any spirit. The 
unfortunate Doggie remained a human soul with 
a human destiny before him. As to his lack of 
spirit. 

"Where," said the Dean, a man of wider sym- 
pathies, "do you suppose he could get any firom? 



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14 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Look at his parentage. Look at his upbringing 
by that idiot wranan.' 

" If he belonged to me I'd drown him," said the 
Rector. 

"If I had my way with Oliver," said the Dean, 
"I'd skin him alive. ' 

"I'm afraid he's a young devil," said the Rector, 
not without patemsu pnde. "But he has the 
makings of a man." 

"Sonas Marmaduke," rephed the Dean. 

"Bo^l" said Mr. Mannmgtree. 

When Oliver went to Rugby happier days than 
ever dawned for Marmaduke. Tnere were only 
the holidays to fear. But as time went on the 
haughty contempt of Oliver, the public school-boy, 
for the home-bred Doggie forbade him to notice 
the little creature's existence; so that even the hoh- 
days lost their gloomy menace and became like 
the normal halcyontide. Meanwhile Doggie grew 
up. When he reached the age of fourteen the Dean, 
by strenuous endeavour, rescued him from the 
unavailing tuition of Miss Gunter. But school 
for Marmaduke Mrs. Trevor would not hear of. 
It was brutal of Edward — the Dean — to suggest 
such a thing. Marmaduke — so sensitive and deli- 
cate— sdiool would kill him. It would undo all 
the results of her unceasing care. It would make 
him coarse and vul^ like other horrid boys. She 
would sooner see bun dead at her feet than at a 
public school. It was true that he oiJ^t to have 
the education of a gentleman. She did not need 
Edward to point out her duty. She would engage 
a private tutor. 

"All right. I'll ^t you one," stiid the Dean. 

The Master of ms old college at Cambridge sent 
him an excellent youth who had just taken his 
degree — a second class in the ClaMical Tripos — 

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THE ROUGH ROAD IS 

an all-round athlete and a gentleman. The first 
thing he did was to take Marmaduke on the lazy 
river that flowed through the Durdlebunr meadows, 
thereby endanfferioe hiB life, wofully busterine his 
hands, aad mELKing him ache all over his poor little 
body. After a quarter of an hour's interview with 
Mrs. Trevor, the indignant young man threw up 
his p(»t and departed. 

Mrs. Trevor determined to sdect a tutor herself. 
A scholastic agency sent her a dozen candidates. 
She went to London and interviewed them all. A 
woman, even of the most limited intelhgence, in- 
variably knows what she wants, and invariably 
gets it. Mrs. Trevor got Phiaeas McPhail, MA. 
Glasgow, BA. Oxford (Third Class Mathematical 
Greats), reading for Holy Orders. 

" I was training for the ministry in the Free Kirk 
of Scotland," said he, "when I gradually became 
aware of the error of my ways, until I saw that 
tiiere could only be salvation in the episcopal form 
of Church government. As the daughter of a 
Wshop, Mrs. Trevor, you will appreciate my con- 
scientious position. Aji open scholarship and the 
remainder of my little patrimony enabled me to 
get my Oxford degree. You would -have no objec- 
tion to my continuing my theological studies 
while I undertake the education of your sonP'* 

Phineas McPhail pleased Mrs. Trevor. He had 
what she called a rugged, honest Scotch face, with 
a very big nose in the middle of it, and Uttle grey 
eyes overhung by brown and shaggy eyebrows. 
He spoke with the mere captivating suggestion of 
an accent. The son of decayed, proud, and now 
extinct gentlefolk, he presented personal testimonials 
of an unexceptionable quahty. 

PhineM McPhail took to Doggie and Durdlebury 
as a duck to water. He read for Holy Orders for 
seven years. When the question of bis ordination 



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16 THE ROUGH ROAD 

arose, he wotjld declare impressively that his sacred 
duty was the making of Marmaduke into a scholar 
and a Christian. That duty accomplished, he 
would begin to think of himself. Mre. Trevor 
accounted him tbe most devoted and selfless friend 
that woman ever had. He saw eye to eye with 
her in every detail of Marmaduke's upbringing. 
He certainly taught the boy, who was naturally 
intelhgent, a great deal, and repaired the terrible 
gaps m Miss Gunter's system of education. Mc- 
Phail had started life with many eager curiosities, 
under the impulse of which he had amassed consid- 
erable knowledge of a superficial kind which, loUin? 
in £Ui armchair with a pipe in bis mouth, be found 
easy to impart. To the credit side of Mrs. Trevor's 
queer account it may be put that she did not object 
to smoking. The late Canon smoked incessantly. 
Perhaps the odour of tobacco was the only keen 
memory of her honeymoon and brief married life. 

During his seven years of soft living Phiueas 
McPhail scientifically developed an oriemal taste 
io.- whisky. He seethed himself in it €is the ancients 
seethed a kid in its mother's milk. He had the art 
to do himself to perfection. Mrs. Trevor beheld 
in him the mellowest and blandest of men. Never 
liad she the slightest suspicion of evil courses. To 
^uch a pitch of cunmng in the observance of the 
nroprieties had he arrived, that the very servants 
knew not of his doings. It was only later — after 
Mrs. Trevor's death — when a surveyor was called 
in by Marmaduke to put the old house in order, 
that a disused well at the back of the house was 
found to be half filled with thousands of whisky 
bottles secretly thrown in by Phineas McPhail. 

The Dean and Mr. Manningtree, although ig- 
norant of McPhail's habits, agreed in calling him a 
lazy hound and a parasite on their fond sister-in- 
law. And they wctc rigjit. But Mrs. Trevor 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 17 

turned a deaf ear to their slaoders. They were 
unworthy to be called Qmstian men, let alone 
ministers of the Gospel. Were it not for the sacred 
associations of her father and her husband, she 
would never enter the Cathedral again. Mr. Mo- 
Phail was exactly the kind of tutor that Manna- 
duke needed. Mr. McPhail did not encourage 
him to play rou^ games, or take long walks, or 
row on the river, berause he appreciated his consti- 
tutional delicacy. He was the only man in the 
world during her unhappy widowhood who under- 
stood Marmaduke. He was a treasure beyond 
price. 

When Doggie was sixteen, fate, fortune, chance, 
or whatever you like to call it, did him a good turn. 
It made his mother ill and sent him away with her 
to foreign health resorts. Doggie and McPhail 
travelled luxuriously, Hved in luxurious hotels, and 
visited in luxurious ease various picture galleries 
and monuments of historic or aesthetic mterest. 
The boy, artistically inclined and guided by the 
idle yet well-informed Phineas, profited greatly. 
Phineas sought profit to them both in other ways. 

"Mrs. Trevor," said he, "don't you think it a 
sinful shame for Marmaduke to waste his time over 
Latin and Mathematics, and such things as he can 
learn at home, instead of taking advantage of his 
residence in a foreign country to perfect himself in the 
idiomatic and conversational use of the language? " 

Mrs. Trevor, as usual, agreed. So thenceforward, 
whenever they were abroad, which was for three or 
four months of each year, Phineas revelled in sheer 
idleness, nicotine, and the skilful consumption of 
alcohol, while highly paid professors tau^t Mar- 
maduke, and incidentally himself, French and 
Italian. 

Of the world, however, and of the facts, grim or 
seductive, of liife. Doggie learned little. Whether 



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18 THE ROUGH ROAD 

by force of some streak of honesty, whether through 
sheer Uiziness, whether through canny self-mterest, 
Phineas McPhail conspired with Mrs. Trevor to 
keep Doggie in darkest ignorance. His reading was 
selected uke that of a young girl in a convent : he 
was taken only to the most innocent of plays; 
foreign theatres, casinos, and such like wells of 
delectable depravity existed almost beyond his 
ken. Until he vaa twenty it never occurred to biin 
to sit up €ifter his mother had gone to bed. Of 
stirange goddesses he knew nothmg. His mother 
saw to that. He had a mild afifection for his cousin 
Peggy, which his mother encouraged. She allowed 
him to smoke cigarettes, drink mie claret, the re- 
mains of the cellfir of her father the Bishop, a 
connoisseur, and cr^e de menthe. And mitil she 
died, that was €iU poor Doggie knew of the lustiness 
ofUte. 

Mrs. Trevor died, and Doggie, as soon as he had 
recovered from the intensity of his raief, looked out 
upon a lonely world. Phineas, like Mrs. Micawber, 
swore he would never desert him. In the perils of 
Polar exploration or the comforts of Denny Hall, 
he would find Phineas McPhail ever by his side. 
The first half dozen or so of these declarations con- 
soled Doggie tremendously. He dreaded the Chinxih 
swallowing up his only protector and leaving him 
defenceless. Conscientiously, however, he said: 

"I don't want your affection for me to stand in 
your way, sir." 

"'Sir'?" cried Phineas. "Is it not practicable 
fw us to do away with the old relations of master 
and pupil and become as brothers? You are now 
a man and independent. Let us be Pylades and 
Orestes. Let us share and share alike. Let us be 
Marmaduke and Phineas." 

D<^gie was touched by such devotion. "But 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 19 

your ambitions to take Holy Orders which you have 
sacrificed for my sake?" 

"I think it may be argued," said Phineas, "that 
the really beautiful life is delight in continued sacri- 
fice. Besides, my dear boy, I am not quite so sure 
as I was when I was young, that by confining 
oneself within the narrow limits of a sacerdotal pro- 
fession, one can retain all one's wider sympathies 
both with human infirmity and the gladder things 
of existence." 

"You're a true friend, Phineas," said Doggie. 

"I am," replied Phineas. 

It was just after this that Doggie wrote him a 
cheque for a thousand pounds on account of a 
vaguely indicated year's salary. 

If Phineas had maintained the wily caution 
which he had exercised for the past seven years, 
all might have been well. But there came a time 
when unneedfully he declared once more that he 
would never desert Marmaduke, and declaring it 
hiccoughed so horribly and stared so glassily, that 
Doggie feared he might be ill. He had just lurched 
into Doggie's own peacock-blue and ivory sitting- 
room when he was mournfully playing the piano. 

"You're unwell, Phineas. Let me get you some- 
thing." 

You're right, laddie," Phineas agreed, his legs 
giving way tuarmiugly so that he collated on a 
brocade-covered couch. "It's a touch of the sun, 
which I would give you to understand," he con- 
tinued with a self-preservatory flash, for it was an 
overcast day in Jime, "is often magnified in power 
when it is behind a cloud. A wee drop of whisky 
is what I require for a complete recovery." 

Doggie ran into the dining-room and returned 
with a decanter of whisky, glass and siphon — an 
adjunct to the sideboard since Mrs. Trevor's death. 
Pmneas filled half the tumble with spirit, tossed 



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20 THE ROUGH ROAD 

it off, smiled fantastically, tried to rise, and rolled 
upon the carpet. Doggie, frightened, rang the beU. 
Peddle, the old butler, appeared. 

"Mr. McPhail is ilL I can't think what can be 
the matter with him." 

Peddle looked at the happy Phineas with the 
eyes of experience. 

" If you will allow me to say so, sir," said he, " the 
gentleman is dead drunk." 

And that was the beginning of the end of Phineas. 
He lost grip of himself. He became the scarlet 
scandal of Durdlebury and the terror of Doggie's 
life. The Dean came to the rescue of a grateful 
nephew. A swift attack of delirimn tremens 
crowned €md ended Phineas McPhaH's Durdlebury 
career. 

"My boy," said the Dean on the day of Phineas's 
expulsion, "I don't want to rub it in unduly, but 
I've warned your poor mother for years, and you 
for months, against this bone-idle, worthless feUow. 
Neither of you would listen to me. But you see 
that I was right. Perhaps now you may be more 
inclined to take my advice." 

"Yes, Uncle," replied Doggie, submissively. 

The Dean, a comfortable, florid man in the early 
sixties, took up his parable and expounded it for 
three-qnarters of an hour. If ever young man heard 
that which was earnestly meant for his welfare. 
Doggie heard it from his Very Reverend uncle's 
Ups. 

"And now, my dear boy," said the Dean by way 
of peroration, "you cannot but understand that it 
is your boimden duty to apply yourself to some 
serious purpose in life. ' 

"I do," said Doggie. "I've been thinking over 
it for a long time. I'm going to gather material 
for a history of wall-papers." 



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CHAPTER II 

THENCEFORWARD Dcwme, like Uie late 
Mr. Matthew Arnold's kUow millions, lived 
alone. He did not complain. There was 
little to complain about. He owned a pleasant old 
house set in fifteen acres of grounds. He had an 
income of three thousand pomute a year. Old 
Peddle, the butler, and his wife, the housekeeper, 
saved him from domestic cares. Risii^ late and 
retiring early, like the good King of Yvetot, he 
cheated the hours that might have proved weary. 
His meals, his toilet, his music, his wall-papers, 
his drawing and embroidering — specimens of the last 
he exhibited with great success at various shows 
held by Arts and Crafts Guilds and such like high 
and artistic fellowships — his sweet peas, his chrys- 
anthemums, his postage stamps, his dilettante 
reafling and his mild social engagements, filled 
most satisfyingly the hours not clamied by slumber. 
Now and then ^pointments with his tailor sum- 
moned him to London. He stayed at the same 
mildewed old family hotel in the neighbourhood of 
Bond Street at which his mother and his grand- 
foth^ lie Bishop, had stayed for uncountable 
years. There he would lunch and dine stodgily in 
musty state. In the evenings he would go to the 
plays discussed in the less giddy of Durdlebury 
ecclesiastical circles. The play over, it never oc- 
curred to him to do otherwise than drive decorously 
back to Sturrock's Hotel. Suppers at the Carlton 
or the Savoy were outside his sphere of thought or 
opportunity. His only acquaintance in jJondon 
y/ere vague elderly female friends of his mother, 

21 

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22 THE ROUGH ROAD 

who invited him to chilly semi-suburban teas, and . 
entertained him with tepid reminiBcence and caiti- 
ciEan of their divers places of worship. The days 
in London thus passed dretirily, and Doggie was 
always glad to get home again. 

In Durdlebmy he be^an to feel himself appre- 
ciated. The sleepy society of the place accepted 
him as a yomig man of unquestionable birth and 
irreproachable morals. He could play the piano, 
the harp, the viola, the flute, and the clarionette, 
and sing a very true mild tenor. As secretary of 
the Durdlebury Musical Association, he filled an 
important position in the town. Dr. Flint — 
Jo^ua Flint, Mus. Doc, organist of the Cath^al, 
scattered broadcast golden opinions of Doggie. 
There was once a concert en old English music 
which the dramatic critics of the great newspapers 
attended — and one of them mentioned Doggie 
— "Mr. Marmuduke Trevor, who played the viol 
da gamba as to the manner bom." Dc^gie cut 
out the notice, framed it, and stuck it up in his 
peacock-and-ivory sitting-room. 

Besides music, Doggie had other social accomphsh- 
ments. He could dance. He could escort young 
ladies home of nights. Not a dragon in Durdle- 
bury would not have trusted Doggie with untold 
daughters. With women, old and young, he had 
no shynesses. He had been bred among them, 
understood their purely feminine interests, and 
instinctively took their point of view. Chi his 
visits to London he could be raitrusted with com- 
missions. He could choose the exact shade of silk 
for a drawing-room sofa cushion, and had an un- 
erring taste m the selection of wedding presents. 
Young men other than budding ecclesiastical digni- 
taries were rare in Durdlebury, and Doggie had 
little to fear from the competition of cotuser mas- 
culine natures. In a word, Do^e was popular. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 23 

Althongh of no mean or revengeful nature, he 
was human enou^ to feel a little malicious satis- 
faction when it was proved to Durdlebury that 
Oliver had gone to the devil. His Aunt Sarah. 
Mrs. Mamiiiijgtree, had died midway in the Phineas 
McPhail period; Mr. Manningtree a year or so 
later had accepted a Uving in the North of England 
and died when Do^e was about four-tind-twenty. 
Meanwhile Oliver, who had been withdrawn young 
from Rugby, where he had been a thorn in the side 
of the authorities, and had been pinned like a 
cockchafer to a desk in a family counting-house 
ia lothbury, E. C, had broken loose, quarrelled 
with his father, eone off with paternal malediction 
and a maternal heritage of a thousand pounds to 
California, and was lost to the family ken. When 
a man does not write to his famUy, what explana- 
tion can thexe be save that he is a^amed to do soP 
Oliver was tishamed of himself. He had taken to 
desperate courses. He was an outlaw. He had 
^one to the devil. His name was rarely mentioned 
m Durdlebury — to Marmaduke Trevor's veiy 
great and catlike satisfaction. Only to the Dean s 
ripe and kindly wisdom was his name not utterly 



"My dear," said he once to his wife, who was 
deplormg her n(^hew's character and fate, — "I 
have hopes of Ohver even yet. A man must have 
something of the devil in mm if he wants to drive 
the devil out." 

Mrs. ConovCT was shocked. 

"My dear Edward! "she cried. 

"My dear Sophia," said he with a twinkle in his 
mild blue eyes that had puzzled her from the day 
when he first put a decorous eirm around her waist. 
"My dear Sophia, if you knew what a ding-dong 
scrap of fiends went on inside me before I coula 
bring mysdf to vow to be a virtuous milk-and-water 



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24 THE ROUGH ROAD 

parson, your hair, which is as long and beautiful as 
ever, would stand up straight on end." 

Mrs. Conover sighed. 

"I give you up.' 

"It s too late, ' said the Dean. 

The Manningtrees, father and mother and son, 
were gone. Doggie bore the triple loss with equani- 
mity. Then Peggy Conover, nitherto under the 
eclipse of boarding-schools, finishing schools, and for- 
eign travel, swam, at the age of twenty, within his 
orbit. When first they met after a year's absence 
she very ^acefuUy withered the symptoms of the 
cousinly kiss, to which they had been accustomed all 
their lives, by stretching out a long, frank, and defen- 
sive arm. Perhaps, if she had tdlowed the salute, 
th^e would have been an end of the matter. But 
there came the phenomenon which, unless she was a 
minx of craft and subtlety, she did not anticipate: for 
the first time in his life be was possessed of a crazy 
desire to kiss her. Doggie fell in love. It was not a 
wild, consuming passion. He slept well, he ate well, 
and he played the flute without a sigh causing him 
to blow discordantlymto the holes of the instrument. 
Peggy vowing that she would not marry a parson, 
he nad no rivals. He knew not even the pinpricks of 
jealousy. Peggy liked him. At first she delighted 
m bim as in a new and animated toy. She could 
puU strings and the figure worked amasngly and 
amusingly. He proved himself to be a us^iu toy, 
too. He was at ner beck all day long. He ran on 
errands, he fetched and carried. Peggy realised bfiss- 
fully that she owned him. He haunted the Deanery. 

Qae evening after dinner the Dean said : . 

"I am going to play the heavy father. How are 
things between you and Peggy? ' 

Marmaduke, taken imawares, reddened violently. 
He murmured that he didn't know. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 25 

"You ou^t to," said the Dean. "Wh«i a young 
man converts hinudf into a girl's shadow, even 
alUiough he is her cousin Etnd Ima been brou^t up 
with her from childhood, people begin to gossip. 
They gossip even within the august precincts of a 
stately cathedraL" 

"I'm very sorry," said Marmadube. "I've had 
the very best intentions." 

The Dean smiled. "What were they?" 

"To make her Uke me a little," replied Marma- 
duke. Then, feeling that the Dean was kindly 
diqM)sed, he blurted out awkwardly: "I hoped 
that one day I mk;ht ask her to marry me." 

"liiat's what I wanted to know," said the Dean. 
"You haven't done it yet?" 

**No," said Marmuduke. 

"Why don't you?" 

"It seems taking such a liberty," replied Mar- 
maduke. 

The Dean laughed. "Well, I'm not goin^ to do 
it for you. My chief desire is to r^ulanse the 
present situation. I can't have you two running 
alwut t(wether all day and every da^. If you like 
to ask Peggy, you have my pernussion and her 
mother's." 

"Thank you. Uncle Edward," said Marmaduke. 

" Let us join the ladies," said the Dean. 

In the drawii^-room the Dean exchanged glances 
with his wife, ^le saw that he had done as he had 
been bidden. Marmaduke was not an ideal husband 
for a brisk, pleasure-loving, modem young woman. 
But where was anoth^ husband to come from? 
Peggy had banned the Church. Marmaduke was 
we^thy, sound in health, and free from vice. It 
was obvious to maternal eyes that he was in love 
with Peggy. According to the Detm, if he wasn't, 
he oughtn t to be forever at her heels. The young 
woman herself seemed to take considerable pleasure 

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26 THE ROUdH ROAD 

in his company. If she cared nothing for him, she 
was acting m a reprehensible manner. So the Dean 
had been deputed to sound Marmaduke. 

Half an hour later the yoimg people were left 
alone. First the Dean went to his study. Then 
Mrs. Conover departed to write letters. Manna- 
duke, advancing across the room from the door which 
he had opened, met Peg^'s mocking eyes as she 
stood on the hearthrug with her hands behind her 
back. Doggie felt very uncomforttible. Never had 
he said a word to her in betrayal of his feelings. He 
had a vague idea that propriety required a young 
man to get through some wooing before asking a 
girl to marry him. To ask first and woo afterwEuds 
seemed putting the cart before the horse. But 
how to woo that remarkably cool and collected 
young person standing there, passed his wit. 

"Wal," she said. "The dear old birds seem very 
fussy to-night. What's the matter?" And sis he 
said nothing, but stood confused with his hands 
in his pockets, she went on. "You too seem rather 
rufEled. Look at your hair." 

Doggie, turning to a mirror, perceived that an 
agitated hand had disturbed the symmetry of his 
sleek, black htur, brushed without a parting away 
from the forehead over his head. Hastily he 
smoothed down the cockatoo-like crest. 

"I've been tfilking to your father, Peggy." 

"Have you really P" she said with a laugh. 

Marmaduke summoned his courage. 

" He UAd me I might ask you to many me," he 
said. 

" Do you want to? " 

"Of course I do," he declared. 

"Then why not do it?" 

But l>efore he could answer, she clapped her 
hands on his shoulders and shook him and laughed 
out loud. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 27 

*'0h, you dear, silly old thingi What a way to 
propose to a girll " 

"I've never done such a thing b^ore," said 
Doggie, as soon as he was released. 

She resumed h^ attitude on the hearthrug. 

" I'm in no great hurry to be married. Are you? " 

He said, "I don't know. I've never thought of 
it. Just whenever you like." 

"All ri^t," she returned calmly. "Let it be a 
year hence. Meanwhile we can be engaged. It'll 
please the dear old birds. I know all the tabbies 
in the town have b^n mewing about us. Now they 
can mew about somebody else." 

"That's awfully good of you, Peggy," said Mar- 
maduke. "I'll go up to town to-morrow and get 
you the jolliest ring you ever saw." 

She sketched him a curtsey. "That's one thing, 
at any rate, I can trust you in — your taste in 
jewellery." 

He moved nearer to her. "I suppose you know, 
Peggy dear, I've been awfully fona of you for quite 
alo^i time.". 

"lue feeling is more or less reciprocated," she 
rephed hghtly. ' Then, "You can kiss me if you 
like. I assure you it's quite usual." 

He kissed her somewhat shyly on the lips. 

She whispered: "I do think I care for you, old 
thing." Marmaduke replied sententiously: "You 
have made me a very happy man." Then they sat 
down side by side on the sofa, and for all Peggy's 
mocking audacity, they could find nothing in 
particular to say to each other. 

"Let us play patience," she said at last. 

And when Mrs. Conovw appeared a while later, 
she found them poring over the cards in a state of 
unruffled cahn. Peggy looked up, smiled and nodded. 

"We've Sxed it up, Mummy; but we're not 
going to be married for a year." 

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28 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Doggie went borne that evening in a tepid glow. 
It contented iW. He thoii^t hunself the ludtiest 
of mortals. A young man with more passion or 
imagination mirait have deplored the lack of ro- 
mance in the betrothal. He might have desired 
oa the part of the maiden either more shyness, 
delicacy, and elusiveness or more resonant emotion, 
lie finer tendrils of bis being might have shivered, 
ready to stuivel, as at a toudi of frost, m the cool, 
ironical atmosphere which the girl had created 
around her. But Doggie was not such a young 
man. Such passions as heredity had endowed 
him with bad been drugged by training. No tales 
of immortal love had ever fired his blood. Once, 
somewhere abroad, the unprincipled McPhail found 
him readW Manon Lescaut — he had bought a 
cheap copy haphazard, — and taking the delectable 
volume out of his band^, asked him what he thought 
of it. 

"It's like reading about a lunatic," replied the 
bewildered Do^e. "Do such people as Des Grieux 
eadst?" 

"Ay, laddie," replied McPhail, greatly reUeved. 
"Your acumen has pierced to the root of ^e matter. 
They do exist, but nowadays we put them into 
asylums. We must excuse the author for Hving in 
the psychological obscurity of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. It's just a silly, rotten book." 

' I'm glad you're of the same opinion as myself," 
said Doggie, and thought no more of the absurd 
but deal£less pair of lovers. The unprincipled 
McPhail, not without pawky humour, immediately 
gave him. Paul el Virgimte, which Doggie, after 
reading it, thou^t the truest and most beautiful 
story m the world. Even in later years, when his 
inteUigence had ripened and his sphere of reading 
expairaed, he looked upon the ptission of a Romeo 
or an Othello as a conventional peg on which the 



THE ROUGH ROAD 29 

poet hupa his imagery, but having no more relation 
to real life as it is lived by human beings than the 
Uood-lust of the half-man, half-bull Jmnotaur, or 
the uncomfortable riding conversation of the VeJ- 
kyrie. 

So Doggie Trevor went home perfectly contented 
with him^lf, with Peg^ Conover, with his Uncle 
and Aunt, of whom mtnerto he had been just a 
little bit airaid, with Fortune, with Fate, with his 
house, with his peacock-and-ivory room, with a 
great clump of type script and a mass of coloured 
proof-prints which represented a third of his pro- 
jected history of wall-papers, with his feather-bed, 
with Goliath, his almost microscopic Belgium griflFon, 
with a set of Nile-green silk underwear that had 
just come from his outfitters in London, with his 
new Rolls-Royce car and his new chauffeur Briggins 
— (parenthetically it may be remarked that a seven- 
hour excursion in this vehicle, youth in the back 
seat and Briggins at the helm, all ordained by Peggy, 
Imd been the final cause of the evening's explana- 
tions) — with the starry heavens tibove, with the 
well-ordered earth beneath them, and with all 
human beings on the earth, including Giermans, 
Turks, Infidels and Heretics — all save one: and 
that, as he learned from a letter deUvered by the 
last post, was from a callous, hearUess London 
manicurist who, giving no reasons, regretted that 
she would be un£u>le to pay her usual weekly visit 
to Durdl^ury on the morrow. Of all days in the 

irear: just when it was essential that he diould 
ook his bestl 

"What the deuce am I going to do?" he cried 
pitching the letter into the waste-pap^ basket. 

He sat down to the piano in the peacock-and- 
ivory room tuod tried to play the nasty, crumpled 
rc^eleaf of a manicurist out of his mind. Suddenly 
be rem^nbered, with a kind of shock, that he had 

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30 THE ROUGH ROAD 

pledged himself to go up to London the next day 
to buy an engagement ring. So, after all, the 
manicurist's d^ection did not matter. All -was 
again well with the world. 

Then be went to bed and slept the sleep of the 
just and perfect man living the just Eiad perfect 
life in a just and perfect imiverse. 

And the date of this happeoing was the fifteenth 
day of July in the year of grace tme thousand nine 
hundred and fourteen. 



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CHAPTER III 

THE shadow cast by the great apse of the 
Cathedral slanted over the end of the Deanery 
garden, leaving the house in the blaze of the 
afternoon sun, and divided the old red-brick wall 
into a vivid contrast of times. The peace of cen- 
turies brooded over the place. No outeide convul- 
sions could ever cause a flutt^ of her calm wings. 
As it was thirty years ago, when the Dean firet 
came to Durdlebury, as it was three hundred, six 
hundred years ago, so it was now; and so it would 
be hundreds of years hence as long as that majestic 
pile housing the Spirit of God should last. 

Thus thou^t, thus, in some such words, pro- 
claimed the Dean, sitting in the shade, with his 
hands clasped behind his head. Tea was over. 
Mrs. Conover, thin and faded, still sat by the little 
table, wondering whether she might now blow out 
the lamp beneath the silver kettle. Sir Archibald 
Bruce, a neighbouring landowner, €ind his wife had 
come, bringmg their daughter Dorothy to play 
tennis. The game had already started on the court 
some little distance off — the flayers being Dorothy, 
Peggy, and a couple of athletic, flannel-clad parsons. 
Marmaduke Trevor reposed' on a chair under the 
lee of Lad^ Bruce. He looked very cool and spick 
and span m a grey cashmere suit, n'ey shirt, socks 
and tie, and grey swede shoes. He had a weak, 
good-looking httle face and a little black moustache 
turned up to the ends. He was discoursing to his 
neighbour on Palestrina. 

The Dean's proclamation had been elicited by 
scone remark of Sir Archibald. 

31 

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32 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"I wonder how you have stuck it for so long," 
said the latter. He had been a soldier in his youth 
and an explorer, and had shot big same. 

"I haven't your genius, my dear Bruce, for mtdting 
myself uncomfortaole," replied the Dean. 

"You were energetic enough when you first came 
here," said Sir Archibald. ' "We all tiiought you a 
desperate fellow who was going to rebuild the 
Cathedral, turn the Close into industrial dwellings, 
and generally play the deuce." 

The Dean sighed pleasantly. He had snovry hair 
fmd a genial, florid, clean-shaven face. 

" I was appointed very yoxmg, — six and thirty, 

— and I thought I could fight against the centuries. 
As the years went on I foimd I couldn't. The 
grey chajigelessness of things got hold of me, in- 
corporated me into them. When I die — for I 
hope I shan't have to resign through doddering 
senility — my body will be buried there," — he 
jerked his head slightly towards the Cathedral — 

'and my dust will become part tmd parcel of the 
fabric — like that of many of my predecessors." 

"That's all very well,' said Sir Archibald, "but 
they ought to have caught you before this petri- 
faction set in, and made you a bishop." 

It was somewhat of an old argument, for the two 
were intimates. The Dean snuled and shook his 
head. 

"You know I declined — " 

"After you had become petrified." 

"Perhaps so. It is not a place where ambitions 
can attain a riotous growth." 

" I call it a rotten place," said the elderly worlding. 
"I wouldn't live in it myself for twenty thousand 
a year." 

"Lots like you said the same in crusading times 

— Sir Guy de Chevenix, for instance, who was the 
LiOTd, perhaps, of your very manor, and an amazing 

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TEIE ROUGH ROAD 33 

fire-eater — but — see the gentle irony of it — thCTe 
his bones lie, at peace for ever, ta the rotten _place, 
witii his effigy over them cross-I^^ed, and his dog 
at bis feet, and his wife by liis side. I think he 
must sometimes look out of Heaven's gate down 
on the Cathedral and feel glad, grateful ^- perhaps 
a bit wistful — if the attribution of wisuulness, 
which inmlies regret, to a spirit in Paradise doesn't 
savour of heresy — " 

"I'm going to be cremated," interrupted Sir 
Archibald, twirling his white moustache. 

The Dean smiled and did not take up the cue. 
The talk died. It was a drowsy day. The Dean 
went off into a Kttle reverie. Perhaps his old friend's 
reproach was just. Dean of a great cathedral at 
thirty-six, be had the world of dioceses at his feet. 
Had he used to the full the brilliant talents with 
which he started? He had been a good Dean, a 
capable, business-like Dean, There was not a 
stone of the Cathedral that he did not know and 
cherish. Under his care the stability of every 
ptirt of the precious fabric had been assured for a 
hundred years. Its financial position, de^terate 
on his appointment, was now sound. He haa come 
into a scene of petty discords and jealousies; for 
many years there had been a no more united chapter 
in any cathedral Close in England. As an admin- 
istrator he had been a success. The devotion of 
his life to the Cathedral had its roots deep in spiritual 
things. For the greater glory of God had the vast 
edifice been erected, and for the greater glory of 
God had he, its guardian, reverently seen to its 
preservation and perfect appointment. Would he 
nave served God better by pursuing the ambitions 
of youth? He could have had his bishopric: but 
he knew that the choice lay between nim and 
Cfaanways, a flaming ^irit, eager for power, who 
hadn't the sacred charge of a cathedral, and be 



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34 THE ROUGH ROAD 

declined. And now Chanways was a force in the 
church €ind the country, and waa maJdng things 
hum. If he, Conover, after fifteen years of Durdle- 
bury, had accepted, he would have lost the power 
to make things hum. He would have made a very 
ordinary, painstaking bishop, and his successor at 
Durdlebury might p^sibly have regarded that time- 
worn wonder of spiritual beauty merely as a steppii^- 
stone to higher sacerdotal things. Such a man, 
he considered, having once come under the holy 
glamour of the Cathedral, would have been guilty 
of the Unforgivable Sin. He had therefore saved 
two unfortunate situations. 

"You are quite 'an intelligent man, Bruce," he 
said with a sudden whimsicahty, "but I don't 
think you would ever understand." 

The set of tennis being over, Peggy, flushed and 
triumphant, rushed into me party in uie shade. 

"Mr. Petherbridge and I have won — 6-3," 
she announced. The old gentl^nen smiled and 
murmured their congratulations. She swimg to 
the tea-table some paces away, and plucked Mar- 
maduke by the sleeve, interrupting him in the 
middle of an argument. He rose poHtely. 

"Come and play." 

" My dear," he sedd, " I'm such a dufifer at games." 

"Never mind. You'll learn in time." 

He drew out a grey silk handkerchief as if ready 
to perspire at the first thought of it. "Tennis 
makes one so dreadfully hot," said he. 

Peggy tapped the point c£ her foot irritably, 
but sne laugned as she turned to Lady Bruce. 

"What's the good of being engaged to a man if 
he can't play tennis with you?" 

"There are other things in life besides tennis, 
my dear," replied Lady Bruce. 

The girl flushed, but being aware that a pert 
answer tumeth away pleasant invitations, said 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 35 

nothmff. ^e nodded and went ofif to her none, 
and imbrming Mr. Petberbridge that Lady Bruoe 
was a platitudinous old tabby, flirted with him up 
to the nice limits of his parsouical dignity. But 
Marmaduke did not mind. 

"Ckuues are childish and scnnewhat barbaric. 
Don't you think so. Lady Bruce?" 

"Most young people seem fond of them," replied 
the lady. "Exercise keeps them in health." 

"It all depends," he ar^ed. "CMten they get 
exceedingly hot, then they sit about and catdi their 
death of cold." 

"That's very true," said Lady Bruce. "It's 
what I'm always telling Sir Archibald about golf. 
Only last week be caught a severe chill in that venr 
way. I had to rub bis chest with camphorated oil. ' 

* Just as my poor dear mother used to do to me," 
said Marmaduke. 

There followed a conversation on aihnents and 
their treatment in which Mrs. Conover joined. 
Marmaduke was quite happy. He knew that (be 
two elderly ladies admired the soundness of his 
views and talked to him as to one of themselves. 

"I'm sure, my detu" Mannaduke, you're very 
wise to take care of yourself," said Lady Bruce, 
"especially now, when you have the responsibilities 
of married life before you." 

Marmaduke curled himself up comfortably in 
his chair. If he had been a cat, he would have 
purred. The old butler, grown as grey in the 
service of the Deanay as the Cathedrd itseJf — he 
had been page and footman to Dr. Conover's prede- 
cessor, — removed the tea-thh^ and brought out 
a tray of glasses and lemonade with ice clinking 
refreshingly agsiinst the sides of the jug. When 
the game was over the players came and drank and 
sat about the lawn. The shadow of the apse had 
spread over the garden to the steps of the porch. 



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36 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Anyone looking over the garden wall would have 
beheld a scene typical of the heart of England — 
a scene of peace, ease, and perfectly ordei^ com- 
fort. The two -well-built young men; one a minor 
canon, the other a curate, lounging in their flannels, 
clever-faced, honest-eyed, comd have been bred 
nowhere hut in E^lish puhhc schools and at O^dovd 
or Camhridge. liie two elderly ladies were of the 
fine flower of Provincial England; the two old 
men, so different outwardly, one burly, Qarid, 
exquisitely ecclesiastical, the other thin, nervous, 
soldierly, each was an expression of high Kn gliph 
tradition. The two yoimg girls, unerringly correct 
and dainty for all their modem abandonment of 
attitude, pretty, flushed of cheek, frank of glance, 
were two of a hundred thousand flowers of girlhood 
that could have been picked that afternoon in lazy 
English gardens. And Marmaduke's impeccable 
grey costume struck a harmonizing English note 
of Bond Street and the Burlington Arcade. The 
scent of the roses massed in delicate splendour 
against the wall, and breathing now that the cool 
shade had fallen on them, crept through the still 
air to the flying buttresses and the window muUions 
and trareries and the pinnacles of the great English 
cathedral. And in the midst of the shaven lawn 
gleamed the old cut-glass jug on its sflver tray. 

Someone did look over the waU and survey the 
scene: a man, apparently supporting himself with 
tense, straightened arms on the coping; a man 
with a lean, bronzed, clean-shaven face, wefiring 
an old soft felt hat at a swa^ring angle; a man 
with a snule on his face and a humorous twinkle in 
his eyes. By chance he had leisure to survey the 
scene for some time unobserved. At last he shouted : 

"HeUo! Have none of you ever moved for the 
last ten years?" 

At the summons everyone was startled. The 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 37 

youi^ men scrambled to their feet. The Dean 
rose and glared at the intruder, who sprang over the . 
wall, recklessly broke throuffh the rose-bushes and 
advanced with outstretched nand to meet him. 

"HeUcUncleEdwaidl" 

"Gioodness gracious mel'* cried the Dean, "it's 
Oliver I" 

"Right first time," said the young man, gripping 
him by the hand. "You're not loo^ng a day older. 
And Aunt Sophia — " he strode up to Sirs. Conover 
and kissed her. "Do you know," he went on. 
holding her at arms' length and looking round at 
the astonished company, "the last time I saw you 
all you were doing just the same? I peeped over 
the wall just before I went away, just such a smnmer 
afternoon as this, and you were all sitting round 
drinking the same old lemonade out of the same old 
jug — and, Lady Bruce, you were here, and you. 
Sir Archibald" — he shook hands with them rapidly. 
"You havai't changed a bit. And you — good 
LordI Is this PeggyP" He put his hand on the 
Dean's shoulder €uid jK)inted' at the girl. 

" That's Peggy," said the Dean. 

"You're the only thing that's grown. I used 
to gallop with you on my shoulders all roimd the 
lawn, i suppose you remember? How do you 
do?" 

And without waiting for an answer he kissed her 
soundly. It was all done with whirlwind suddenness. 
The tempestuous young man had scattered every- 
one's wits. All stared at him. 

Releasing Peggy, "My holy AuntI" he cried. 
"There's another of 'em. It's Doggie 1 You were 
in the old picture, and I'm blessed if you wer^a't 
wearing the same beautiful grey suit. How do. 
Doggie? " 

He gripped Doggie's hand. Doggie's Ups grew 
white. 

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38 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"I'm glad to welcome you back, Oliver," he said. 
"But I would have you to know that my name is 
Marmaduke." 

"Sooner be called Do^e myself, old chap," 
said Ohver. 

He stepped back, smilioe at them all, a handsome, 
devil-may-care fellow, tall, tough, and supple, his 
hands ia the pockets of a sun-stained, double- 
breasted blue jacket. 

"We're indeed glad to see you, my dear fellow," 
said the Dean, recov^ing equetnimity, "but what 
have you been doing all this time, and where on 
earth have you come from?" 

"I've just come from the South Seeis. Arrived 
in London last evening. This morning I thought 
I'd come and look you up." 

"But if you had let us know you were coming, 
we should have met you at the station with the car. 
Where's yoiu- luggage?" 

He jerked a hand. "In the road. My man's 
sitting on it. Oh, don't worry about him," he cried 
airily to the protesting Dean. "He's well trained. 
He'll go on sitting on it all night." 

"You've broi^t a man — a valet?" asked 
Peggy. 

It seems so. 

"Then you must be getting on." 

"I don t think he turns you out very well," said 
Doggie. 

"You must really let one of the servants see 
about your things, Oliver," said Mrs. Conover, 
moving towards the porch. " What will people say?" 

He strode after her and kissed her. ' Oh, you 
dear old Durdelbury Auntt Now I know I'm in 
England again. I haven't heard those words for 
years!" 

Mrs. Conover's hospitable intentions were an- 
ticipated by the old butler, who advanced to meet 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 39 

ihem with the news that Sir Archibald's car had 

beeti brought round. As soon as he recognized 
Oliver he started back, mouth agape. 

"Yes, it's me all right, Burford," laughed Oliver. 
"How did I get here? I dropped from the moon." 

He shook hands with Buiford, of whose life he 
had been the plague during hiis childhood, pro- 
claimed him as hardy and imchangiog as a gargoyle, 
and instructed him where to find man and luggage. 

The Bruces €ind the two clerical tennis players 
departed. Marmaduke was for taking his leave, 
too. All his old loatiiing of Oliver had suddenly 
returned. His cousin stood for everything he 
detested, — swagger, arrogance, self-assurance. He 
hated the shabby rakisbness of bis attire, tlie self- 
assertive aquiline beak of a nose which he bad 
inherited from his father, the Rector. He dreaded 
his aggressive masculinity. He had come back 
with the same insidting speech on his Hps. His 
finger-nails were dreadful. Marmaduke desired as 
little as possible of his odious company. But bis 
Aunt Sophia cried out, "You'll surely dine with 
us to-night, Marmaduke, to celebrate Oliver's 
retmn?" 

And Oliver chimed in, "Do. And don't worry 
about changing. I can't. I've no evening togs. 
My old ones fell to bits when I was trying to put 
them on, on board the steams, imd I had to chuck 
'em overboard. They turned up a shark who went 
for 'em. So don't you worry. Doggie, old chap- 
You look as pretty as paint as you are. Doesn't he, 
P^y?" 

Peggy, with a sUgbt flush on her cheek, came to 
the rescue and linked her arm in Marmaduke's. 

"You haven't had time to learn everything yet, 
Oliver; but I think you ought to know tiiat we are 
engaged." 

Holy Geel Is that sot* My complim^its. 



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40 THE ROUGH ROAD 

He swept them a low bow. "God bless you, my 
children." 

" Of course hell stay to dinner," said Peggy. And 
she looked at Oliver as who should say "Touch 
hitn at your peril. He belongs to me." 

So Doggie had to yield. Mrs. Conover went 
into the house to arrange for Oliver's comfort, and 
the others strolled round the garden. 

"Well, my boy," said the Dean, "so you're back 
in the old countxy." 

"Turned up again like a bad pemiy." 

The Dean's kmdly face clouded. " I hope you'll 
soon be eible to find somelliing to do." 

" It's money I want, not work," said Oliver. 

"Ahl" said the Dean, in a tone so thoughtful €is 
just to suggest a lack of sympathy. 

Oliver looked over his shoulder — the Dean and 
himself were preceding Maimaduke and Peggy 
on the trim gravel path. "Do you care to lend me 
a few thousands. Doggie?" 

"Certainly not," replied Marmaduke. 

"There's family affection for you. Uncle Edward I 
I've come half way round the earth to see him and 
— say, will you lend me a fiver? " 

"It you need it," said Marmaduke in a dignified 
way, "I shall be very happy to advance you five 
pounds." 

Oliver brought the little party to a halt and burst 
into laughter. 

"I bt^eve you good people think I've come badL 
broke to the world. The black sheep returned 
like a wolf to the fold. Only Peggy drew a correct 
inference from the valet — wait tul you see him I 
As Peggy said, I've been gettii^ on. ' He laid a 
light hand on the Dean's shoulder. "While all 
you folks in Dx^dlebury, especially my dear Doggie, 
for the last ten years have neen dtirdling, I've been 
doing. I've not come all this way to tap relations 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 41 

for five-pound notes. Fm swaggering into the 
Gty of London for Capital — with a great big C." 

Uannaduke twirled his little moustache. "You've 
taken to company promoting," he ramaiked acidly. 

"] have. And a damn — I b^ your [Kirdon, 
Uncle Edward' — we poor Pacific Mulders lisp in 
damiB for want of deans to hold us up — and a 
jolly good company too. We — that's I and an- 
other man — that's all the company as yet — two's 
company, you know — own a trading-fleet." 

"You own shipsi" cried Peggy. 

"Rather. Own 'em, sail 'em, navigate 'em, 
stoke 'em, clean out the boilers, sit on the safety 
valves when we want to make q>eed, do every old 
thing—" 

^nd what do you trade in?" asked the Dean. 

" Copra, bSche de mer, mother of jpearl — " 

"Mother of pearlt How awfully romanticl" 
cried Peggy. 

"We've got a fishery. At any rate, tbe con- 
ceission. To work it properly we require capital. 
That's why I'm here — to turn the concern into a 
limited company." 

"And where is this wonderful pUtceP" asked the 
Dean. 

"Huaheine." 

"What a beautiful word!" 

"Isn't it?" said Oliver. "Uke the sigh of a girl 
in faer sleep." 

TTie old Dean shot a swift glance at his nephew; 
then took bis arm and walk«] on, and looked at 
the vast mass of the Cathedral and at tbe quiet 
En glish garden in its evening shadow. 

' Copra, McAc cfe mer, mother of pearl, Huaheine," 
be murmured. "And these strange foreign things 
are the commonplaces of your life I" 

Peggy and M armaduke lagged behind a little. She 
pressed his arm. 

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42 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"I'm so glad you're staying fcff dinner. I 
shouldn't like to think you were running away from 
him." 

"I was only afraid of losing my temper and mak- 
ing a scene," replied Doggie with dlgmty. 

'His manners are odious," said Peggy. "You 
leave him to me." 

Suddenly the Dean, taking a turn that brought 
him into view of the porch, stopped short. 

" Goodness graciousi " he cried, "who in the world 
is that?" 

He pointed to a cmious object slouching across 
the lawn; a short, hirsute man wearing a sailor's 
jersey, and smokii^ a stump of a blackened pipe. 
His tousled head was bare; ne had very long arms 
and great powerful hands protruded at the end of 
long sinewy wrists from inadequate sleeves. A 
pair of bright eyes shone out of his dark, shaggy 
face, like a Dtindy Dimnont's. His nose was large 
and red. He rolled as he walked. Such a si^t 
had never been seen before in the Detinery garden. 

"That's my mtin. Peggy's valet," said OUver, 
airily. "His name is Chipmunk. A beauty, isn't 
he? 

"like master, like man," murmured Doggie. 

Oliver's quick ears caught the words intended 
wily for Peggy. He smiled brightly. 

' If you knew what a compliment you were paying 
me, Df^gie, you wouldn't have said such a thing." 

llie man, seeing the company stare at him, halted, 
took his pipe out of his mouth, and scratched his 
head. 

"But — er — forgive me, my dear Oliver," said 
the Dean. "No doubt he is an excellent fellow — 
but don't you think he might smoke his pipe some- 
where else?" 

"Of course he might," said Oliver. "And he 
jolly well shaU." He put his hand to his mouth, 

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,THE ROUGH ROAD 43 

sea-fashion — tiiey were about thirty yards apart 
— and rfiouted. "Here, youl What the etmial 
blazes are you doing here? " 

: f Please don't hurt the poor man's feelings," 
said the kindly Dean. 

Oliver turned a blank look on his uncle. "His 
what? Ain't got any. Not that kind of feelinaB." 
He proceeded: "Now then, look hvelyl Clear 
out; dudool" 

llie valet touched his forehead in salute and 
"Where am I to go to, Cap'en?" 

"Goto—" 

OUver checked himself in time and turned to 
the Dean. 

"Where shall I tell faun to goP" be asked sweetly. 

"The kitchen g^en wouM be the best place," 
repUed the Dean. 

^'I think I'd better go and fix him up myself," 
said Oliver. "A Uttle conversation in his own lan- 
guage might be beneficial." 

"But isn't he English?" asked Peggy. 

"Bom and bred in Wapping," said Oliver. 

He marched off across the lawn; and, could they 
have heard it, the friendly talk that he bad with 
Chipmunk would have made the Saint and the 
Divmes, tmd even the Crusader, Sir Guy de Chevenix, 
who were buried in the Cathedral, turn in their 
tombs. 

Doggie, watching the disappearing Chipmunk, 
OUver's knuckles in his neck, said: "I think it 
monstrous of OUver to bring such a disreputable 
creature down here." 

Said the Dean: "At any rate, it brings a certain 
excitement into our quiet surroundings. * 

"They must be having the time of their lives in 
the SOTvants' hall," said Peggy. 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER IV 

AFTEIR breakfast the next mormng Doggie, 
attired in a green, shot-silk dressing-gown 
entered his own particular room and sat 
down to think. In its way it was a very beautiful 
room, — high, spacious, well proportioned, facing 
southeast. Ilie wall-paper, which he had designed 
himself, was ivory white, with veinings of peacock 
blue. Into the ivory silk curtains were woven 
peacocks in full pride. The cushions were ivory and 
peacock-blue. The chairs, the writing table, the 
couch, the bookcases, were pure Sheraton and 
Hepplewhite. Vellum-bound books filled the cases 
— Doggie was very particular about his bindings. 
DeUcate water-colours alone adorned the walls. 
On his neatly set out writing table lay an ivory 
set — inkstand, pen-tray, blotter and calendar. 
Bits of old embroidery harmonising with the pea- 
cock shades were spread here and there. A pretty 
collection of eighteenth-century Itahan ivory stat- 
uettes were grouped about me room. A spinet 
inlaid with ebony and ivory formed a centre for 
the arrangement of many other musical instruments, 
a viol, mandolins gay with ribbons, a theorbo, 
flutes, and clarionettes. Through the curtains 
nearly drawn across an alcove could be guessed 
the modem monstrosity of a grand piano. One 
tall, closed cabinet was devoted to his collection of 
wall-papers. Another, oprai, to a collection of 
little dogs in china, porcelain, faience, — thousands 
of them; he got them through dealers from all over 
the world. He had the finest collection in existence. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 45 

and maintamed a friendly and learned coirespon'- 
denoe with the other collector, an elderly, diullu- 
'sioaed Russian Prince who Uved Bomewhere near 
Nijni-Novgarod. On the spinet and on the writing 
table were great bowls of golden rayon (Tor roses. 

Doggie sat down to think. An unwonted frown 
creased his brow. Several problems distracted 
him. The morning sun streaming into the room 
disclosed, beyond doubt, discolorations, stains, 
and streaks on the wall-paper. It would have to 
be renewed. Already he had decided to design 
something to take its place. But last night Pe^^ 
had declared her intention to tiun this €i!bode of 
bachelor comfort into the drawing-room, and to 
hand over to his personEil use some other apartment, 
possibly the present drawing-room, which received 
all the blaze and glare of the afternoon sun. What 
should he doP Live in the sordidness of discoloured 
waU-paper for another year, or go through the .anx- 
iety of artistic effort and manufacturer s stupidity 
and delay, to say nothing of the expense, only to 
have the whole uung scrapped before the wedding. 
Doggie had a foretaste of the dilemmEm of matn- 
' mony. He had a gnawing suspicion that the trim 
and perfect life was difficult of attainment. 

Then, meandering through this wilderness of 
dubiety, ran thoughts of Oliver. Everyone seemed 
to have gone crazy over the fellow. Uncle Edward 
and Aunt Sophia had hung on his hps while he lied 
unblushingly about his adventures. Even P^gy 
had l^tened op^i-eyed and open-mouthed when 
be had told a tale of shipwreck in the South Seas: 
how the schooner had heea caught in some beastly 
wind, and the masts had been torn out and the 
rudder carried away, and how it had struck a reef, 
and how something had hit him on the head and 
he knew no more till he woke up on a beach and 
found that the unspeakable Chipmunk had swum 

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46 THE ROUGH ROAD 

with him for a week — or whatever the time was — 
until they got to land. If hulking, brainless dolts 
like Oliver, thought Dc^gie, like to fool around 
in schooners and typhoons, they must take the 
conset^ences. There was nothing to brag about. 
The higher man was the intellectual, the aesthetic, 
the artistic being. What did Oliver know of Lydian 
modes or Louis Treize decoration or Aztec clay 
dogsP Nothing. He couldn't even keep his socks 
&oin slopping about over his shoes. And there 
was Peggy all over the fellow, although before 
dinner she had said she couldn't bear the sight of 
him. Doggie was perturbed. On bidding bim 
good-night she had kissed him in the most perfunc- 
tory manner — merely the cousinly peck of a dozen 
years ago — and had given no thought to the fact 
that he was driving home in an open car without an 
overcoat. He had felt distinctly chilly on his 
arrived and had taken a dose of ammoniated quinine. 
Weis Peggy's indifTerence a sign that she had ceased 
to care tor himP That she was attracted by the 
buccaneering OhverP 

Now suppose the engagement was broken off he 
would be free to do as he chose with the redecora- 
tion of the room. But suppose, as he sincerely 
and devoutly hoped, it wasn't? Dilemma on 
dilemma. Added to all this, GroUath, the minia- 
ture Belgian griffon, having probably overeaten 
himself, had complicated pains inside, and the 
callous vet. could or would not come round till 
the evening. In the meantime Goliath might die. 

He was at this point of his reflections when, to 
his horror, he heard a famiUar voice outside the 
door. 

"All right. Peddle. Don't worry. I'll show 
myself in. Look after that man of mine. Quite 
easy. Give him some beer in a bucket and leave 
him to it." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 47 

Then the door burst open and Oliver, pipe in 
mouth and hat on one side, came into the room. 

"Hallo, Doggiel Thought I'd look you up. 
Hope I'm not disturbing you." 

' Not at all," said Doggie. "Do sit down." 

But Oliver walked about and looked at things. 

"I like your water-colours. Did you collect 
them yourself?" 

"Yea." 

"I coi^atulate you on your taste. This is a 
beauty. Who is it by?" 

Tlie appreciation brought Dc^^e at once to his 
side. Ofiver the connoisseur was showing himself 
in a new and agreeable light. Doggie took him 
delightedly round the pictiu'es, eimounding Uieir 
merits and their little histories. He found that 
Oliver, although unlearned, had a true sense of 
light and colour and tone. He was just beginning 
to like him, when the tactless fellow, stopping before 
the collection of httle dogs, spoiled everything. 

"My holy AuntI" he cried — an objurgation 
which Doggie had abhorred from boyhood — and 
he doubled with lauditer in his horrid schoolboy 
fashion. "My dear Doggie — is that your family? 
How many litters? " 

" It's the finest collection of tbe kind in the world," 
replied Doggie, stiffly, "and is worth several thou- 
sand pounds." 

Oliver heaved himself into a chair — that was' 
D(M;gie'B impression of his method of sitting down — 
a Sheraton chair with delicate arms and legs. 

"Forgive me," he said, "but you're sudi a funny 
devil." Doggie gaped. The conception of him- 
self as a funny devil was new. "Pictures and music 
I can understand. But what the deuce is the point 
of these danm fittle dogsP" 

But Doggie was hurt. "It would be useless to 
try to expEun," said be. 

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48 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Oliver took off his hat and sent it wtiniTning on 
to the couch. 

"Look here, old chap," he said. "I seem to 
have put my foot into it again. I didn't mean to, 
really. Peggy gave me hell this morning for not 
treating you as a man and a brother, am I came 
round to try to put things ri^t." 

" It's very considerate of Peggy, I'm sure," said 
Marmaduke. 

"Now, look hra«, old Doggie — " 

"I told you when we firet met yesterday that I 
vehemently object to being called Doggie." 

"But why?" asked Oliver. "I've made enquiries 
and find that all your pals — " 

"I haven't any pals, as you call them." 

"Well, all our male contemporaries in tiie place 
who have the honour of your aquaintance — they 
all call you Doggie, and you don't seem to mind." 

"I do mind, ' replied Marmaduke, angrily, "but 
as I avoid their company as much as possible, it 
doesn't very much matter." 

Ohver stretched out his legs and put his hands 
behind his back' — then wriggled to his feet. "What 
a beast of a chairl Anyhow," he went on, puffing 
at his pipe, "don't let us quarrel. I'll call you 
Marmaduke, if you like, when I can remember — 
it's a beast of a name — like the cdiair. I'm a 
rough sort of chap. I've had ten years' pretty 
tough training. I've slept on boards. I've slept 
in me open without a cent to hire a board. I've 
gone cold and I've gone hungry, and men have 
knocked me about and I've knocked men about 
— and I've lost the Durdlebury sense of social 
values. In the wil(k if a man once gets the name, 
say, of Duck-Eyed Joe, it sticks to him, and he 
accepts it and answers to it and signs 'Duck-Eyed 
Joe' on an I. 0. U. and honours the signature." 

"But I'm not in the wilds," said Marmaduke, 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 49 

**aiid haven't the djehtest mtentioa of ever leading 
the mmatm-al and frightful life you describe. So 
what yo\i say doesn't apply to me." 

"Ouite so," replied Obver. "That wasn't the 
moral of my discourse. The habit of mind engen- 
dered in the wilds applies to me. Just as I could 
never think of Duck-Eyed Joe as George Wilkinson, 
so you, James Marmaduke Trevor, will live im- 
periabably in my mind as Doggie. I was making 
a sort of apology, old chap, for my habit of mind." 

"If it is an apology," said Marmaduke. 

OUver, lai^hmg, clapped him boisterously on the 
shoulder. "Oh, you solemn, comic cussi" He 
strode to a rose-bowl and knocked the ashes of his 
pipe into the water — Dog^e trembled lest he 
might n«ct squirt tobacco juice over the ivory 
curtains. "You don't give a fdlow a chance. 
Look hrae, tell me, ds man to man, what are you 
going to do'with your life? I don't mean it in the 
high-brow sense of people who live in imsuccessful 
plays and garden cities, but in the ordinary common- 
sense way of the world. Here you are, young, 
strong, educated, inteUigent ■ — " 

"I'm not strong," said Doggie. 

"Oh, shucks [ A month's exercise would make 
you as strong as a mule. Here you are — what 
the blazes are you going to do with yourself?" 

" I don't admit that you have any right to ques- 
tion me," said Doggie, lighting a curette. 

"Peggy has given it to me. We had a heart to 
heart talk this morning, I assure you. She called 
me a swaggering, hectoring barbarian. So I told 
her what Td do. I said I'd come here and squeak 
like a little mouse and eat out of your hand. I also 
said I'd take you out with me to the Islcinds and 
give you a taste for fresh air and salt water and ex- 
ercise. 111 teach you how to sail a schoon^ and 
bow to go cd>out barefoot and swab decks. It's & 



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so THE ROUGH ROAD 

Kfe for a man, out there, I tell you.. If you've noth- 
ing better to do than living here snug like a flea on 
a dog's back, until you get married, you'd better 
cOTue." 

Doggie Emailed pitying^, but said politely, "Your 
offer IS very kind, Oliver, but I don't tlunk that 
kind of life would suit me." 

"Oh, yes, it would," said Oliver. "It would, 
make you healthy, wealthy, — if you took a fancy 
to put some money into the pearl fishery, — and 
wise. I'd show you the world, make a man of you, 
for Peggy's sake, and teach you how men talk to 
one anouier in a gale of wind.' 

The door opened and Peddle appeared. 

"I b^ your pardon, Mr. Oliver, out your man — " 

"YesP that about himP Is he midiehaving 
himself P Kissing the maidsP" 

"No, sir," said Peddle, "but none of them can 
get on with their work. He has drunk two quart 
jugs of beer and wants a third." 

'Well, give it to him." 

"I shouldn't like to see the man intoxicated, sir," 
said Peddle. 

"You won't. No one has or ever wilL" 

"He is also standing on his head, sir, in the 
middle of the kitchen table." 

" It's his great parlour-trick. You just try to do 
it. Peddle — especially after two quarts of beer. 
He's showing his gratitude, poor chap, just like the 
juggler of Notre Dame in the story. And I'm 
sure everybody's enjoying themselves?" 

" The maids are nearly in hysterics, sir." 

"But they're quite happy?" 

"Too happy, sir." 

"LordI" cried Oliver, "what a lot of stuffy owls 
you are! What do you want me to do? What 
would you like me to do. Doggie? It's your house." 

"I don't know," said Doggie. "I've nad nothing. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 51 

to do with such people. Perhaps you mi^t go 
and speak to him. ' 

"No, I won't do that. I tell you what. Peddle," 
said Oliver brightly. "You lure him out into the 
stable yard with a great hunk of pie — he adores 
me — Euid tell him to sit there and eat it till I come. 
Tell him I said so." 

"I'll see what can be done, sir," said Peddle. 

"I don't mean to be inhospitable," said Dc^gie, 
after the butler had gone, "but why do you take 
this extraordinary person alxmt with you?" 

"I wanted him to see Durdelbury and Durdle- 
bury to see him. Do it good," replied Oliver. 
"Now, what about my proposition? Out there of 
course you'll be my guest. Put yourself in charge 
of Chipmunk and me for eight months, and you 11 
never regret it. What Chipmunk doesn't know 
about ships and drink and hard living isn't knowl- 
edge. We'll let you down easy — treat you kindly 
— word of honoiur." 

Doggie, being a man of intelligence, realised that 
Oliver's offer arose from a genuine desire to do him 
some kind of service. But if a &iendly bull out of 
the fulness of its affection invited you to acconroany 
him to the meadow and eat grass, what could you 
do but courteously decline the invitation? This is 
what Doggie did. After a further attempt at 
persuasion, Oliver grew impatient, and picking up 
his hat, stuck it on the side of his head. He was a 
simple-natured, impulsive man. Peggy's spirited 
attack had caused him to realize that he had 
treated Doggie with unprovoked rudenras; but 
then Doggie was such a httle worm. Suddenly the 
mat scheme for Doggie's rM;eneration had entered 
his head, and generously he had rushed to begin to 
put it into execution. The -pair were his blood 
relations, after all. He saw his way to doing th^n 
a good turn. Peggy, with all her go, — exemplified 

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52 THE ROUGH ROAD 

by the maimer in which she had gone for him, — 
was worth the trouble be proposed to take with 
Doggie. It realty was a hai^some offer. Most 
fellows would have jumped at the prospect of being 
down round the islands with an old hand who 
knew the whole thing backwards, from company- 
promoting to beach-combing. He had not ex- 
pected such a point-blank, bland refusaL It made 
him angry. 

"I'm realW most obliged to you, CUver," said 
Dmj^e, finally. "But our ideals are so entir^y 
difla:«nt. You're primitive, you know. You seem 
to find your happiness in defying the elements, 
whereas I find mme in adopting the resources of 
civilisation to circumvent them.' 

He snuled, pleased with his httle epigram. 

"Which means," said Oliver, "that you're afraid 
to roughen yoiu' hands and spoil your complexion." 

" If you Uke to put it that way — symbohcally." 

"Symbolically be hangedl" cried Oliver, losmg 
his temper. "You're an effeminate little rottCT 
and I'm through with you. Go on and wag yom* 
tail and sit up and b^ for biscuits — " 

"StopI" snouted Doggie, white with sudden 
anger which shook him from head to foot. He 
marched to the door, his green silk dressing-gown 
flapping round his legs, and threw it wide open. 
"This is my house. I'm sorry to have to ask you 
to get out of it." 

Oliver looked intently for a few seconds into the 
flaming little dark eyes. Then he said gravely: 

" I'm a beast to have said that. I take it all 
back. Good-bye." 

"Good day to you," said Doggie; and when the 
door was dut he went and thi^w himseff, shaken, 
on the couch, bating Oliver and all his works more 
tlian ever. Go about barefoot and swab decksl 
It was Bedlam madness. Besides being dangerous 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 53 

to health, it would be excruciating discomfort. And 
to be insulted for not grasping at such martyrdom. 
It was intolerable. 

Dog^e stayed away from the Deanery all that 
day. On the morrow he heard, to his mief, that 
Ohver had returned to London with the unedifylng 
Chipmmik. He took Peggy for a drive in the 
Rolls-Royce, and told her of Oliver's high-handed 
methods. She sympathised. She said, however: 

"Ohver's a rough diamond." 

"He's one of Nature's non-gentlemen," said 
Doggie. 

She laughed and patted his arm. "Clever ladl" 
^lesaid. 

So Doggie's wounded vanity was healed. He 
confided to her some of his difficulties as to the 
peacock-and-ivory room. 

"Bear with the old paper for my sake," she said. 
"It's something you can do for me. In the mean- 
while you and I can put our heads together and 
design a topping scheme of decoration. It's not 
too early to sttirt in right now, for it'll take months 
and months to get the house just as we want it." 

"You're the best girl in the world," said Doggie; 
"€uid the way you understand me is simply won- 
derful." 

"Dear old thing," smiled Pe^fy; "you're no 
great conundrum." 

Happiness once more settled on Doggie Trevor. 
For the next two or three days he and Peggy tackled 
the serious problem of the reorganization of Denby 
Hall. Peggy had the large ideas of a limited thougn 
acute brfiin stimulated by social ambitions. When 
she became mistress of Denby Hall, she intended 
to reverse the invisible boundary that included it 
in Durdlebury and excluded it from the Coimty. 
It was to be County — of the fine, inner Arcanum 
of county — and omy Durdlebury by tiie grace of 

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54 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Pegey Trevor. No "durdlmg," as OHvct called it, 
for ner. Denby Hall was going to be the veiy 
latest thing of September, 1915, when she propcwed, 
the honeymoon concluded, to take smart and 
startling possession. Lots of Mrs. Trevor's rotten 
old stuiry furniture would have to go. Marmaduke 
would have to revolutionise bis habits. As ^e 
would have all kinds of jolly people down to stay, 
additions must be made to the house. Withm 
a week after her engagement she had devised all 
the improvements. Maimaduke's room, with a 
neat bay thereout, would be the drawing-room. 
The present drawing-room, nucleus of a new wing, 
would be a dancing-room, with parquet flooring; 
when not used for tangos and the fashionable 
negroid dances, it would be called the morning-room; 
beyond that there would be a billiard-room. Above 
this first floor there could easfly be buflt a series of 
guest chambers. As for Marmaduke's library, 
or study, or den, any old room would do. There 
were a couple of bedrooms overlooking the stable- 
yard which, thrown into one, would do beautifuUy. 

With feminine tact she dangled th^e splendours 
before Doggie's infatuated eyes, instinctively choos- 
ing the opportunity of his gratitude for soothing 
tr^tment. Doggie tel^rapbed for Sir Owen Julius, 
R. A., surveyor to the Cathedral, the only architect 
of his acquaintance. The great man sent his 
partner, plain John Fox, who undertook to prepare 
a design. 

Mr. Fox came down to Durdlebtuy on the 28th 
of July. There had been a lot of silly talk in the 
newspapers about Austria and Serbia to which 
Doggie bad given Uttle heed. There was always 
trouble in the Balkcui States. Recently they had 
gone to war. It had left Dog^e quite cold. They 
were all "Merry Widow," nresponsible people. 
They dressed in queer imiforms and picturesque 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 55 

costumes, and thou^t themselves tremraidoasly 
important, and were always squabbling amonc 
themselves and would go on doing it till we day en 
Doom. Now there wets more fuss. He had read 
in the Morning Post that Sir Edward Grey had 
proposed a Conference of the Great Powers. Only 
sensible thing to do, thought Doggie. He dis- 
missed the trivial matter (rom his naind. On the 
morning of the 29th he learned that Austria had 
declared war on Serbia. StiU, what did it matterP 

Do^e had held aloof from poUtics. He re- 
garded them as somewhat vulgar. Conservative 
by caste, he had once, when the opportunity was 
ahnost forced on him, voted for the Conservative 
candidate of the constituency. European politics 
on the grand scale did not arouse his interest at alL 
Eloglana, save as the wise Mentor, had nothing 
to do with them. Still, if Russia fought, France 
would have to join her ally. It was not till he went 
to the Deanery that he began to contemplate the 
possiblity of a genial European war. For the 
next day or two he read his newspapers very care- 
fully. 

Chi Saturday, the 1st August, Oliver suddenly 
reappeared, proposing to stay over the Bank HoKday. 
He Drought news and rumours of war from the great 
city. He had found money very tight. Capital with 
a big C impossible to obtain. Everyone told hi m 
to come back when the present European cloud had 
blown over. In the opinion of the judicious it 
would not blow over. There was going to be war, 
and England could not stay out of it. The Sunday 
morning papers confirmed all he said. Germany 
had declared war on Russia. France v/as involved. 
Would Great Britain come in, or for ever lose her 
honour? 

That warm, beautiful Sunday afternoon tiiey sat 
on the peacefid lawn under the shadow of the great 

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56 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Cathedral. Burford brought out the tea-tray and 
Mrs. Couover poured out tea. Sir Archibald and 
Lady Bruce and their daughter Dorothy were there 
and Doggie, impeccable in dark purple. Nothing 
clouded the centuries-old serenity of the place. Yet 
they asked tbe question that was ask^ on eveiy 
ouiet lawn, every UtUe scrap of shaded garden 
um>ugbout the land that day: Would En^and go 
to war? 

And if she came in, as come she must, what would 
be the resultP All had premonitions of strange 
shifting of destinies. As it was yesterday so it was 
to-day in that gracious shrine of immutability. But 
everyone knew in his heart that as it was to-day so 
would it not be to-morrow. The ver^ word "war" 
seemed as out of place as the suggestion of Hell in 
Paradise. Yet the throb of the War Drum came 
over tbe broad land of France and over the sea and 
half over England, and its echo fell upon the Deanery 
garden, flung by ihe flying buttresses and piers and 
towers of the grey Cathedral. 

On the morning of Wednesday, the 5th of August, 
it thundered all over Uie Close. The ultimatum to 
Germany eis to Belgium had expired the night before. 
We yrere at war. 

"Thank God," said the Dean, at breakfast, "we 
needn't cast down our eyes and slink by when we 
meet a Frenchman." 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER V 

THE first thii^ that brought the seriousness 
of the war home to Doggie was a letter from 
John Fox. John Fox, a Major in a Terri- 
torial Regiment, was mobilised. He regretted that 
he could not give his personal attention to the 
proposed alterations at Denby Hall. Should the 
plans be proceeded with in Ins absence from the 
office, or would Mr. Trevor care to wait till liie end 
of the war, which, from the nature of things, could 
not last very longp Do^e trotted off to Peggy. 
She was greatly annoyed. 

"What awful rot!' she cried. "Fox, a Major of 
Artilleryl I'd just as soon trust you with a gun. 
Why do^n't he stick to his architecture?" 

"He'd be shot or something, if he refused to go," 
said Doggie. "Rut why can't we turn it over to 
Sir Owen Julius?" 

"That old archaeological fossil?" 

Pe^y, womanlike, forgot that they had ap- 
IMXjadied him in the first place. "He'd never be- 
gin to understand what we want. Fox hinted as 
mud). Now, Fox is modem €tnd up-to-date and 
sympathetic. If I can't have Fox, 1 won't have 
Sir Owen. Why, he's older than Dad! He's 
decrepit. Can't we get another architect?" 

"Do you think, dear," stud Doggie, "that, in the 
circumstances it would be a nice thmg to do?" 

She flashed a glance at him. She had woven no 

O girl's romantic illusions around Marmaduke. 
1 necessity have arisen, she could have fur- 
nished you with a merciless analysts of his character. 
But in that analysis she would have frankly included 

57 

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58 THE ROUGH ROAD 

a very fine sense of honour. If he said a Uung 
WEisn't quite" nice — well, it wasn't quite nice. 

"I suppose it wouldn't," she admitted. "We 
shall have to wait. But it's a rotten nuisance all 
the same." 

Hundreds of thousands of not very intelligent, 
but at the same time by no means unpatriotic 
people like Peggy, at the beginning of the war 
thought trivial disappointmraits "rotten nuisances." 
We had all waxed too fat during the opening years 
of the Twentieth Centtiry, and, not having a spiritual 
ideal in God's universe, we were in danger of perish- 
ing from Fatty Degeneration of the Soul. As it 
was, it took a year or more of war to cure us. 

It took Peggy quite a month to appreciate the 
meaning c^ the mobilisation of Major Fox, H. F. A. 
A Brigade of Territorial Artillery flowed ovct 
Durdelbury, and the sacred and sleepy meadows 
becEime a mass of guns and horse-Unes and men in 
khaki, and waggons and din^ canvas tents — and 
the old, quiet streets were thick with imaccustomed 
soldiery. The Dean cedled on the Colonel and 
officers, and soon the house was full of eager young 
men holding the King's commission. Doggie ad- 
mired their patriotism, but disliked their whole- 
hearted embodiment of the mihtaiy spirit. They 
seemed to have no ideas beyond their new trade. 
The way they clanked about in their great boots 
and spurs got on his nerves. He dreaded also lest 
Peggy should be affected by the meretricious attrac- 
tion of a uniform. There were fine, hefty fellows 
among tibe visitors at the Deanery, on whom Peggy 
looked with natural admiration. Doggie bitterly 
confided to Goliath that it was the 'glamour of 
brawn." It never entered his head dming those 
early days that all the brawn of all the manhood 
of me nation would be needed. We had our well 
orgEinized Army and Navy, composed of peculiarly 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 59 

constituted men whose duty it was to fi^t; just 
as we had our well oi^anised National Church, also 
compcMed of pecuharly constituted men, whose 
duty it was to preach. He regarded himself as 
r^note from one as &om the other. 

Oliver, who had made a sort of peace with Doggie 
and remained at the Deanery, very quickly grew 



One day, walking with Pegey and Marmaduke in 
the garden, he said: "I wish I could get hold of 
that confounded fellow, ChipmunkI" 

Partly through deference to the good Dean's 
delicately hint^ distaste for that upsetter of de- 
corous households, and partly to allow his follower 
to attend to his own domestic affairs, be had leit 
Chipmunk in London. Fifteen years ago Chipmunk 
had parted from a wife somewhere in the neighbour- 
hood of the Elast India Docks. Both being illiterate, 
neither had since communicated with the other. 
As he had left her earning good money in a factory, 
his fifteen years' separation had been relieved from 
anxiety as to her material welfare. A prudent, 
although a beer-loving man, be had amassed con- 
siderable savings, and it was the dual motive of 
sharing these with his wife and of protecting bis 
patron from the ever-lurking perils of London, that 
had brought him across the seas. When Oliver had 
set him free in town, be was going in quest of his 
wife. But as he had forgotten the name of the 
street near the East India Docks where his wife 
lived, and the name of the factory in which she 
worked, the successful issue of thequest, in Oliver's 
opinion, seemed problematical. The simple Chip- 
munk, however, was quite sanguine. He would 
run into her all right. As soon as he had found her 
he would let the Captain know. Up to the pr^ent 
he bad not conununicated with the Captain. He 
could give the Captain no definite address, so the 

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60 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Captain could not communicate with him. Chip- 
munk had disappeared into the unknown. 

" Isn't he qmte capable of taking care of himself P " 
asked Peggy. 

"I'm not so sure," replied Oliver. "Besides, 
he's hanging me up. I'm kmd of responsible for him, 
and I've got sixty pounds of his money. It's all 
I could do to persuade him not to stow the lot in 
hi3 pocket, so as to divide it with Mrs. Chipmunk 
as soon as he saw her. I must find out wtmt has 
become of the beggar before I move." 

"I suppose," said Doggie, "you're anxious now 
to get back to the South Seas?" 

Oliver stared at him. "No, sonny, not till the 
war's over." 

"Why, you wouldn't be in any great danger out 
there, would you?" 

Oliver laughed. "You're the funniest duck that 
ever was. Doggie. I'll never get to the end of you." 
And he strolled away. 

"What does he mean?" asked the bewildered 
Doggie. 

1 think," replied Peggy, smiling, "that he means 
he's goiog to fig^t." 

"On," said Doggie. Then after a pause he added, 
" He's just the sort of chap for a soldier, isn't he? " 

The next day Oliver's anxiety as to Chipmunk 
was relieved by the appearance of the man himself, 
incredibly dirty and dusty €ind thirsty. Having 
found no trace of his wife, and having been robbed 
of the money he carried about him, he had tramped 
to Durdlebiiry, where he reported himself to his 
master as if nothing out of the way had happened. 

"You silly blighter," said Oliver. "Suppose I had 
let you go with your other sixty pounds, you woiild 
have been pretty well in the soup, wouldn't you?" 

"Yes, Cap'en," said Chipmui^. 

"And you're not going on any blethering idiot 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 61 

wild goose chases after wives and such like truck 

again, are you?" 

"No, Cap'en," said Chipmunk. 

This was in tiie stable-yfurd, after Chipmunk had 
^aken some of the dust out of his hair and clothes 
and had eaten and dnmk voraciously. He was now 
sittLog on an upturned bucket fuid smoking his clay 
pipe with an air of solid content. Oliver, lean and 
supple, his hands in his pockets, looked humorously 
down upon him. 

"And you've got to stick to me for the future, 
like a roseate leech." 

"Yes, Cap'en." 

"You're going to ride a horae." 

"A wot? roared Chipmunk. 

"A thing on four le^ that kicks like hell." 

"WotevCT for? I am't never ridden no 'osses.'* 

"You're going to learn, you unmilittuy-lookii^, 
worm-eaten serf). You've got to be a ruddy 
soldier." 

"GorbUmel" said Chipmunk. "That's the first 
I *eard of it. A 'oss soIdierP You're not kiddin' 
are you, Cap'en?" 

"Certainly not." 

"GrtDrblimet Who would ha* thou^t it?" Then 
he spat lustUy and sucked at his pi^. 

"You've nothing to say against it, have you?" 

"No, Cap'en." 

"All right. And look here, when we're in the 
army you must chuck calling me 'Cap'en.'" 

"Wnat shall I have to call yer? Gineral?" 
Chipmunk asked simply. 

"Mate, Bill, Joe — any old name." 

"Rw-istl" said Chipmunk. 

"Do you know why we're going to enlist?" 

" Can t say as 'ow I does, Cap'en." 

"You chuckle-headed swabl don't you know 
we're at war?" 

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62 THE ROUGH ROAD 

" I did 'ear some talk about it in a pub one night," 
Chipmunk admitted. *"0o are we fighting? 
Dutchmen or Dagoes? " 

"Dutchmen." 

Chipmunk spat in his homy hands, rubbed them 
together and smiled. As each individual hair on 
his face seemed to enter into the smile, the result 
was sinister. 

"Do you remember that Dutchman at Samoa, 
Cap'en? ' 

Oliver smiled back. He remembered the hulking, 
truculent Grermau merchant whom Chipmunk, hav- 
ing half strangled, threw into the sea. He also 
remembered tbe amount of accomi)lished lying 
he had to practise in order to save Chipmunk from 
the clutches of the law and get away with the 
schooner. 

"We leave here to-morrow," said Oliver. "In 
the meanwhile you'll have to ahave your ugjy face." 

For the first time Chipmunk was really staggeired. 
He gaped at Oliver's retiring figure. Even his 
limited and timewom vocabulary lailed him. The 
desp^ute meaning of the war has flashed suddenly 
on nullions of men in miUions of different ways. 
This is the way in which it flashed on Chipmunk. 

He sat on his bucket pondering over me awful- 
ness of it, and sucking his pipe long after it had been 
smoked out. The Dean's car drove into the yard 
and the chauffeur, stripping off his coat, prepared to 
clean it down. 

"Say, Guv'nor," said Chipmunk hoarsely, "what 
do you think of this 'ere war? ' 

"Same as most people," replied the chauffeur 
tersely. He shared in the general disapproval of 
Chipnunk. 

"But see 'ere. Cap'en he tells me I must shave 
me face and be a 'oss-soldier. I never shaved me 
face in me life, and I diumo 'ow to do it, just as I 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 63 

duimo 'ow to ride a 'oss. I'm a Bailorman, I am, 
and seulormen don't shave their fac^ and ride 
'osses. That's why I araked yer what yer thou(^t 
of this 'ere war." 

The chauffeur struggled into his jeans and adjusted 
tiiem before replying. 

" If you're a sailor, the place for you is the navy," 
he remarked in a superior manner. "As for the 
cavalry, the Cap'en, as you^call him, ought to have 
more sense — " 

Chipmunk rose and swung his long arms threaten- 



ingly. 
Look'( 



L 'ere, young feller, do you want to have your 
blinkin' 'ead knocked orf? Where the Cap'en goes, 
I goes, and don't you make any mistake Eibout it I" 

'I didn't say anything," the chauffeur expostu- 
lated. 

"Then don't say it. See? Keep your blinkin' 
*ead shut and mind your own business. ' ' 

And, scowling fiercely and thrusting his empty 
pipe into his trousers pocket. Chipmunk rolled away. 

A few hours later Oliver, entering his room to 
dress for dinner, found bim standing in the light of 
the window laboriously fitting studs into a shirt. 
The devoted fellow having gone to report to his 
mast», had found Burfora engaged in bis accus- 
tomed task of laying out his master's evening 
clothes — Oliver during his stay in London baa 
provided himself with these necessaries. A jealous 
snarl had sent Burford flying. So intent was he 
on his work, that he did not hear Ohver enter. 
Oliver stood and watched bim. Chipmunk was 
swearing wholesomely under his breath. Oliver 
saw him take up the tail of the shirt, spit on it and 
begin to rub something. 

'Ker-istI" said Chipmunk. 

"What in the thundering blazes are you doing 
there?" cried Oliver. 

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64 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Chipmunk turned. 

"On, my God t" said Oliver. 

Then he sank on a chair and laughed and laughed, 
and the more he looked at Chipmunk the more he 
laughed. And Chipmunk stood stoUd, holding 
the shirt of the amul, wet, thumb-marked front. 
But it was not at the ^urt that Ohver laughed. 

"Good Godl" he cried. "Were you bom like 
that?" 

For Chipmunk, having gone to ihe barber's was 
clean-shaven, and revealed himself as one of the 
most comically ugly of the sons of men. 

"Never mind,' said Oliver, after a while, "you've 
made the sacrifice for your country." 

"And wot if I get the face-ache?" 

"I'd get something that looked like a face be- 
fore I'd talk of it," gnnned Oliver. 

At the family dinner-table, Doggie being present, 
he announced his intentions. It was the duty of 
every able-bodied man to fight for the Empire. Had 
not half a million just been caUed for? We should 
want a jolly sight more than that before we got 
through with it. Anyway he was off to-morrow. 

"To-morrow?" echoed the Dean. 

Burford, who was handing him potatoes, arched 
his eyebrows in sdarm. He was fond of OKver. 

"With Chipmunk." 

Burford uttered an unheard sigh of rehef. 

"We're going to enlist in King Edward's Horse. 
Tliey're our kind. Overseas men. Lots of 'em what 
you dear good people would call bad eggs. There 
you make the mistake. Perhaps they mayn't be 
fresh enough raw for a dainty palate — but for cook- 
ing, good hard cooking, by Gosh I nothing can touch 
'em. 

"You talk of enlisting, dear," said Mrs. Conover. 
" Does that mean as a pnvate soldier? " 

"Yes — a trooper. Why not?" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 65 

"You're a gentleman, dear. And getaflemen in 
the Anny are officers." 

"Not now, my dear So^thia," said the Dean. 
"Grentlemen are crowding mto the ranks. They 
are setting a noble example." 

They argued it out in their gentle, old-fashioned 
■way. The Dean quoted examples of sons of Family 
who had served as privates in me South Africiui war. 

"And that to this," said he, "is but an eddy to a 
maelstrcHU." 

"Come and join us, James Marmaduke," said 
Oliver across the table. "Chipmunk and me. 
Three 'sworn brothers to France. ' 

Doggie smiled easily. " Fm afraid I can't mider- 
take to swear a fraternal affection for Chipmunk. 
He and I would have neither habits nor ideals in 
common." 

Oliver turned to Peggy. "I widi," said he, with 
rare restraint, "he wouldn't talk like a book on 
deportment." 

'Marmaduke talks the language of civilisation," 
laughed Peggy. "He's not a savage like you." 

"Don't you jolly weU wish he wasl" said Oliver. 

Pe^y flushed. "No, I don'tl" she declared. 

The Dean being called away on business immedi- 
ately after dinner, the young men were left alone 
in the dining-room when the ladies had departed. 
Oliver pourra himself out a glass of port and filled 
his pipe — an inelegimt proceeding of whidi Doggie 
disapproved. A pipe alone was barbaric, a pipe 
with old port was criminal. He held his peace, 
however. 

"James Marmaduke," sdd Oliver, after a while, 
"what are you going to do?" Mudi as Marma- 
duke disliked the name of "Doggie," he winced 
under the irony of the new appellation. 

"I don't see that I'm called upon to do anything," 
he repUed. 

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66 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Oliver smoked and sipped his port. "I don't 
want to hurt your feelings any more,' said he gravely, 
"though sometimes I'd like to scrag you — I sup- 
pose because you're so difTerent from me. It was 
80 when we were childem together. Now I've 
grown very fond of Peggy. Put on the right track, 
she might turn into a very fine woman." 

"I don't think we need discuss Peggy, OUver," 
said Marmaduke. 

"I do. She is sticking to you very loyally." 
Oliver was a bit of an idealist. "The time may 
come when she'll be up the devil's own tree. She'fi 
develop a patriotic conscience. If she sticks to 
you while you do nothing, she'll be miserable. 
If she chucks you, as she probably will, she'll be no 
happier. It's all up to you, James Doggie Mar- 
maduke, old son. You'll have to gird up your 
loins and take sword and buckler and march away 
like the rest. I don't want Peggy to be unhappy. 
I want her to marry a man. Tnat's why I pro- 
posed to take you out with me to Huaheine and try 
to make you one. But that's over. Now here's 
the real chance. Better take it sooner than later. 
You'll have to be a soldier. Doggie." 

His pipe not drawing, he was preparing to dig 
it with the point of a dessert-knife when Doggie 
interposed hurriedly . 

"For goodness' sake, don't do that! It makes 
cold shivers run down my back I ' ' 

OUver looked at him oddly, put the extinct pipe 
in his dinner-jacket pocket and rose. 

"A flaw in the dainty and divine ordering of 
things makes you shiver now, old Doggie. What 
win you do when you see a fellow digging out an- 
other fellow's intestines with the point of a bayonet? 
A bigger flaw there somehow!" 

"Don't talk like that — you make me wck," 
said Doggie. 

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CHAPTER VI 

DURING the next few months there hap- 
pened terrible and marvelloua things -whioi 
are aU set down in the myriad c^onicles 
of the time; which shook the world and brought 
the miknown phenomenon of change into the Close 
of Durdlebmy. Folks of strange nabit and speech 
walked it in, and gazing at the Gothic splendour 
of the place, saw through the mist of autumn and 
the mist of tears not Durdlebury but Louvctin. 
More than one of those grey bouses flanking the 
Cathedral and sharing with it the continuity of 
its venerable life, was a house of mourning; not 
for loss in the inevitable and not imkindly way of 
human destiny as understood and accepted with 
lon^ discipline resignation — but for loss sudden, 
awnil, devastating; for the gallant lad who had left 
it but a few weeks before, with a smile on his lips, 
and a new and dancing hght of manhood in his 
eyes, now with those eyes unclosed atod glazed 
staring at the pitiless Flanders sky. Not one of 
those houses but was linked with a battlefield. 
Beyond the memory of man the reader of the Litany 
had droned the accustomed invocation on behalf 
of the Soveremi and the Royal Family, the Bishops, 
Priests and Deacons, the Lords of the Council, 
and all prisoners and captives, and the congrega- 
tion had lumped them all together in their responses 
with an undifl'erentiating convention of fervour. 
What had prisoners and captives, any more than 
the Lords of the Council, to do with their hves, 
their hearts, their personal emotionsP But now — 



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68 TEIE ROUGH ROAD 

Durdlebury men were ■ known to be priaoners in 
Gterman hands, and after "all prisoners and captives" 
there was a long and pregnant silence, in which was 
felt the Tev^beratiou of war against pier and vaulted 
arch and groined roof of the cathedral, which was 
broken too, now and then, by the stifled sob of a 
woman, before the choir came in with the response 
so new and significant in its appeal — "We be- 
seech thee to hear us, O LordI" 

And in every home the knitting-needles of women 
clicked as they did throughout the length and 
breadth of the land. And the young men left 
shop and trade and counting house. And young 
parsons fretted and some (M)tained the Bishop's 
permission to become Army chaplains, and others, 
snapping their fingers (figuratively) under the 
Bishop's nose, threw their cassocks to the nettles 
and put on the full (though in modem times not 
very splendiferous) panoply of war. And in course 
of time the Brigade of Artillery rolled away and 
new troops took their place: and Marmaduke 
Trevor, Esquire, of Denby Hall, was called upon 
to billet a couple of officers and twenty men. 

Dog^e was both patriotic and poHte. Having 
a fra^ent of the British Anny in his house, he 
did his best to make them coimortable. By Jan- 
uary he had no doubt that the Empire was in peril, 
that it was every man's duty to do his bit. He 
welcomed the newcomers with open arms, having 
unconsciously abandoned his attitude of superi- 
ority over mere brawn. Doggie saw the necessity 
of brawn. The more the better. It was every 
patrio!,ic Englishman's duty to encourage brawn. 
If the two officers had allowed him, he would have 
fed his billeted men every two hours on prime beef- 
steaks and Burgundy. He threw himself heart and 
soul into the reorganisation of his household. 
Officers and men found themselves in clover. The 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 69 

officers had champagne every night for dinner. 
They thought Doggie a capital feUow. 

"My dear chap,' they ■would say, "you're spoil- 
ing us. I don't say we don't like it and aren't 
grateful. We joUy well are. But we're supposed 
to rough it — to lead the simple life — what? 
You're doing us too weU." 

"Impossible!" Do^e would reply, filling up 
the speaker's glass. Don't I know what we owe 
to you fellows? In what other way can a helpless, 
dehcate crodt like myself show his gratitude and 
in some sort of little way serve his country?" 

When the sympathetic and wine-filled guest 
would ask what was the nature of his malady, he 
would tap his chest vaguely and reply: 

"Constitutional. I've never been able to do 
things like other fellows. The least tiling howls 
me out." 

"Damn hard lines — especially just now." 

"Yes, isn't it?" Doggie would answer. And 
once he found himself adding, "I'm fed up with 
doing nothing." 

Here can Ttie noted a distinct stage in Dogc^e's 
development. He realised the brutahty of lact. 
When great German guns were ■yawni^ open- 
mouthed at you, it was no use saying "Take the 
nasty, horrid things away. I don't like them." 
They woiildn't go unless you took other big guns 
and fired at them. And more guns were re<juired 
than could be meumed by the peculiarly constituted 
fellows who made up me artillery of the original 
British Army. New fellows not at all warlike, 
peaceful citizens who had never killed a cat in anger, 
were being driven by patrioti^n and by conscience 
to man mem. Against Blood and Iron now su- 
preme, the superior, aesthetic, and artistic being 
was of no avail. You might lament the fall in 
rdative values of collections of wall-papers and little 



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70 THE ROUGH ROAD 

clay dogs, £is much as you liked; but you could not 
deny the fall; they had gone down vnth something 
of an w^ioble "wallop." Doggie began to set a 
high value on guns and rifles and such like deadly- 
engines and to enquire petulantly why the Glovem- 
ment werec^aot providii^ them at greater numbers 
and at greater speed. On his periodic visits to 
London he wandered round by Trafalgar Square 
and Whitehall, to see for himself how the recruiting 
was going on. At the Deanery he joined in ardent 
discussions of the campaign in Flanders. On the 
walls of his peacock €ind ivory room were maps 
stuck all over with HttJe pins. When he told the 
young ofhcer that he was wearied of inaction, he 
spoke ihe truth. He began to feel mightily ' ag- 
grieved against Providence for keeping him out- 
side this tr^nendous national League of Youth. 
He never questioned his physical incapacity. It 
was as real a fact as the German guns. He went 
about pitying himself and seeking pity. 

The months peissed. The regiment moved away 
from Durdlebuiy, and Doggie was left alone in 
Denhy Hall. He felt soHtf^y and restless. News 
came from OHver that he had been offered and 
had accepted an infantry commission, and that 
Chipmunk, having none of the special quaUties of 
a " OSS soldier," had, by certain skilful wire-pullings, 
been transfered to his regiment and bad once more 
become his devoted servant. "A month of this 
sort of thing," he wrote, "would make om dear old 
Doggie sit up." Doggie sighed. If only he had 
been blessed with Ohver's constitution! 

One morning Rriggins, his chauffeur, announced 
that he could stick it no longer and was going to 
join up. Then Doggie remembered a talk he had 
had with one of the young officers who bad expressed 
astonishment at his not being able to drive a car. 
"I shouldn't have the nerve," he had repUed. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 71 

"My nerves are all wrong — and I shouldn't have 
the strei^th to change tyres and things." ... If 
his chauffeur went, he would find it very difficult 
to get another. Who would drive the Rolls-Royce. 

' Why not learn to drive yourself, sir?" said 
Briggins. "Not the Rolls-Royce. I would put 
it up or get rid (^ it, if I were you. If you engage 
a second-rate man, as you'll nave to, who isn't 
used to this make of car, he'll do it in for you pretty 
quick. Gret a smaller one in its place Euid ^ive 
it youraelf. I'll imdertake to teach you enough 
before I go." 

So Doggie, following Briggins's advice, took 
lessons and, to his amazement, found that he did 
not die of nervous collapse when a dog crossed the 
road in front of the car, and that the fitting of de- 
tachable wheels did not require the strength of a 
Hercules. The first time he took Peggy out in 
the two-seater, he swelled with pride. 

"I'm so glad to see you can do somethingi" she 
said. 

Although she was kind and as mildly affectionate 
as ever, he had noticed of late a curious reserve in 
her manner. Conversation did not flow easily. 
There seemed to be sconething at the back of her 
'mind. She had fits of abstraction from which, 
when rallied, she roused herself with an effort. 

"It's the war," she would declare. "It's affect- 
ing everybody that way." 

Gradually Doggie began to realise that she spoke 
truly. Most people of his acquaintance, when he 
was by, seemed to be thus afuicted. The lack of 
interest they manifested in his delicacy of constitu- 
tion was almost impolite. At last he received an 
anonymous letter, ' For Uttle Doggie Trevor from 
the girls of Durdlebury," enclosing a white feather. 

The cruelty of it broke Doggie down. He sat 
in his ivory and peacock room and nearly wept. 

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72 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Then he plucked up courage and went to Peggy. 
She was rather white about the lips as she listened. 

"I'm sorry," she said, "but I expected Bomething 
of the sort to happen." 

"It's brutal and unjust." 

"Yes, it's brutal," she admitted, coldly. 

"I thought you, at any rate, would sympathise 
with me," he cried. 

She turned on him. "And what about me? 
Who sympathises with me? Do you ever give a 
moment's thought to what I've had to go tmough 
the last few months?" 

" I don't quite know what you mean," he stam- 
mered. 

"I should have thought it was obvious. You 
can't be such an innocent babe as to suppose people 
don't talk about you. They don't talk to you 
because they don't like to be rude. They send 
you white feathers instead. But they talk to me. 
Why isn't Marmaduke in khaki?' 'Why isn't 
Doggie fighting?' 'I wonder how you can allow 
him to slack about like thatl' — I've had a pretty 
rough time fighting your battles, I can tell you, 
amd I deserve some credit. I want sympathy just 
as much as you do." 

"My dear," said Do^e, feeling very much 
humiliated, "I never knew. I never thought. I 
do see now the unpleasant position you've been in. 
People are brutes. But," he added eagerly, "you 
tola them the real reason?" 

"Wliat's that?" she asked, looking at him with 
cold eyes. 

Then Doggie knew that the wide world was 
against him. "I'm not fit. I've no constitution. 
I m fui impossibihty." 

"You thought you had nerves until you learned 
to drive the car. Then you discovered that you 
hadn't.. You fdncy you've a weak heart. Perhaps 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 73 

if you learned to walk thirty miles a day, you would 
discover you hadn't that either. And so with the 
rest of it.' 

"This is very painful," he said, going to the 
window and stanng out. "Very painful. You 
are of the same opinion as the young women who 
sent me that ahoniinahle liiing." 

She had been on the strain for a long while and 
something inside her had snapped. At his woe- 
b^one attitude she relented, however, and came 
up and touched his shoulder. 

"A girl wants to feel some pride in the man 
she's going to marry. It's horrible to have to be 
always drfendhig him — especially when she's not 
sure she's telling the truth in his defence." 

He swung round horrified. " Do you think I'm 
diaming so as to get out of serving in the army?" 

"Not consciously. Unconsciously I think you 
are. What does your doctor say?" 

Doggie was taken ahack. He had no doctor. 
He had not consulted one for years, having no 
cause for medical advice. The old family physician 
who had attended hk mother in her last illness 
and had prescribed Gregory powders for him as a 
child, had retired from Durdlebury long ago. There 
was only one person living familiar with his con- 
stitution, and that was himself. He made confes- 
sion of the surprising fact. Pe^y made a little 
gesture. 

"That proves it. I don't believe you have any- 
thing wrong with you. The nerves business made 
me sceptical. This is straight talking. It's horrid, 
I know. Rut it's best to get through with it once 
and for all." 

Some men would have taken deep offence and, 
consigning P^ggy to the devil, have walked out of 
the room. But Do^e, a conscientious, even 
though a futile human being, was -gnawed, for the 

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74 THE ROUGH ROAD 

first time by the suspicion that Pe^y might pos- 
sihly be right. He desired to act honourably. 

"I'll do," said he, "whatever you think proper." 

Peggy was swift to smite the malleable iron. To 

use me conventional phrase might give an incorrect 

impression of redhot martial ardoiu" on the part of 



' she said, with the first smile of the day. 

"I'll hold you to it. But it will be an honourable 
bargain. Get Dr. Murdock to overhaul you 
thoFou^y with a view to the army. If he pass^ 
you, take a commission. Dad says he can easily 
get you one through his old friend General Gadsby 
at the War Office. If he doesn't, and you're unfit, 
I'll stick to you through thick and thin, and make 
the young women of Durdlebury wish they'd never 
been bom." 

She put out her hand. Doggie took it. 

"Very well," said he, "I agree." 

She laughed and ran to the door. 

"Where are you going?" 

"To the telephone — to ring up Dr. Murdoch for 
an appointment." 

"You're flabby," said Dr. Murdoch, the nert 
morning, to an anxious Doggie in pink pyjamas; 
"but mat's merely a matter of unused muscles. 
Physical training will set it right in no time. Other- 
wise, my dear Trevor, you re in splendid health. 
I was afraid your family history mi^t he against 
you — the child of elderly parents, and so forth. 
But nothing of the sort. Not only are you a first 
class life for an insurance company, but you're a 
first class life for the Army — and that's saying 
a good deal. There's not a flaw in your whole 
constitution." 

He put away his stethoscope and smiled at Dogaie, 
who regarded him blankly as the Pronouncer of a 



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THE ROUGH ROAD 75 

Doom. He went on to prescribe a corase of physi- 
cal exercises, so many miles a day walking, such and 
such back-breaking and contortional performances 
in his bath-room, if possible a skilfully graduated 
career in a gymnasium — but his words fell on the 
ears of a Doggie in a dream; and when he had ended, 
Doggie said: 

' Fm afraid, Doctor, you'll have to write all that 
out for me." 

"With pleasure," smiled the Doctor, and gripped 
him by the hand. And seeing Doggie wince, he 
said heartily: "Ah I I'll soon set toat right for 
you. I'll get you something — an india-rubber 
contrivance to practise with for half an hour a day, 
and you'll develop a hand like a gorilla's." 

Dr. Murdoch grinned his way, in bis httle car, 
to his next patient. Here was this young slacker, 
coddled from birth, absolutely horse-strong and 
utterly confounded at being told so. He grinned 
and (buckled so much that he nearly killed his 
most valuable old lady patient, who wm crossing 
the roadway in the High Street. 

But Doggie crept out of bed and put on a violet 
dressing-gown that clashed horribly with his pink 
pyjamas, and WEmdered like a mim in a nightmare 
to his breakfast. But he could not eat. He 
swallowed a cup of coffee and sought refuge in 
his own room. He was frightened. Horribly 
frightened, caught in a net from whidi there was 
no esca^, not the tiniest break of a mesh. He had 
given ha word — and in justice to Doggie be it 
said that he held his word sacred — he nad given 
his word to join the Army if he should be passal by 
Murdoch. He had been ptissed — more than passed. 
He would have to join. He would have to fight. 
He would have to hve in a muddy trench, sleep in 
mud, eat in mud, plough through mud, in the 
midst of falling diells and other instruments of 

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76 THE ROUGH ROAD 

death. And he would be an officer, with all kinds 
of strange and vidgar men under him, men like 
Chipmunk, for Instance, whom he would never 
und^stand. He was almost physically sick with 
apprehension. He realised that he had never 
commanded a man in his life. He had been mor- 
tally afraid of Briggins, his late chauffeur.* He 
had heard that men at the frvint lived f>n some 
solid horror called bully-beef dug out of tins, and 
some hquid horror called cocoa also drunk out of 
tins; that men kept on their clothes, even their 
boots, for weeks at a time; that rats rjin over them 
while they tried to sleep; that Uce, hitherto asso- 
ciated in his mind with the most revolting type of 
tramp, out there made no distinction of persons. 
They were the common lot of the lowest Tommy 
and the finest gentleman. 

And then the fighting. The noise of the horrid 
guns. The disgusting sights of men shattered to 
bloody bits. Tne horrible stench. The terror of 
having one's face shot half away and being an 
object of revolt and horror to all beholders for the 
rest of life. Death. Feverishly he ruffled his 
comely hair. Death. He was surprised that the 
contonplation of it did not freeze the blood in his 
veiiw. Yes. He put it clearly before him. He 
had given bis word to Peggy that he would go and 
expose himself to Death. Death. What did it 
meanP He bad been brought up in orthodox, 
Church of England Christiamty. His flaccid mind 
had never questioned the truth of its dogmas. He 
believed, in a general sort of way, that good people 
wait to Heaven and bad people went to Hell. 
His conscience was clear. He had never done any 
harm to anybody. As far as he knew, he had broken 
none of the Ten Conunandments. In a technical 
sense he was a miserable sinner, and so proclaimed 
himself once a week. But though, perhaps, he 



THE ROUGH ROAD 77 

had done nothing in his life to merit eternal bliss 
in Paradise, yet, on the other hand, he had com- 
mitted no action which would justify a kindly aiid 
just Creator in consigning hioi to the eternal ilajnes 
of Hell. Somehow the thought of Death did not 
worry him. It faded from his mind, being far less 
terrible than life under prospective conditions. 
Discomfort, hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue, pain, above 
all the terror of his fellows — these were the soul- 
racking anticipations of this new Ufe into which it 
was a matter of honour for him to plimge. And 
to an essential gentleman like Doggie a matter of 
honour was a matter of life. And so, dressed in 
his pink pyjamas and violet dressing-gown, amid 
the peacock blue and ivory hangings of his boudoir 
room, fuid stared at by the countless unsympatbe- 
tic eyes of his little china dogs. Doggie Trevor 
passed through his first Gethsemane. 

His decision was greeted with joy at the Deanery. 
Peggy tbrew her arms round his neck and gave 
him the very first real kiss be bad ever received. 
It revived hiin considerably. His Aunt Sophia also 
embraced him. The Dean shook bim warmly by 
the hand, and talked eloquent patriotism. Doggie 
already felt a hero. He left the house in a glow, 
but the drive home in the two-seater was cold, 
and the pitch dark ni^t pr^aged other nights of 
merdlessness in the futivre; and when Doggie sat 
alone by bis fire, sipping the hot milk which Peddle 
presented him on a silver tray, the doubts and fears 
of the morning racked him again. An ignoble 
possibility occurred to bim. Murdoch mi^t be 
wrong. Murdoch might be prejudiced by local 
gossip. Would it not be better to go up to London 
and obtain the opinion of a first-class man to whom 
he was unknownP There was also another alterna- 
tive. Flight. He might go to America, and do 

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78 THE ROUGH ROAD 

nothing. To the South of France and help in some 
sort of way with hoq>itals for French and wounded. 
He caught himself up short as these thoughts passed 
through his mind, Emd he shuddered. He took up 
the glass of hot Ttiillc and put- it down again. Milk? 
No. He needed something stronger. A glance 
in a minor showed him his sleek hair tousled into 
an upstanding wig. In a kind of horror of himself 
he went to the dini^e-room and for the first time 
in his life drank a stiff whisky and soda for the sake 
of the 8timul€int. Reaction came. He felt a man 
once more. Rather suicide at once than such dam- 
nable dishonour. According to the directions which 
the Dean, a man of afifairs, had given him, he sat 
down and wrote his appUcation to the War OflBce 
for a commissi<Hi. Tnen -^ unique adventure I — 
he stole out of the haired and bolted house, without 
thought of hat and overcoat (let the traducers of 
alcohol mark it well), rtm down the drive and posted 
the letter in the box some few yards beyond his 
entrance gates. 

The Dean had already posted hk letter to his 
old friend Greneral Gadsby at the War OflBce. 

So the die was cast. The Rubicon was crossed. 
The bridges were bmnt. The irrevocable step 
was taken. Dr. Murdoch turned up the next 
morning with his prescription for physical training. 
And then Doggie trained assiduously, monoto- 
nously, wearily. He grew appalled by the sense- 
lessness of tlus apparently unnecessary exertion. 
Now and then Peggy accompanied turn on his 
prescribed walks; but the charm of her company 
was discounted by the glaring superiority of her 
powers of endurance. When he was achmg with 
fatigue, she pressed along as fresh as Atalanta at 
the beginning of her race. When they parted by 
the Deanery door, she would stand fludiea, radiant 
in her youui and health, and say: 



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THE ROUGH ROAD 79 

"We've had a topping walk, old dear. Now 
isn't it a glorious thing to feel oneself aUve?" 

But poor Doggie ca the flabby muscles felt half 
dead. 

The fateful letter burdening Doggie with the 
King's commission arrived a few weeks lat^: a 
second lieutenancy in a Fusilier battalion of the 
New Army. Dates and instructions were given. 
The impress of the Royal Arms at the head of ^e 
paper, with its grotesque, perky hon and unicorn, 
conveyed to Dog^ a sense of the grip of some 
uncanny power. The type-written words scarcely 
mattered. The impress fascinated him. There 
was no gettii^ away from it. Those two pawing 
beasts held him in their clutch. They headed a 
Death Warrant from which there was no appeal. 

Doggie put his house in order, disnmeed with 
bounty those of bis servants who would be no longer 
needed, and kept the Peddles, husband and wife, 
to look after his interests. On his last night at 
home he went wistfully throu^ the famihar place, 
the drawing-room sacred to Ms mother's memory, 
the dining-room so sohd in its half-century of com- 
fort, bis own peacock and ivory room so intensely 
himself, so expressive of his every taste, every 
mood, every ^notion. Those strange, old-world 
musical instruments — he could play ^em all 
with the touch or breath of a master and a lover. 
The old Itfdian theorbo. He took it up. How 
few to-day knew its melodious secret I He looked 
around. All these daintinesses and prettinesses 
had a meaning. They signified the magical httle 
beauties of life — things which asserted a range of 
spiritual truths, none the less real and consolatory 
because vice and crime and ugliness and misery 
and war co-existed in ghastly fact on other facets 
of the planet Earth. The sweetness here exprrased 

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80 THE ROUGH ROAD 

was as essential to the world's spiritual life as the 
sweet elements of foodstuffs to its physical life. 
To the getting together of all these articles of beauty 
he had devoted the years of his youth . . . And — 
another point of view — was he not the guardian by 
inheritance — in other words, by Divine Providence 
— of this beautiful English home, the trustee of 
English comfort, of the sacred traditions of sweet 
Ei^lish life that had made England the only coun- 
try, the only country, he thought, that could call 
itself a Country and not a Compromise, in the world? 

And he was going to leave it all. All that it 
meant in beauty and dignity and ease of life. For 
what? For horror tuid mthiness and ugliness, 
for everything agednst which his beautiful peacock 
and ivory room protrated. Doggie's last night 
at Denby Hall was a troubled one. 

Aunt Sophia and Peggv accompanied him to 
London and stayed with him at his stuffy little 
hotel off Bond Street, while Doggie got his kitt 
together. They bought everything in every West 
End shop that any salesmiin assured them was 
essential for active service. Swords, revolvers, 
field-glasses, pociet-knives (for Gargantuan pockets), 
compasses, mess-tins, cooking-batteries, sleeping- 
bags, waterproofs, boots innumerable, toilet acces- 
sories, drinking cups, thermos flasks, field sta- 
tionery cEises, periscopes, tinted glasses, Gieve 
waistcoats, colera belts, portable medicine cases, 
ear-plugs, tin-openers, cork-screws, notebooks, pen- 
cils, luminous watches, electric torches, pins, 
housewives, patent seat walking-sticks — every- 
thing that the man of commercial instincts had 
dev^ed for the prosecution of the war. 

The amount of warlike equipment with which 
Doggie, with the aid of his Aunt Sophia and Peggy, 
encmid>ered the narrow little passages of Stuntx^L s 
Hotel must have weighed about a ton. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 81 

At last Dole's uniforms, several suits, came 
home. He had devoted enormous care to their fit. 
Attired in one he looked beautifuL Peggy decreed a 
dinner at the Carlton. She and Doggie alone. Her 
mother could get some stufiFy old relation to spend 
the evening with her at Sturrock's. She wanted 
Doggie all to herself, so as to realise the dream of 
many disgusting and humiliating months. And as 
she swept through the pahn court and up the broad 
stairs and wound through the crowded tables of the 
restaurant with the khakiclad Doggie by her side, 
she felt proud and uplifted. Here was her soldi^ 
whmn she had made. Her ver^ own man in khaki. 

"Dear old thing," she whispered, pressing his 
arm as they trekked to their table. 'Don't you 
feel gloriousP Don't you feel as if you could face 
the universe?" 

Peggy drank one glass of the quart of champagne. 
Doggie drank the rest. On getting into bed he 
wondered why this unprecedented quantity of 
wine had not affected his sobriety. Its only effect 
had been to stifle thought. He wrait to bed and 
slept happily, for Peggy's parting kiss had been 
such as would conduce to any young man's felicity. 

The next morning Aunt Sophia and P^gy saw 
him off to bis dep6t, with bis ton of luggage. He 
leaned out of the cfuriage window and exchanged 
hand kisses with Peggy until the curve of the hne 
cut her off. Then he settled down in his comer 
with the Morning Post. But he could not conc^i- 
trate his attention on the morning news. This 
strange costume in which he was dothed seemed 
unrecd, monstrous, no longer the natty diess in 
which he had been proud to prink the night brfore, 
but a nightmare, Nessus-like investiture, signifying 
some abominable, burning doom. 

The train swept him into a world that was upside 
down. 



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CHAPTER VII 

THOSE were proud days for Peggy. Shd went 
about Durdlebury with her head in the air, 
and her st^ was as martifil as though ahe 
herself wore the King's uniform, and she regarded 
the other girls of the town with a defiant eye. If 
only she could discover, she thought, the sender 
of the abominable featherl In Timpany's drapery 
establishment she raked the girls at tlie counter 
with a searching glance. At the Cathedral services 
she studied the demure faces of her contemporaries. 
Now that Doggie was a soldier she held the anony- 
mous exploit to be cowardly and brutal. What 
did people know of the thousand and one reasons 
that kept eligible yoimg men out of the army? 
What had they known of Marmaduke? As soon 
as the illusion of his life had been dispelled, he had 
marched away with as gallant a tread as anybody; 
EUid though Doggie had kept to himself his shrinkings 
and his terrors, she knew that what to the average 
hardily bred young man was a gay adventure, was 
to him an ordeal of considerable difficulty. She 
longed for his first leave so that she could parade 
him before the town, in the event of there being a 
lurkm^ sceptic who still refused to believe that he 
had jomed the army. 

Conspicuous in the drawing-room, framed in 
silver, stood a large, full-lei^lb photograph of 
Doggie in his new umform. 

She wrote to him daily, chronicling the little 
doings of the town, at times reviling it for its dulness. 
Dad, on nuonberless committees, was scarcely ever 
in the house, except for hurried meals. Most of 



THE ROUGH ROAD 83 

the pleasfint young clergy had gone. Many of 
the girls had gone too; Dorothy Bruce to be a 
probationer in a V. A. D. hospital. If Durdlebury 
were not such a rotten, out-of-the-world place, 
the infirmary would be full of wounded soldiers 
and she could do her turn at nursing. As tbii^ 
were, she could only knit socks for Tonunies and a 
silk khaki tie for her own boy. But when every- 
body was doing their bit, these occupations were 
not enou^ to prevent her feeling a uttle slacker. 
He would have to do the patriotic work for both of 
them, tell her all about himself, and let her share 
everyUiing with him in imagination. She also 
expressed her affection for him in ahy and slangy 
tarms. 

Doggie wrote regularly. His .letters were as 
shy €uid conveyed less information. The work was 
hard, the hours long, his accommodation Spartan. 
They were in huts on SaUsbiuT' Plain. Sometimes 
he confessed himself too tired to write more than 
a few lines. He had a bad cold in the bead. He 
was better. They had inoculated bim against 
typhoid and had allowed him two or three slack 
days. The first time he had unaccountably fainted; 
but he had seen some of the men do the same, and 
the doctor bad assured him that it had nothing to 
do with cowardice. He had gone for a route march 
and had returned a dusty lump of fatigue. But 
after having shaken the dust out of his moustache 
— Doggie had a playful turn of phrase now and 
then — and drunk a guart of shandy gaff, he had 
felt refreshed. Then it rained hard and they were 
all but washed out of the huts. It was a vray 
strange life — one which he never dreamed could 
have existed. "FanCT me," he wrote, "glad to 
sleep on a drenched bed!" There was the riding 
school. Why hadn't he learned to ride as a boy? 
He had been told that the horse was a noble animal 



84 THE ROUGH ROAD 

and the Mend of man. He was afraid he would 
retuni to his dear P^gy with many of his young 
illusions shattered. The horse was the most ignoble, 
malevtJent beast that ever walked, except the 
Sergeant-Major in the ri<hng school. Peggy was 
filled with adiniration for his philosophic endurance 
of hardships. It was real courage. His letters 
contained sunple statrauents of fact, but not a word 
of complaint. On the other hand, they were not 
ebuUient with joy; but then, Peggy reflected, there 
was not much to be joyous about in a ramshackle 
hut on Salisbury Plain. "Dear old thing," she 
would write, "althou^ you don't grouse, 1 know 
you must be having a pretty tmn tirne. But 
you're bucking up splendidly, and when you get 

your leave I'D do a girl's very d dest (Don't 

be shocked, I'm sure you're learning far worse 
language in the army) to make it up to you." Her 
heart was very full of him. 

Then there came a time when his letters grew 
rarer and shorter. At last they ceased altogether. 
After a week's waiting she sent an anxious telegram. 
The answer came back. "Quite well. Will write 
soon." She waited. He did not write. One even- 
ing an unstamped envelope addressed to her in a 
feminine hand which she recognised as that of 
Marmaduke's anonymous correspondent, was found 
in the Deanery letter-box. The envelope endosed 
a copy of a cutting from the "Gazette" of the 
morning paper, and a sentence was imderlined and 
adorned wim exclamation marks at the sides. 

"R. Fusiliers. Tempy 2Tid Lieutenant J. M. 
TreDor resigns his commission." 

The Cofonel dealt with him as genlly as he could 
in that final interview. He put his hand in a 
fatherW way on Doggie's shoulder and bade him 
not take it too much to heart. He had done his 
best; but he was not cut out for an officer. Tltese 

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TEIE ROUGH ROAD 85 

««re merdless times. In mattars of life and death 
we could not afford weak links in the chain. Soldiers 
in high command, with great reputations, had al- 
ready been scrapped. In Doggie's case thwe was 
no personal discredit. He had always conducted 
hin^elf like a gentlemstn and a man of honour, but 
he had not the qualities necessary for the command- 
ing of men. He must send in his resignation. 

*But what can I do, sirP" asked Dcwgie in a 
choking voice. "I am disgraced forever.' 

The Colonel reflected for a moment. He knew 
that Doggie's life had been a httle hell on earth 
from the first day he bad joined. He was very 
sorry for the poor little Toy Pom in his pack. <n 
boimds. It was .scarcely the Toy Poms fault 
that he had failed. But the Great Htmt could 
have no use for Toy Poms. At last he took a sheet 
of regimental notepaper and wrote: 
"Deab Trevor, 

"I am full of admiralion for the plucky vacey in 
which you have striven to overcome your physitxil 
disabililies, and I am only too sorry tiuit they shouid 
have compelled the resignation of your commission 
and your severance from the raiment. 

Yours sincerely, 

L. G. Caird, 
Lt. Col." 

He banded it to Doa^e. 

" That's all I can do for you, my poor boy," said he. 

"Thank you, sir," said Doggie. 

Doggie took a room at the Savoy Hotel, and sat 
there most of the day, the pulp of a man. He had 
gone to the Savoy, not daring to show his face at 
the familiar Sturrock's. At the Savoy he was but 
a nmnber imknown, unquestioned. He wcne civil- 
ian clothes. Such of his imiforms and martial 
paraphenmlia as he had been allowed to retain in 

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86 THE ROUGH ROAD 

camp — for one can't house a ton of kit in a hut — 
he had given to his batnuin. His one desire now was 
to escape from the eyes of his fellow men. He 
felt that he bore upon him the stigmata of his dis- 
grace, obvious to any casual glance. He was the 
man who had been turned out of the army as a 
hopeless incompetent. Even worse than the slacker 
— for the slacker might have latent the quahties 
that he lacked. Even at the best and brightest, 
he could only be mistaken for a slacker, once more 
the likely reapient of white feathers from any damsel 
patriotically indiscreet. The colonel's letter brought 
him httle consolation. It is true that he earned 
it aix>ut with him in his pocket-book; but the 
gibing eyes of observers had not the X-ray power 
to read it there. And he could not pin it on his 
hat. Besides, he knew that the kindly Colonel 
had stretched a point of veracity. No longer 
could he take refuge in hh cherished delicacy of 
constitution. It would be a lie. 

Peggy, in her softest and most pitying mood, 
never guessed the nature of Doggie's ordeal. Those 
letters so brave, sometimes so playful, had been 
written with shaky hand, misty eyes, throbbing 
head, despairing heart. Looking back, it seemed to 
him one blurred dream of pain. His brother ofBcers 
were no worse than those in any other Kitchener 
raiment. Indeed, the Colonel was immensely 
proud of them and sang their praises to €iny fellow 
dugout who would listen to him at the NavtJ and 
Military Club. But how were a crowd of young 
men trained in the rough and tuanble of public 
schools, universities, and sport, and now throbbing 
under the stress of the new deadly game, to under- 
stand poor Doggie Trevor? They had no time to 
take hun seriously, save to curse him when he did 
wrong, and in their leisure time he became naturally 
a butt for their amusement. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 87 

"Suidy I don't have to sleep in tborei'" he asked 
the subaltern who was taking him round on the 

day of bis arrival in camp, and showed him his 
squalid little cubby-hole of a hut with its dirty 
boards, its cheap table and chair, its narrow, sleep- 
dispelUog Uttle bedstead. 

Yes it's a beastly hole isn't it? Until last 
month we were under canvas." 

"Sleeping on the bare ground?" 

"Wallowing in the mud like pigs, not one of us 
without a cold. Never had such a filthy time in 
my life." 

Doggie looked about him helplessly while the 
comforter smiled grimly. Abeady his disconsolate 
attitude towards the dmgy hutments of the camp 
and the layer of thick mud on his beautiful new 
boot^ had diverted his companion. 

"Couldn't I have this furnished at my own ex- 
pense? A carpet and a proper bed, and a few 
pictures — " 

" I wouldn't try." 

"Why not?" 

"Some of it might get Inoken — not quite acci- 
dentally." 

"But surely," gasped Doggie, "the soldiers would 
not be allowed to come in here and touch my fur- 
niture?" 

"It seems," said the subaltern, after a bewildered 
stare, "that you have quite a lot to leam." 

Dc^gie had. The subaltern reported a new kind 
of animal to the mess. The mess saw to it that 
Doggie should be crammed with information — but 
information wholly incorrect and misleading, which 
added to his many difficulties. When his ton of 
kit arrived he held an unwiUing reception in the 
hut and found himself obliged to explam to gravely 
curioiis men the use for wnich the various articles 
were designed. 



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88 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"This, I suppose, isanew type of gas-mask?" 

No. It was a patent cx>oker. Doggie politely 
showed how it worked. He also demonstrated 
that a sleeping-bag was not a kit sack of a size 
unauthorised by the regulations, and that a huge 
steel-pointed walkmg-stick had nothing to do with 
agriculture. 

He was very weary of his visitors by the time they 
had gone. The next day the Adjutant advised 
hkn to scrap the lot. So sorrowfully he sent back 
most of hu purchases to London. 

Then the Imp of Mischance brought as a visitor 
to the mess a sub from another regiment who 
belonged to Doggie's part of the country. 

"Wny — I'm mowed, if it isn't Doggie Trevorl" 
he exclaimed carelessly.. "How d'ye do. Doggie?" 

So thenceforward he was known in the regiment 
by the hated name. 

There were rags, in which, as he was often the 
victim, he was forced to join. His fastidiousness 
loathed the coarse personal contact of arms and 
l^s and bodies. His imdevelop^ strec^th could 
not cojpe with the muscle of nis young brother 
barbarians. Aching with the day s fatigue, he 
would plead, to no avail, to be left alone. Com- 
paied with these feared and detested scraps, he 
considered, in after times, battles to be agreeable 
recreations. 

Had be been otherwise competent, be might have 
won through the teasing and the ragging of tiie mess. 
No one d^liked him. He wiis pleasant mannered, 

food-natured £md appeared to bear no malice, 
'rue his ignorance not only of the ways of the army 
but of the ways of their old hearty world, was 
colossal, his mode of ei^ression rather that of a 
precise old Church digmtary than of a sub in a 
regiment of Fusiliers, his habits, including a nervous 
shrinking from untidiness and dirt, those of a dear 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 89 

old maid; but the mess thought, honestly, that he 
could be knocked into their own social smipe, and 
in the process of knocking carried out their own 
traditions. They might have succeeded if Doggie 
had discovered any reserve source of pride from 
which to draw. But Doggie was hopeless at his 
work. The mechanism of a rifle filled him with 
dismay. He could not help shutting his eyes be- 
fore he pulled the trigger. Inured all his life to 
lethai^c action, he found the smart, crisp move- 
ments of drill almost impossible to attain. The 
Riding School was a terror and a torture. Every 
second he deemed himself in imminent p^ of 
death. Said the Sergetuit-Major : 

"Now, Mr. Trevor, you're sitting on a 'orse and 
not a 'oUy-bush." 

And Doggie would wish the horse and the Ser- 
geant-Major in hell. 

Again, what notion could poor Doggie have of 
commandP He had never raised his mOd tenor 
voice to damn anybody in his life. At first the 
tone in which the officers ordered the men about 
shocked him. So rough, so unmannerly, so unkind. 
He could not imderstand the cheery lack of resent- 
ment with which the men obeyed. He could not 
get into the way of military directness, could never 
check the polite "Do you mind" that came instinc- 
tively to his lips. Now if you ask a private soldiCT 
whether he mmds doing a thing instead of teUing 
him to do it, his brain Ibegins to get confused. Ai 
one defaulter whose confusion of brain had led him 
into trouble observed to his mates; "What can 
you do with a blighter who's a cross between a 
blinking Archbishop and a ruddy dicky-bird? " 
What else save show in divers and ingenious ways 
that they mocked at his authority? Doggie had 
the nervous dread of the men that he had antici- 
pated. During his training on parade wcnrds of 

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90 THE ROUGH ROAD 

command stuck in his throat. When forced out, 
th^ grotesquely mixed themselves together. 

'nie adjutant gave advice. 

"Speak out, mein. BawL You're dealing with 
soldiers at drill, not saying sweet nothings to old 
ladies in a drawing-room." 

And D^gie tried. Doggie tried very hard. He 
was mortified by hia own stupidity. Little points 
of drill and duty that the others of his own st^ding 
seemed to pick up at once, almost by instinct, he 
could only grasp Etfter long and tedious toil. No 
one Fetilised that his brain was stupefied by the 
awful and unaccustomed physical fatigue. 

And then came the inevitable end. 

So D(^gie crept into the Savoy Hotel and hid 
himself there, wishing he were dead. It was some 
time before he could wire the terrible letter to 
P^ggy. He did so on the day when he saw that 
his resignation was gazetted. He wrote after many 
anguished attempts : 

"Deab Peggy, 

"/ haven't written before about the dreadful thing 
that has happened, f)ecause I simply couldn't. I have 
resigned my commission. Not of my own free will, 
for, believe me, I tvould have gone through anything 
for your sake, to say nothing of the country and my 
own self-respect. To put it brutally, I have been 
thrown out for sheer incompetence. 

"I neither hope, nor expect, nor want you to con- 
tinue your engagement to a disgraced man. I release 
you from every obligation your pity and generosity 
may think binding. I want you to forget me arid 
marry a man who can do the toorti of this new world. 

"What I shall do I don't know. I have scarcely 
yet been able to think. Possibly I shall go abroad. 
At any rate I shan't return to Durdkbury. If woman 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 91 

serU me white feathers before J joined, what would they 
send me now? It will always he my consolation to 
know that yea once gaxe me your love, in spite of the 
pain of r&ilising thai I have forfeited it oy my un- 
worthiness. 

"Please tell Uncle Edward that I f^l k^nly his 
position, for he loas responsible for getting me the 
commission through General Gadsby. Give my love 
to my Aunt if she will have ii. 

Yoars always affediorxately, 
J. Marhadukb Tbevor." 

By return of post came the answer. 
"Dearest, 

"We are all desperately disappointed. Perhaps 
toe hurried on things too quickly, and tried you loo 
high all at once. I ought to have known. Oh, my 
poor, dear boy, you must have had a dreadful time. 
Why didn't yoa tell me? The news in the gazette 
came upon me like a Ihanderbolt. I didn't know 
what to think. Fm afraid I thought the worst, the very 
vx>rsl — that you hm got tired of it and resigned 
of your own accord. How was one to know? Your 
letter was almost a relief. 

"In offering to release me from my engagement you 
are acting like the honourable gentleman you are. Of 
coarse I can understand your feelings. But I should 
be a little beast to accept right away like that. If 
there are any feathers aoout, I should deserve to have 
them stuck on to me with tar. Don't think of going 
abroad or doing anything foolish, dear, like thai, iiU you 
ham seen me — that is to say us, for Dad is bringing 
Mother and me up to town by the first train to-morrow. 
Dad feels sure that everything is not lost. He'll dig 
out General Gadsby and fix up something for you. 
In the meantime get us rooms at the Savoy, though 
Mother is worried as to whether its a respectaf^ place 
for Deans to stay at But I know you wouUbi'l like 

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92 THE ROUGH ROAD 

to meet us at Sturtxxk^s — otherwise you looald have 
been there yourself . Meet oar trairu All love from 
Peggy." 

Do^e en^tged the rooms, but he did not meet 
the train. He did not even stay in the hotel to 
meet them. He could not meet them. He could 
not meet the pity in their eyes. He read in Peggy's 
note a desire to pet and soothe him and call nim 
"Poor little Doggie," and he writhed. He could 
not even take up an heroic attitude and say to 
Peggy: "When I have retrieved the past and can 
bring you an unsullied reputation, I wul return and 
dajra you. Till then larewell." There was no 
retrieving the past. Other men might fail at first 
and then make good; but he was not like them. 
His was the fall of Humpty Dumpty. Final, 
irretrievable. 

He packed up his things in a fright and, leaving 
no address at the Savoy, drove to the Russell Hotd 
in Bloomsbury. But he wrote Pe^y a letter "to 
await arrival. ' If time had permitted he would 
have sent a telegram, stating that he was off for 
Tobolsk or Tierra del Fuego, and thereby prevent- 
ing their useless journey; but they had already 
started when he recraved P^igy's message. 

Nothing could be done, he wrote, in effect, to 
her, nothing in the way of redranption. He would 
not put her father to the risk oi any other such 
humiliation. He had learned by the most bitter 
experience that the men who counted now in ^e 
world's respect and in woman's love were men of a 
type to which, with all the goodwill in the world, 
he could not make himseK belong — he did not say 
to which he wished he could belong with all the 
agony and yearning of his soul. Peggy must for- 
get him. Ine only thing he could do was to act 
up to her generous estimate of him as an honour- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 93 

able gentleman. As such it was his duty to with- 
draw for ever from her life. His exact words, 
however, were: "You know how I have always 
hated aUing, how it has jarred upon me, often to 

rour amusement, when you have used it. But 
have learned in the past months how expressive 
it may be. Through slang I've leam^i what I am. 
I am a bom 'rotter.' A girl like you can't possibly 
love and marry a rotter. So the rotter, having a 
Ihigering &ei»e of decencv, makes his bow and 
exits — God knows where. ' 

Peggy, red-eyed, adrift, rudderless on a frighten- 
ing sea, called her father into her bedroom at the 
Savoy and showed him the letter. He drew out 
and adjusted his round tortoise-shell rimmed read- 
mg passes, and read it. 

That's a miraculously new Doggie," said he. 

Peggy clutched the edges of his coat. 

"I ve never heard you call him that before." 

**It has never been worth whUe," said the Dean. 



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CHAPTER VIII 

AT the Savoy, during the first stupefaction of 
his misery, Doggie had not noticed particu- 
larly the prevalence of khaid. At the Russell 
it dwelt insistent, like the mud on Salisbury Plain. 
Men that might have been the twin brethren of his 
late brother officers were everywhere, free, careless, 
efficient. The sight of them added the gnaw of 
envy to his heart^ache. Even in his bedroom he 
could hear the jindle of their spurs and their cheery 
voices as they danked along the corridor. On 
the third day after his miction he took a bold 
step and moved into lodgmgs in Wobum Place. 
Here at least he could find quiet, untroubled by 
heartrending sights and sounds. He spent most of 
his time in dull reading and dispirited walking. 
For he could walk now — so much had his training 
done for him — and walk for many miles without 
fatigue. For all the enjoyment he got out of it, 
he might as well have marched round a prison 
yard. Indeed there were some who tramp^ the 
prison yards with keener zest. They were buoyed 
up with the hope of freedom, they could look 
forward to the ever-approaching day when they 
should be thrown once more into the glad whirl of 
Ufe. But the miraculously new Do^e had no 
hope. He felt foi ever imprisoned in his shame. 
His failure preyed on his mind. 

He dalliea with thoughts of suicide. Why hadn't 
he saved at any rate, his service revolver? Then 
he remembered the ugly habits of the luunanage- 
able thing — how it always kicked its muzzle up 

94 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 95 

in tbe air. Would he have been able even to shoot 
bimself with itP And he smiled in self-derision. 
Drowning was not so difficult. Any fool could 
throw himself into the water. With a view to the 
inspection of a suitable spot. Doggie wandered idly, 
in the dusk of one evening, to Waterloo Bridge, 
and turning his back to the ceaseless traffic, leaned 
bia elbows on the parapet and stared in £ront of 
him. A few lights already gleamed from Somerset 
House and the more dimly seen buildings of the 
Touple. The dcsne of St. Paul's loomed a dark 
shadow on a mist. The river stretched below very 
peaceful, very inviting. The parapet would be 
easy to climb. He did not know whether he could 
dive in the approved manner, hands joined over 
head. He had never learned to swim, let alone 
dive. At any rate he could fall off. In that art 
the Riding &:hool had proved him a past-master. 
But the spot had its disadvanta^. It was too 
public. Perhaps other bridges nu^t afford more 
privacy. He would inspect them all. It would 
be something to do. There was no hurry. As 
he was not WEinted in this world, so he had no 
assurance of being welcome in the next. He had 
a morbid vision of avatar after avatar being kicked 
from sphere to sphere. 

At mia point of bis reflections he became aware 
of a presence by bis side. He turned his head and 
found a soldier, an ordiniuy private, very close to 
him, also leaning on tbe pfurapet. 

"I thought I wasn't mistaken in Mr. Marmaduke 
Trevor." 

Doggie started away, on the point of ffight, 
dreading the possible insolence of one of the men of 
his late regiment. But the voice of the speaker 
rang in bis ears with a strange familiarity, and the 
great fleshy nose, the high cheekbones and the little 
■grey eyes in the weather-beaten face suggested 

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96 THE ROUGH ROAD 

vaguely someone of the long ago. His dairuing 

reccwmtioQ amused the soldier. 

" Yea, laddie. Ye're right. It's your tJd Phineas. 
Phineas McPhail, Esq., M.A., defunct Now 33702 
■ Private P. McPhail redivivas." 

He warmly wrung the hand of the semi-bewildered 
Doggie, who munmired: "Very glad to meet you, 
I'm sure." 

Phineas, ^auut and bony, took his Einn. 

"Would it not just be possible," he said, in his 
old half-pedantic, half-ironic intonation, "to find 
a locality less exposed to the roar of traffic and the 
rude jostling of pedestrians and the inclemency of 
the elements, in which we can enjoy the amenities 
of a httle refined conversation?" 

It was like a breath from the past. Doggie smiled. 

"Which way are you goineP 

" Your way, my dear Marmaduke, was ever 
mine, until I was swept, I thought for ever, out of 
your path by a torrential spate of whisky." 

He laughed, as though it had been' a playful 
freak of destiny. Doggie laughed too. But for 
the words he had addr^Bed to hotel and lodging- 
house folk, he had spoken to no one for over a forU 
night. The instinctive craving for companiooship 
made Phineas suddenly welcome. 

"Yes. Let us have a talk," said he. "Come 
to my rooms, if you have the time. There'll be 
some dinner." 

"WiU I come? Will I have dinner? Will I 
re-enter once more the Paradise of the afiSuent? 
Laddie, I will." 

In the Strand they hailed a taxi and drove to 
Bloomsbury. On the way Phineas asked: 

"You mention your rooms. Are you residing 
permanently in London?'* 

"Yes," said Doggie. 

"And Durdlehury?" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 91 

"I'm not going back." 

"London's a place full of tomptations for Hxwe 
without experience," Phineas observed sagely. 

"I've not noticed any," Doggie replied. On 
which Phineas laughed and slapi^d him on tJae 
knee. 

"Man," said he, "when I first saw you I thought 
you had changed into a disillusioned misanthropist. 
But I'm wrong. You haven't chained a bit." 

A few minutes later they readied Wobum Place. 
Doggie ^owed him into the sitting-room on the 
drawing-room floor. A fire was bumii^ in the grate, 
for though it was only early autumn, the even- 
ing was cold. The table was set for Dole's 
dinn^. Phineas looked round him in surprise. 
The hetraxtgeneous and tastdess furniture, the 
dreadful mid-Victorian prints on the walls — one 
was the "Return of the Guards from the Crimea," 
representii^ the landing from the troopship, re- 
pellent in its smug unreality, the coarse glass and 
well-used plate on the table, the crumpled napkin 
in a ring (for Marmaduke, who in his mother's 
house had never been taught to dream that a napkin 
could possibly be used for two consecutive meals I), 
the general air of sUpshod Philistinism, — aU came 
as a shock to Phineas, who had expected to find in 
Marmaduke's "rooms" a repUca of the fastidious 

grettineas of the peacock and ivory room at Denby 
[all. He scratched his head covered with a thick 
brovm thatch. 

"Laddie," said he gravdy. "You must raccuse 
me if I take a liberty; but Fcanna fit you into this 
environment." 

Doggie looked about him also. "Se^ns funny, 
doesnt it?" 

"It cannot be that you've crane down in the 
world? " 

"To bed-rock," said Doggie. 

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98 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"No?" said Pliineaa, with an air of concern. 
"Man, I'm awful sorry. I know what the coniing 
down feels like. And I, finding it not abhorrent to a 
sophisticated and well-trained conscience, and think- 
ing you could well afford it, extracted a thousand 
pounds from your fortune. My dear lad, if Pfainects 
McPhail could return the money — " 

Doggie broke in with a laugh. "Pray don't 
distress yourself, Phineas. It's not a question of 
money. I've as much as ever 1 had. The last 
thing in the world I've had to think of has been 
mouCT'" 

"llien what in the holy names of Thunder and 
Beauty," cried f%ineas, throwing out one hand 
to an ancient saddle-bEig sofa whose ends were 
covered by flimsy n^is, and the other to the de- 
cayed ormolu clock on the mantelpiece, "what 
in the name of conunon sense are you doing in this 
awful, inelegant lodging-houae? " 

"I don't know," replied Doggie. "It's a fact," 
he continued after a pause. "The scheme of deco- 
ration is revolting to every aesthetic sense which 
I've spent my life in cultivating. Its futile pre- 
tentiousness is the rasping irritation of every hour. 
Yet here I am. Quite comfortable. And nere I 
propose to stay." 

Phineas McPhail, MA., late of Glasgow and 
Cambridge, looked at Doggie with his keen little 

frey eyes beneath bent and bristling eyebrows, 
n the language of 33702 Private McPhail, he 
asked: 
"What the blazes is it all about?" 
"That's a long story," said Doggie, lookii^ at 
his watch. "In the meantime I bad better give 
s(mie orders about dinner. And you would like 
to wash." 

He threw open a wing of the folding doors, once 
in Geoifiian times separating drawing-room from 



THE ROUGH ROAD 99 

withdrawing-room, and now separating living-room 
(rotca bedroom, and switching on the light, mvited 
McPhail to follow. 

" I think you'll find everything you want," Sfiid he. 

Phineas McPhail, left alone to his ablutions, 
again looked round, and be had more reason than 
ever to ask what it was all about. Marmaduke's 
bedroom at Denby Hall bad been a dream of satin 
wood and dull blue silk. The furniture and hanginra 
had been Mrs. Trevor's present to Marmaduke 
on his sixteenth birthday. He remembered how 
be had been bored to death bv that stupendous ass 
of an old woman — for so he bad characterised W 
— during the process of selection and installation. 
The present room, although far more luxurious 
than any that Phineas McPhail had slept in for 
years, formed a striking contrast with liiat reman- 
bered nest of effeminacy. 

"I'll have to give it up," he said to himself. 
Rut just as he had put the finishing touches to his 
hair an idea occurred to him. He flung open the 
door. 

"Laddie, I've got it. It's a woman." 

But Dog^e laughed and shook his head, and, 
leaving McPhail, took bis turn in the bedroom. 
For the first time since his return to civil life he 
ceased for a few moments to brood over bis troubles. 
McPhail's mystification amused him. McPhail's 
personality and address, viewed in the light of tjie 
past, were full of interest. Obviously he was a man 
who Hved unashamed on low levels. Doggie won- 
dered how he could have regarded him for years 
with a respect €Jmost amounting to veneration. 
In a curious unformulated way Doggie felt that he 
had authority over this man so much older thtui 
himself, who had once been his master. It tidded 
into some kind of life his deadened self-esteem. 
Hare, at last, was a man with whom he could con- 

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100 THE ROUGH ROAD 

verse on sure ground. The khaki imifonn caused 
him no envy. 

"The poet is not altogether incorrect," said 
McPhail, when they sat down to dinner, "in point- 
ing out tiie sweet uses of adversity. If it had not 
been for the adversity of a wee bit operation, I 
should not now be on sick furlough. And if I had 
not been on furlough I shotddn't have the pleasure 
of this €igreeable reconciliation. Here's to you, 
laddie, and to our lasting friendship." He sipped 
his claret. "It's not like the Lantte in the old 
cellar — Ehea fugaces anni el — what the plague 
is the Latin for vintages? But 'twill serve. He 
drank again and smacked his lips. "It will even 
serve very satisfactorily. Good wine at a perfect 
temperature is not the daily drink of the firitMi 
soldier." 

"By the way," said Doggie, "you haven't told 
me why you became a soldier." 

"A series of vicissitudes dating from the hour I 
left your house," said Phineas, "vicissitudes the 
recital of which would wring your heart, laddie, 
and make angels weep if their lachrymal glands 
were not too busily engaged by the horrors of war, 
culminated four months ago in an attack of fervid 
and penniless patriotism. No one seemed to want 
me except my country. She clamoured for me 
on every hoarding and every omnibus. A recruit- 
ing sergeant in Trafalgar Square tapped me on the 
arm and said, 'Young man, your country wants 
you.' Said I, with my Scottish caution, 'Can you 
take your affidavit that you got the information 
straight from the War Office? 'I can,' said he. 
Then I threw myself on his bosom and bade him 
take me to her. That's how I became 33702 Private 
Phineas McPhail, A Company 10th Wessex Rangers, 
at the remuneration of one shilling and twopence 
per diem." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 101 

"Do you like it?" asked Doggie. 

Phineas rubbed the side of bis thick nose thought- 
fully. 

"There you come to the metaphysical concep- 
tion of human happiness," he replied. "In itself 
it is a vile life. To a man of thirty-four — " 

"Good Lordl" cried Doggie, "I always thought 
you were about fifty!" 

"Your mother caught me young, laddie. To a 
man of thirty-four, a graduate of imcient and 
honourable universities and a whilom candidate 
for Holy Orders, it is a life tiiat would seem to have 
no attraction whatever. The hours are absurd, 
the work distasteful and the mode of living re- 
pulsive. But Strang to say, it fully contents me. 
The secret of happmess lies in the supple adapta- 
bility to conditions. When I found mat it was 
necessary to perform ridiculous antics with my lees 
and arms, I entered into the comicality of the 
idea and performed them with an indulgent zest 
which soon won me tbe precious encomiums of 
my superiors in rank. Wnen I found that the 
language of the canteen was not that of the pulpit 
or the drawing-room, I quickly acquired the new 
vocabulary and won the pleasant esteem of my 
equals. By means of this faculty of adaptability 
I can suck enjoyment out of everything. But, at 
the same time, mind you, keeping in reserve a 
Uttle secret fount of pleasure." 

"What do you call a little secret fount of pleas- 
ure?" asked Doggie. 

"I'll give you an illustration — and if you're 
the man I consider you to be, you'll take a hum- 
orous view of my frankness. At present I adapt 
myself to a rough atmosphere of coarseness and 
lustiness in which nothing coarse or lusty I could 
do would produce the slightest ripple of a convul- 
uon: but I have my store of a cultivated mind 



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102 THE ROUGH ROAD 

and cheap editions of the classics, my little secret 
fount of Castaly to drink frcon whenever I so please. 
On the other hand, when I had the honour of being 
responsible for your education, I adapted mysen 
to a .hothouse atmosphere in which RespectabiUty 
and the concomitant virtues of Supineness and 
Sloth were cultivated like rare ordiids, but in my 
bedroom I kept a secret fount which had its source 
in some good Scots distillery." 

Whereupon he attacked his plateful of chicken 
with vehement gusto. 

"You're a Hedonist, Phineas," said Doggie, 
after a thoughtful pause. 

"Man," said Phineas, laying down his knife and 
fork, "you've just hit it. I tun. I'm an accom- 
plished Hedonist. An early recognition of the 
fact saved me from the Church." 

"And the Church from you," said Doggie quietly. 

Phineas shot a swift glance at him beneath Ins 
shaggy brown eyebrows. 

"Ay," stiid he. "Though, mark you, if I had 
followed my original vocation, the Bench of Bishops 
could not have surpassed me in the unction in which 
I would have wallowed. If I had been bom a bee 
in a desert, laddie, I would have sucked honey 
out of a dead camel." 

With easy and picturesque cynicism, and in a 
Glasgow accent wnich had cxuiously broadened 
since this spell of oriental ease at Denhy Hedl, he 
developed his philosophy, illustrating it by inci- 
dents more or less reputable in his later career. At 
first, possessor of tne ill-gotten thousand poimds 
and of considerable savings &om a substantial 
salary, he had enjoyed the short wild riot of the 
Prodigal's life. Paris saw most of his money — 
the Paris which under his auspices Doggie never 
knew. Plentiful claret set his tongue wagging in 
Rabelaisian reminiscence. After Paris came husks. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 103 

Not bad huaks if you know how to cook them. 
Borrowed salt and pepper and a little stolen butter 
worked wonders. But tbey were Irritating to 
the stomadi. He lay on the floor, said he, and 
yelled for fatted calf; but there was no soft-headed 
parent to supply it. Phineas McPhail must be a 
s^ve again and work for his living. Then came 
private coachir^, free lance journalism, hunting 
for secretaryships: the commonplace story hu- 
morously told of the wastrel's decUue; then a gor- 
geous efflorescence in light green and gold as the 
man outside a picture palace in Camberwell — 
and lastly, the penniless patriot throwing himself 
into the arms of his desirous country. 

"Have you any whisky in the house, laddie?" 
he asked after the dinner things had been taken 



iway. 
"No," 



'," said Doggie. "But I could easily get 
you some." 

"Pray don't," said McPhail. "If you had, I 
^was going to ask you to be kind enough not to let 
your excellent landlord, whom I recognize as a 
butler of the old school, produce it. Butlers of 
the old school are apt, like Peddle, to bring in a 
maddening tray of decanters, syphons and glasses. 
You may not believe me, but I haven't touched a 
drop of whisky since I joined the army." 

"Why?" a^ed Doggie. 

McPhail looked at the long, carefully preserved 
ash of one of Doggie's excellent cigars. 

"It's all a part of the doctrine of adaptability. 
In order to attain happiness in the army, the first 
step is to avoid differences of opinion with the civil 
and military police and non-commissioned officers, 
and such like sycophantic myrmidons of authority. 
Being a man of academic education, it is with diffi- 
culty liiat I agree with them when I'm sober. If 
I were dnmk, my bonuie laddie — " he waved a 



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104 THE ROUGH ROAD 

hand — "wdl — I don't get dnrnk. And as I 
have no use for whisky as merely an agreeable 
beverage, I have struck whisky out of my hedo- 
nistic scheme of existence. But if you have any 
more of that pleasant claret — " 

Doggie rang the bell and gave the order. The 
landlord brought in bottle and glasses. 

"And now, my dear Marmaduke," said McPhail, 
after an appreciative sip, "now that I have told 
you the story of my life, may I without impertinent 
curiosity again ask you what you meant when you 
said you had come down to bed-rockP " 

The sight of the man, smug, cynical, shameless, 
sprawling luxuriously on the sofa, with his tunic 
unbuttoned, filled him with sudden fiury: such 
fury as Oliver's insult had aroused, such as had 
impelled him during a vicious rag in the mess to 
clutch a man's hair and almost pull it out by the 
roots. 

"Yes, you may, and III tell you," he cried, 
starting to his feet. "I've reached the bed-rock 
of myself — the bed-rock of humiUation and dis- 
grace. And it's all your fault. Instead of training 
me to be a man, you pandered to my poor mother's 
weaknesses and brought me up like a little toy dog 
— the infernal name still sticks to me wherever I 
go. Vou made a helpless fool of me, and let me go 
out a helpless fool into the world. And when you 
came across me I was thinking whether it wouldn't 
be best to throw myself over the parapet. A month 
ago you would have saluted me in the street and 
stood before me at attention when I spoke to you — " 

"Eh? What's that, laddie?" interrupted Phineas, 
sitting up. "You've held a commission in the 
iumy?" 

"Yes," said Doggie fiercely. "And I've been 
chucked. I've been thrown out as a hopeless rotter. 
And who is most to blame — you or I? It's you. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 105 

You've brought me to this infi^iial place. I'm 
here in hiding — hiding from my family and the 
decent folk Fm ashamed to meet. And it's all, 
your fault, and now you have iti" 

"Laddie, laddie,' said Phiueas reproachfuUy, 
"the facts d my being a guest beneath your roof 
and my humble military rank, render it difficult 
for me to make an appropriate r^ly." 

Doggie's rage bad spent itseu. These rare fits 
were short-Uv^ and left him somewhat unnerved. 

"I'm sorry, Phineas. As you say, you're my 

guest. And aa to your uniform, God knows I 
onour every man who wears it." 

"That's taking things in the ri^ht spirit," Phineaa 
conceded ^aciously, helping lumsetf to another 
glass of wme. "And the ngbt spirit is a great 
healer of differences. I'll not go so far as to deny 
that there is an elonent of justice in your appor- 
tionment of blame. There may, on various occa- 
sions, have been some small derehction of duty. 
But you'll have been observing that in the recent 
expo^tion of my philosophy f have not laboured 
Ihe point of duty to dispropcaiionate exaggeration." 

Doggie ht a cigarette. His fingers were still 
shaking. "I'm glad you own up. It's a sign of 
grace.' 

"Ay," said Phineaa. "No man is altogether 
bad. In apite of everything I've always enter- 
tained a warm affection for you, laddie, and when 
I saw you staring at bogies round about the dome 
of St. Paul's cathedral, my heart went out to you. 
You didn't look over happy." 

Doggie, always respon^ve to human kindness, 
W€i8 touched. He felt a note of sincerity in McPbail's 
tone. Perhaps he had judged him harshly, over- 
looking Ihe plea in extenuation which McPhail 
had set up — that in every man there must be some 
saving remnant of goodness. 

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106 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"I wasn't happy, Phineas," he said. "I was as 
miserable an outcast as could be found in London, 
and when a fellow's down and out, you must for- 
give him for speaking more bitterly than he ought." 

"Don't I Know, laddie? Don't I know?" said 
Phineas, sympathetically. He reached for the cigar- 
box. "Do you mind if I take another!* Perhaps 
two — one to smoke afterwards in memory of tins 
meeting. It is a long time since my hps touched 
a thing bo gracious as a reeil Heibaoa." 

"Take a lot," said Doggie generously. "I don't 
really like cigars. I only bought them because I 
thought they might be stronger Uian cigarettes." 

Phmeas filled his pockets. "You can pay no 
greater compliment to a man's honesty of purpose," 
said he, "than by taking him at his word. And 
now," he continued when he had carefully lit the - 
cigar he had first chosen, "let us review the entire 
situation. What about our good friends at Durdle- 
bury? What about your uncle, the Very Rev- 
erend the Dean, against whom I bear no ill-will, 
though I do not say that bis ultimate treatment of 
me was not over hasty — what about him? If 
you call upon me to put my almost fantastically 
variegated experience of life at your disposal and 
advise you in this msis, so I must ask you to let 
me know the exact conditions in which you find 
yourself." 

Doggie smiled once again, finding somethiog 
diverting and yet stimulating in the caLtn assurance 
of Private McPhail. 

"I'm not aware that I've asked you for advice, 
Phineas." 

"The fact that you're not aware of many things 
that you do is no proof that you don't do them — 
and do them in a manner perfectly obvious to 
another party," replied Phmeas, sententiously. 
"You're asking for advice and consolation from 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 107 

any friendly human creature to whom you're not 
ashamed to speak. YouVe had an awful sorrowful 
time, laddie." 

Doggie roamed about the room, with McPhail's 
little grey eyes fixed on him. Yes, Phineas was 
right. He would have giv^i most of his possessions 
to be able, these later da^s, to pour out his tor- 
tured soul into sympathetic ears. But shame had 
kept him, still kept him, would always keep him 
from the ears of those he loved. Yes, Pnineas 
had said the diaholically right thing. He could 
not be ashamed to speak to Phineas. And th^e 
was something good in Phineas which he had noticed 
with surprise. How easy for him, in response to 
bitter accusation, to cast the blame on his mother? 
He himself had given the opening. How easy for 
him to point to his predecessor's short tenure of 
office and plead the tdtemative of carrying out 
Mrs. Trevor's theory of education or of resigning 
his position in favour of some sycophant even more 
time-serving? But he had kept silent. . . . Doggie 
stopped short and looked at Phinesis with eyes 
dumbly questionii^ and quivering lips. 

Phineas rose and put his himds on the boy's 
shoulders and said very gentiy: 

"Tell me EtU about it, laddie." 

Then Doggie broke down, and with a gu£2i of 
unminded tetirs found expression for his stony 
despair. His story took a long time in the telling; 
and Phineas interjecting an occasional sympa- 
thetic "Ay, ayl" and a delicately hinted question 
extracted from Doggie all there was to tell, from 
the outbreak of war to their meeting on Waterloo 
Bridge. 

"And now," cried he, at last, a dismally txagic 
figure, his young face ^torted and reddened, his 
sleek hair rufileid from the back into unsightly 
perpendicularities (an invariable sign of distracted 

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108 THE ROUGH ROAD 

emotion) and bis hands appealingly outstretched, 

— "what the hell am I going to do?" 
"Laddie," said Phineas, standing on the hearth- 
rug, his hands on his hips, "if you had posed the 

Siestion in the polite languf^e of the precincts of 
urdelbury Cathedral, I might have been at a 
loss to reply. But the manly invocation of hell 
shows me that your foot is already on the upward 
path. If you had prefaced it by tbe adjective that 
gives colour to all the aspirations of the British 
Army, it would have been better. But I'm not 
reproaching you, laddie. Poco a poco. It is enough. 
It ^ows me you are not going to run away to a 
neutral country and OTcsent the unedifying spec- 
tacle of a mangy little British lion at the mercy of a 
menagerie of healthy hyenas and such like imerior 
though truculent beasties." 

"My Godl" cried Doggie, "haven't I thou^t of 
it tiU I'm half madP It would be just as you say 

— unendurable." He began to pace the room 
again. "And I can't go to France. It would be 

I'ust the same as England. Everyone would be 
ooking white feathers at me. "Die only thing I can 
do is to go out of the world. I'm not fit for it. Oh, 
I don't mean suicide. I've not enough pluck. 
That's off. But I could go and bury myself ' in 
the wilderness somewhere, where no one would 
ever find me." 

"Laddie," said McPhail, "I misdoubt that you're 
going to settle down in any wilderness. You 
haven't the faculty of adaptabihty of which I have 
spoken to-night at some length. And your heart 
is young and not coated wim the holy varnish of 
callousness, which is a secret preparation known 
only to those who have served a long apprentice- 
ship in a severe school of egotism." 

That's all very well," cried Doggie, "but what 
the—" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 109 

Pbineas waved an interrupting hand. "You've 
got to go back, laddie. You've got to whip all 
Uie mosral courage in you and go back to Durdle- 
buiy. The Dean, with his influence, and the letter 
you have shown me from your Colonel, can ea^ly 
get you some honourable employment in either 
Service not so exacting as the one which you have 
recenUy found yourself unable to perform." 

Doggie threw a newly-lighted ci^rette into the 
fire and turned passionately on McPhail. 

" I won't. You're talking drivelling rot. I can't, 
I'd sooner die than go back there with my tail be- 
tween my legs. I'd sooner enlist as a private soldier." 

"Enlist?' stud Phineas, and he drew himself up 
strf^ht and gaunt. "Well, why not?" 

"Enlist?" echoed Doggie in a dull tone. 

" Have you never contemplated such a possibility?" 

"GJood God, no!" stud Doggie. 

"I have enlisted. And I am a man of ancient 
Uneage as honourable, so as not to enter into un- 
productive ai^ument, as yours. And I am a Master 
of Arts of the two Universities of Glasgow and Cam- 
bridge. Yet I fail to find, anythir^ dishonourable 
in my present estate as 33702 Private Phineas 
McPhail in the British Army." 

Doggie seemed not to hear him. He stared at 
him wildly. 

"Enli8t?"he repeated. "As a Tommy?" 

"Even as a Tommy," said Phineas. He glanced 
at the armolu clock. "It is past one. 'The re- 

e)ectable widow woman near the Elephant and 
astle who has let me a bedroom, will be worn by 
fumety as to my non-return. Marmaduke, mv 
dear, dear laddie, I must leave you. If you will 
be lunching here twelve hoxns hence, nothing will 
give me greater pleasure than to join you. Laddie, 
do you think you could manage a fried sole and a 
sweetbread?" 

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110 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Enlist?" said Do^e, following him out to the 
&ont door in a dream. 

He opened the door. Phineas shook hands. 

"Fried sole and a sweetbread at one-thirtyt>" 

"Of course, with pleasure," said Doggie. 

Phineas fumbled m his pockets. 

" It's a long cry to this time of night from Rlooms- 
bury to the Elephant and Castle. You haven't 
the price of a taxi fare about you, laddie — two or 
three pounds — ? " 

Doggie drew from his patent notecase a ^eaf of 
One Pound and Ten Shilling treasury notes and 
handed them over to McPbail s vulture clutch. 

"Good-night, laddie!" 

" Good-night." 

Phineas strode away into the blackness. Doggie 
shut the front door and put up the chain and went 
back into his sitting-room. He wound his fingers 
in his hair. 

"Enhst? MyGodI" 

He ht a cigarette and after a few pufis flung it 
into the grate. He stared at the alternatives. 

Flight, which W£is craven, — a lifetime of self- 
contempt. Durdlebury, which was impossible. 
Enlistment — ? 

Yet what was a man incapable yet able-bodied, 
honourable though disgraced, to do? 

His landlord found him at seven o'clock in the 
morning asleep in an armchair. 



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CHAPTER IX 

AFTER a bath and a change and breakfast, 
Do^e went out for one of nis solitary walks. 
At Durdlebury such a night as the last would 
have kept him in bed in a darkened room for most 
of the following day. But he bad spent many (ai, 
far worse on Salisbury Plain, and the inexorable 
reveille had dragged him out into the raw, dreadful 
morning, heedless of his headache and yearning 
for slumber, until at last the process of hardening 
had begun. To-day Doggie was as unfatigued 
a young man as walked the streets of London; a 
fact which his mind was too confusedly occupied 
to appreciate. Once more was he beset less by the 
perplexities of the future than by a sense of certain 
unpending doom. For to Phineas McPbail's "Why 
uotP" he bad been able to give no answer. He 
could give no answer now, as he marched with 
swinging step, automatically, down Oxford Street 
and the Bayswater Road in the direction of Ken- 
sington Gardens. He could give no answer as he 
stood sightlessly staring at the Peter Pan statue. 

A one-armed man m a khaki cap and hospital 
blue came and stood by his side and looked m a 
pleased yet puzzled way at the exquisite poem in 
marbel. At Itist he spoke — in a rich Irish accent. 

"I beg your pardon, sir, but could you be telling 
me the meaning of it, at all?" 

Doggie awoke and smiled. 

"Do you like it?" 

" I do," said the soldier. 

"It is about Peter Pan. A kind of Fairy Tale. 

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112 THE ROUGH ROAD 

You can see the 'little people' peeping out — I 
think you call them so in Ireland." 

"We do that," said the soldier. 

So Doggie sketched the outline of the immortal 
story of the Boy Who Will Never Grow Old, and 
the Irishman listened with deep interest. 

"Indeed," said he after a tune, "it is good to 
come back to the true thii^ after the things out 
there." He waved his one arm in the vague direction 
of the War. 

"Why do you call them true things?" Doggie 
asked quickly. 

They turned away and Dog^e found himself 
sitting on a bench by the man's side. 

" It a not me that can tell you that," said he, 
"and my wife and children in Galway." 

"Were you there at the outbreak of war?" 

He was. A Reservist called back to the colours 
after some years of retirement from the army. He 
bad served in India and South Africa, a hard- 
bitten old soldier, proud of the traditions of the old 
Regiment. There were scarecly any of them left 
— and that was all tLat was left of bun. He smiled 
cheerily. Doggie condoled with him on the Ic^s of 
his arm. 

"Ah sure," he replied. "And it might keep me 
out of a fight when I go into Ballinasloe." 

"Who would you wEint to fight?" asked Doggie. 

"The dirty Sinn Feiners that do be always tout- 
ing 'Freedom for Ireland and to bell with freedom 
for the rest of the world.' If I haven't lost my 
arm in a glorious cause, what have I lost it for? 
Can you tell me that?" 

Doggie agreed that he bad fought for the greater 
freedom of humanity and gave him a cigarette, 
and they went on talking. The Irishman bad been 
in the retreat from Mons, the first battle of Ypres, 
and be bad lost his arm in no battle at all; just a 



THE ROUGH ROAD 113 

Btray shell over die road as they were marchiag 
back to billets. They disoissed the war, the ethics 
of it. Doggie still wanted to know why the realities 
of blood and mud and destruction were not the 
true things. Gradually he found that the Irish- 
man meant that Uie true things were the spiritual, 
undying things; that the grim realities would pass 
away; that from these dead realities would arise 
the noble ideals of the future which would be sym- 
bolised in song and marble, that all be had endured 
and sacrificed was but a part of the Great Sacrifice 
we were making for the Freedom of the World. 
Bein^ a man roughly educated on a Galway farm 
and m an infantry regiment, he had great difficulty 
in co-ordinating his ideeis, but he bad a curious 
power of vision that enabled him to pierce to the 
heart of things, which he interpreted according to 
his untrained sense of beauty. 

They parted with expressions of mutual esteem. 
Doggie struck across the gardens with a view to 
returning home by Kensington Hi^ Street, Pic- 
cadilly, and Shaft^bury Avenue. He strode along 
with his thoughts filled with the Irish soldier. Here 
was a man, maiued for life and quite content that 
it should be so, who had reckoned all the horrors 
through which he had passed as extemaU unworthy 
of the consideration of his unconquerable soul; 
a man simple, unassuming, expansive only through 
his Celtic temperament, which allowed him to 
talk easily to a stranger before whom his English 
or Scotch comrade would have been dumb and 
gaping as an oyster, obviously brave, sincere and 
loyal. Perhaps something even higher. Perhaps 
in essence, the very highest. The Poet Warrior. 
The term struck Doegie s brain with a thud, like 
the explosive fusion of two elements. 

Dining his walk to Kensington Gardens a poison- 
ous current had run at the back of his mind. Drift- 



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114 THE ROUGH ROAD 

ing on it, mi^ht he not escape? Was he not of too 
fine a porcelain to mingle with the coarse and common 
pottery of the ranks? Was it necessary to go into 
the thick of tiae coarse clay vessels, just to be shat- 
tered? It was easy for Phineas to proclaim that 
he had found no derogation to his dignity as a man 
of birth and a University graduate in identifying 
himself with his fellow pnvates. Phineas had sys- 
tematically brutalised himself into fitness for the 
position. He bad armed himself in brass — aes 
tr^lex. He smiled at his own wit. But he, James 
Marmaduke Trevor, who had lived bis life as a clean 
gentleman, was in a category apart. 

Now, he found that bis talk with the Irishman 
had been an antidote to the poison. He fdt 
ashamed. Did he dare set hin^eli up to be finer 
clay than that common soldier? Spiritually, was he 
even of clay as fine? In a Great Judgment of Souls 
which of the twain would be among the Elect? The 
ultra-refined Mr. Marmaduke Trevor of Denby Hall, 
or the ignorant Poet Wtirrior of Ballinasloe? "Not 
Doggie Trevor," he said between his teetb. And 
be went home in a chastened spirit. 

Phineas McPbail appeared ptmctually at half- 
past one, and feasted succulentty on fried sole and 
sweetbread. 

"Laddie," said be, "the man that can provide 
such viands is a Thing of Beauty which, as the poet 
says, is a Joy for ever. The lignt in his window is 
a beacon to the hungry Tommy dragging himself 
through the viscous wilderness of regulation stew." 

" I'm afraid it won't be a beacon for very long," 
said Doggie. 

"Eh? queried Phineas sharply. "You'd surely 
not be thinking of refusing an old friend a stray 
meal?" 

Doggie coloured at the coarseness of the mis- 
understanding. "How could I be such a brute? 



THE ROUGH ROAD 115 

There won't be a li^t in the window because I 
shim't be here. I'm going to ^ilist." 

Pbineas put his elbows on the table and regarded 
him earnestly. 

" I would not take too seriously words spoken in 
the heat of midni^t revehy, even though the revel 
was conducted on the genteelest principles. Have 
you thought of the matter in the oool and sobOT 
hours of the morning? " 

"Yes." 

" It's an unco' hard life, laddie." 

"The one I'm leadinc is a harder," said Doggie. 
"I've made up my mind." 

"Then I've one piece of advice to give you," 
said McPhail. "Sink the name of Marmaduke, 
which would only stimulate Ihe ignorant ribaldry 
of the canteen, and adopt the name of James wbicn 
your godfather and eodmother, with miraculous 
foresight, considering their limitations in the matta 
of common sense, have given you." 

"That's a good idea," said Doggie. 

"Also it would tend to the obliteration of class 
prejudices if you gave up smoking Turkish cigarettes 
at ten shillings a hxmdred and arrived in your pla- 
toon as an amateur of 'Woodbines.' " 

"I can't stand 'Woodbines,' " said Doggie. 

"You can. The human organism is sO consti- 
tuted that it can stand the sweepings of the ele- 
gants' bouse in the Zoological Gardens. Try. 
This time it's only Woodbines. ' 

Doggie took one from the crumpled paper packet 
which was handed to him, and lit it. He made a wry 
face, never before having smoked American tobacco. 

"How do you like the flavour?" asked Pbineas. 

"I think I'd prefer the elephants' house," said 
Doggie, eying the thing with di^ust. 

'nfou'll find it the flavour of the whole British 
Army," said McPbail. 

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116 THE ROUGH ROAD 

A few days later the Dean received a letter bear- 
ing the pencilled address of a camp on the South 
Ccfflst, and written by 35792 p'^ James M. Trevor, 
A Company, 2/10 th Wessex Rangers. It ran: 

"/ hope you won't think it heartless of me to have 
left you so long without Tiews of me; but until lately I 
had the same reasons for remaining in seclusion as 
when J last wrote. Even now I'm not asking for 
^mpathy or reconsideration of my failure or desire 
m any way to take advaniage of the generosity of you all. 

"I have enlisted in the 10th Wessex. Phineas 
McPhail, whom I met in London and whose character 
for good or evil I can better gauge now than formerly, 
is a private in the same haiialion. I don't pretend 
to enjoy the life any more than I could enjoy living in 
a kretu of savages in CenU^l Africa. But that is a 
mailer of no account. I don't propose to return to 
DurdUburv till the end of the weir. I left it as an 
officer and I'm not coming back as a private soldier. 
I enclose a cheque for £500. Perhaps Aunt Sophia 
will be so kind as to use the money — (7 oi^ht to last 
some time — for the general upkeep, xoages, etc., oj 
Denby Halt. I feel sure she will not refuse me this 
favour. Give Peggy my love, and tell her I hope she 
will accept the two-seater as a parting gift. It will 
make me happier to know that she is driving it. 

" I am keeping on as a pied h terre in London the 
Bhomsbury rooms in which I have been living, and 
Fve written to Peddle to see about making them more 
comfortf^le. Please ask anybody who might care to 
write to address me as 'James M.' and not as 'Mar- 
maduke.* " 

The Dean read the letter — the family were at 
breakfast; then he took off his tortoise ^ell spec- 
tacles and wiped them. 

"It's from Marmaduke at last," said he. "He 
has carried out my prophecy and enlisted." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 117 

I caught at her breath and ahot out her hand 

for t^eTetter, whldi she read eagerly and then passed 
over to her mother. Mrs. Conover began to cry. 

"Oh, the poor boy! It will be worse thetn ever 
for him." 

"It will," said Pegg^. "But I think it splendid 
of him to try. How did he bring himself to do itP" 

"Breed tells," said the Dean. "That's what 
everyone seems to have forgotten. He's a thorough- 
bred Doggie. There's the old French proverb. 
Bon chien chasse de race." 

Peggy looked at him gratefidly. "You're very 
comfortmg," she said. 

"We must knit him some socks," observed Mrs. 
Conover. "I hear those supplied to the anuy are 
very rough and ready." 

"My dear," smiled the Dean, "Marmaduke's 
considerable income does not cease because his 
pay in the army is one and twopence a day; and I 
should think he would have the sense to provide 
himself with adequate underclothing. Also, judg- 
ing &om the account of your shoppii^ orgy in Lon- 
don, he has already laid in a stock that would last 
out several Antarctic winters." 

The Dean tapped his egg gently. 

"Then what can we do for the poor boy?" asked 
his wife. 

The De£ui scooped the top of his egg off with a 
vicious thrust. 

"We can cut out slanderous tongues," said he. 

There had been much calumniating cackle in the 
httle town; nay, more: cackle is ot geese; there 
had been venom of the snakiest kind. The Deanery, 
father and mother and daughter, each in their 
several ways, had suffered greatly. It is hard to 
stand up against poisoned ridicule. 

"My dear," continued the Dean, "it will be om* 
business to smite the Philistines, hip and thigh. 

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118 THE ROUGH ROAD 

The reasons which guided Marmaduke in the 
resignation of his commission are the ■ concern of 
nolwdy. The fact remains that Mr. Marmaduke 
Trevor resigned his commisfflon in order to — " 

Peg^ interrupted him with a smile. '"In ord^ 
to' — isn't that a bit Jesuitical, DaddyP" 

*' I have a great respect for the Jesuits, my dear," 
said the Dean, holding out an impressive egg-spoon. 
"The fact remains, in the eyes of the world, as I 
remarked, that Mr. Marmaduke Trevor of Denby 
Hall, a man of fortune and high position in the 
county, resigned his commission in onler, for reasons 
best known to himself, to serve his country more 
effectively in the humbler ranks of the army, and 
— my dear, this egg is far too full for war time — " 
with a hazardous plunge of his spoon he had made 
a yellow yelky horror of the egg-shell — "and I'm 
going to proclaim the fact far and wide and — 
indeed — rub it in." 

"That'll be jolly decent of you, Daddy," said bis 
daughter. " It will help a lot. ' 

In the failure of Marmaduke to retain his com- 
mission the family honour bad not been concerned. 
The boy bad done hia best. They blamed not him 
but the disastrous trfiining that bad unfitted him 
fOT the command of men. They reproached them- 
selves for their haste in throwing him headlong 
into the fiercest element of the national struggle 
towards efficiency. They could have found an 
easier school, in which he could have learned to do 
bis share creditably in the national work. Many 
young men of their acquaintance, far more capable 
then Marmaduke, were wearing the uniform of a 
less strenuous branch of the service. It had been 
a blunder, a failure, but without lc»s of honour. 
But when slaaderous tongues attacked poor Doggie 
for running away with a yelp from a little hardship; 
when a story or two of Doggie's career in the regi- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 119 

ment arrived in Durdl^ury, highly flavoured in 
tianait and more and more poisoned aa it went 
from mouth to mouth; when a legend wets spread 
abroad that he had holted from Salishury Plain 
and was run to earth in a Turkish hath in London, 
and was only saved from court-martial hy family 
iniluence, then the family honour of the Couovers 
was woimded to its proud English depths. And 
they could say nothing. They nad only Doggie's 
word to go upon; they accepted it unquestioningly, 
but they knew no details. Doggie had disappeared. 
Naturally they contradicted &ese evil rumours. 
The good folks of Durdlebury expected them to do 
so, and listened with well-bred incredulity. To 
the question "Where is he now and what is he going 
to do?" they could only answer, "We don't know. 
They were helpless. 

Peggy had a bitter quarrel with one of her inti- 
mates, Nancy Murdoch, daughter of the doctor 
who had proclaimed the soundness of Marmaduke's 
constitution. 

"He may have told you so, dear," said Nancy, 
"but how do you know?" 

"Because whatever else he may be, he's not a 
liar," retorted Peggy. 

Nancy gave the most delicate suspicion of a shrug 
to her pretty shoulders. 

That was the b^inning of it. Peggy, naturally 
combative, armed for the fight and defended Mar- 
maduke. 

"You talk as though you were still engaged to 
him," said Nancy. 

"So I am," declared Peggy rashly. 

"Then where's your engagement ring?" 

"Where I choose to keep it." 

The retort lacked originality and conviction. 

"You can't send it back to him, because you 
don't know wha« he is. And what did Mrs. Con- 

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120 THE ROUGH ROAD 

over mean by telling mother that Mr. Trevor had 
broken off the engagement?" 

"She never told her any such thmc," cried Peggy 
mendaciously. For Mrs. Conover had committed 
the indiscretion under assurance of silence. 

"Pardon me," said Nancy, much on her dignity. 
"Of course I understand your denying it. It isn t 
pleasant to be thrown over by any man — but by a 
man lite Doggie Trevor — ' 

"You're a spiteful beast, Nancy, and 111 never 
speak to you a^ain. You've neither womanly 
decency nor Christian feeling." And Peggy marched 
out of the doctor's house. 

As a result of the quarrel, however, she resumed 
the wearing of the ring, which she flaunted defiantly 
with left hand deliberately ungloved. Hitherto 
she had not been certain of the continuance of the 
eng£^ement. Marmaduke's repudiation was defi- 
nite enough; but it had been dictated hy his sensi- 
tive hraiour. It lay with her to agree or dedine. 
She had passed through wearisome days of doubt. 
A physically sound ^hting man sent about his 
busmess as being unfit for war does not appear a 
romantic figure m a girl's eyes. She was nitterly 
disappointed with Doggie for the sudden withering 
of her hopes. Had he fulfilled them she could have 
loved him whole-heartedly after the simple way of 
women; for her sex, exhilarated by the barbaric 
convulsion of- the land, clamoured for something 
heroic, something, at least, intensely masculine, 
in which she could find feminine exultation. She 
also felt resentment at his flight £rom the Savoy, his 
silence and practical disappearance. Although not 
blaming bim unjustly, she failed to realise the 
spiritual piteousness of this plight. If the war 
has done any thing in this country, it has saved 
the young women of the gentler classes, at any 
rate, from the abyss of scndid and cynical material- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 121 

ism. Hesitating to announce the rupture of the 
engagement, she allowed it to remain in a state of 
suspended aoimation, and as a symbolic act, ceased 
to wear the ring. Nancy's tamits had goaded her 
to a more heroic attitude. The first person to whom 
she showed the newly ringed hand was her mother. 

"The engagement isnt off until I declare it's 
off. I'm gomg to play the game." 

"You know best, dear, ' said the gentle Mrs. 
Conover. "But it's all very upsettir^. 

Then Dole's letter brought comfort and glad- 
ness to the Deanery. It reassured them as to his 
fate. It healed the wounded family honour. It 
justified Peggy in playing the game. 

She took the letter round to Dr. Murdoch's and 
thrust it into the hand of an astonished Nancy, 
with whom, since the quarrel, she had not been on 
speaking terms. 

"This is in Marmaduke's handwriting. You 
recogniae it. Just read the top line when I've 
fold^ it. 'I have enlisted in Uie 10th Wessex.' 
See?" She withdrew the letter. "Now, what 
could a man, let alone an honourable gentleman, 
do more? Say you're sorry for having said beastly 
things about huu." 

Nancy, who had regretted the loss of a lifeloi^ 
friendship, professed her sorrow. 

"The least you can do, then, is to go round and 
spread the news, and say you've seen the letter 
with your own eyes." 

To several others, on a triumphant round of 
visits, did she ^ow the vindicating sentence. Any 
soft young fool, she asserted, with the directness 
and not imattractive truculence of her generation, 
can get a commission and muddle through, but it 
took a man to enlist as a private solilier. 

"Everybody rea^tnises now, darling," said the 
reconciled Nancy, a few days later, "that Do^e 

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122 THE BOUGH ROAD 

is a top-hole, splraidid chap. But I think I oueht 
to tell you that you're all Boring Durdlebury stiff." 

Peggy laughed. It was good to be engaged to a 
man no longer under a cloud. 

"It will all come right, dear old thing" she wrote to 
Doggie. " If s a cinch, as the Americans say. You'll 
soon get used to it — especially if you can realise what 
it means to me. 'Saving face' has been an awfiU 
business. Now it's all over. Of course I'll accept 
the two-seater. I've had lessons in driving since you 
went away — / had thoughts of going out to France 
to drive Y. M. C. A. cars, bat that s off for the present. 
I'll love the two-seater. Swank wont be the uxird. 
But 'a parting gift' is all rot. The engagement stands 
and all Durwebury knows it . . . " and so on, and 
so on. She set herself out, honestly, loyally, to be 
the kindest girl in the world to Doggie. Mrs. 
Conover happened to come into the drawing-room 
just as she was licking the stamp. She thumped it 
on the envelope with her palm and, looking round 
from the writing desk against the wall, showed 
her mother a flushed and smiling face. 

"If anybody says I'm not good — the goodeat 
thing the Cathedral has turned out for half-a<dozen 
centuries, I'll tear her horrid eyes out from their 
sockets I" 

" My dearl " cried her horrified mother. 

Doggie kept the letter imopened in his tunic 
pocket until he could find solitude io which to read 
It. After morning parade he wandered to the 
deserted trench at the end of the camp, where the 
stuffed sacks, representing German defenders, were 
hung for bayonet practise. It was a noon of grey 
mist through which the alignments of huts and tents 
were barely vivihle. Instinctively avoiding the 
wet earth of the parados, he went round, and, tired 
aft^ the recent q>ell of physical drill, sat down 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 123 

on the equally wet sandbags of the model parapet, 
a pathetic, lonely little khaki figure, isolated ior 
tiie moment by the kindly mist &om an uncompre- 
hending world. 

He read Peggy's letter several times. He recog- 
nised her goodness, her loyalty. The gratd^ul 
tears even came to his eyes, and ne brushy them 
away hurriedly with a swift look round. But bis 
heart beat none the faster. A long-faded memory 
of childhood came back to him in regained colour. 
Some quarrel with Peggy. What it was all abmit 
he had entirely forgotten; but he remembered her 
little flushed face and her angry words: "WeU, 
I'm a sport and you ain'tl" He remembered also 
rebuking her priggishly for unintelligible language 
and mincing away. He read the letter again in the 
light of this flash of memory. The only difference 
between it and the childish speech lay in the fact 
that instead of a declaration of contrasts, she now 
uttered a declaration of similitudes. They were 
both "sports." There she was wrong Doggie 
shook bis head. In her sense of the word he was 
not a "sport." A sport takes chances, plays the 
game with a smile on his lips. There was no smile 
on his. He loathed the game with a sickening, 
shivering loathing. He was engaged in it be<:ause 
a conglomeration of irresistible forces had driven 
him tQto the melee. It never occurred to DoMe 
that he was under orders of his own soul. Toia 
simple yet stupendous fact never occurred to Peggy. 

He sat on the wet sandbags and thoueht and 
thought. Though he reproached himself tar base 
ingratitude, the letter did not satisfy him. It left 
his heart cold. What he sought in it he did not 
know. It was something he could not find, some- 
thing that was not there. The sea mist thickened 
aroimd him. Peggy seemed very far away. . . . 
He was still engagra to her — for it would be mon- 

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124 THE ROUGH ROAD 

strous to persist in his withdrawal. He must 
accept the situation which she decreed. He owed 
that to her loyalty. But how to continue the 
correspondenceP It was hard enough to write 
from Salishury Plain, from here it was well ni^h 
impossible. 

Thus was Doggie brought up against a New 
Problem. He struggled desperately to d^er its 
solution. 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER X 

THE r^jments of the new armies have gathered 
into their rank and file a mixed crowd tran- 
scending the dreams of Democracy. At one 
end of the social scale are men of refined minds and 
gentle nurture, at the other creatures from' the 
Slums, with slum minds and morals, and between 
them the whole social gaunt is run. Experience 
seems to show that neither of the extreme dements 
tends, in the one case to elevate, or, in the other, 
to debase the battaUon. Leading the common 
life, sharing the common hardships, striving towards 
common ideals, they inevitably, irresistibly tend 
to merge themselves in the average. The highest 
in the scale sink, the lowest rise. The process, so 
far as the change of soul state is concerned, is infi- 
nitely more to the amelioration of the lowest than 
to the degradation of the highest. The one, also, 
is more real, the other more apparent. In the one 
case, it is merely the shuffling off of manners, of 
habits, of prejudices and the assuming of others 
horribly distasteful or humorouslv accepted accord- 
ing to temperament; in the otner case, it is an 
enforced education. And all the congeries of human 
atoms that make up the battalion, learn new and 
precious lessons and acquire new virtues — patience, 
obedience, courage, endurance. . . . But from the 
point of view of a decorous tea-party in a cathedral 
town, the tone — or the standard of manners, or 
whatever you would like by way of definition of 
that vague and comforting word — ■ the tone of the 
average is deplorably low. The hoohgan may be 
kicked for excessive foulness; but the rider oi the 



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126 THE ROUGH ROAD 

high htHse is brutally dragged down into the mire. 
The curious part of it all is that, the gutter dement 
being eliminated altogether, the corporate standard 
of the remaining majority is lower than the stan- 
dard of each individual. 

By developing a philosophical disquisition on 
some such lines did Pluneas McPhail Beek to initiate 
Doggie into the weird mysteries of the new social 
life. Dogrie heard with his ears but thought id 
terms of Durdlebury tea-parties. Nowhere in the 
mass could he find the spiritual outlook of his Irish 
Poet Warrior. The individuals that may have 
had it kept it preciously to themselves. The out- 
look, as conveyed in speech, was grossly material- 
istic. From the language of the canteen he recoiled 
in disgust. He could not reconcile it witii the 
nohler attributes of the users. It was in vain for 
Phineas to plead that he must accept the lingua 
franca of the British Army like all other things 
appertaining thereto. Doggie's stomach revoltra 
against most of the other things. The disregard 
(iTcan. this point of view) of personal cleanlmess 
universal in the ranks, filled him with dismay. 
Even on Salisbury Plain he had managed to get a 
little hot water for his morning tuh. Here, save 
in the officers' quarters, curiously remote, inacces- 
sible paradise I — there was not such a thing as a 
tub in the place, let alone hot water to fill it. The 
men never dreamed of such a thing as a tub. As 
a matter of fact, they were scrupulously clean 
according to the lights of the British Tommy; but 
the lights were not those of Marmaduke Trevor. 
He had learned the supreme wisdom of keeping 
lips closed on such matters and did not complain, 
but all his fastidiousness rebelled. He hated the 
sluice of head and shoulders with water from a 
bucket in the raw open air. His hands swelled, 
l^tered, and cracked; and his nails, once so beau- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 127 

tifully manicured, erew rich black rims, and all the 
icy watar in the buckets would not remove the 
grime. 

Now and then he w^it into the town and had a 
hot bath; but very few of the othors ever seemed to 
think of such a thing. The habit of the British 
Army of going to bed in its day shirt and under- 
clothes was peculiarly repellent. Yet Doggie knew 
that to vary from the sacred ways of his fellow men 
was to bring disaster on his head. 

Some of the men slept under canvas still. But 
Doggie, fortunately as he reckoned (for he had 
begun to appreciate fine shades in misery) was ^ut 
with a dozen others in a ramshackle hut of which 
the woodwork had warped and let in the breezes 
above, below, and all round the sides. Doggie, 
though dismally cold, welcomed the air for obvious 
reasons. They were fortunate, too, in having 
straw palliasses — recently provided when it was 
discovered that sleeping on badly boarded floors 
with fierce draughts blowing upwards along human 
spines was strangely fatal to human bodies — but 
Doggie found his bed very hard lying. And it smelt 
sour and sickly. For nights, in spite of fatigue, 
be could not sleep. His mates sang and talked, 
and bandied jests and sarcasms of esoteric meaning. 
Some of the recruits from factories or farms satirised 
their officers for peculiarities common to their 
social caste, and gave grotesque imitations of their 
mode of speech. Doggie wondered but held his 
peace. The deadly stupidity and weariness of it 
alll And when the talk stopped and they settled 
to sleep, the snorings and mutterings and coughings 
began and kept poor Doggie awake most of the night. 
The irremediable, intimate propinquity with coarse 
humanity oppressed him. He would have given 
worlds to go out, even into the pouring rain, and 
walk about the camp or sleep under a hedge, so 



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128 THE ROUGH ROAD 

long as he could be alone. And he would think 
longingly of his satin-wood bedroom, with ite 
luxurious bed and lavender-scented sheets, and of 
bis beloved peacock and ivory room and its pictures 
and extjuisite furniture and the great fire roaring 
up the chinmey, and devise intricate tortures for 
the Kaiser who had dragged bim down to this 
squalour. 

The meals — the rough cooking, the primitive 
service — the table manners of nis companions, 
offended his delicate senses. He missed napkins. 
Never could he bring himself to wipe his mouth 
with the back of his hand and the back of his hand 
on the seat of his trousers. Nor could be watch with 
equanimity an honest soul pick his teeth with bis 
little finger. Rut Doggie Imew that acquiescence 
was the way of happiness and protest the way of 
woe. 

At iirst he made few acquaintances beyond those 
with whom he was intimately associated. It seemed 
more poUtic to obey his instincts and remain un- 
obtrusive in company and drift away inoffensively 
when the chance occurred. One of the men with 
whom be talked occasionally was a red-beaded 
Uttle cockney by the name of Shendish. For some 
reason or other — perhaps because his name con- 
veyed a perfectly wrong suggestion of the Hebraic 
— he was always called "Mo ' Shendish. 

"Don't yer wish yer was back, mate?" he asked 
one day, having weiited to speak till Doggie had 
addressed and stamped a letter which be was writing 
at the end of the canteen table. 

"Where?" said Doggie. 

"'Ome, sweet 'ome. In the family castle, where 
gilded footmen 'ands sausage and mash about on 
trays and quarts of beer all day long. I do." 

* You're a lucky chap to have a castle," said 
Doggie. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 129 

Mo Shendish grinned. He showed little yellow 
teeth heneath a little red moustache. 

"I ain't 'alf got one," said he. "It's in Mare 
Street, Hackney. I wish I was there now." 

He sighed, and in an abstracted way he took a 
half-smoked cigarette from behind his ear and relit it. 

"What were yer before yer joined? Yer look 
like a clerk." He pronouncwi it as if it were spelt 
with a "u." 

" Something of the sort," replied Doggie cautiously. 

"One can always tell you eddicated blokes. 
Making your five quid a week easy, I suppose?" 

"About that," said Doggie. ' What were you?" 

"I was making my thirty bob a week r^i;ular. 
I was in the fish business, I was. And now I'm 
serving my ruddy country at one and twopence a 
day. Funny life, Eiin't it?" 

' I can't say it's very enjoyable," said Doggie. 

"Not the same as sitting in a snug orfis all day 
with a pen in your lilywhite 'and, and going 'ome 
to your 'igh tea in a top 'at. What made you join 
up?" 

"The force of circumstances," said Doggie. 

"Same 'ere," said Mo; "only I couldn't put it 
into such fancy language. First my pals went 
out one after the other. Then the gels began to 
look saucy at me, and at last one particular bit of 
skirt what I'd been walking out with, took to prome- 
nading with a blighter in khaki. It'd have been 
silly of me to go and knock his 'ead off, so I enlisted. 
And it's all right now." 

"Just the same sort of thing in my case," replied 
Doggie. "I'm glad things are right with the young 
lady." 

' First class. She's straight, she is, and no mis- 
take abaht it. She's a — ' 

He paused for a word to express the inexpressive 
she. 

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130 THE ROUGH ROAD 

" — ^A. paragon — a peach?" — Do^e corrected 
himself. Then, as the sudden frown of perplexed 
suspicion was swiftly replaced by a grin of content, 
he was struck by a bright idea. 

"What's her name? ' 

"Aggie. What's yoors?" 

"Gladys," rephed Doggie with miraculous readi- 
ness of invention. 

"I've got her photograph," Shendish confided in 
a whisper, and ^d his hand on his tunic pocket. 
Then he looked round at the half-filled canteen to 
see that he was unobserved. "You won't give me 
away if I show it yer, will yer?" 

Doggie swore secrecy. The photograph of A^ie, 
an angular, square-browed damsel, who looked as 
though she could guide the most recalcitrant of 
fishmongers into the paths of duty, was produced 
and thrust into Doggie's hand. He inspected it 
with poUte appreciation, while his red-headed friend 
regarded him with fatuous anxiety. 

' Charming 1 charming t " said Doggie in his 
pleasantest way. "What's her colouring?" 

"Fair hair and blue eyes," said Sfaendi^. 

The kindly question, half idle yet unconsciously 
tactful, was one of those human things which cost 
so little but ore worth so much. It gave Doggie a 
friend for life. 

"Mo," said he, a day or two later, "you're such a 
decent chap. Why do you use such abominable 
language? " 

' Gawd knows," smiled Mo, unabashed. "I 
suppose it's friendly like." He wrinkled his brow 
in thought for an instant. "That's where I think 
you're making a mistake, old pal, if you don't mind 
my mentioning it. I know what yer are, but the 
others don't. You're not friendly enough. See 
what I mean? Supposin' you say as you would in a 
city restoorang when you're aving yer lunch. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 131 

'Will yra" kindly pass me the salt?' — well, that's 
atandnaffish — they say 'Come off itl' But if 
you look about and say, 'Where's the B.Y. salt?' 
that's friendly. They understand. They chuck 
it at you'." 

Said Doggie, "It's very — I mean B.Y. — diffi- 
cult." 

So he tried to be friendly; and if he met with no 

freat positive success, he at least scaped animosity, 
n his spare time he mooned about by hims elf, shy, 
disgusted, and miserable. Once, when a group of 
men were kicking a footbedl about, the ball rolled 
his way. Instead of kicking it back to the expec- 
tant piayers, he picked it up and advanced to tJie 
nearest man and handed it to him politely. 

"Thanks, mate," said the astonished man, "but 
why didn't you kick it?" 

He turned away without waiting for a reply. 
DiMigie had not kicked it because he had never 
kicked a football in his life, and shT anlt from an 
exhibition of incompetence. 

At drills things were easier than on Salisbury 
Plain, his actions being veiled in the obscurity of 
squad or platoon or company. Many others besides 
hunself were cursed by sergeants and rated by sub- 
alterns and drastically entreated by captains. He 
had ihe consolation of community in suGTering. 
As a trembling officer he had been the only one, 
the only one marked tmd labelled as a freak ptut, 
the only one stuck in the eternal pillory. Here 
were fools and incapables even more dull and in- 
effective than he. A ploughboy fellow-recruit from 
Dorsetshire, Pugsley by name, did not know ri^t 
from left, and having mastered the art of forming 
fours, could not get into his brain the reverse process 
of forming front. He wept under the lash of the 
corporal's tongue, and to Doggie these tears were 
healing dews of Heaven's distLJlation. By degrees 

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132 THE ROUGH ROAD 

he learned the many arts of war as taught to the 
private soldier in England. He could refrain firom 
shutting liis eyes when he pressed the trigger of 
his rifle, but to the end of his career his footing 
was erratic. He could perform with the weapon 
the other tricks of precision. Unemcunbered he 
could march with the best. The torture of the 
heavy pack nearly killed him; but in time, as his 
muscles developed, he was able to slog along under 
the burden. He even learned to dig. That was 
the worst and most back-breaking art of all. 

Now and then Phineas McPhail and hitDself 
would get together and walk into the UtUe seaside 
town. It was out of the season, and there was little 
to look at save the deserted shops and the squall- 
fretted pier and the maidens of the place, who usually 
were in company with lads in klmki. Sometimes 
a girl alone would give Dogme an unmistakable 
glance of shy invitation, for Doggie in his short 
Eiight way was not a bad-looking fellow, carrying 
himself well and wearing his uniform with instinc- 
tive grace. But the damsel ogled in vain. 

On one such occasion Phineas hurst into a guffaw. 

"Why don't you talk to the poor body? She's 
a respectable girl enough. Where s the harm?" 

"Go 'square-pushing'?" said Doggie contemp- 
tuously, using the soldiers' slang for walking about 
with a young woman. "No, thank you." 

"And why not? I'm not coimselling you, laddie, 
to plunge into a course of sensual debauchery. But 
a wee bit gossip with a pretty, innocent girl — " 

"My dear, good chap, ' Doggie interrupted, 
"what on earth should I have in common with her?" 

"Youth." 

"I feel as old as hell," said Doggie bitterly. 

"You'U be feeling older soon," said Phineas, 
"and able to look down on hell with feelings of 
superiority." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 133 

ie walked on in silence for a few paces. 
Then"te said; 

"K thing I can't understand is this mania for 
picking up girls — Just to walk about the streets 
with them. It's so mane. It's a disease." 

"Did you ever consider," said Phineas, "how in 
a station less exalted than that which you used to 
adorn, the young of opposite sexes manage to meet, 
select and marry P Man, the British Anny's going 
to be a grand education for you in sociology." 

"Wefl, at any rate you don't suppose I'm going^ 
to select and marry out of the streets ' 

"You might do worse," said Phineas. Then, 
after a slight pause he Eisked: "Have you any news 
lately from Durdlebury? " 

"Confound Durdleburyl" said Doggie. 

Phineas checked him with one hand and waved 
the other towards a hostelry on the other side of 
the street. "If you will give me the tmmey in 
advance, so as to evade the ungenerous spirit of 
the no-treating law, you can stand me a quart of 
ale at the Crown and Sceptre and join me in drink- 
ing to its confusion." 

So ^ey entered the saloon bar of the public 
house, and Doggie drank a glass of beer whfle 
Phineas swallowed a couple of pints. Two or 
three other soldiers were there, in whose artless 
talk McPhail joined lustily. Doggie, unobtrusive 
at the end of the bar, maintained a desultory and 
uncomfortable conversation with the beirmaid, who 
was of the florid and hearty type, about the weather. 

Some days later, McPhail again made allusion to 
Durdlebury. Doggie eigain confounded it. 

"I don't want to hear of it or think of it," he 
exclaimed, in his nervous way, "until this filthy 
horror is over. They want me to get leave and go 
down and stay. They're making my Ufe miserable 
with kindness. I wish they'd let me alone. They 

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134 THE ROUGH ROAD 

don't understand a little bit. I want to get through 
this thing alone, all by myself." 

" I'm sorry I persuaded you to join a regiment 
in which you were inflicted with the disadvantage 
of my society," said Phineas. 

Doggie threw out an impatient arm., " Oh, 
you don't count," said he. 

A few minutes afterwards, repenting his brus- 
queness, he tried to explain to Phineas why he did 
not count. The others knew nothing about him. 
Phineiis knew everything. 

"And you know everything about Phineas," 
said McPhail, grimly. "Ay, ay, laddie," he sighed. 
"I ken it all. When you re in Tophet, a sympa- 
thetic Tophetuan with a wee drop of the niilk of 
human kindness is more comfort than a radiant 
angel who showers down upon you from Ihe celestial 
Fortnum and Mason's potted shrimps and caviare." 

The Bombreness cleared for a moment &om 
Dt^gie's young brow. 

' I never can make up my. mind, Phineas," said 
he, "whether you're a very wise man or an awful 
fraud." 

"Give me the benefit of the doubt, laddie," 
rephed McPhail. "It's the grand theological prin- 
ciple of Christianity." 

Time went on. The regiment was moved to the 
East Coast. On the journey a Zeppelin raid 
paralysed the railway service. Doggie spent the 
night under the lee of the bookstaU at Waterloo 
Station. Men huddled up near him, their heads 
on their kit bags, slept and snored. Doggie almost 
wept with pain and cold and hatred of the Eais^. 
On the East coast much the same life as on the 
South, save that the wind, as if Hun-sent, found 
its way more savagely to the skin. 

Then suddenly came the news of a lar^ draft 
for France, which included both McPhail and 



THE ROUGH ROAD 135 

Shendish. They went away on leave. The ^d- 
ness with which he welcomed their return showed 
Doggie how great a part they played in his new 
life. In a day or two they would depart God knew 
whither, and he would be left in dreadful loneliness. 
Through him the two men, the sentimental Cockney 
fishmonger and the wastrel graduate of Glasgow 
and Cambridge, had become friends. He spent 
with them all his leisure time. 

Then one of the silly tragi-'Comedies of life occurred. 
McPhail got drunk m the crowded bar of a little 
public house in the village. It was the last possible 
drink together of the draft and their pals. The 
draft was to entrain before daybreak on the morrow. 
It wfis a foolish, singing, shouting khaki throng. 
McPhaU, who had borrowed ten pounds from Doggie, 
in order to see him through the hardships of the 
front, established himself cuose by the bar and was 
drinking whisky. He was also distributing siu*- 
reptitious sixpences and shillings into eager hands 
which would convert them into alcohol for eager 
throats. Doggie, anxious, stood by his side. Tne 
spirit from which McPhEtil had for so long abstained, 
mounted to his unaccustcHned brain. He began 
to hector, and, master of picturesmie speech, he 
ctanpeiled an admiring audience. Dog^e did not 
realise the extent of his drunkenne^ untd, vaunting 
himself as a Scot and therefore the salt of the army, 
he picked a quarrel with a stohd Hampshire giant 
who professed to have no use for Phineas's fellow- 
countrymen. The men clewed. Suddenly some- 
one shouted from the doorway. 

"Be quiet, you fools! The A. P. M.'s coming 
down the road," 

Now the Assistant Provost Marshal, if he heard 
hell's delight going on in a tavern, would naturally 
make an inquisitorial appearance. The combat- 
ants were sqwirated. McPhail threw a shilling 

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136 THE ROUGH ROAD 

on the bar counter and demanded another whisky. 
He was about to lift the glass to his lips when Doggie, 
terrified as to what might happen, knocked the glass 
out of his hand. 

"Don't be an aas," he cried. 

Phineas was very drunk. He ^ed at his old 
pupU, took ofT his cap and, stretchmg over ^e bar, 
hung it on the handle of a beer<pull; then, stagger- 
ing back, he pointed an accusing finger. 

' He has the audacity to call me an ass. Little 
blinking Marmaduke Doggie Trevor. Little Doggie 
Trevor whom I trained up from infancy in the way 
he shouldn't go — " 

"Why Doggie Trevor?" someone shouted in 
enquiry. 

' Never mind," replied Phineas with drunken 
impressiveness. "My old friend Marmaduke has 
spilled my whisky and called me an ass. I call him 
Doggie, httle Dog^e Trevor. You all bear witness 
he kuocked the <mnk out of my mouth. I'll never 
forgive him. He doesn't like being called Doggie 
— and I've no — no pred'lex'n to be called an ass. 
I'll be thinking I'm going just to strangle him." 

He struck out his bony claws towards the shrink- 
ing Dc^e; but stout arms closed round him and a 
horny hand was clamped over his mouth, luid they 
got him through the bar and the back parlour iato 
the yard, where they pumped water on his head. 
And when the A. P. M. and his satellites passed by, 
the quiet of The Whip in Hand was the holy peace 
of a nunnery. 

Do^e and Mo Shendish and a few other staunch 
souls got McPbail back to quarters without much 
trouble. On parting, the deUnquent, semi-sobered, 
shook Doggie by the hand and smiled with an air 
of great affection. 

' I've been verra drunk, laddie. And I've been 
angry with you for the firat' time in my life. But 

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THE, ROUGH ROAD 137 

when you knocked the glass out of my hand I 
thought ^ou were m dai^r of losing your good 
manners m the army. Well have many a pow-wow 
together when you join me out there." 

The matter would have drifted out of Doggie's 
mind as one of no importance, had not the detested 
appellation hy which Phineaa hailed him struck the 
imagination of his comrades. It filled a tong-felt 
want, no nickname for Private J. M. Trevor having 
yet been invented. Doggie Trevor he was and 
Doggie Trevor he remained for the rest of his period 
of service. He resigned himself to the inevitable. 
The stiug had gone out of the nanie throiigh his 
ctonrades ignorance of its origin. But he loathed 
it as much as ever; it sounded in his ears an ever- 
lasting reproach. 

In spite of the ill turn done in drunkenness. Doggie 
missed McPhaU. He missed Mo Shendish, his more 
constant companion, even more. Their place was 
in some degree taken, or rather usurped, for it was 
without Doggie's volition, hy "Taffy" Jones, once 
clerk to a mrn of outside bookmakers. As Do^e 
had never seen a race-course, had never made a 
bet, and was entirely ignorant of the names even 
of famous Derby winners, Taffy redded him as an 
astonishing freak worth the attention of a student 
of human nature. He began to cultivate Doggie's 
virgin mind by aid of reminiscence, and of such 
racmg news as was to be found in the Sportsman. 
He was a garrulous person and Doggie a good 
listener. To please him Doggie ba^ed horses, 
through the old firm, for small sums. The fact of 
his being a man of large independent means both 
be and Pnineas (to his credit) had kept a close secret, 
his clerkly origin divined and promulgated by Mo 
Shendish being unquestioningly accepted, so the 
bets proposed by Taffy were of a modest nature. 
(hice he brought off a forty to one chiuice. Taffy 

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138 THE ROUGH ROAD 

rushed to him with the news, dancing with excite- 
ment. Doggie's stoical indifference to the winning 
of twenty pounds, a year's army pay, gave him 
cause for great wonder. As Doggie showed similar 
equanimity when he lost, Taffy put him down as a 
bom sportsman. He began to admire him tre- 
mendously. 

This friendship with Taffy is worth special record, 
for it was indirectly the cause of a little revolution 
in Dog^e's regimental life. Taffy was an earnest 
though indifferent performer on the penny whistle. 
It was his constant companion, the solace of his 
leisure moments and one of the minor tortures of 
Doggie's existence. His version of the Marseillaise 
was peculiarly excruciating. 

One day when Taffy was playing it with dreadful 
variations of his own to an adminng group in the 
Y. M. C. A. hut, Doggie, his nerves rasped to the 
raw by the fedse notes and maddening intervals, 
snatched it out of his hand and began to play him- 
self. Hitherto, shrinking morbidly from any form 
of notoriety, he had shown no sign of musical ao- 
compUshment. Rut to-day the musicians' impulse 
was irresistible. He playeid the Marseillaise as no 
one there had heard it on penny whistle before. 
The hut recognised a master's touch, for Doggie was 
a fine executeint musician. When he stopped there 
was a roar: "Go onl" Doggie went on. They 
kept him whistling till the hut was crowded. 

Thenceforward he was penny-whistler, by ex- 
cellence, to the battalion. He whistled lumself 
into quite a useful popularity. 



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w 



CHAPTER XI 

'RE all very proud of you, Marmaduke," 
said the Dean. 



"I think you're just splendid," said Pe^y. 

They were sitting in Doggie's rooms in Wobum 
Place, Doggie having been given his three days' 
leave before going to France. Once again DurdJe- 
bury had come to Doggie and not Doggie to Durdle- 
bury. Aunt Sophia, however, somewhat ailing, 
had stayed at home. 

Doggie stood awkwardly before them, conscious 
of swdlen hands and broken nails, shapeless ammu- 
nition boots and ill-fitting slacks, morbidly conscious, 
too, of his original failure. 

"You're about ten inches more round the chest 
than you were," said the Dean admiringly. 

"And the picture of health," cried Peggy. 

"For anyone who has a sound constitution," 
answered Doggie, "it is quite a healthy life." 

"Now that you've got into the way, I'm sure 
you must really love it," said Peggy with an en- 
couraging smile. 

" It isn't so bad," he replied. 

"What none of us can 4^te understand, my dear 
fellow," said the Dean, "is your shying at Durdle- 
bury. As we have written you, everybody's ang- 
ing your praises. Not a soul but would have given 
you a hearty welcome." 

"Besides, ' Peggy chimed in, "you needn't have 
made an exhibition of yourself in the town if you 
didn't want to. The poor Peddles are woefully 
disappointed." 

139 ^ , 

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140 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"There's a war going on. They must bear up — 
like lots of other people," replied Domie. 

"He's becoming quite cynical," Peggy lauded. 
"But, ajpart from we Peddles, there 8 your own 
beautiful house waiting for you. It seems so funny 
not to go to it, instead oi moping in these fusty 
lodgings." 

"Perhaps," said Doggie quietly, "if I went th^re 
I should nevra: want to come back. ' 

"There's something to be said from that point 
of view," the Dean admitted. "A solution of 
continuity is never quite without its dangers. Even 
Oliver confessed as much." 

"Oliver?" 

"Yes, didn't Peegy tell youP" 

"I didn't think Mannaduke would be interested," 
said Peggy quickly. "He and Ohver have never 
been wlwit you might call bosom friends." 

" I shouldn't have minded about hearing of him,'* 
said Dc^gie. "Why should I? What's he doing?" 

The Dean gave mformation. Oliver, now a cap- 
tain, had come home on leave a month ago, and liad 
spent some of it at the Deanery. He had seen a good 
deal of fighting, and had one or two narrow escapes. 

"Was he keen to get back?" asked Doggie. 

The Dean smiled. "I instanced his case in my 
remarks on the dangers of the solution of continuity. ' 

"Oh, rubbish, Daddy," cried his daughter, with a 
flush. "OHver is as keen fis mustard.' The Dean 
made a little gesture of siibmission. She continued. 
"Pie doesn't like the beastliness out there for its 
own sake, any more than Mannaduke will. But 
he simply loves his job. He has improved tre- 
mendous^. Once he thought he was the only man 
in the country who had seen Life stark naked, and 
he put on frills accordingly. Now that he's just 
one of a million who have been up against Life 
stripped to its skeleton, he's a bit subdued." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 141 

"I'm glad of that," said Doggie. 

The Dean, urbanely indulgent, joined his finger- 
tips together and smiled. ' Peggy is right," said 
he, "although I don't wholly approve of her modem 
lack of reticence in metaphor. OUver is coming 
out true gold from the fire. He's a capital fellow. 
And he spoke of you, my dear Marmaduke, in the 
kindest way in the world. He has a tremendous 
admiration for your pluck. ' ' 

"That's awfully good of him, I'm sure," said 
Doggie. 

Presently the Dean, good, tactful man, discovered 
that he must go out and have a prescription made 
up at a chemist's. That arch-Hun enemy the 

fout, against whidi he must never be unprepared. 
le womd be back in time for dinner. The engaged 
couple were left alone. 

"Well?" said Pe^gy. 

"Well, dear?" said Doggie. 

Her lips invited. He responded. She drew him 
to the saddle-bag sofa and they sat down side by 
side. 

"I quite understand, dear old thing," she said. 
" I know the resignation and the rest of it hurt you 
awfully. It hurt me. But it's no use grousing 
over spilt milk. You've already mopped it all up. 
It's no disgrace to be a private. Its an honour. 
There are thousands of gentlemen in the ranks. 
Besides — you'U work your way up and they'll 
offer you another commission in no time." 

"You're very good and sweet, dear," said Doggie, 
"to have such faith in me. But I've had a year — " 

"A yearl" cried Peggy. "Good Lordl so it is." 
She counted on her fingers. "Not quite. But 
eleven months. It's eleven months since I've seen 
you. Do you realise that? The war has put a 
stop to time. It is just one endless da^." 

' One awful, endless day," Doggie acquiesced 

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142 THE ROUGH ROAD 

with a smile. "But I wtis saying — I've had a 
year, or an endlras day of eleven months, in which 
to leam myself. And what I don't know about 
m^elf isn't knowledge." 

Peggy interrupted with a laugh. "You must be 
a wonder. Dad's always preaching about s^- 
knowledge. Tell me all about it." 

Doggie shook his head, at the same time passing 
his hand over it in a familiar gesture. Then Peggy 
cried: 

"I knew there was something wrong with you. 

Why didn't you tell me? You've had your hair 
cut — cut quite diflferently." 

It was McPhail, careful godfather, who had taken 
him as a recruit to the regimental barber and pre- 
scribed a transformation from the sleek long hair 
brushed back over the head to a conventional mili- 
tary crop with a rudiment of a side parting. On 
the crown a few bristles stood up as if uncertain 
which way to go. 

"It's adyisable," Doggie rephed, "for a Tommy's 
hair to be cut as short as possible. The Germans 
are sheared like convicts." 

Peggy regarded him open-eyed and puzzle-browed. 
He enlightened h^ no further, but pursued the 
main proposition. 

"I wouldn't take a commission," said be, "if the 
War Office went mad and sank on its knees and beat 
its head in the dust before me." 

"In heaven's name, why not?" 

"I've learned my place in the world," said Doggie. 

Peggy shook him by the shoulder and turned on 
him her young, eager face. 

"Your place in the world is that of a cultivated 

fentleman of old family, Marmaduke Trevor of 
»enby Hall." 

"That was the funny old world," said he, "that 
stood an its legs — legs wide apart with its hands 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 143 

beneath the tails of its evening coat, in front c^ the 
drawing-room fire. The present world's standing 
on its head. Everything s upside down. It has 
no sort of use for Marmaduke Trevor of Denby Hall. 
No more use than for Gofiatb. By the way, now is 
the poor httle beast getting on?" 

Peggy laughed. ' Oh, Goliath is perfectly assured 
of his position. He has got it rammed into his 
mind that he drives the two-seater." She retmned 
to the attack. "Do you intend ahvays to remain a 
private?" 

"I do," said he. "Not even a corporal — not 
even a bombardier. You see, I've learned to be a 
private of sorts, and that satisfies my ambition." 

"Well, I give it up," said Peggy. "Though why 
you woijdn t let Dad get you a nice cushy job is 
a thii^ I can't understand. For the life of me I 
can't.' 

" I've made my bed and I must lie on it," he said, 
quietly. 

" I don't believe you've got such a thing as a bed." 

Doggie smiled. "Oh, yes, a bed of a sort." 
Then noting her puzzled face, he said consolingly; 
" It'll all come right when the war's over." 

"But when wul that be? And who knows, my 
dear man, what may happen to you.^" 

" If I'm knocked out, I ra knocked out, and there's 
an end of it," rephed Doggie philosophically. 

She put her hand on his. 'But what's to become 
ofmeP ' 

"We needn't cry over my corpse yet," said Doggie. 

The Dean, after a while, returned with his bottle 
of medicine which he displayed with conscientious 
ostentation. They dined. Peggy agaxa went over 
the ground of the possible commission. 

"I'm afraid she has set her heart on it, my boy," 
said the Dean. 

Peggy cried a httle on ptirting. This time Doggie 



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144 THE ROUGH ROAD 

was going, not to the fringe, but to the heart of the 
Great Adventure. Into the thick of the carnage. 
A year ago, she said through her tears, die would 
have thought herself much more fitted fw it than 
Maimaduke. 

"Perhaps you are still, dear," said Doggie, with 
his patient Euuile. 

lie saw them to the taxi which was to take them 
to the familiar Sturrocks's. Before getting in, 
Peggy embraced him. 

' Keep out of the way of shells and bullets as 
much as you can." 

The Dean blew his nose, God-blessed him, and 
murmured something incoherent about fitting 
for the glory of old Ejjgland. 

" Good luck," cried Peggy from the window. 

She blew him a kiss. The taxi drove off and 
Doggie went back into the house with leaden feet. 
The meeting, which he had morbidly dreaded, had 
brought him no comfort. It had not removed the 
invisible barrier between Peggy and himself. But 
Peggy seemed so unconscious of it that he began to, 
wonder whether it only existed in his diseased 
imagination. Though by his silences and reserves 
he had given her cause for resentment and reproach, 
her attitude was nothing less than angehc. He 
sat down moodily in an armchair, his bands deep 
in his trousers pockets and his legs stretched out. 
The fault lay in himself, he argued. What was the 
matter with himP He seemed to have lost all 
human feeling, like the man with the stone heart in 
the old legend. Otherwise why had he felt no prick 
of jealousy at Peggy's admiring comprehension of 
Oliver? Of course he loved her. Of course he 
wanted to marry her when this nightmare was over. 
That went without saying. But why couldn't he 
look to the glowing future? A poet had called a 
lover's mistress "me lode-star oi his one desire." 



THE ROUGH ROAD 145 

That to him Peggy ought to be. Lode-star. One 
desire. The words coniused him. He had no lode- 
star. His one desire was to be left alone. Without 
doubt he was sufTeriug from some process of moral 
petrifaction. 

Doggie was no psycholog^t. He had never 
acquired the habit ol turning himself inside out and 
gloating over the horrid spectacle. All his life he 
had been a simple soul with simple motives and a 
simple though possibly selfish standard to measure 
them. But now his soul was knocked into a 
chaotic state of complexity, and his poor little 
standards were no manner of use. He saw himself 
as in a glass darkly, mystified by unknown change. 

He rose, sighed, shook himself. 

" I give it up," said he, and went to bed. 

Dc^gie wCTit to France: a France hitherto un- 
drefuuM of either by him or by any young English- 
man; a France clean swept and garnished for war, 
a France, save for the ubiquitous English soldiery, 
of silent towns and empty villages and deserted 
roads; a France of smiling fields and sorrowful 
faces of women and drawn, patient faces of old men 
— and even then, the women and old men were 
rarely met by day, for they were at work on the 
land, sohttu*y figures on the landscape, with vast 
spaces between them. In the quiet townships Eng- 
lish street signs and placarcfe conflicted with their 
sense of being in friendly provincial France, and gave 
the impression of foreign domination. For beyond 
that long, grim line of eternal thunder, away over 
there in the distance, which was called the Front, 
street signs and placards in yet another ahen tongue 
also outraged the serene genius of French urban 
life. Yet our signs were a symbol of a mighty 
Empire's brotherhood and the dimmed eyes that 
bdheld the Place de la Fontaine transformed into 

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146 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Holbom Circus" and the Grande Roe into "Pic- 
cadilly," smiled, and the owners with eager courtesy 
directed the stray Toromy to "Recent Street ' 
which they had known all their life as the Rue 
FeuilUmaisnil — a word which Tommy could not 
remember, still less pronounce. It was as much 
as Tommy could do to get hold of an approximation 
to the name of the town. And besides these re- 
namings, other inscriptioDS flamed about the streets; 
alphabetical hieroglyphs in which the mystic letters 
H. Q. most often appeared; "This way to Uie 
Y. M. C. A. hut"; in many hmnble windows the 
startling announcement, "Washing done here." 
British motor lorries and ambulances crowding 
the little Place and ahgned along the avenues. 
British faces, British voices, everywhere. The blue 
uniform and blue helmet of a French soldier seemed 
as incongruous though as welcome as in London. 

And Uie straight, endless roads, so French with 
their infinite border of poplars, their patient htUe 
stones marking every hundred metres until the 
tenth rose into the proud kilometre stone proclaim- 
ing the distance to the next stately town, rang too 
with the soimd of British voices, and the tramp of 
British feet and the clatter of British transport, 
and the screech and whiir of cars, reveahng as th^ 
passed the flash of red and gold of the British staff. 
Yet the finely cultivated land remained to show 
that it was France; and the little whitewashed 
viflag^; the cur6 in shovel hat and rusty cassock; 
the children in blue or black blouses, who stared as 
the British troops went by; the patient, elderly 
Territorials in their old pre-war uniforms, guarding 
unthreatened culverta or repairing the roads; the 
helpful signs set up in happier days by the Touring 
Club of France. 

Into this strange anomaly of a land came Doggie 
with his draft, stiU half stup^ed by the remorse- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 147 

lesffliess of the stupendous machine in which he had 
been caught, in spite of his many months of training 
in England. He had loathed the East Coast camp. 
When he landed at Boulogne in the dark and pouring 
retin, and hunched his pack with the others who 
went off singing to the rest camp, he regretted East 



' Give us a turn on the whistle, Doggie," said a 
corporal. 

' I was sea-sick into it and threw it overboard," 
he growled, stumbling over the rails of the quay. 

' Oh, you holy young liarl" said the man next 
him. 

But Doggie did not trouble to reply, his neighbonr 
being only a private like himself. 

Then the draft joined its unit. In his youth 
Doggie had often wondered at the meaning of the 



faimuEir inscription on every goods-van in France: 
"40 Hommes. 8 chevaux. ' Now he ceased to 
wonder. He was one of the forty men. ... At 
the rail-head he began to march and at last joined 
the r^nnant of ms battahon. They had been 
through hard fighting Emd were now in billets. 

Until he joined them, he had not realised the drain 
there had been on the reserves at home. Very 
many famihar faces of officers were missing. New 
men had taken their place. And ver^ many of 
his old comrades had gone, some to Bbghty, some 
West of that Island of Desire; and those who 
remained had the eyes of children who had passed 
throurfi the Valley of the Shadow of Death. 

McPbail and Mo Shendish had passed through 
unscathed. In the reconstruction of the regiment 
chance willed that the three of them found them- 
selves in the same platoon of A Company. Doggie 
almost embraced them when they met. 

"Laddie," said McPhail to him, as he was drink- 
ing a mahogany coloured liquid, that was known 



.ioogic 



148 THE ROUGH ROAD 

by the name of tea, out of a tin mug, and eating a 
hunk of bread and jam, "I don't know whemer 
or not I'm pleased to see you. You were safer in 
England. Once I misspent many months of my 
life in shielding you from the dangers of France. 
But France is a much more dangerous place nowa- 
days, and I can't help you. You ve oome right into 
the thick of it. Just listen to the hell's delight 
that's going on over yonder." 

llie easterly wind brought them the roar streaked 
with stridence of the aruUery duel in progress on 
the nearest sector of the front. 

They were sitting in the cellar entrance to a house 
in a little town which had already been somewhat 
mauled. Just opposite was a shuttered house on 
the ground floor of which had been a hatter and 
hosier's shop, and there still swui^ bravely on an 
iron rod llie red brim of what once had been a mon- 
strous red hat. Next door, the facade of the uppCT 
stories had been shelled away, and the naked in- 
teriors ^ve the impression of a pathetic doll's 
house. Women's garments still swung on pe^. 
A cottage piano lurched forward dnmkenly on 
three legs, with the keyboard ripped open, the treble 
notes on the ground, the bass mcongruously in the 
air. In the attic, ironically secure, hung a cheap 
Glerman print of blowsy children feeding a pig. 
The wide, flag-stoned street smelt sour. At various 
cavern diwrs sat groups of the billeted soldiers. 
Now Emd then squads marched up and down, 
monotonously clad in khaki and dun-coloured hel- 
mets. Officers, some only recognisable by the 
Sam Browne belt, others spruce and point-device, 
passed by. Here and there a shop was open, and 
the elderly proprietor and his wife stood by the 
doorway to get the afternoon air. Women and 
children straggled rarely through the streets. The 
Boche had left the little town alone for some time; 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 149 

they had other things to do with their heavy guns; 
and all the French population, save those whose 
homes were reduced to nothin^ess, had remained.. 
Ihey took no notice of the distant bombardment. 
It had grown to be a phenomenon of nature like 
the wind and the rain. 

Rut to Doggie it was new — r just as the si^t of 
the wrecked house opposite, with its sturdy, crown- 
less hat-brim of a sign, was new. He listened, as 
McPhail had bidden him, to the artillery duel with 
an odd little spasm of his heart. 

" What do you think of that, nowP " asked McPhail 
grandly, as ii it was The Greatest Show on Elartb, 
run by him, 'the Proprietor. 

"It's rather noisy,' said Doggie, with a little 
ironical twist of his hps that was growing habituEd. 
"Do they keep it up at nightP" 

"Theydo."^ 

"I don't think it's fair to interfere with on^*s 
sleep like that," said Doggie. 

"You've got to adapt yourself to it," said McPhail 
sagely. "No doubt you'll be remembering my 
theory of adaptahiHty. Through that I've made 
myseu into a very brave man. When I wanted to 
run away — a very natural desire considering the 
scrupulous attention I've always pedd to my bodily 
well-being — I reflected on the preposterous ob- 
stacles put in the way of flight by a boweUess 
mihtary syatem, and adapted myself to the static 
and dynamic conditions of the trenches." 

"Gorblimel" said Mo Shendi^, stretched out by 
his side; "listen to him!" 

"I suppose you'll say you sucked 'honey out of 
the shells, " remarked Doggie. 

" I'm no great hand at mixing metaphors — " 

"What about drinks?" asked Mo. 

"Nor drinks either," replied McPhaiL "Both 
are bad for the brain. Rut as to what you wtxe 

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ISO THE ROUGH ROAD 

saying, laddie, I'll not deny that I've derived cod- 
Biderable interest and amusement from a bom- 
baidment. Yet it has its sad aspect." He paused 
for a moment or two. "Man," he continued, 
"what an awful waste of moneyl" 

"I don't know what old Mac is jawing about," 
said Mo Shendish, "but you can take it from me 
he's a holy terror with the bayonet. One moment 
he's talking to a Boche through his hat, and the 
next the Boche is wriggling like a worm on a bent 
pin." 

Mo winked at Phineas. The temptation to "tell 
the tale " to the new-comer was too strong. 

Doggie grew very serious. "You've been killing 
men like thatP" 

"Thousands, laddie," replied Phineas, the picture 
of unboastful veracity. 'And so hse our iron- 
gutted — I would have said steel-inviscerated, but 
he wouldn't understand it — comrade by my side." 

Mo Shendish, helmeted, browned, dried, tough- 
ened, a very different Mo from the paUid ferret 
whom Aggie had driven into the ranks of war, 
hunched hunself up, his hands clasping his knees. 

"I don't mind doing it, when you're so excited 
you don't know where you are," said he, "but I 
don't like thinking of it afterwards." 

As a matter of tact he had only once got home with 
the bayonet, and the memory was very unpleasant. 

" But you've just thought of it," said Phineas. 

"It was you, not me, ' said Mo. "That makes 
all the difference. " 

"It's astcHiishing," Phineas remarked senten- 
tiously, "how many people not only refuse to 
catch pleasure as it flies, but spurn it when it sits 
up and begs at them. Laddie," he turned to 
Doggie, "the more one wallows in Hedonism, the 
more one realises its unplumbed depths." 

A little girl of ten, neatly pig-taued but piteously 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 151 

shod, came near, and seemed to cast a child's en- 
vious eye on Dole's bread and jam. 

"Approach, my little one, ' Phineas cried in 
Frencn words but with the accent of Sauchiehall 
Street. " If I gave you a &anc, what would you do 
with it?" 

"I should buy nourishment {de la noarritare) 
for maman" 

"Lend me a franc, laddie," said McPhail, and when 
Doggie had slipped the coin into his pahn, he ad- 
dr^sed the child in uninteUigihIe grandiloquence, 
and sent her on her way mystified but rejoicing. 
Ces bans droles d" Anglais! 

"Ah, laddie," cned Phineas, stretching himself 
out comfortably by the lintel of the door. "You've 
got to learn to savour the exquisite pleasure of a 
genuinely kindly act." 

"Hold onl" cried Mo. "It was Doggie's money 
you were fling tng about." 

McPhail withered him with a glance. 

"You're an unphilosophical ignoramus," said he. 



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CHAPTER XII 

PERHAPS one of the greatest influencee which 
transformed Do^e into a fairly efficient 
tliough imdistinffuiahed infEiutry-man was a 
morbid sodeil terror ctf his ofBcers. It saved him 
from many a guard-room, and from many a heart 
to heart talk wherein the zealous lieutenant gets 
to know his men. He lived in dread lest military 
delinquence or civil accomplishment should be the 
means of revealing the disgrace which bit like an 
acid into his soul. His undisguisable air of superior 
breeding could not fail to attract notice. Often 
his officers a^ed him what he was in civil life. 
His r^ly, "A clerk, sb," had to satisfy them. He 
had developed a curious sdf-protective faculty of 
shutting himself up like a hedgehog at the approach 
o{ danger. Once a breezy subaltern had selected 
him as his batman; but Doggie's agonised "It 
woidd be awfully good of you, su", if you wouldn't 
mind not thinking of it," and the appeal in his 
eyes, established the freemasonry of caste and saved 
huu from dreaded intimate relations. 

"All right, if you'd rather not, Trevor," said the 
subaltern. "But why doesn't a chap like you try 
for a commission?" 

"I'm much happier as I am, sir," replied Doggie, 
and that was the end of the matter. 

But Phineas when he heard of it — it was on the 
East Coast — began: "If you still consider your- 
self too fine to clean another man's boots — " 

Do^e, in one of his quick fits of anger, inter- 
rupted: "If you think I'm just a dirty httle snob. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 153 

if you don't understand why I begged to be let off, 
you're the thickest-headed fool in crealioni" 

" I'm nae that, laddie," replied Phineas, with his 
usual ironic submissiveness. "Haven't I kept your 
secret all this timeP" 

Thus it was Doggie's fixed idea to lose himself 
in the locust swarm, to be prominent neither for 
good nor evU, even in the little clot of fifty, out^ 
wardly, abnost identical locusts that fonned hia 

Elatoon. It braced him to the performance of 
ideous tasks; it restrained him from display of 
superior intellectual power or artistic capabuity. 
The world upheaval had thrown him from his pea- 
cock and ivory room, with its finest collection on 
earth of little china dogs, into a horrible, fetid hole 
in the ground in Northern France. It had thrown 
not the average young Englishman of comfortable 
position who had toyed with aesthetic superfidah- 
lies as an amusement, but a poor httle by-product 
of cloistered life who had been brought up from 
babyhood to regard these things as the nervous 
texture of his very existence. He was wrapped 
from head to heel m fine net, to every tiny me^ 
of which he was acutely sensitive. 

A hole in the ground in N'orthem France. The 
regiment, after its rest, moved on and took its turn 
in the trenches. Four days on; four days off. 
Four days on of misery inconceivable. Four days 
on, during which the officers watdied the men with 
the unwavering vigilance of kindly cats. 

"How are you getting along, Trevor?" 
"Nicely, thank you, sir." 
"Feet all right? ' 
"Yes, thank you, sir." 

"Sure? If you want to grouse, grouse away. 
That's what I'm talking to you for." 
"I'm perfectly happy, sir." 

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154 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Dam si^t more than I ami" laughed the sub- 
altern and with a cheery nod in acknowledgment of 
D^gie's salute, splashed down the muddy trench. 

But Doggie was chilled to the bone, and he had 
no feeling in his feet which were under six^inches of 
water, and his woollen gloves, being wet throuj^, 
were useless, and prevented his numbed hands 
from feeling the sandbiigs with which he and the 
rest of the platoon were repairing the parapet; for 
the Germans had just consecrated an hour's general 
hate to the vicinity of the trench, and its exquisite 
symmetry, the pride of the platoon commander, 
had been disturbed. There had also been a few 
ghastly casualties. A sheU had fallen and burst 
in the traverse at the far end of the trench. Stmie- 
thing that looked like half a man's head and a bit 
of shoulder had drc^ped just in front of the dug-out 
where Dof^e and his section was sheltering. Doggie 
staring at it was violently sick. In a stupefied way 
he found himself minglmg with others who were 
engaged in clearing up the horror. A murmur 
reached him that it was Taffy Jones who had then 
been dismembered. . . . The bombtu^meat over, 
he had taken his place with the rest in the repara- 
tion of the parapet; and as he happened to be at 
an end of the Ime, the officer had spoken to him. 
If he had been suffering tortures imknown to Attila 
and unimagined by his successors, he would have 
answered just the same. 

But he lamented Taffy's death to Phineas, who 
listened sympathetically. Such a cheery comrade, 
such a smart soldier, such a kindly soul. 

" Not a black spot in him," said Doggie. 

"A year ago, laddie," said McPhail, 'what would 
have been your opinion of a bookmak^'s cla'kP" 

"I know," r^^ed Doggie. "But this isn't a 
year ago. Just look round. ' 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 155 

He lauded somewhat hysterically, for the fate 
of Taffy had unstrung him for the time. Phineas 
contemplated the length of deep, nairow ditch, with 
its planks half swimming on filthy hquid, its wire 
revetment holding up the oozing sides, the dingy 
parapet above which it was death to put one's 
head, the grey, free sky, the only thing free alone 
that awful row of parallel ditches that stretched 
from the Relgian coast to Switzerland, the clay- 
covered, shapeless figures of men, their fdlows, 
ahnost tmdistii^:uishable even by features from 



"It has been borne upon me lately," said Phineas, 
" that patriotism is an flTHflzing virtue." 

Dt^gie drew a foot out of the mud so as to find 
a less precarious purchase higher up the slope. 

"And I've been thinking, Phineas, whether it's 
really patriotisoi that has brought you and me into 
this — what can we call it? Dante's Infrano is 
child's play to it." 

"Dante had no more ima^nation," said Phineas, 
"than a Free Kirk precentor in Kirkcudbright." 

"But is it patriotism?" Doggie persisted. "If 
I thought it was, I should be happier. If we had 
orders to go over the top and attack and I could 
shout 'England for everl' and lose myself just in the 
thick of it^" 

"There's a brass hat coniing down the trench," 
said Phineas, "and brass hats have no use for 
rhapsodical privates." 

They stood to attention as the staff-ofScer passed 
by. Then Doggie broke in impatiently: 

"I widi to goodness you could understand what 
I'm trying to get at." 

A smile illuminated the gaunt, unshaven, mud- 
caked face of Phine^ McPhaiL 

"Laddie," 3£iid he, "let England as an abstraction 
lead for itself. But you've a bonny English soul 

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156 THE ROUGH ROAD 

within you, and for that you are fifj^ting. And so 
had poor Taffy Jones. And I have a bonny Scottish 
thirst, the poignancy of which both of you have 
been happily spared. I will leave you, laddie, to 
seek in slumber a surcease irom martyrdom." 

After one of the speUs ia the trenches, the worst 
he had experienced, A Company was marched Lato 
new billets some miles below the lines, in the once 
prosperous village of Frelus. They had slouched 
along dead tired, drooping under their packs, sodden 
with mud and sleeplessness, silent, with not a note of 
a song among them — but at the entrance to the 
village, quickened by a word or two of exhortation 
from officers and s^geants, they pulled themselves 
together and marched in, heads up, forward, in fault- 
less step. The G. O. was jealous of the honour of 
Ids men. He assumed that his predecessors in the 
village had been a "rotten lot," and was detenniaed 
to snow the inhabitants of Frelus what a crack 
English regiment weis really like. Frelus was an 
unimportant, unheard of vuleige; but the opinion 
of a thousand Freluses made up France's opinion 
of the British Army. Doggie, although half stu- 
pe6ed with fat^e, responded to the sentiment, 
uke the rest. Ke was conscious of mnlciTig part of 
a gallant show. It was only when they hsJted and 
stood easy that he lost count of things. The wide 
main street of the village swam characterless before 
his eyes. He followed, not directions, but directed 
men, with a sheeplike instinct, and found himself 
stumbling through an archway down a narrow path. 
He had a dim consciousness of lurching sideways 
and confusedly apologising to a woman who sup- 
ported him back to equilibrium. Then the next 
thing he saw was a bam full of fresh straw, and when 
somebody pointed to a vacant strip, he fell down, 
with many others, and went to sleep. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 157 

The reveille sounded a minute afterwards, though 
a whole night had passed; and there was the bleaaed 
dean water to wash in — he had long since ceased 
to be fastidious in his ablutions — and there was 
breakfast, sizzling bacon and bread and jam. And 
there, in front of the kitchen, aiding with hot water 
for the tea, moved a slim girl, with dark, and as 
Doggie thought, tragic eyes. 

Kit inspecticm, feet inspection, all the duties of 
the day and dinner were over. Most of the men 
returned to their billets to sleep. Some, induding 
Dc^gie, wandered about the vills^, taking tlie air, 
and visitiog the little modest caf<§s and talking with 
indifferent success, so far as the interchange of 
articulate ideas was concerned, with shy children. 
McPhail and Mo Shendisb being among the sleepers, 
Doggie mooned about by himself in his usual self- 
effacing way. There was little to interest him in 
the long, straggling village. He had passed throu^ 
a hundred such. Low, whitewashea houses int^- 
spersed with perky, balconied buildings, given over 
to httle shops on the ground floor, with here and 
there a discreet iron gate shutting off the doctor's 
or the attorney's villa, and bearing the oval plate 
indicating the name and pursuit of the tenant; 
with here and there, too, long, whitewashed walls 
enclosing a dairy or a timber yard, stretched on each 
side pf the great high road, and the village gradually 
dwindled away at each end into the gently undulat- 
ing country. There were just a bye lane or two, one 
leading up to the htUe grey church and presbytery, 
and another to the Uttle c^netery with its trim paths 
and black and white wooden crosses and wirework 

{rious offerings. At open doors the British soldiers 
ounged at ease, and in the dim interiors behind 
them the forms of the women of the house, blue 
aproned, moved to and £ro. The early aftemorai 

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158 THE ROUGH ROAD 

-was warm, a westerly breeze deadened the sound of 
the distant bombardment to an unheeded drone, 
and a holy peace settled over the place. 

Doggie, clean, refreshed, comfortably drowsy, 
having explored the village, retmned to his billet, 
and lookii^ at it from the opposite side of the way, 
for the first time realised its natm«. The lane into 
which he had stumbled the night before ran under 
an archway supporting some kind of overhead 
diamber, and separated the dwelling house from a 
a warehouse wall on which vast letters proclaimed the 
fact that Veuve Morio et Fils carried on therein 
the business of hay and com dealers. Hence, 
Doggie reflected, the fresh, deep straw on whit^ 
he emd his fortunate comrades had wallowed. 
The double gate under the archway was held back 
by iron stancheons. The two^toried house looked 
fairly large and comfortable. The front door stood 
wide open, giving the view of a neat, stiff httle hall 
or living-room. An article of furniture caught his 
idle eye. He crossed the road in order to have a 
nearer view. It was a huge, polished nudiogany 
cask standing about four feet high, bound with 
shining brass bands, such as he remembered having 
seen once in Brittany. He advanced still closer, 
Emd suddenly the shm, dark girl appeared and stood 
in the doorway and looked frankly and somewhat 
rebukingly into bis inquisitive eyes. Doggie flushed 
as one caught in an unmannerly act. A crying 
fault of the British Army is that it prescribes for 
the rank and file no form of polite recognition of the 
existence of civilians. It is contrary to Army Order 
to salute or to take off their caps. They can only 
jerk their heads and grin, a gauche proceeding whim 
^aces them at a disadvantage with the fair sex. 
Do^e, therefore, sketched a vague salutation 
hfdfway between a salute and a bow, and began a 
profuse apology. Mademoiselle must pardon his 



THE ROUGH ROAD 159 

curiosity, but as a lover of old things he had been 
struck by the beautiful toimeau. 

An amused light came into her sombre eyes, and a 
smile flickered round her lips. Do^e noted in- 
stantly how pale she was, and how tmy, faint, little 
lines persisted at the comers of those Hpa, in spite 
of the smile. 

"There is no -reason for excuses. Monsieur," she 
said. "The door was open to the view of everybody." 

"Pourtonf," said Doggie, "c'^taiiunpeumal&lhL" 

She laughed. "Pardon. Hut it's droll. First 
to find an English soldier apolt^ising for looking 
into a house, and then to find bun talking French 
like a poila" 

Doggie said, with a little touch of national jeal- 
ousy and a reversion to Durdlebury punctilio: "I 
hope, Mademoiselle, you have always foimd the 
English soldier conduct himself like a gentleman." 

* Mais oui, mais oui!" she cried. 'They are €ill 
charming. lis sonl doux comme des mouions. But 
this is a question of delicacy ^ somewhat exag- 
gerated." 

" It's good of you. Mademoiselle, to fo^ve me," 
said Doggie. 

By all the rules of pohte intercoiu-se, either Doggie 
shoidd have made his bow and exit, or the maiden, 
exercising her prerogative, should have given him 
the opportunity of graceful withdrawal. But they 
remained where they were, the girl framed by the 
doorway, the lithe httle figure in kbakl and lichen- 
coloured helmet looking up to her from the foot of 
the two front steps. 

At last he said in some embarrassment: "That's 
a very beautiful cask of yours." 

She wavered for a few seconds. Then she said: 

"You can enter. Monsieur, and examine it, if 
you like." 

Mademoiaelle was very amiable, said Doggie. 

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160 THE ROUGH ROAD 

MademoiseDe moved aside Eind Doggie eatered, 
taking off his helmet and holding it under his arm 
like an opera-hat. There was nothing much to see 
in the little vestibule-parlour: a stiff, tasselled 
chair or two, a great old lioen press, taking up most 
of one side of a wall, a cheap table covered with a 
chenille tablecloth, and the resplendent old cask, 
about which he lingered. He mentioned Britttiny. 
Her tramc face lif^ted up aeain. Monsieur was 
right Her aunt, Madame Moriu, was Breton, 
and had brought the cask with her as part of 
her dowry, t<^ether with the press and other 
furniture. Doggie alluded to the vtistly lettered 
inscri^ptioa, "Veuve Morin et Fils." Madame Morin 
was, m a sense, his hostessP And the son? 

"Alas, Monsieurl" 

And Doggie knew what that "alasl" meant. 

" Where, MademoiselleP " 

"The Argonne." 

"And Madame your aunt?" 

She shrugged her thin though shapely shouldo^ 
"It nearly killed her. She is a little old Eind an 
. invalid. She has been in bed for the last three 
weeks." 

"Then what becomes of the buMness?" 

"It is I, Monsieur, who am the busioess. And I 
know nothing about it." She sighed. Then with 
her blue apron — otherwise she was dressed in 
unrelieved black — she rubbed an imaginary speck 
from the brass banding of the cask. "This, I 
suppose you know, was for the best brandy. Mon- 
sieur." 

"And now?" he asked. 

"A memory. A sentiment. A thing of beauty." 

In a feminine way which he understood she herded 
him to tiie door, by way of dismissal. Durdlebury 
helped him. A tiny French village has as many 
slanderous tongues as an English cathedral dty. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 161 

He was preparing to take pdite leave when she 
looked swifUy at nim, and made the faintest gesture 
of a detaining hand. 

"Now I remember. It was you who nearly fell 
into me last night, when you were entering through 
Uiegate." 

The dim recolIectioQ came back — the firm 
woman's arm round him for the few tottering seconds. 

"It se^ns I am always bound to be impolite, for 
I don't think I thanked you," uniled Dc^gie. 

"You were at the end of your tet£er," Then 
very gently, "Paaore gar^on!" 

"The sales Baches had kept us awake for four 
nights," said Doggie. "That was why." 

'And you are rested now?" 

He lauded. "Almost." 

They wwe at the doca". He looked out and drew 
back. A knot of men were gathered by the gate 
of the yard. Apparently she had seen them too, 
for a fli^ rose to ner pale cheeks. 

"Mademoiselle," said Doggie, "I should like to 
creep back to the bam and sleep. K I pass my 
comrades they'll want to detain me." 

"That would be a pity," she said domu^ly. 
"Come this way. Monsieur." 

She led him through a room and a passage to the 
kitchen. They shared a pleasurable sense of adven- 
ture and secrecy. At the kitchen door she paused 
and spoke to an old womEin chopping up vegetables. 

"Toinette, let Monsieur pass." To Doggie she 
said: "Au remir. Monsieur, ' and disappeared. 

The old woman looked at him at first with dis- 
favour. She did not hold with Tommies needlessly 
tramping over the dean flags of her kitchen. But 
Doggie's pohte apology for disturbing b^, and a 
youthful grace of manner — he still lield his tin- 
hat imder his arm — caused her features to relax. 

"You are English?" 



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162 THE ROUGH ROAD 

With a smile he indicated his uniform. "Why, 
yes, Madame." 

"How comes it then that you speak Frendi?'* 

"Because I have always loved your beautiful 
France, Madame." 

"France — ah! la paavre France!" She sighed, 
drew a wisp of what had been a comet of snuff from 
her pocket, opened it, dipped in a tentative fin^r 
and thumb and, finding it ranpty, eazed at it with 
disappointment, sighed again, and with the me- 
thodical hopelessness of age folded it up into the 
neatest of Uttle squares and thrust it l^ck in her 
pocket. Then she went on with her ve^tables. 

Dogffje took his leave emd emerged mto the yard. 

He dozed pleastintly on the straw of the bam, but 
it was not the dead ^eep of the night. Bits of his 
recent little adventure fitted into the semi-con- 
scious intervals. He heard the girl's voice saying 
so gently: "Paavre gargon!" and it was very com- 
forting. 

He was finally aroused by Phineas and Mo Shen- 
dish, who, having slept like tired dogs some distance 
off down the b^rn, now desired his company for a 
stroll round the village. Doggie good-naturedly 
assented. As they pa^ed the house door be cast 
a quick glance. It was open, but the slim figure in 
black with the blue apron was not visible within. 
The shining cask, however, seemed to smile a friendly 
greeting. 

" If you beheved the London papers," said Phia^us, 
"you'd Uiink that the war-worn soldier coming 
from the trenches is met behind the lines with 
luxurious Turkish baths, comfortable warm canteens, 
and Picture Palaces and theatrical entertainments. 
Can you perceive here any of those amenities of 
modem waifareP " 

They looked around them and admitted that 
they did not. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 163 

"Apparraitly," said Phineas, "the Colonel, good 
but IJinited man, has missed all the proper places, 
and dumps us in localities unrecogmsed by the 
London Press." 

'"Put me on the pier at Brighton,'" sang Mo 
Shendish. "But I'd sooner have Margit or Yar- 
mouth any day. Brighton's too tofBsh for whelks. 
My! and cockles I I wonder whether we shall 
ever eat 'em again." A far-away, dreamy look 
crept into his eyes. 

' Does your young lady like cocklesP" Doggie 
asked sympathetically. 

"Aggie? Funny thing, I was just thinking of 
her. She fair dotes on 'em. We had a day at 
Southend just before the war — " 

He launched into tinecdote. His companions 
listened, Phineas ironically carrying out his theory 
of adaptability. Doggie with finer instinct. It 
appeared there bad been an altercation over right 
of choice with an itinerant vendor in which, to 
Aggie's admiration. Mo had come off triumphant. 

* You see," he explained, "being in the fish trade 
myself, I could spot the winners." 

James Marmaduke Trevor of Denby Hall laughed 
and slapped him on the back, and said indulgently : 
"Good old Mo I" 

At the httle sdiool-house they stopped to gossip 
with some of their friends who were billeted there, 
and they sang the praises of the Veuve Morin's 
bam. 

" I wonder you don't have the house full of officers, 
if it's so wonderful," said someone. 

An omniscient corporal, in the confidence of the 
Quarter Master, explained that the landlady being 
iU in bed £md the place run by a young girl, the house 
had been purposely missed. Doggie drew a breath of 
relief at the news, and attribute Madame Morin's 
malady to the intervention of a kindly providence. 



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164 THE ROUGH ROAD 

ScHuebow he did not fancy officers having the run 
of the house. 

They strolled on and came to a forlorn little DS}it 
de TtuxK, showing in its small window some day 
pipes and a few flyblown i>icture postcards. Now 
Doggie, in spite of his training in adversity, had 
never resigned himself to "Woodbines" and other 
such brands supplied to the British Army, and, 
Egyptian and Turkish being beyond his social pale, 
he had taken to smoking French R6gie tobacco, of 
which he laid in a stock whenever he had the chance. 
So now he entered the shop, leaving Phii^eas and 
Mo outside. As they looked on French cigarettes 
with sturdy British contempt, they were not in- 
terested in Doggie's purchases. A wan girl of thir- 
teen rose from behind the counter, 

" Vous desirez. Monsieur?" 

Doggie stated his desire. The girl was calculating 
the price of the packets before wrapping them up, 
when his eyes feU upon a neat little pile of cornets m 
a pigeon-hole at the back. They directly suggested 
to him one of the great luminous ideas of his life. 
It was only afterwards that he realised its effulgence. 
For the moment he was merely concerned with the 
needs of a poor old womEui who had sighed lament- 
ably over an empty paper of comfort. 

' Do you sell snufif?" 

"But yes, Monsieur." 

" Give me some of the best quality." 

"How much does Monsieur desire?" 

"A lot," said Doggie. 

And he bought a great package, enough to set 
the whole vill^e Nieezing to the end of the war, 
and peering round the tiny shop and espying in the 
recesses of a glass case a little mive-wood box, orna- 
mented on the top with pansies and forget-me-nots, 
purchased that also. He had just paid when his 
companions put their heads in the doorway. Mo 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 165 

pointiiiK wa^ishly to Doggie, warned the little girl 
against his depravity. 

"Mauvy, mauvyl" aaid he. 

"Qu'esi-ce qu'il dit?" Eisked the diild. 

"He's the idiot of the regiment whom I have to 
look after and feed with pap," said Doggie, "and, 
being hur^ry, he is begging you not to detain me." 

"Mon, Diea!" cried the child. 

Doggie, always courteous, went out with a "Bon 
soir. Mademoiselle," and joined his friends. 

"What were you jabbering to her about?" Mo 
asked suspiciously. 

Doggie gave him the literal translation of bis 
speech. Phineas burst into loud laughter. 

"Laddie," said he, "I've never heard you make a 
joke before. The idiot of the regiment and you're 
lus keeper I Man, that's fine. Wnat has come over 
you toAiay?" 

"If he'd a-said a thing like that in Mare Street, 
Hackney, I'd have knocked his blinking 'ead orf," 
declared Mo Shendish. 

Doggie stopped and put bis parcel-filled hands 
behind his back. 

"Have a try now. Mo." 

But Mo bade him fry his ugly face, and thus 
established harmony. 

It was late that evening before Doggie could find 
an opportunity of shppmg, unobserved, through 
the open door into the house kitchen dimly illumi- 
nated by an oil lamp. 

"Madame," said ne to Toinette, "I observed to- 
day that you had come to the end of your snuff. 
Wm you permit an English soldier to give you someP 
Also a little box to keep it in?" 

The old woman, spare, myriad-wrinkled beneath 
her peasant's coiffe, yet looking as if carved out of 
weather-beaten elm, glanced from the gift to the 
donof and from the donor to the gift. 

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166 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"But, Monsieur — Monaieur — why?" she be- 
gan quaveringly. 

"You surely have someone — Ih-bas — over yon- 
derP" said Dog^e with a sweep of his hand. 

"Maisoui? How did you know? My grandson. 
A/or petioi — " 

"It is he, my comrade, who sends the snu£F to the 
grantTn^re." 

And Doggie bolted. 



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CHAPTER XIII 

AT breakfast next morning Doggie searched 
the courtyard in vjiin for the sum figure of 
the girl. Yesterday she had stood just out- 
aide the kitchen door. ToKlay her office was usun»ed 
by a hefty cook with the sleeves of his grey shirt 
rolled up and his collar open, and vast and tight- 
hitdied braces unromantlcally strapped all over 
him. Doggie felt a p£ing of disappointment, and 
abused the tea. Mo Snendish stared and asked what 
was wrong with it. 

"Rotten," said Doggie. 

"You can't expect yer ^p-up City A. B. C. 
8hm)8 in France," said Mo. 

Dc^gie, who was beginning to acquire a sense of 
rueful tumour, smiled and was appeased. 

It was only in the afternoon that he saw the girl 
again. She was standing in the doorway of the 
bouse, with her hand on her bosom, as though she 
had just come out to breathe Iresh air, when Doggie 
and his two friends emerged Irom the yard. As 
their eyes met, she greeted him with her sad little 
smile. Emboldened, he stepped forward. 

"Bonjour, mademoiselle*' 

"Bonjour, monsieur." 

" I hope, madame, your aunt is better to-day." 

She seemed to derive some dry amusement from 
his solicitude. 

"Alas, no, monsieur." 

"Was that why I had not the pleasure of seeing 
you this morning?" 

"Where?" 

"Yesterday yoa filled our tea-kettles." 

167 

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168 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"But, monsieur," she replied primly, "I am not 

the vivandi^re of the regiment." 

"That's a pity," laughed Doggie. 

Then he became aware of the adjacent fonns and 
staring eyes of Pbineas and Mo, who for the first time 
in their military career beheld turn on easy terms with 
a strange and prepossessing youi^ woman. After a 
second's thougnt ne came to a diplomatic decision. 

"Mademoiselle," said he in his best Durdlebury 
manner, "may I dare to present my two comrades, 
my best friends in the battalion. Monsieur McPhail, 
Monsieur Shendish?" 

She made them each a Httle formal bow, and then 
somewhat maliciously, addressii^ McPhail, as the 
bigger and the elder of the two. 

' I don't yet know the name of your friend." 

Phineas put his great hand on Doggie's shoulda*. 

"James Marmaduke Trevor." 

"Otherwise called Doggie, Miss," said Mo. 

She made a little graceful gesture of non-cran- 
prehension. 

"Non compree?" asked Mo. 

"No, Monsieur." 

Pbineas explained in his rasping and ccauciously 
translated French. 

" It is a nickname of the regiment. Doggie." 

The flushed and embarrassed subject of the dis- 
cussion saw her lips move silently to the word. 

"But his name is Trevor. Monsieur Trevor," 
said Phineas. 

She smiled again. And the strange tbii^ about 
her smile was uiat it was a matter of her ups and 
rarely of her eyes, which always maintaii^ the 
haunting sadness of their tragic depths. 

"Monsieur Trevor," die repeated, imitatively. 
"And yours. Monsieur?" 

"McPhail." 

"McFSle; c'est asgez difficile. And yours?" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 169 

Mo guessed. "Shendish," said be. 

She repeated that also, whereat Mo griimed 
fatuously, showing his little yellow teeth beneath 
his scrubby red moustache. 

"My friends call me Mo," said he. 

Sbe grasped his meaning. "Mo," she said; and 
she said it so fimnily and Boftly, and with ever so 
little a touch of ouizzicality, that the sentimental 
warrior roared with delight. 

"You've got it right fust time. Miss." 

From her two steps height of vantage, she looked 
down on the three upturned British faces — and 
her eyes went calmly from one to the other. 

She turned to Doggie. "One would say, Mon- 
sieur, that you were the Three Musketeers, ' 

"Possibly, Mademoiselle," laughed Doggie. He 
had not felt so ligbt-hearted for many months. 
"But we lack a d'Artagnan." 

"When you find him, bring him to me," said tibie 
girl. 

"Mademoiselle," said Phineas gallantly, "we 
would not be such imbeciles." 

At that moment the voice of Toinette came from 
within. 

"Ma'amselle Jeannel Ma'amselle Jeanne!" 

"Out, out, j'y viens," she cried. Bon soir. 
Messieurs," and she was gone. 

Doggie looked into the empty vestibule and 
smiled at the friendly brandy cask. Provided it is 
pronounced correctly so as to rhyme with the 
English "Anne," it is a very pretty name. Doggie 
thought she looked like Jeanne — a Jeanne d'Arc 
of this modem war. 

" Yon's a very fascinating lassie," Phineas remarked 
soberly, as they started on their stroll. "Did you 
happen to observe that €ill the time ^e was tallung 
so prettily she was looking at ghosts behind us? " 
Do you think so?" asked Doggie, startled. 

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170 THE ROUGH ROAD 

" Man, I know it," replied Phlneas. 

"Ghosts be blowedl" cried Mo Shendish. "She's 
a bit of orl ri^t, she is. What I cfiU class. Do^n't 
chuck 'CTself at yer 'ead, like some of 'em, and, on 
the other 'and, has none of yer blooming stand- 
orfishness. See what I meanP' He clutched them 
each by an arm — he was between them. "Look 
'ere. How do you think I could pick up this blink- 
ii^ lingo — quick? " 

'Make violent love to Toinette and ask her to 
teach you. There's nothing like it," said Doggie. 

"Who's Toinette?" 

"The nice old lady in the kitchen." 

Mo flung his arm away. "Oh, go and boil your- 
self I "said he. 

But the niflking of love to the old woman in the 
kitdien led to possibihties of which Mo Shendish 
never dreamed. They never dawned on Doggie 
until he found himself at it that evening. 

It was dusk. The men were lounging and smoking 
Etbout the coiutyard. Doggie, who had long since 
exchanged poor Taffy Jones's imperfect penny 
whistle for a scientific musical instrument ordered 
from Bond Street, was playing, with his sensitive 
skill, the airs they loved. He had just finished 
"Annie Laurie" — "Man," Phineets used to declare, 
"when Doggie Trevor plays 'Annie Laurie,' he has 
the pow^ to take your heart by the strings and drag 
it out through your eyes" — he had just come to 
the end of this popular and gizzard-piercing tune 
and received his meed of applause, when Toinette 
came out of the kitchen, two great ziuc crocs in her 
hands, and crossed to Ibe pump in the comer of the 
yard. Three or four would-be pumpers, among 
them Do^e, went to her aid. 

"All n^t, mother, we'll see to it," said one of 
them. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 171 

So they pumped and filled the crocs, and one man 
got hold of one and Doggie bold of another, and they 
carried them to the kitchen steps. 

"Merci, Monsieur" said Toinette to the first; 
and he went away with a friendly nod. But to 
Doggie she said ' Bnlrez, Monsieur." And Mon- 
sieur carried the two crocs over the threshold and 
Toinette shut the door behind him. And there, 
sitting over some needlework in a comer of the 
kitchen by a lamp, sat Jeanne. 

She looked up rather startled, frowned for the 
brief part of a second and regarded him enquiringly. 

"I Drought in Monsieur to show him the photo- 
gra^ of mon petiot, the comrade who sent me the 
snuif," explained Toinette, rummaging in a cup- 
board. 

"May I stay and look at it?" asked Do^e, 
buttoning up his tunic. 

" Mais parfailement, Monsieur," said Jeanne. 
" It is Toinette's kitchen. " 

"Bien s&r," said the old woman, turning with the 
^olograph, that of a sohd young infantryman. 
Doggie made polite r^narks. Toinette put on a 
pair of silver-rimmed spectacles and scanned the 
picture. Th^i she handed it to Jeanne. 

"Don't you think there is a great deal of resem- 
blance?" 

Jeanne directed a comparing glance at Doggie 
and smiled. 

" Like two little soldiers in a pod," she said. 

Toinette talked of her peliol who was at St. Mlhiel. 
It was far away, v^y far. She sighed as though 
he were fighting remote in the Caucasus. 

Presently came the sharp ring of a bell. Jeanne 
put aside her work and rose. 

" It is my aunt who has awakened." 

But Toinette was already at the door. " I will go 
up, Ma'amselle Jeanne. Do not derange yourself." 

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172 THE ROUGH ROAD 

She bustled away. Once more the pair found 
themselves alone together. 

"If you don't continue your sewing, Madanoi- 
selle," said Doggie, "I shall think that I am dis- 
turbing you, and must bid you good-night." 

Jeanne sat down and resumed her work. A sen- 
sation more like laughter than anything else fluttered 
round Doggie's heart. 

" Voulez-^x)us vous asseoir, Monsieur — Trewr?" 

" Vous iles bien aimable, Mademoiselle Jeanne," 
said Doggie, sitting down on a straight backed chair 
by the oil-cloth covered kitchen table which was 
between them. 

"May I move the lamp slightly?" he asked, for 
it hid her from his view. 

He moved it somewhat to her left. It threw 
shadows over her features, accentuating their 
appealing sadness. He watched her and thought 
ca McPDaQ's words about the ghosts. He noted 
too, as ihe needle went in and out of the fab- 
ric, that her hands, though roughened by coarse 
work, were fiu^ made, with long fingers and 
delicate wrists. He broke a silence that grew em- 
barrassing. 

"You seem to have suffered greatly, Mademoiselle 
Jeanne," he sfiid softly. 

Her lips quivered. " Mais oui, Monsieur." 

" Monsieur Trevor," he said. 

She put her hands and needlework in her lap and 
looked at him full. 

"And you too have suffered." 

"I? Oh, no." 

" But yes, I have seen too much of it not to know. 
I see in the eyes. Your two comrades to-day — 
they are good fellows — but they have not suffered. 
You are different." 

"Not a bit," he dedared. "We're just little in- 
distinguishable bits of the conglomerate Tommy." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 173 

"And I, Monsieur, have the honour to say that 
you are different." 

This was very flattering. More — it was sweet 
unction, grateful to many a Imilse. 

"How?" said he. 

"You do not belong to their world. Your Tom- 
mies are wonderful in their kindness and chivalry — 
until I met them I had never seen an Fngliahnmn in 
my life — I had imbecile ideas — I thought they 
would be without manners — un pea insidlants. 
I found I could walk among them, without fear, as 
if I were a princess. It is true." 

"It is because you have the air of a princess," 
said Doggie; "a sad, httle disguised princess of a 
fairy tale, who is recognised by aJl the wild boars 
and rabbits in the wood." 

She glanced aside. "There isn't a woman in 
Fr^lus who is differently treated. I am only an 
ignorant girl, half bourgeoise, half peasant. Mon- 
sieur, but I have my woman's knowledge — and I 
know there is a difference between you and the 
others. You are a son of good family. It is 
evident. You have a delicacy of mind and of feeling. 
You wCTe not bom to be a soldier." 

"Mademoiselle Jeanne," cried Doggie, "do I 
appear as bad as thatP Do you take me for an 
enwusqu^ manque?" 

Now an ert^usqui is a slacker who Ues in the safe 
ambush of a soft job. And an endmsqui manquk is 
a slacker who fortuitously has failed to win the 
fungus wreath of slackerdom. 

She flushed deep red. 

"Je ne sais pas maUtormSk, Monsieur." 

Doggie spread himself elbow-wise over the table. 
The girl's visible register of moods was fasci- 
nating. 

"Pardon, Mademoiselle Jeanne. You are quite 
right. But it's not a question of what I was bom 

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174 THE ROUGH ROAD 

to be — but what I was trained to be. I waEoi't 
trained to be a soldier. But I do my best." 

She looked at him waveringly. 

"Forgive me, Mademoiselle. ' 

"But you fladi out on the point of honour." 

Doggie laughed. "Which shows that I have the 
essential of the soldier." 

Doggie's manner was not without charm. She 
relented. 

"You know very well what I mean," she said re- 
bukingly. "And you don't deserve that I should 
tell it to you. It was my intention to say that you 
have samficed many things to make yourself a 
simple soldier." 

"Only a few idle habits," said Doggie. 

"You joined, like the rest, as a volunteCT?" 

"Of course." 

"You abandoned everything to fight for your 
country?" 

Under the spell of her dark eyes Doggie said, as 
he had said to Phineas after] the going West of 
Taffy Jones, "I think. Mademoiselle Jeanne, it 
was rather to fight for my soul." 

She resumed ner sewing. "That's what I meant 
long ago," she remarked with the first draw of the 
needle. "No one could fight for his soul without 
passing through suffering.' She went on sewing. 
Doggie, shrinking from a reply that might have 
sounded fatuous, remained silent; but he realised a 
wonderful faculty of aanprehension in Jeanne. 

After a while he said: "Where did you learn all 
your wisdom. Mademoiselle Jeanne?" 

"At the convent, I suppose. My father gave me 
a good education." 

* An Enghsh poet has said * Knowledge comes, but 
wisdom lingers " — Doggie had rather a fight to 
express the meaning exactly in French — "You 
don't gatlier wisdcon in convents." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 175 

" It is true. Since then I have seen many things." 

She stared across the room, not at Doggie, and 
he thought again of the ghosts. 

"Tell me some of them. Mademoiselle Jeanne," 
he said in a low voice. 

She shot a swift glance at him, and met his honest 
brown eyes. 

"I saw my father killed in firont of me," she said 
in a strange, narsh voice. 

"My Godl" said Do^e. 

"It was on the Retreat. We lived in Cambrai, 
my father and mother and I. He was an awaL 
Wnen we heard the Germans were coming, father, 
somewhat of an invahd, decided to fly. He had 
heard of what they had already done in Belgium. 
We tried to go by train. Pas moyen. We took to 
the road, with many others. We could not get a 
horse — we had postponed our flight till too late. 
Only a hand cart with a few necessaries and precious 
thii^. And we walked until we nearly died of 
heat and dust and gnef. For our hearts were very 
heavy. Monsieur. The roads, too, were full of the 
Engl^ in retreat. I shall not tell you what I saw 
of the wounded by the roadside. 1 sometimes see 
th^n now in my dreams. And we were helpless. 
We thought we would leave the main roads, and at 
last we got lost fmd found ourselves in a Httle wood. 
We sat down to rest and to eat. It was cool and 
pleasant, and I laughed, to cheer my parents, for 
they knew how I loved to eat imder the freshness of 
the trees." She shivered. "I hope I diaU never 
have to eat a meal in a wood again. We had scarcely 
b^un when a body of cavalry with strange pointed 
helmets rode along the path and, seeing us, halted. 
My mother, half dead with terror, cried out, ' Mon 
Dieu, ce soni des Uhlans !' The leader, I suppose an 
officer, called out something in German. My 
father replied. I do not understand German, so 



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176 THE ROUGH ROAD 

I did not know Etnd shall never know what they 
said. But my father protested in anger, and stood 
in front of the horse making gestures. And then 
the ofBcer took out his revolver and shot him through 
the heart, and he fell dead. And the murderer 
turned his horse's head round and he laughed. He 
laud^ed. Monsieur." 

"Danm himi" said Doggie, in Knglish. "Damn 
himl" 

He gazed deep into Jeanne's dark, tearless eyes. 
She continued in the same even voice: 

" My mother became mad. She was a peasant, a 
Bretonne, where the blood is fierce, and she screamed 
and clung to the bridle of the horse. And he rode 
her down and the horse trampled on her. Then he 
pointed at me, who was supporting the body of my 
father, and three men dismounted. But suddenly 
he heard something, gave an order and the men 
momited again, and they all rode away laughing and 
jeering, and the last man, in bad French, shouted 
at me a foul insult. And I was there. Monsieur 
Trevor, with my father dead and my mother stunned 
and bruised and bleeding." 

Doggie, sensitive, quivered to the girl's tragedy. 
He said with tense face : 

"God give me strength to kill every Grennan I 
seel" She nodded eJowIy. "No German is a human 
being. If I were God, I wouM extenninate the 
accursed race like wolves." 

"You are right," said Doggie. A short dlence 
fell. He asked: "What happened thenP" 

"Mon Dieu, I almost forget. I was overwhelmed 
with grief and horror. Some hours afterwards a 
small body of F.n glish infantry came — many of them 
had bloodstainea bandages. An oflBcer, who spoke 
a little French, questioned me. I told hhn what had 
happened. He spoke with another officer, and be- 
cause I recognised the word 'Uhlans,' I knew tiiey 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 177 

were aimous about the patrol. They asked me 
the way to srane place — I forget where. But I 
was lost. They lo^ed at a map. Meanwhile my 
mother had recovered consdouisuess. I gave her a 
little wine from the bottle we had opened for our 
repast. I happened to look at the officer and saw 
him pass his tongue over his cracked hps. All the 
men had thrown themselves down by the side of the 
Toad. I handed him the bottle and the httle tin 
cup. To my surprise he did not drink. He said 
'Mademoiselle, this is W£ir, and we are all in very 

freat peril. My men are dying of thirst, and if you 
ave any more of the wine, give it to them, and they 
will do their utmost to conduct your mother ana 
yourself to a place of safety.' Alas! there were only 
three bottles in our httle panier of provisions. Natu- 
rally I gave it all — t(^ther with the food. He 
called a sergeant, who took the provisions and dis- 
tributed them, while I was tending my mother. 
But I noticed that the two officers took neither bite 
nor sup. It was only afterwards. Monsieur Trevor, 
that I realised I had seen your great English gentle- 
men. . . . Then they dug a little grave, & pomte des 
baianneUes, for my father. ... It was soon 
finished . . . the deinger was grave . . . and some 
soldiers took a rope imd pulled the hand cart, with 
my mother lying on top of our little possessions, 
and I walked with them, until the whole of my life 
was blotted out with fatigue. We got on to the 
Route Nationale again and mingled again with the 
Retreat. And in the nu;ht, as we were still march- 
ing, there was a halt. I went to my mother. She 
was cold, Monsieur, cold and stiff. She was dead." 

She paused tragically. After a few moments 
shecontmued: 

"I fainted. I do not know what happened till I 
recovered consciousness at dawn. I found myself 
wrai^>ed in one of our blankets lying under the 

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178 THE ROUGH ROAD 

handcart. It was the market square of a UtUe 
town. And there were many — old men and women 
and children, refugees like me. I rose and found a 
paper — a leaf torn from a notebook — fixed to 
the handcart. It was from the oflBcer, bidding me 
farewell. MiHtary necessity forced him to go on 
with bis men — but be bad kept his word and brouj^t 
me to a place of safety. . . . That is bow I m^t 
met the English, Monsieur Trevor. They had 
carried me, I suppose, on the handcart, all night, 
they who were broken with weariness. I owe 
them my life and my reason." 

"And your mother?" 

"How should I know? EUe esl resIM lA-has" 
abe rephed simply. 

She went on with her sewing. Dogae wondered 
how her hand could be so steady. There was a 
long silence. What words, save vain imprecations 
on the accursed race, were adequate? Presently 
her glance rested for a second or two on his sensitive 
face. 

"Why do you not smoke, Monsieur Trevor?" 

"May I?" 

"Of course. It cahns the nerves. I ought not to 
have saddened you with my griefs." 

Doggie took out bis pink packet and ht a cigarette. 

"You are very understanding. Mademoiselle 
Jeanne. Rut it does a selfish man like me good to be 
saddened by a story like yours. I have not had 
much opportunity in my life of feeling for another's 
suffering. And smce the war — I am abruti." 

"You? Do you think if I had not found you 
sympatiqae, I should have told you all this?" 

"You have paid me a great compliment, Made- 
moiselle Jeanne." Then, after a while he asked, 
"From the market square of the little town you 
found means to come here?" 

"Alas, no!" she said, putting h^ work in her lap 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 179 

again. "I made my way, with my charreUe — it 
was easy — to om' original destination, a little fann 
belonging to the eldest brother of my father. The 
Farm of La Folette. He lived there alone, a 
widower, with his farm servants. He had no 
children. We thought we were safe. Alas! news 
came that the Germans were always advancing. 
We had time to fly. All the farmhands fled, except 
P^re Grigou, who loved him. But my imcle was 
obstiaate. To a Frendiman the soil he possesses is 
his flesh and his hlood. He would die rather than 
leave it. And my uncle had the murder of my father 
and mother on his hrsdn. He told P^ Grigou to 
take me away, but I stayed with him. It was P^re 
Grigou who forced ns to hide. That lasted two 
days. There was a well in the farm, and one night 
P^re Grigou tied up my money and my mother's 
jewelry and my father's papers, enfin, aU the precious 
things we had, in a packet of waterproof and sank 
it with a long string down the well so that the 
Germans could not und It. It was foolish, but he 
insisted. One day my imcle and P^re .Grigou went 
out of the little copse where we had been mding, in 
order to reconnoitre, for he thought the Germans 
might be going away; and my imcle, who would 
not listen to me, took his gun. Presentiy I heard 
a shot — and then another. You can guess what 
it meimt. And soon P^ Grigou came, white 
and shaking with terror. 'II en a Uii an, el on Fa 
tui!'" 

"MyGodI" said Dc^^e again. 

"It was terrible," ^e stiid. "But they were in 
their right." 

"And then?" 

"We lay hidden imtil it was dark — how they did 
not find us I don't know — and then we escaped 
across country. I thought of coming here to my 
Aunt Morin, which is not far from I^ Folette, but 



180 THE ROUGH ROAD 

I reflected that soon the Boches would be here 
also. And we went on. We got to a high road — 
and once more I was among troops and r^ugees. I 
met some kind folks in a carriage, a Monsieur and 
Madame Tarride, and they took me in. And so 
I got to Paris, where I had the hoapitality of a friend 
of the Convent, who was married. 

"And P^re Grigou?" 

"He insisted on going back to bury my uncle. 
Nothing could move him. He had not parted from 
him aU his life. They were foster-brothers. Where 
he is now, who knowsP " She mused, looked again 
at her ghosts, and continued: "That is all. Monsieur 
TVevor. The Germans passed through here and re- 
passed on their retreat, and, as soon as it was safe, 
I came to help my aunt, who was souffrarUe, and had 
lost her son. Also because I could not live on charity 
on my friend, for, wyez-vous, I was without a sou — 
all my money having been hidden in the well by 
P^ Grigou.' 

Do^e leant his elbows on the table. 

"And you have come through all that, Mademoi- 
selle Jeanne, just as you are — ? " 

"How, just as I am?" 

"So gentle and kind and comprehendingp" 

Her cheek flushed. "I am not the only French- 
woman who has passed through such things and 
kept herself proud. But the struggle has been very 
hard." 

Doggie rose and clenched his fists and rubbed his 
head from front to back in his old indecisive way, 
and began to swear incoherently in English, She 
smiled sadly. 

"Ah, mon pauvre ami!" 

He wheel^ round; "Why do you call me 'mon 
pauvre ami?'" 

"Because I see that you would like to help me. 
and you can't." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 181 

"Jeanne," cried Doggie, bending half over the 
table which was between them. 

She rose, too, startled, on quick defensive. He 
SEiid, in reply to her glance: 

"Why shouldn't I call you Jeanne?" 

"You haven't the rirfit." 

"What if I gam it?'^ 

"How?" 

"I don't know," smd Doggie. 

The door hurst suddenly open, and the anxious 
face of Mo Shendish appeared. 

"'Ere, you silly cuctoo, don't yer know you're 
on guard to-night? You've just got about thirty 
seconds." 

"Good Lord!" cried Dogme, "I forgot. Bon soir. 
Mademoiselle. Service mUUaire" and he rushed 
out. 

Mo lingered, with a grin, and jerked a backward 
thumb. 

" If it weren't for old Mo, Miss, I don't know what 
would happen to our friend Doggie. I got to look 
after him like a baby, I 'ave. He's on to reheve 
guard, and if old Mac — that's McPhail — " she 
nodded recognition of the name — "and I hadn't 
remembered. Miss, he'd 'ave been in what yer 
might call a 'ole. Compree?" 

* Out. Yes," she said. "Garde. SerUineUe." 

"Sentinel. Sentry. Right." 

"He — was — late," she said, picking out her 
few English words from memory. 

"Yuss," grinned Mo. 

"He — guard — house?" 

"Bless you. Miss, you talk Kngliwh as well as I 
do," cried the admiring Mo. " luss. When his 
tmn comes, up and down in the street, by the ^te." 
He saw her puzzled look. "Roo. Port," said he. 

"Ah, ocii, je comprends" smiled Jeanne. "Merci, 
Monsiear, et ban soir.^' 

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182 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Giood ni^t. Miss," said Mo. 

Some time later, he disturbed Phiueas, by whose 
side he slept, from his initial preparation for dumber. 

"Mad Is there any book I could learn this 
blinking lingo firtan?" 

"Try E^zddel," replied Phineas deepily. 



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CHAPTER XIV 

THE spell of night sentry duty had ahvrays been 
Doggie's black hour. To most of the other 
mihtary routine he had grown hardened or 
deadened. In the depths of his heart he hated the 
life as much as ever. He had schooled himself to 
go through it with the dull fatalism of a convict. 
It was no use railing at inexorable laws, irremediahle 
conditions. The only alternative to the acceptance 
of his position was mihtary punishment, which was 
far worse — to say nothing of the outrage of his 
pride. It was pnde that kept the httle ironical 
smile on his lips while his nerves were almost break- 
ing with strain. The first time he came tmder fire 
he was physically sick — not from fear, for he stood 
it better than most, keeping an eye on his captain 
whose function it was to show an imconcemed face 
— but from sheer nervous reaction against the 
hideous noise, the stendi, the ghastly upheaval of 
the earth, the sight of mangj^ men. When the 
bombardment was over, if he had been alone, he 
would have sat down and cried. Never had he 
grown accustomed to the foulness of the trenches. 
The sounder his ^ysical condition, the more did 
his delicately tramed senses revolt. It was only 
when fierce animal cravings dulled these senses, 
that he could throw himself down anywhere and 
sleep, that he could swallow anything in the way of 
food or drink. The rats nearly drove nim crazy. . . . 
Yet, what had once been to him a torture, the in- 
decent, nerve-rasping puhhcity of the soldier's life, 
had now become a compensation. It yfaa not so 
much in companionship, hke his friendly intercourse 

183 

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184 THE ROUGH ROAD 

with I^uueas and Mo, that he found an anodyne, 
but ia the consciousness of being magneti<Mlly 
affected' by the crowd of his fellows. They offered 
him protection against himself. Whatever pangs 
of self-pity be felt, whatever wan httle pleadings 
for the bit of fine porcelain compelled to a rough 
usage which vrasels of coarser clay could disregara, 
came lingeiio^ly into his mind, he dared not express 
them to a living soul around. On the contrary, be 
set himself assiduously to cultivate the earthenware 
habit of spirit; not to feel, not to think, only to 
endure. To a humorously incredulous Jeanne be 
proclaimed himself abnUL Finally, the ceaseless 
grind of the military machine left mm httle time to 
tbink. 

Rut in the solitary sleepless hours of sentry duty 
there was nothing to do but tbink; nothing where- 
with to while away the time but an orgy of intro- 
spection. First came the almost paralysing sense 
01 rentonsibiUty. He must keep, not only awake, 
but alert to the slightest sound, the shghtest move- 
ment. Lives of men dependeid on Ins vigilance. 
A man can't screw himself up to this beautifully 
emotional pitch for very long and be an efl&cient 
sentry. If be did, be would challenge mice and 
shoot at cloud-shadows and bring the deuce of a 
commotion about his ears. And this Dc^^gie, who 
did not lack ordinary intelligence, retried. So 
he strove to think of other things. And the other 
things all focussed down upon his Doggie self. 
And he never knew what to make of h^ Doggie 
self at all. For he would curse the thin^ that he 
once loved as being the cause of his mexpiable 
shame, and at the same time yearn for them with an 
agony of longing. 

And he would force himself to think of Peggy and 
her tmswerving loyalty. Of her weekly parcel of 
dainty food which bad turived that moming. Of 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 185 

the jo^ of Phineas and the disappomtment of the 
unsophisticated Mo over ihepdleae foie gras. But 
his mind wandered back to his Doggie self etnd its 
humiliations and its needs and its yearnings. He 
welcomed enemy flares and star-shells and excur- 
sions and alarms. They kept him &om thinking, 
enabled bim to pass the time. But in the dead, 
lonely, silent dark, the hours were like centuries. 
He dreaded them. 

To-night they fled like minutes. It was a pitch 
black night, spitting fine rain. It was one of Doggie's 
private grievances that it invariably rained when he 
was on outpost duty. One of Heaven's httle ways 
of strafing him for Doggieism. But to-night he 
did not heed it. Often the passage of transport 
had been a distraction for which he had longed and 
which, when it came, was warmly welcome. But 
to-night, during his spell, the roadway of the village 
was as still as death, and he loved the stillness and 
the blackness. Once he had wdoomed familiar 
am)roaching steps. Now he resented th^oa. 

'Who goes there?" 

"Rounds." 

And the officer, recognised, flashing an electric 
torch, passed on. The diminuendo of his footsteps 
was agreeable to Doggie's ear. The rain dripped 
monotonously off bis helmet on to bis sodden 
should^^, but Doggie did not mind. Now and then 
he strained an eye upwards to that part of the livings 
house that was above the gateway. Little streaks 
of light came downwards t&ough the shutter slats. 
Now it required no great intellectual effort to sui> 
mise that the light proceeded, not &om the bedroom 
of the invalid Madame Morin, who would naturally 
have the best bedroom situated in the comfortable 
main block of the house, but from that of somebody 
else. Madame Morin was therefore ruled out. So 

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186 THE ROUGH ROAD 

was Toinette — ridiculous to think of her keeping 
all-night vigiL There remained only Jeanne. 

It was supremely silly of him to march with 
super-martiahty of tread up the pavement; but 
then it is often the way of young men to do su- 
premely silly things. 

The next day was fuss and bustle, from the pri- 
vate soldier's point of view. They were marcmng 
back to the trenches that night, and a crack compemy 
must take over with flawless equipment ana in 
flawless bodily health. In the afternoon Doggie 
had a breathing spell of leisure. He walked boldly 
into the kitthen. 

"Madame," said he to Toinette, "I suppose you 
know that we are leaving to-nig^t?" 

The old woman sighed. " It is always Uke that. 
They come, they make friends, they go, and they 
never return." 

"You mustn't make the little soldier weep, 
graTuTm^re" said Doggie. 

"No. It is the gram^mkres who weep," repUed 
Toinette. 

"I'll come back all right," said he. "Where is 
Mademoiselle Jeanne? " 

"She is upstairs. Monsieur." 

" If she had gone out, I should have been disap- 
pointed," smiled Doggie. 

"You desire to see her, Monsieur?" 

"To thank her before I go for her kindness to me." 

The old face wrinkled into a smile. 

"It was not then for the ftcoux yeux of the gratuT- 
mkre that you entered?" 

"Si, si! Of course it was," he protested. "But 
one, nevertheless, must be polite to Mademoiselle." 

"Ale! ale!" said the old woman, bustling out. 
"I'll call her." 

Presently Jeanne came in alone, cahn, cool, and 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 187 

in hec plain black dress, looking like a sweet Fate. 
From the top of her dark brown hair to her trim, 
stout shoes, she gave the impression of being ex- 
quisitely ordered, Dodily and spiritually, 

" It was good of you to come," he cried, and they 
shook hands instinctively, scarcely realising it was 
for the first time. But he was sensitive to tne irank 
grip of her long and slender fingers. 
'Toinette said you wished to see me." 

"We are going to-night. I had to come and bid 
youaarevoir." 

"Is the compfuiy returning?" 

"So I hear the Quarter Master says. Are you 
glad?" 

" Yes, I am glad. One doesn't like to lose friends." 

"You r^ard me as a friend, Jeanne?" 

"Pour sur," she repUed simply. 

"Then you don't mind my calling you Jeanne?" 
said he. 

"What does it matter? Th«re are grava- ques- 
tions at stake in the world." 

She crossed the kitchen and opened the yard 
door which Doggie had closed behind him. Meeting 



a query in his glance, she said: 
'I like the fresh air, and I d 



[ don't like secrecy." 
She leaned against the edge of the table, and 
Dog^e emboldened, seated himself on the comer, 
by her side, and they looked out into the little 
flagged courtyard in which the men, some in grey 
shirtsleeves, some in tunics, were lounging about 
among the httle piles of accoutrements and packs. 
Here and there a man was shaving by the aid of a 
little mirror supported on a handcart. Jests and 
laughter were flimg in the quiet afternoon air. A 
little group were feeding pigeons which, at the sight 
of crumbs, had swarmed iridescent from the tall 
colombier in the far comer near the gabled bam. 
As Jeanne did not speak, at last Doggie bent forward 

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188 THE ROUGH ROAD 

and, looking into her eyes, found them moist with 
tears. 

"What is the matter, JeanneP" he asked in a low 
voice. 

"The war, mon ami," she replied, turning her face 
towards him, "the haunting tragedy of the war. 
I don't know how to express what I mean. If all 
those brave fellows there went about with serious 
faces, I should not be affected. Mais, voyez-vous, 
leur gaieti fait pew.'' 

Their laughter frigblened her. Dogcie, with his 
quick responsiveness, understood. She had put 
into a phrase the haunting tragedy of the war. 
The eternal lau^ter of youm qumiched in a gurgle 
of the throat. 

He said admiringly: "You are a wonderful woman, 
Jeanne." 

Her deUcate shoulders moved, ever so little. 
"A womani* I suppose I am. The day before we 
fled from Cambrai it was my jour de fUe. I was 
ei^teen." 

Doegie drew in bis breath with a little gasp. He 
had thought she wfis older than he. 

"I am twenty-seven," he said. 

She looked at him calmly and critically. "Yes. 
Now I see. Until now I should have given you 
more. But the war ages people. Isn't it true ? ' ' 

"I suppose so," said Doggie. Then he had a 
brilliant idea. "But when the war is over, we'll 
remain the same age for ever and ever." 

"Do you think so?" 

" I'm sure of it. We'll still botii be in our twenties. 
Let us suppose the war puts ten years of experieuce 
and suffering, and what not, on to our lives. We'll 
only then be in our thirties — and nothing possibly 
can happen to make us grow emy older. At seventy 
we shall still be thirty," 

"You are consoling," she admitted. "But what 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 189 

if the war had added thirty years to one's life? 
What if I felt now an old woman of fiftyp Rut 
yes, it is quite true. I have the feelings and the 
disregard of convention of a woman of fifty. If 
there had been no war, do you think I could have 
gone among an English army — sans gSne — like 
an old matronP Do you think a jeune fiUe frangaise 
bien elevie could have talked to you alone as I have 
done the past two daysP Absurd. The explana- 
tion is the war." 

Dog^e laughed. " Vive la guerre!" said he. 

"Mais non! Re serious. We must come to an 
understanding." 

In her preoccupation she forgot the ndes laid 
down for the guidance of jeanes fiUes bien ilevies, 
and unthinkingly perched herself full on the kitchen 
table on the comer of which Doggie sat in a one- 
legged way. Doggie gasped again. All her assumed 
age fell from her uke a gannent. Youth pro- 
claimed itself in her attitude and the supple Ones 
of her figure. She was but a girl Eifter all, a girl 
with a steadfast soul that had been tried in un- 
utterable fires; but a girl appealing, desirable. He 
felt mighty protective. 

"An understanding? All right," said he. 

"I don't want you to go away and think ill of me 
— that I am one of those women — les affranchies, 
I think they call them — who think themselves 
above social laws. I am not. I am bourgeoise to 
my finger-tips, and I reverence all the old maxims 
and prejudices in which I was bom. Rut condi- 
tions are different. It is just like the priests who 
have been called into the ranks. To look at them 
from the outside, you would never dream they were 
priests — but their hearts and their souls are un- 
touched." 

She was so earnest, in her pathetic youthfulness, 
to put herself right with him, so unlike the English 

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190 THE ROUGH ROAD 

girls of his acquaintance, who would have tak^i 
thk chance companionship as a matter of course, 
that his face lost the smile and became grave, and 
he met her sad eyes. 

"That was very bravely said, Jeanne. To me 
you will be always the most wonderful woman I 
have ever known.' 

"What caused you to speak to me the first day?" 
she asked, after a pause. 

"I explained to you — to apologise for staring 
rudely into your house." 

"It was not because you said to yourself, 'Here 
is a pretty girl looking at me. I'll go and talk to 
her'?" 

Doggie threw his leg over the comer of the table 
and stood on indignant feet. 

"Jeannel How could you — ?" he cried. 

She leaned back, her open palms on the table. 
The rare Ught came into her eyes. 

"That's what I wanted to uiow. Now we imder- 
stand each other, Monsieur Trevor." 

"I wish you wouldn't call me Monsieur Trevor," 
said he. 

"What else can I call you? I know no other 
name." 

Now he had in his pocket a letter from Peggy, 
received that morning, beginning " My dearest 
Maimaduke." Peggy seemed far away and the 
name still further. He was deliberating whether 
he should say " Appelez-moi James" or "Appelez- 
moi Jacques,' and mclining to the latter as being 
morepicturesque and intimate, when she went on; 

" Tenez, what is it your comrades call you? 'Dog- 
gie?'" 

"Say that again." 

"Dog-gie." 

He had never dreamed that the hated appellation 
could sound so adorable. Well — no one except 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 191 

his officers called him by any other name, and it 
came with a visible charm from her hps. It brought 
about the most fascinating fla^ of the tii» of her 
white teeth. He laughed. 

"AUi guerre comme h la gaerre. If you call me 
that, you belong to the regiment. And I promise 
you it is a fine regiment." 

"Eh bien, Monsieur Dog-gie — " 

"There's no Monsieur about it," he declared, 
very happily. "Tommies are not Messieurs." 

" I know one who is," 86ud Jeanne. 

So they talked in a yoimg and foolish way, and 
Jeanne for a while forgot me tragedies that bad 
gone and the tragedies that might come; and Doggie 
forgot both the peacock and ivory room and the 
fetid hole into which he would have to cre^ when 
tbe night's march was over. They talked of simple 
thin^. Of Toinette, who had been with Aimt 
Morm ever since she could remember. 

"You have won her heart with your snuff." 

"She has won mine with her discretion." 

"Oh-hl" said Jeanne, shocked. 

And so on and so forth, while they sat side by 
side on the kitchen table, swinging then* feet. After 
a while they drifted to graver questions. 

"What will happen to you, Jeanne, if your aunt 
dies?" 

"Mon Dku!" said Jeanne — 

"Hut you will inherit the property, and the 
business? ' 

"By no means." Aunt Morin had still a son, 
who was already very old. He must be forty-six. 
He had expatriated himself many years ago and was 
in Madagascar. The son who was killed was her 
Benjamin, the child of her old £^. But aU her 
little fortune would go to the colonial Craspard 
whom Jeanne had never seen. 

But the Farm of La FoletteP 

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192 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"It has been taken and retaken by Gennans and 
French and English, man paavre ami, until there is 
no fE^rm left. You ought to understand that." 

It was a thing that Doggie most pCTfectly under- 
stood: a patch of hideous wilderness, of poisoned, 
shell-scarred, ditch-defiled, barren, loathsome earth. 

And her other relatiousP Only an uncle, her 
father's youngest brother, a cur^ in Douai in enemy 
occupation. She had not heard of him since the 
flight from Cfunbrai. 

'But what is going to become of you?" 

"So long as one keeps a brave heart what does 
it matter? I am strong. I have a good enough 
education. I can earn my living. Oh, don't make 
any mistake. I have no pity for myself. Those 
who waste efforts in pitying themselves are not of 
the stuff to make France victorious." 

"I am afraid I have done a lot of self-pitying, 
Jeanne." 

"Don't do it any more," eiie said gently. 

"I won't," said he. 

"If you keep to the soul you have gained, you 
can't," said Jeanne. 

" Toujours la sagesse." 

"You are laugmn^ at me." 

"God forbid, ' said Doggie. 

Phinetis €ind Mo came strolling towards the 
kitchen door. 

"My two friends, to pay their visit of adieu," 
said he. 

Jeanne slid from the table and welcomed the new- 
comers in her calm, dignified way. Once more 
Doggie found himself regarding her as his senior 
in age and wisdom and coiuluct of life. The pathetic 
girl^hness which she had revealed to him had gone. 
The age-investing ghosts had returned. * 

Mo grinned, interjected a Britisli army French 
word now and then, and manifested delight when 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 193 

Jeetime understood. Phineas talked laboriously, 
endeavouring to expound his re^xinslbility for 
Doggie's w^are. He had been his tutor. He 
used the word "tuteur." 

"That's a guardian, you silly ass," cried Doggie. 
"He means ' imliluteur. Go on. Or, rather, don't 
go on. The lady isn't interested." 

" Mais oui," said Jeanne, catching at the leist 
English word. "It interests me greatly." 

"Merci, Mademoiselle" said Phineas, grjindly. 
"I only wish to explain to you that while I live you 
need have no fear for Doggie. I will protect him 
with my body from shells, and promise to bring 
him safe back to you. And so will Monsieur 
Shendish." 

"What's that?" asked Mo. 

Phineas translated. 

"Oui, oui, oui!" said Mo, nodding vigorously. 

A spot of colour burned on Jeanne's pale cheek, 
and Doggie grew red under bis tannea skin. He 
cursed Phineas below bis breath, and exchanged 
a significant glance with Mo. Jeanne said in ner 
even voice: 

" I hope all the Three Muleteers will come back 
safe." 

Mo extended a grimy hand. "Well, good-bye. 
Miss. McPhail here and I must be going. 

She shook bands with both, wishm^ them bonne 
chance, and they strolled away. Dog^e lingered. 

"You mustnt mind what McPhail says. He's 
only an old imbecile." 

' You have two comrades who love you. That 
is the principal thing." 

"I mink they do, each in his way. As for Mo — " 

"Mo?" She lauded. "He is delicious." 

"Well — "said he, reluctantly, after a pause, 
"good-bye, Jeanne." 

"Aa revoir — Dog-gie." 



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194 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"If I shouldn't come back — I mean if we were 
billeted somewhere else — I should like to write 

to you." 

' Well — Mademoiselle BoisaSre, chez Madame 
Morin, Frelus. That is the address." 

"And will you write too?" 

Without waiting for a r^ly, he scribbled what 
was necessary on a ^eet torn from a notebook and 
gave it to her. Their hands met. 

"Au revoir, Jeanne." 

"Au rewir, Dog^gie. But I shall see you again 
to-night." 

"Where?" 

" It is my secret. Bonne chance." 

She smiled and turned to leave the kitchen, 
gie clattered into the yard. 

Been doin' a fine bit o' coartin'. Doggie," said 
Private Appleyard from Taunton, who was sitting 
on a box near by and writing a letter on his knees. 

"Not so muo) of your courting. Spud," replied 
Doggie cheerfully. " Who are you writing to? 
Your best girl?" 

"I be writin' to my own lawful mizzus," rephed 
Spud Appleyard. 

"Then ^ve her my love. Doggie Trevor's love," 
said Doggie, and marched away liux>ugh the groups 
of men. 

At the entrance to the bam he fell in with Phiueas 
and Mo. 

"Laddie," said the former, "although I meant it 
at the time as a testimony of my affection, I've 
been thinking that what I said to the young leddy 
may not have been over tactful." 

It was taking it too much for granted," explained 
Mo, " that you and her were sort of keeping company. 

"You're a pair of idiots," said Doggie, sitting 
down between them, and taking out his pink packet 
of Caporal. "Have a cigarette?" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 195 

"Not if I W08 d^ing of — Look 'ere," said Mo, 
with the l^ht oa ms face of the earnest seeker i^ter 
Truth. "If a chap ain't got no food, he's dying of 
'unger. If he ain't got no drink, he's dying of thirst. 
What the 'ell is he dying of if he alut got no 
tobakker?" 

"Army Service Corps," said Phineas, pulling 
out his pipe. 

It was dark when A Company marched away. 
Doggie had seen nothing more of Jeanne. He was 
just a little disappoint^; for she had promised. 
He could not associate her with light words. Yet 
perhaps she had kept her promise. She had said 
'Jc vous verrais." She had not undertaken to 
exhihit herself to him. He derived comfort from 
the thought. There was, indeed, something deUcate 
and subtle and enchanting in the notion. As on 
the previous day, the fine weather had changed 
with the night and a fine rain was falling. Doggie, 
an indistinguishable, pack-laden ant in the middle of 
the four abreast ribbon of similar pack-laden ants, 
tramped on, in silence, thinking his own 'thoughts. 
A regiment going back to the trenches ,'in the night is, 
from the point oif view of the pomp and circumstance 
of glorious war, a very lugubrious procession. The 
sight of it would have rather hurt an old-time poet. 
An experienced regiment has no lovely illusions. 
It knows what it is going to, and the knowledge 
makes it serious. It wouM much rather be in bed 
or on snug straw than plodding through the rain 
to four days and nights of eternal mud and stinking 
high explosive shell. It sets its teeth and is a very 
stem, fuleut, ugly conglomeration of men. 

" (The adjective) night," growled Doggie's 

right hand nekhbour. 

" (The adjective)" Doggie responded, me- 
chanically. 

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196 THE ROUGH ROAD 

But to Doggie it was less "— — ~" (adjective as 
b^ore) than usual. Jeanne's denunciation of self- 
pity had struck deep. Compared with her calamities, 
half of whic^ would have been the sUx^-in-trade 
of a Greek dramatist wherewith to wring tears from 
mankind for a couple of thousand years, what were 

his own piffling grievances? As for the " " 

night, instead of a drizzle, he would have welcraned 
a waterspout. Something that really mattCTed. . . . 
Let the Heavens or the Hun rain molten lead. Some- 
thing that would put him on an equality with 
Jeanne . . . Jeanne, with her dark, haunting eyes 
and mobile Ups, and the slim, young figure and her 
splendid courage. A girl apart from the girls he 
had known, apart firom the women he had known, 
the women whom he had imagiaed — and he had 
not imagined many — his traming had atrophied 
such imaginings of youth. Jeanne. Agaui her 
name conjured up visions of the Great Jeanne of 
Domremy. If only he could have seen her once 
^;ainl 

At the north end of the village the road took a 
sharp twist, skirting a bit of rising ground. There 
was just a glimmer of a wamii^ light which streamed 
athwart the turning ribbon of laden ants. And as 
Doggie wheeled through the dim ray, he heard a 
voice that rang out clear, 

"Bonne chance!" 

He looked up swiftly. Caught the shadow of a 
shadow. But it was enou^. It was Jeanne. 
She had kept her promise. The men responded 
incoherently, waving their hands, and Dole's 
shout of "Merci!" was lost. But though he knew, 
with a wonderful throbbing knowledge, that Jeanne's 
cry was meant for him alone, he was thrilled by his 
comrades' instant response to Jeanne's voice. Not 
a man but he knew that it was Jeiume. But no 
matter. The company paid homage to Jeanne. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 197 

Jeanne who had come out in the irain and the dark, 
and had waited, waited, to redeem her promise. 
"C'est mon secret" 

He ploughed on. Left, right! Thud, thudl Left, 
right I Jeanne, Jeanne I 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER XV 

IN the village of Fr^lus life went on as before. 
The same men, though a different regiment, 
filled its streets and its houses; for by what 
si^ns could the inhabitants distinguish one horde 
of Kngliah iofantrymen fh)m anothert* Once a 
Highland battalion had been billeted on them, 
and for the first day or so they derived some ex- 
citement from the novelty of the costume; ^e 
historic Franco-Scottish tradition still lii^ered and 
they welcomed the old allies of France with special 
kindliness; but they found that the habits and 
customs of the men in kilts were identical, in their 
French eyes, with those of the men in trousers. It 
is true the Scotch had bagpipes. The village tiuned 
out to hsten to them in whole-eyed and whole-eared 
wonder. And the memory of the skirling music 
remained indelible. Otherwise there was Uttle dif- 
ference. And when a Midland regiment succeeded 
a South Coast regiment, where was the difT^ence 
at all? They might be the same men. 

Jefume, standiii^ by the kitchen door, watching 
the familiar scene in the courtyard, could scarcely 
believe there had been a change. Now and again, 
she caught herself wondering why she could not 
pick out any one of her Three Musketeers. There 
were two or three soldiers, as usual, helping Toinette 
with her crocs at the well. There she was, herself, 
moving among them, as courteously treated as 
thou^ she were a princess. Perhaps these men, 
whom she beard had come from manufacturing 
cenlxes, were a trifle rougher in their manners than 
her late guests; but the intention of civility and rude 



THE ROUGH ROAD 199 

chivalry was no less sincere. They came and asked 
for od^ and ends very politely. To all intents and 
purposes they were the same set of men. Why was 
not Doggie among themP It seemed very strange. 

After a while she made some sort of an acquain- 
tance with a sergeant who had a few words of French 
and appeared anxious to improve his knowledge of 
the language. He explained that he had been a 
teacher in what corre^Kinded to the French Scales 
Normales. He came from Birmingham, which he 
gave her to understand was glonfied Lille. She 
fomid him very earnest, very self-centred in his 
worship of efficiency. As he had striven for his class 
of boys, so now was he striving for his platoon of 
men. In a dogmatic way he expounded to her 
idetJs severely practical. In their few casual con- 
versations he mterested her. The English, from 
the first terrible day of their association with her, 
had commanded her deep admiration. But until 
lately — in the most recent past — her sex, her 
national aloofness, and her ignorance of English, had 
restrained her from familiiu- talk with the British 
Army. But now she keenly desired to understand 
this strange, imperturbable, kindly race. She put 
many questions to the Sergeant — always at the 
kitchen door, in full view of the courtyeml, for she 
never thought of admitting him into the house — 
and his answers, even when he managed to make 
himself intelligible, puzzled her exceedingly. One 
of his remarks led her to ask for what he was fight- 
ing, beyond his apparently fixed idea of the efficiency 
of the men under bis controL What w£ls the 
spiritual idea at the back of himP 

"The democratisation of the world and the uni- 
versal brotherhood of mankind." 

"When the BritifQi Lion shall lie down with the 
German Lamb?" 

He flashed a suspicious glance. Strenuous schot^ 



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200 THE ROUGH ROAD 

masters in primary schools have Uttle time for the 
cultivation of a sense of humour. 

"Something of the sort must be the ultimate 
result of the war." 

"But in the meantime you have got to change the 
Gierman wolf into the petit mmtion. How are you 
gou^ to do it?" 

"By British efficiency. By proving to him that 
we are superior to him in every way. We'll teach 
him that it doesn't pay to be a wolf." 

"And do you think he will like being trans- 
formed into a lamb, while you remain a lionP ' 

"I don't suppose so, but we'll give him his chance 
to try to become a lion, too." 

Jeaone shook her head. "No, Monsieur, wolf 
he is and wolf he will remain. A wolf with venomous 
teeth. The civilised world must see that the teeth 
are always drawn." 

"I'm speaking of fifty years hence," said the Sei^ 
geant. 
■ "And I of three hundred years hence." 

"You're mistaken, Mademoiselle." 

Jeanne shook her head. " No. I'm not mistaken. 
Tell me. Why do you want to become brother to 
the Boche? " 

"I'm not going to be his brother till the war is 
over," said the Sergeant stolidly. "At present I 
am devoting all my faculties to killing as many of 
him as I can." 

She smiled. "Sufficient for the day is the good 
thereof. Go on killing them. Monsieur. The more 
you kill, the fewer there will be for your children 
and yoiu" grandchildren to lie down with." 

She left him and tried to puzzle out his philosoph;^ . 
For the ordinary French philosophy of the war is 
very simple. They have no high-falutin', altruistic 
ideas of miproving the Boche. They don't care a 
tinker's curse what happens to the unholy brood 



THE ROUGH ROAD 201 

beyond the Rhine, so long as they are beaten, 
humiliated, subjected: so long as Ibere is no chance 
of their ever deftowering a^in with their brutality 
the sacred soil of France. The French mind cannot 
conceive the idea of this beautiful brotherhood; 
but, on the contrary, rejects it £is something loath- 
some, something bordering on spiritual incest. . . . 

No; Jeanne could not accept the theory that we 
were waging war for the ultunate chastening and 
beatification of Germany. She preferred Doggie's 
reason for fighting. For his soul. There was some- 
tiling which she could grip. And having gripped 
it, it was something around which her imaemation 
could weave a wd) of noble fancy. After all, when 
she came to think of it, every one of the allies must 
be fighting for his soul. For his soul's sake had not 
her father diedP Althoudi she knew no word of 
German, it w£m obvious that the Uhlan officer had 
murderoi him because he had refused to betray 
his country. And her uncle. To fight for his soul, 
had he not gone out with this heroic but futile 
sporting gunP And this pragmatical sei^eant? 
What &se had led him from his schoolroom to the 
battlefield? Why couldn't he be honest about it 
like Doggie? 

She missed Doggie. He ought to be there, as she 
had often seen nim unobserved, talking with his 
friends or going Eibout his military duties, or playing 
the flageolet with the magical touch of the musician. 
She knew far more of D<^gie than he was aware of. 
. . . And at night she prayed for the little English 
soldier who was facing DeaUi. 

She had much time to think of him during the 
hours when she sat by the bedside of Aunt Morin, 
■frtio talked incessantly of Francois-Miuie who was 
killed on the Argonne, and Gaspard who, m a 
ierrUarial, was no doubt defending Madsigascar 
irom invasion. And it was pleasant to think of him 

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202 THE ROUGH ROAD 

because he was a new dUtraction from tragical 
memories. He seemed to lay the ghosts. ... He 
was different from all the Englishmea she had met. 
The young officers who had helped her in her flight, 
had very much the same charm of breeding, very 
much the same intonation of voice: instinctively 
she knew him to be of the same social cfiste: but 
they, and the officers whom she saw about the street 
and in the courtyard, when duty called them there, 
had the mihtary air of command. And this h^ 
little English soldier had not. Of course he was 
only a private, and privates are trained to obedience. 
She knew that perfectly welL But why was he not 
commanding instead of obeying? Inere was a 
reason for it. She had seen it in his eyes. She 
wished she had made him talk more about himself. 
Perhaps she had been unsympathetic and selfish. 
He assumed, she reflected, a certain cr&nerie wiUi 
his fellows — and cranerU is "swagger" bereft of 
vulgarity — we have no word to connote its con- 
cation in a French mind — and she admired it; 
but her swift intuition pierced the assum^ption. 
She divined a world of hesitancies behind the Mus- 
keteer swing of the shoulders. He was so gentle, so 
sensitive, so quick to understand. And yet so 

Sroud. And yet again so tmconfessedly dependent, 
[er womtm's protective instinct responded to a 
mute appeal. 

"But, Ma'amselle Jeanne, you are wet through, 
you are perished with cold. What folly have you 
been committing?" Toinette scolded when she 
returned after wishing Doggie the last *' hoime 
chance" 

"TTie folly of putting my Frenchwoman's heart 
{mon cceur de Francatse) into the hands of a brave 
little soldier to fight with him ta the trenches." 

"Mon Dieu, Ma'amselle, you had better go 
strai^t to bed, and I will bnng you a bon tUleai 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 203 

which will calm your nerves and produce a good 
perspiration." 

So Toinette put Jeanne to bed and administered 
the infallible mft^on of lime-Ieaves, and Jeanne 
was never the worse for her adventure. But the 
next day she wondered a httle why she had under- 
taken it. She had a vague idea that it paid a btUe 
debt of sympathy. 

An evening or two afterwards, Jeanne was sewing 
in the kitchen when Toinette, sitting in the aim- 
chair by the extinct fire, fished out of her pocket the 
little olive-wood box with the pansies and forget- 
me-nots on the lid, and took a long pinch of snuff. 
She did it with somewhat of an air which caused 
Jeanne to smile. 

"Diles done, Toinette, you are insupportable with 
your aouff-box. One would say a Marquise of tbe 
old school." 

"Ah, Ma'amselle Jeanne," said the old wtonan, 
"you must not laugh at me. I was just thinltiTig 
that, if anything happened to the petit Monsieur, 
I couldn't have liie heart to go on putting his snuff 
up my old nose." 

"Nothing will happen to him," said Jeanne. 

The old woman sighed and re-engulfed the snuff- 
box. "Who knowsP From one minute to another 
who knows whether the little ones who are dear to 
us are alive or dead?" 

"And this petit Monsieur is dear to you, Toinette? " 
Jeanne asked, in hCT even voice, without looking up 
fnHU her sewing. 

" Since he res^nbles my peiwi" 

"He will come back," said Jeanne. 

"I hope so," said the old woman mournfully. 

In spite of manifold duties, Jeanne found the days 
curiously long. She slept badly. The tramp of the 
sentry below her window over the archway brought 
her no sense of comfort, as it had done iai months 

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204 THE JIOUGH ROAD 

before the ccaning of Doggie. All the less did it 
produce the queer little thrill of happiness which 
was hers when, looking down through the shutter 
data, she had identified in the darkness, on a change 
oi guard, the little Knglish soldier to whom she had 
sp^en so intimately. And when he had challenged 
the Rounds, she had recognised his voice. ... If 
she had obeyed an imbecile and unmaidenly impulse, 
she would mye drawn open the shutter and revealed 
herself. But apart from maidenly shrinkings, fa- 
miliarity with war had made her realise the sacred 
duties of a sentry, and she had remained in discreet 
seclusion, awake until his spell w£is over. But now 
the rhythmical beat of the heavy boots kept hex 
from keeping, and would have irritated her nerves 
intolerably had not her sound conunon-sense told 
her that ihe stout fellow who wore them was pro- 
tecting her from the Hun, together with a million 
or so of his fellow-oountrymen. 

She found herself counting the days to Dog^e's 
retmn. 

"At last, it is to-morrowl" she said to Toinette. 

"What is it to-monow?" asked the old woman. 

"The return of our regiment," replied Jeanne. 

"That is good. We have a raiment now," said 
Toinette, ironically. 

The Midland company marched away — as so 
many had marched away before; but Jeanne did 
not go to the little gnbankment at the txuTi of the 
road to wish anyone good luck. She stood at the 
house door, as she had always done, to watch them 
pass in the darkness; for there is always something 
m the sight of men going into battle which gives 
you a lump in the throat. For Jeanne it had almost 
grown into a religious practise. 

The Sergeant had told her that the newcomers 
would arrive at dawn. She slept a Uttle; awoke 
with a start as day began to break; dressed swiftly, 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 205 

and went downstairs to wait. And then her ear 
caught liie rumble and the tramp of the approach- 
ing battalion. Presently transport rolled by, and 
squads of men, haggard in the grey light, bending 
double under their packs, staggered along to their 
billets. And then came a rusty crew, among whom 
she recognised McPbail's tall, gaunt figure. She 
stood by the gateway, bareheaded, in her black 
dress and blue apron, defying the sharp morning 
air, and watched tbem pass through. She saw 
Mo Shendish, his eyes on the heels of the man in 
iront. She recognised nearly all. But the man she 
looked for was not there. 

He could not have pE^sed without her seeing him; 
but as soon as the gateway was clear, she ran into 
the courtyard and fled across it to cut off the men. 
There was no Doggie. Blank disappointment was 
succeeded by sudden terror. . 

Phineas saw her coming. He stumbled up to her, 
dropped his pack at her feet, and spread out both 
his hands. She lost sight of the horde of weary, clay- 
covered men around her. She cried: 

"Where is he?" 

" I don't know." 

"He is dead?" 

"No one knows." 

"But you must know, you!" cried Jeanne, with 
a new fear in her eyes which PhineaB could not bear 
to meet, "You promised to bring him back." 

"It was not my fault," said Phineas. "He was 
out on patrol last night — no, the night before, this 
is morning — repairing barbed wire. I was not 
with him.' 

"Mow, mon Diea, why notP" 

"Because the duties of soldiers are arranged for 
them by their officers. Mademoiselle." 

"It is true. Pardon. But continue." 

"A party went out to repair wire. It was quite 

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206 THE ROUGH ROAD 

dark. Suddenly a German rifle-shot gave the 
alarm. The enemy threw up star'^ells and the 
boat trenches on each side opened fire. The wiring 
party of course lay flat on the ground. One of them 
was wounded. When it was all over, — it didn't 
last long, — our men got back bringing the wounded 
man." 

"He is severely wounded? Speak," cried Jeanne. 

"The woundM man was not Doggie. Doggie 
went out with the patrol, but he did not come back. 
That's why I said no one knows whwe he is." 

She stinened. "He is lying out tiiere. He is 
dead." 

"Shendish and I and Corporal Wilson, over there, 
who was with the party, got permission to go out and 
search. We searched all round where the repairs 
had been going on. But we could not find him.' 

"Merci! I ou^t not to have reproached you," 
she said steadily. " Cest un grand malheur." 

"You £u^ rignt. Life for me is no longer of much 
value." 

She looked at him in her penetrating way. 

"I heUeve you," she said. "For the moment, 
aa revoir. You must be worn out with fatigue." 

She left him and walked through the straggling 
men, who made re^>ectful w^ for her. All knew 
of her friendship with Dog^e Trevor, and all realised 
the nature of this interview. They liked Doggie 
because he was good-natured and plucky, and never 
complained and would play the whistle on march 
as long as breath enough remained in his body. As 
his uncle, the Dean, bad said, breed told. In a 
ciuious, half-drudging way they recognised the fact. 
They^ laughed at his singular inefficiency in the 
multitudinous arts of the h^dy man, proficiency in 
which is expected from the modem private, but 
they knew that be would go on till he dropped. 
And knowing that, they saved him from many a 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 207 

r«)rimand which his ahsurd ^orts in the arte 

aforesaid would have brought upon him. And now 
that Dogcie was gone, they deplored his losa. But 
so many had gone. So many had been deplored. 
Human nature is only captible of a certain amount 
of deploring while retaimng its sanity. The men 
let the pale French girl, who was Doggie Trevor's 
fiiend, peiss by in respectful silence — and that for 
them was their final tribute to Doggie Trevor. 

Jeaime passed into the kitchen. Toinette drew 
a sharp breath at the sight of her face. 

"Quoi? II n'estpas id?" 

"No," said Jeanne. "He is wounded," It was 
impossible to explain to Toinette. 

^Badly?" 

"They don't know." 

"Okj la, la!" sighed Toinette. "That always 
happens. That is what I told you." 

'We have no time to think of such things," said 
Jeanne. 

The regimental cooks came up for the hot water, 
and soon the hungry, weary, nerve-racked men 
were served with the morning meal. And Jeanne 
stood in the courtyard in front of the kitchen door, 
and helped with the filling of the tea-kettles, as 
though no Uttle English soldier called "Dog-gie" 
had ever existed in the regiment. 

The first pale shaft of sxuilkht fell w^n the 
kitdien side of the courtyard, and in it Jeanne stood 
illuminated. It toudied the shades of gold in her 
dark brown hair, and Kt up her pale face and great 
unsmiling eyes. But her lips smiled valiantly. 

"What do yer think, Mac," said Mo Shendiah, 
squatting on the flagstones "do you think she was 
really sweet on himP ' 

"Man," replied Pluneas, "all I know is that she 
has added him to her collection of ghoste. It's not 
an over braw competny for a lassie to live with." 

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208 THE ROUGH ROAD 

And then, soon afterwards, the trench-broken 
m^i stumbled into the bam to sleep, and all was 
quiet again, and Jeanne went about her daily tasks 
with the familiar luind of death once more closing 
icily around her heart. 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE sick room was very hot and Aunt Morin 
very querulous. Jeanne opened a windofr, 
but Aunt Morin complained of coirents <^ 
air. Did Jeanne want to Kill her? So Jeanne 
closed the window. The jntemal malady from wfaidt 
Aunt Morin suffered, and from which it was nnlikety 
that she would recov^, caused her considerable 
pain from time to time; and on these occasions she 
grew fractious and hard to bear with. The retired 
septuagenarian village doctor who had tt^en the 
modest practise of nis son, now far away with the 
army, advised an operation. But Aunt Morin, 
with her peasant's prejudice, declined flatly. She 
knew what happened in those hospitals where they 
cut people up just for the pleasure of looking at 
their inside^ She was not going to let a lot of 
butchers amuse themselves with fier old carcase. 
Oh, non! When it pleased the bon Dteu to take her, 
she was ready: the bon Dieu required no as^s- 
tance from ces messieurs. And even if she had con- 
sented, how to take her to Paris, and once there, how 
to get the operation performed, with all the hospitals 
full and all the sui^eons at the frontP The old 
doctor shrugged his shoulders and kept life in her 
as best he nu^t. 

To-day, in the close room, she told a long story 
of the doctor's neglect, lie medicine he gave 
her was water and nothing else — water with noUbing 
in it. And to ask people to pay for that I She would 
not miy. What would Jeanne advise? 

"Out, ma larUe," said Jeanne. 

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210 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Oui, ma tanie? But you are not listening to 
what I say. At least one can be polite." 

"I am Lsteninx. ma tarUe" 

"You should be grateful to those who lodge and 
nourish you." 
' "I am grateful, ma tante," said Jeanne patiently. 

Aunt Moria complained of being robbed on all 
udes. The doctor, Toinette, Jeanne, the English 
soldiers — the last the worst of all. Besides not 
paying sufficiently for what they had, they were so 
wasteful in the things they took for nothing. If 
they b^ged for a few faggots to make a fire, they 
walked away with the whole wood-stack. She 
knew them. But all soldiers were the same. They 
thought that, in time of war, dvihans had no 
rights. One of these days she would get up and 
come downstairs and see for herself the robbery that 
was going on. 

The windows were tightly sealed. The sxmlight 
hurting Aunt Morin's eyes, the outside shutters 
were half closed. The room felt like a stuffy, over- 
heated, over-crowded sepulchre. An enormous oak 
press, part of her Breton dowry, took up most of 
the side of one wall. This, together with a great 
handsome IxUmt, a couple of tables, a stiff armchair, 
were all too big for the moderately-sized apartment. 
Coloured prints of sacred subjects, tilted at violent 
angles, seemed eager to occupy as much air space 
as pos^le. And m the middle of the floor sprawled 
the vast oaken bed, with its heavy green brocade 
curtains falling tentwue &om a great tarnished 
gilt crown in the ceiling. 

Jeanne said nothing. What was the good? She 
shifted the invalid's hot pillow and gave her a drink 
of tisane, moving about the over-funushed, airless 
room in her cahn and, eflScient way. Her face 
showed no sign of trouble, but an iron band clamped 
hst forehead above her burning eyes. She could 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 211 

perform her nurse's duties, but it was beyond her 
power to concentrate h^ mind on the sick woman's 
unending litany of grievances. Far away beyond 
t^t darkened room, beyond that fretful voice, she 
saw vividly a hot waste, hideous with hdea 
and rusted wire and shapes of horror; and in the 
middle of it lay huddled up a Httle kbaki>clad 
figure with the sun blazing fiercely in his nn hlinlcing 

'es. And his very body was beyond the ream 

' man, even of the most lion-hearted. 

"Mats qu'as-tu, ma Mle?" asked Aunt Morin. 
"You do not speak. When people are ill they need 
to be amused.' 

"I am sorry, ma tanie, but I am not feeling very 
well to-day. It will pass." 

" I hope so. Young people have no business not 
to feel well. Otherwise what is the good of youth? " 

"It is true," Jetinne assented. 

But what, she thought, was indeed the good of 
youth, in these terrible days of war? Her own was 
but a panorama of death. . . . And now one more 
figure, this time one of youth, too, had joined it. 

Toinette came in. 

"Ma'amselle Jeanne, there are two "Kngliwh 
officers downstairs who wish to speak to you." 

"What do they want?" Jeanne asked wearily. 

"They do not say. They just ask for Ma'am- 
selle Boissiere." 

"They never leave one in peace, ces gens-ld," 
grumbled Aunt Morin. "If they want more con- 
cessions in price, do ,not let them frighten you. 
Go to Monsieur le Maire to have it arranged with 

J"uBtice. These people would eat the skin off your 
lack. Remember, Jeanne." 
"Bien, ma lante" said Jeanne. 
She went downstairs, conscious of gripping hei^ 
self in order to discuss with the officers whatever 
business of billeting was in hand. For she lutd dealt 

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212 THE ROUGH ROAD 

with all such matters dnce her airival in Frflus. 
^e reached the front door and saw a dusty car 
with a military chauffeur at the wheel, ana two 
officeiB standing on the pavement at the foot of ihe 
steps. One she recoemsed as the commands of 
the company to whim her hilleted men belonged. 
The other was a stranger, a heutenant, with a 
different badge on his cap. They were talking and 
laughing together, like old firiends newly met, which, 
by one of the myriad coincidences of the war, was 
r^lly the case. On the appearance of Jeanne, liiey 
drew themselves up and saluted politely. 

"Mademoiselle Boissiere?" 

"Oai, Monsieur." Then, "Will you enter, Mes- 
sieurs?" 

They entered the vestibule where the great cask 
gleamed in its policed mahogany and brass. She 
bade them be seated. 

"Mademoiselle, Captain WiUoug^y here tells 
me that you had billeted here last week a soldier by 
the name of Trevor," said the stranger, in excellent 
Fraich, taking out notebook and pencil. 

Jeanne's hps grew white. She nad not suspected 
their errand. 

"Oai, Monsieur." 

"Did you have much talk with him?" 

"Much, Monsiem-." 

"Pardon my indiscretion, Mademoiselle — it is 
military service, and I am an InteUigence Officer — 
but did you tell him about your private affairs?" 

"Very intimately," said Jeanne. 

The Intelligence officer made a note or two and 
smiled pleasantly — but Jeanne could have struck 
him for daring to smile. "You had every reason 
for thinking bun a man of honourP" 

"What's the good of asking her that, Smith- 
ers?'* Captain Willoughby interrupted in English. 
"Haven't I given you my word!* The man's a 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 213 

m^^t^oos tittle devO, but any fool can see that 
he s a gentleman." 

"What do you say?" Jeanne €tsk.ed tensely. 

"Je parte Francois trh pen," reptied Captain 
Willouenby with an air of r^ret. 

Smimers explained. "Mon^eur le Capitaine 
says that he guarantees the honesty of the soldier 
Trevor." 

Jeanne flashed, rigid. "Who could doubt it, 
MoosieurP He was a gentleman, a Jils de famille, of 
the T^ nglisb £iristocracy." 

"Excuse me for a moment," said Smithers. 

He went out. Jeanne, uncomprehending, sat 
silent. Captain Willoughby, cursing an idiot edu- 
cation, composed in his head a polite Frendi sentence 
concerning the weather, but before he had finished 
Smithers rea^rpeared with a strange twisted packet 
in his hand. He held it out to Jeanne. 

"Mademoiselle, do you recognise this?" 

She looked at it dully for a moment; then sud- 
denly sprang to her feet and clenched her hands and 
stared open-mouthed. She nodded. She could not 
speak. Her brain swam. They had come to her 
anout Doggie who was dead, and they showed her 
P^ Grigou's packet. What was the connection 
between the two? 

Willoughby rose impulsively. "For God's sake, 
Smithers, let her down efisy. She'll be fainting fill 
over the place in a minute. ' 

"If this is your property. Mademoiselle," said 
Smithers, laying the packet on the chenille covered 
table, "you have to thank yoxu- friend Trevor for 
restoring it to you." 

She put up both hands to her reeling head. 

"But he is dead, Monsieurl" 

"Not a bit of it. He's just as much alive as yon 
or I." 

Jeanne swayed, tried to laugh, threw herself half 

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214 THE ROUGH ROAD 

on a chair, half over the great cask, and broke 
down in a passion of tears. 

The two men looked at each other uncomfortably. 

"For exquisite tact," said Willoughby, "commeml 
me to an InteUigence Mein." 

"But how the deuce was I to know?" ^nithers 
muttered, with an injured air. "My instructions 
were to find out the truth of a cock-and-bull story — 
for that's what it seemed to come to. And a girl 
in billets — w^ — how was I to know what die 
was like?" 

"Anyhow, here we've got hysterics," said Will- 
lou^iby. 

' But who told her the fellow was dead? " 

"Why, his pals. I thought so myself. When a 
man's missing, where's one to suppose him to be — 
havii^ supper at the Savoy?" 

"WeU, I give women up," said Smithers. "I 
thought she'd be glad." 

"I believe you're a married man," 

"Yes, of course." 

" Well, I ain't," said Willou^iby. And in a couple 
of strides he stood close to Jeanne. He laid a gentle 
hand on her heaving shoulders. 

"Pas tui! Soobnong hlessk" he shouted. 

She sprang, as it were, to attention, like a fright- 
ened recruit. 

"He is wounded?" 

"Not vtry seriously. Mademoiselle." Smithers 
casting an indignant glance at his superior officer's 
complacent snme, reassumed masteiy of the situa- 
tiom "A Boche sniper got him in the leg. It will 
put him out of service for a month or two. But 
there is no danger." 

"Gr&ee & Dieu!" said Jeanne. 

She leaned, for a while, against the cask, her 
hands behind her, looking away from the two men. 
And the two young men stood, somewhat em- 



THE ROUGH ROAD 215 

bairassed, looking away bom fa^ and from eadi 
other. At last she said, with an obvious striving 
for the even note in her voice: 

"I ask your pardon, Messieurs, but sometimes 
sudden happiness is more overwhehning than mis- 
fortune. I am now quite at your service." 

"My God I she's a wonder," murmured WS.- 
loughby, who was fair, unmarried and impression- 
able. "Go on with your dirty work." 

Smithers, dark and lean — in civil life he had 
been concerned with the wine trade in Bordeaux — 
proceeded to carry out his instructicms. He turned 
over a leaf in his notebook and poised a ready pencil. 

"I must ask you. Mademoiselle, some formal 
questions." 

" Perfectly, Monsieur," said Jeanne. 

"Where was this packet when last you saw it?" 

She made her statement, calmly. 

"Can you tell me its contents? ' 

"Not all, Monsieur. I, as a young giil, was not 
in the full confidence of my parente. But I re- 
member my imcle saying there were about twenty 
thousand francs in notes, some gold, I know not 
how mudi, some jewellery of my mother's — oh, 
a big handfull — rings t— one a hoop of emeralds 
and diamonds — a brooch with a butck pearl be~ 
lonmng to my great grandmother — " 

"It is enough, Mademoiselle," said &m1ii@B, 
jotting down notes. "Anything else besides money 
and jewellery?" 

"There were papws of my father, ebon certifi- 
cates, bonds, — que sais-je, moC? " 

Captain Smithers opened the packet which had 
already been examined. 

"You're a witness, Willoughby, to the identifi- 
cation of the property." 

"No," said Willoughby. "I'm just a baby 
captain of infantry, and wonder why the brainy 

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216 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Intelligence department doesn't hand the girl her 
belongrngs and decently clear out." 

" I've got to make my report, Sir," said &mthers, 
stiffly. 

So the schedule was produced and the notes were 
solemnly coxmted, twenty-one thousand five hun- 
dred francs, and the gold four hundred francs, and 
the jewels were identified, and the bonds, of T^ch 
Jeanne knew nothing, were checked by a list in her 
father's handwriting, and Jeanne signed a paper with 
Smithers's fountain pen, and Willoughby witnessed 
her sigoature, and thus she entered mto possession 
of her heritage. 

The officers were about to depart, but Jeanne 
detained them. 

"Messieurs, you must pardon me, but I am quite 
bewildered. As far as I can understand. Monsieur 
Trevor rescued the packet from the well at my uncle's 
farm of La Folette, and got wounded in doing so." 

"That is quite so," said Smithers. 

"But, Monsieur, they tell me he was with a 
party In front of his trendi, mending wire. How 
did he reach the well of La Folette? I don't cran- 
prehend at alL" 

Smitho^ turned to Willoughby. " Yes. How 
the dickens did he know the exact spot to go for? " 

"We had taken over a new sector and I was getting 
the topography right with a map. Trevor was 
near by doing nothmg, and as he's a man of educa- 
tion, I asked him to help me. There wfis the site 
of the farm marked by name, and the ruined well 
away over to the left in No Man's Land. I re- 
member, the beggar calliiw out 'La Folettel' in a 
startled voice, and when Tasked him what was the 
matter, he said ' Nothing, sir. ' " 

Smithers translated and continued: "You see, 
MademoisdQe, this is what happened as far as I am 
oonoemed. I am attached to the Lancashire Fusi- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 217 

liere. Our battalion is in the trenches about three 
miles furth^ up the line than our friends. Well, 
just before dawn yesterday morning, a man rolled 
over the parapet into our trench, and promptly 
fainted. He had been wounded in the leg sad was 
half dead from loss of blood. Under his tunic was 
this package. We identified him and his regiment, 
and fixed nim up and took him to the dressing- 
station. But things looked very suspicious. Here 
was a man who did not belong to us with a little 
fortune in loot on his person. As soon Eis he was 
fit to be intOTogated, the C. 0. took him in hand. 
He told the G. O. about you and your story. He 
regarded the nearness of the well as Bomething to 
do with Destiny, and r^olved to get you back your 
property — if it was atill there. The opportuoity 
occurred when the wiring party was alaimed. 
He crept out to the ruins by the well, fished out the 
packet, and a sniper got hun. He managed to get 
oadi to our lines, having lost his way a bit, and 
tumbled into our trench." 

"But he was in danger of death all the time," 
said Jeanne, losing the steadiness of her voice. 

"He was. Every second. It was one of the 
most dare-devil, scatter-brained things I've ever 
heard of. And I've heard of many. Mademoiselle. 
The only pity is that, instead of being rewarded, he 
will be pimished." 

"Pumshed?" cried Jeanne. 

"Not very severely," lauded Smithers. "Cap- 
tain Willoughby will see to that. But reOect, 
Mademoiselle. His military duty was to remain 
with his comrades, not to go and risk his life to 
get your property. Anyhow, it is clear that he 
was not out for toot. ... Of course they sent 
me here as InteUigence OfEicer, to get ccnrobcoration 
of his story." He paused for a moment. Then 
he added. "Mad^noiselle, I must congratulat« 

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218 THE ROUGH ROAD 

you on the restoration of your fortune and the 
possession of a very brave friend." 

For the first time the red spot3 burned on Jeanne's 
pale face. 

"Je vous remercie injinimeni. Monsieur." 

"II sera all right," said Willourfiby. 

The officers saluted and went tneir ways. Jeanne 
took up her packet and mounted to her httle room 
in a dream. Then she sat down on her bed, the 
unopened packet by her side, and strove to realise 
it all. But the only articulate thought came to 
her in the words which she repeated over and over 
again: 

"II a fait cela pour moi! II a fait ceJa pour moi!" 

He had done that for her. It was incredible, 
fantastic, thrillingly true, like the fairy-tales of her 
childhood. The little, sensitive English soldier, 
whom his comrades protected, whom ^e herself in 
a feminine way longed to protect, had done this 
for her. In a shy, almost reverent way, she opened 
out the waterproof covering, as though to reassure 
herself of the reafity of things. For the first time 
since she left Cambrai a snme came into her eyes* 
together with grateful tears. 

' // a fait ceia pour moi! II a fait ceUi pour moi! " 

A while lat^ she relieved Toinette's guard in the 
sick room. 

"Eh bien? And the two officers," queried Aunt 
Morin after Toinette had gone. "They have stayed 
a long time. What did they want?" 

Jeanne was young. She had eaten the bread of 
dependence which Aunt Morin, by reason of racial 
instinct and the stress of sorrow and infirmity had 
contrived to render very bitter. She could not 
repress an exultant note m her voice. Doggie, too, 
accounted for something, for much. 

"They came to bring good news, ma tanle. The 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 219 

English have found all the money and the jewels 
and the ^lare certificates that P^ Grigou siuik in 
the well of La Folette." 

"Man Dieu! It is true?" 

"Oui, ma tanleJ" 

"And lliey have restored them to you?" 

"Yes." 

"It is extraordinary. It is truly extraordinary! 
At last these English sccto to be good for something. 
And they found that and gave it to you without 
taking anythii^?" 

"Without taking anything," said Jeanne. 

Aunt Morin reflected for a few moments, then 
she stretched out a thin hand. 

"Ma petite Jeanne chhie, you sire rich now." 

"I don't know exactly," rephed Jeanne with a 
mingling of truth and caution. "I have enough for 
the present." 

"How did it all happen?" 

"It was part of a nuhtary operation," said Jeanne. 

Perhaps later she might tell Aunt Morin about 
Doggie. But now the thing was to sacred. Aimt 
Morm would question, question maddeningly, until 
the rainbow of her fairy-tale was unwoven. The 
sahent fact of the recovery of her fortune was enough 
for Aunt Morin. It was. The old woman of the 
paiu-pinched features looked at her wistfully from 
sunken grey eyes. 

"And now that you are rich, my Uttle Jeanne, you 
will not leave the poor old axmt who loves you so 
much, to die alone?" 

" Ah^maisnoni maisnon! maisnon!" cried Jeanne 
indignantly. "What do you think I am made of?" 

"Ahl" breathed Aunt Morin, comforted. 

"Also," said Jeanne, in the matter-of-fact French 
way, "si ta veux, I will henceforward pay for my 
lodrang and nourishment." 

' You are very good, my little Jeanne," said Aunt 

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220 THE ROUGH ROAD 

M(ffm. "That will be a great help, for Dois-tu, we are 
veiy poor." 

* (mi, ma tante. It is the war." 

"Ah, the war, the war, this awful warl One has 
nothing left." 

Jeanne smiled. Aunt Morin had a very com- 
fort^le invested fortune left, for the late Monsieiir 
Morin, com, hay and seed merchant, had been a 
very astute person. It would make little flifFerenoe - 
to me comfort trf Aunt Morin, or to the prospects of 
Cousin Gaspard in Madagascar, whether the present 
business of Veuve M<Hin et Fils went on or not. 
Of this Aunt Morin, in lighter moods, had boasted 
many times. 

"Everyone must do what he can," said Jeanne. 

"Perfectly," said Aunt Morin. "You are a 
young giri who well understands thin^ And now 
— it is not good for young people to stay in a sick 
room — one needs the fireah air. Va te distraire, 
ma petite. I am quite comfortable." 

So Jeanne went out to distract a self already 
distiaught with great wonder, great pride, and 
great fear. 

He had done that for her. The wonder of it be- 
wildered hsTy the pride of it thrilled her. But he 
was wounded. Fear smothered h^ joy. They 
had said there was no danger. But soldiers always 
made light of wounds. It was their way in tins 
horrible war, in the intimate midst of which she had 
ho- being. If a man was not dead, he was alive, 
and thereby accounted lucky. In their gay op- 
timism they had given him a mimth <» two of ah- 
sence from the raiment. But even in a month 
or two — whwe would the raiment be? Far, 
far away from Fr^us. Would she ever see Dt^gie 
agaiaP 

To distract hers^ she went down the village 
street, bareheaded, and up the lane that led to the 



THE ROUGH ROAD 221 

little church. The church was empty, cool, and 
smelt of the hillside. Before the tiBsel-crowned, 
mild-faced image of the Vii%in were spread the poor 
votive offerings of the village. And Jeanne sank 
on her knees and bowed h^ head, and, without 
special prayer or formula of devotion, gave herself 
into the hajids of the Mother of Sorrows. 

She walked back comforted, vaguely conscious 
of a atrengthening of soul. In the vast cataclysm 
of things her own hopes and fears and destiny 
mattered very UtUe. If she never saw Doggie 
again, if Doggie recovered and returned to the war 
and was killed, her own grief mattered very little. 
She was but a stray straw and mattered very little. 
But what mattered infinitely, what shone with an 
immortal flame, though it were nevCT so tiny, was 
the Wonderful Spiritual Something that guided 
Doggie through the jaws of death. 

That evening she had a long talk in the kitchen 
with Phineas. The news of Doggie's safety had 
been given out by Willoughby, without any details. 
Mo Shendish had leaped about her like a fox-terrier, 
and she had laushed, with difficulty restraining her 
tears. But to Phineas, alone, she told her whole 
story. He listened in bewilderment. And the 

g eater his bewilderment, the worse his crude trans- 
tioDs of English into French. She wound up a 
long, eager speech by saying: 

"He has done this for me. Why?" 

"Amour," replied Phineas, bluntly. 

"It is more than love," said Jeanne, thinking of 
the Wonderful Spiritual Something. 

"If you could understand Engl^," said Phineas, 
*' I would enter into the metaphysics of the stdiject 
with pleasure, but in French it is beyond me." 

Jeanne smiled, and turned to the matter-of-fact. 

"He will go to England now that he is wounded?" 

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222 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"He's on the way now," said Phineas. 

"Has he many uiends thereP I ask, because he 
talks so httle of himself. He is so modest." 

" Oh, many friends. You see, Mademoiselle," 
said Phineas, with a view to setting her mind at rest, 
"Doggie's an important person in his part of the 
country. He was brought up in luxury. I know 
because I hved with him as his tutor for seven yecirs. 
His father and mother are dead and he could go on 
living in luxury now, if he liked." 

"He is then rich — Doggie?" 

"He has a fine house of his own in the country, 
with many servants fuid automobiles and — wait 
— " he made a swift arithmetical calculation, "and 
an income of eighty thousand francs a year." 

"Comment?" cned Jeanne sharply, with a little 
firown. 

Phineas McPhail was enjoying himself, basking 
in the simshine of Doggie s w^th. Ako, when 
conversation in French resolved itself into the state- 
' ment of simple facts, he could get along famously. 
So the temptation of the glib phrase outran ms 
discretion. 

"D<^gie has a fortune of about two million 
francs. 

"II doitjaire un beau mariage," said Jeanne, with 
stony calm. 

Phineas suddenly became aware of pitfalls, and 
summoned his craft and astuteness eind knowledge 
of affairs. He smiled, as he thought, encouragingly. 

"The only beau mariage is with the person one 
loves." 

"Not always. Monsieur," said Jeanne, who had 
watched the rathering of the sagacities with her 
de^ eyes. "In any case — " she rose and held 
out her hand — "our friend will be well looked after 
in England." 

"like a prince," said Phineas. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 223 

He strode away greatly pleased with himself, 
and went and found Mo Shendish. 

"Man," said he, "have you ever reflected tliat 
the dispensing of happiness is the cheapest form 
of human diversionP" 

"What've you been doin' now?" asked Mo. 

"I've iufit left a lassie tottering over with blissful 



"Grorblimel" said Mo, "and to think that if I 
could slin^ the lingo, I might've done the samel" 

But Phineas had knocked all the dreams out of 
Jeanne. The British happy-go-lucky ways of mar- 
riage are not those of the French bourgeoisie, and 
Jeanne had no notion of British happy-go-lucky 
ways. Phineas had knocked the dream out of 
Jeanne by kicking Do^e out of her sphere. And 
there was a girl in Holland in Dog^e's qihere 
whom he was to marry. She knew it. A man 
does not gather his sagacities in order to answer 
crookedly a direct challenge, unless there is some 
necessity. 

WeU. She would never see Doggie again. He 
would pass out of her life. His destmy called him, 
if he survived the slaughter of the war, to the shad- 
owy girl in England. Yet he had done that for her. 
For no other woman could he ever in this life do thai 
a^in. It was past love. Her braia boggled at an 
elusive spiritual idea. She was very young, flung 
cleanly trained from the convent mto the war's 
terrific tragedy, wherein maiden romantic fancies 
were scorched in the tender bud. Only her honest 
traditions ' of marriage remained. Cn love she 
knew nothing. She leaped beyond it, seeking, 
seeking. She would never see him t^ain. There 
she met the Absolute. But he had done that for 
her — that which, she knew not why, but she knew 
— he would do for no other woman. The Splen- 
dour of it would be her everlasting possession. 

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224 THE ROUGH ROAD 

She undreesed that night, proud, dry-eyed, heitHcal, 
and went to bed, and listened to ^e rhythmic tramp 
of the Bentry across the gateway below her window, 
and suddenly a lump rose in her throat and ^e 
fell to crying miserably. 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER XVII 

HOW are you feeling, Trevor?" 
"Nicely, thank you. Sister." 
"Glad to be in Blighty again?" 

Doggie smiled. " Good old Blighty!" 

"L^ hurting you?" 

"A bit, Sister, ' he replied with a little ^frimace. 

"It's boimd to be stiff after the long journey, 
but we'll soon fix it up for you." 
*' I'm sure you will,' he said politely. 

The nurse moved on. Doggie drew the cool, 
clean sheet around his shoulders, and gave himself 
up to the luxury of bed — real bed. The momine 
sunlight poured through the open windows, attended 
by a dehcious odour which after a while he recog- 
nised as the scent of the sea. Where he was he had 
no notion. He had absorbed so much of Tommy's 
philosophy as not to care. He had arrived with a 
convoy the night before, after much travel in am- 
bulances by Umd and sea. If he had been a w€ilk- 
ing case, he mi^t have taken more interest in 
tbin^; but the sniper's bullet in his thigh had 
touched the bone, and in spite of being cairi^ most 
tenderly about like a baby, he had suffered great 
pain, and longed for nothing and thought of nothing 
oiit a permanent resting-place. Now, apparently, 
he had found one, and, looking about Imn, he felt 
pecuharly content. He seemed to have seen no 
cleaner, whiter, brighter place in the world than 
this airy ward swept by the sea-breezes. He 
coimted seven beds besides his own. On a table 
running down the ward stood a vase of sweet-peas 
and a bowl of roses. He thought there was never 



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226 THE ROUGH ROAD 

in the world bo clean and cool a figure as the grey- 
clad nurse in her spotless white apron, cuffs, and 
cap. 

When she pfissed near him again, he summoned 
her. She came to his bedside. 

"What do you call this particular region of fairy- 
landP " 

She stared at him for a moment, adjusting things 
in her mind; for his name and style-were 35792 
Private Trevor, J. M., but his voice and phrase were 
those of her own social class. Then she smiled 
and told him. The comer of fairyland was a 
private auxiliary hospital in a Lancashire seaside 
town. 

"Lancashire," said Do^e, knitting his brow in a 
puzzled way, "hut why have they sent me to Lan- 
cashireP I belong to a West country regiment, and 
all my friends are in the South." 

"What's he grousing about. Sister?" suddenly 
asked the occupant of the next bed. "He's the sort 
of chap that doesn't know when he's in luck and 
when he isn't. I'm in the Duke of Cornwall's 
Light Infantry, I am, and when I was hit before, 
they sent me to a niilitary hospittil in Inverness. 
That'd teach you, my lad. This for me evCTy time. 
You ought to have something to grouse at." 

"I'm not grousing, you idiotl" said Doggie. 

"'Ere — who's he calling an idjit?" cried the 
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantryman, raising 
himself on his elbow. 

The nurse intervened; explained that no one 
could be said to grumble at a hospital when he called 
it Fairyland. Trevor's question was that of one 
in search of information. He did not realise that 
in assigning men to the various ho^itals un the 
United Eir^om, the authorities could not possibly 
take into account an individual man's local asso- 
ciation. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 227 

"Oh, well, if it's only his bloomiiig ignorance — " 

"That's just it, mate," smiled Doggie. "My 
blooming ignorance." 

"That's all right," said the nurse. "Now you're 
friends." 

"He had no right to call me an idjit," said the 
Duke of ComwajU's Light Infantryman. He was 
an aggressive, red-visaged man with bristly, black 
hair and stubbly, black moustache. 

"If you'll agree rfiat he wtisn't grousing, Pen- 
worthy, I'm sure Trevor will apologise for calling 
you an idiot." 

And into the nurse's eyes crept the queer smile 
of the woman learned in the ways of cbdldren. 

"Didn't I say he wasn't grousing? It was only 
his ignorance?' 

Doggie responded. "I metuit no offence, mate, 
inwhatlsaid." 

The other growled an acceptance, whereupon 
the nurse smiled an ironic benediction and moved 
away. 

"Where did you get it?" asked Penworthy. 

Doggie gave the information, and, in his turn, 
made the polite counter enquiry. Penworthy's 
bit of shrapnel, which had broken a rib or two, liad 
been acquired just north of Albert. When he left, 
he said, we were putting it over in great quantities. 

"That's where the great push is going to be in a 
few days." 

"Aren't you sorry you're out of it?" 

"Me?" The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry- 
man shook his head. " I take things as I finds 'em, 
and I finds this quite good enough." 

So they chatted, and, in the soldier's way, became 
friends. Later the surgeon arrived, and probed 
Doggie's wound and hurt him exquisitely, so that 
tiie perspiration stood out on his forehead, and his 
jaws ached afterwards from his clenching of them. 

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228 THE ROUGH ROAD 

While his leg was being dressed he reflected that, 
a couple of years ago, if anyone had inflicted a 
twentieth part of such torture on him he would have 
yelled the house down. He remembered, with an 
mward grin, the anguished precautions on which 
he had insisted whenever he sat down in the ex- 
pensive London dentist's chair. 

"It must have hurt like fun," said the nurse, 
busily enea^ed with the gauze dressing. 

" It's aB m the day's work," replied Doggie. 

The nurse pinned the bandage and settled him 
comfortably in bed. 

" No one will worry you till dinner time. You'd 
better try to have a sleep." 

So Doggie nodded and smiled and curled up as 
best he could, and slept the heavy sleep of the tired 
young animal. It was only when he awoke, physi- 
cally rested and comparatively free from pain, that 
his mind, hitherto confused, began to work clearly, 
to strai^ten out the three days' tangle. — Yes, 
just three days. A fact ahnost impossible to realise. 
Tilln • ■ ' 



U now it had seined an et^mty. 

He lay with his arms crossed lihder his head and 
stared at the blue sky. It seemed a soft, comforting, 
English sky. The ward was silent. Only two beds 
were occupied, one by a man asleep, the other b^ a 
man reading a novel. His other roommates, in- 
cluding his neighbour Penworthy, were so far conva- 
lescent as to be up and away, presumably by the 
hfe-giving sea, whose rhythmic murmur he could 
hear. For the first time since he awoke to find 
himself bandaged up in a strange dugout and sur- 
rounded by strange faces, did the chaos of his ideas 
resolve itself into anything like definite memories. 
Yet many of them were still vague. 

He had been out there, with the wiring party, 
in the dark. He had been glad, he remanbered, 
to escape from the prison of the trench into the 



THE ROUGH ROAD 229 

open air. He was Laving same difficulty frith a 
recalcitrant bit of wire that refused to come straight 
and jabbed him diabolically in unexpected places, 
when a shot rang out and German flares w^it up 
and everybody lay flat on the ground, while buUets 
spat about them. As he lay on his stomach, a 
mu'e lit up the ruined well of tLe farm of La Folette. 
And the well and his nose and his heels were in a 
bee-line. The realisation of the fact was the in- 
ception of a fascinating idea. He remembered that 
quite clearly. Of course his discovery, two days 
before, of the spot where Jeanne's fortune lay bidden, 
when his senior subaltern, with map and periscope, 
had called him into consultation, had set his heart 
beating and his imagination working. But not till 
that moment of stark opportunity had he dreamed 
of the mad adventure wnich he undertook. There, 
in front of him, at the very fartbest five hundred 
yards away, in bee-line with nose and heels — that 
was the peculiar emd particular arresting fact — lay 
Jeanne's fortune. In thinking of it he lost count 
of shots and star-shells and heard no orders and saw 
no dim forms creeping back to the safety of the 
trench. And then all was darkness and silence. 

Doggie lay on his back and stared at the English 
sky and wondered how he did it. His attitude was 
that of a man who cannot reconcile his sober self 
with the idiot hero of a drunken freak. And yet, 
at the time, the journey to the ruined wefl seemed the 
simplest thing in the world. The thought of Jeanne's 
delight shone uppermost in his mind. . . . OhI 
he was forgetting the star, which hung low beneath 
a canopy of cloud, the extreme point of the famous 
feet, nose and weU bee-line. He made for it, now 
and then walking low, now and then crawling. He 
did not mind his clothes and hands being torn by 
the unseen refuse of No Man's Land. His chief 
sensation was one of utter loneliness, mii^Ied with 

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230 THE ROUGH ROAD 

exultance at freedom. He did not remember feeling 
afraid: which was odd, because when the steur- 
shells had gone up and the Grerman trenches had 
opened fire on the wiring party, his blood had turned 
to water and his heart bad sunk into bis boots, and 
be had been deucedly frightened. 

Heaven must have guided him straight to the 
welL He had known all along that ne merely 
would have to stick his hand down to find the rope 
. . . and he felt no surprise when the rope actually 
came in contact with his groping fingers; no sur- 
prise when he pulled and pulled and fished up the 
packet. R had till been pre-ordained. That was 
the funny part of the busmess which Doggie now 
could not understand. But he remembered that 
when he had buttoned his tunic over the precious 
packet, be had been possessed of an insane desire 
to sing and dance. He repressed bis desire to sing, 
but he leaped tibout and sttirted to run. Then the 
star in which he trusted must have betrayed him. It 
must have shed upon him a ray just strong enough 
to make him a visible object; for, suddenly, ping! 
something hit him violenUy on the leg and bowled 
him over like a rabbit into a providential shell- 
hole. And there he lay quaking for a long time, 
while the lunacy of his adventure coarsely and un- 
sentimentally revealed itself. 

As to the rest, he was in a state of befogged mem- 
ory. Only one incident in that endless, cruel crawl 
home remained as leuidmark in his mind. He had 
paused to take breath, ahnost ready to give up the 
mipossible flight — it seemed as though be were 
dragging behind him a ton of red-hot iron — when 
he became conscious of a stench violent in his 
nostrils. He put out a hand. It encountered a 
horrible, once hiunan, face, and his fingers touched 
a round, recognisable cap. Horror drove him 
away from the dead Gennan and inspired him with 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 231 

the stren^ of despair. . . . Then all was fog and 
dark again until he recovered consciousness in the 
strange dug-out. 

There the doctor had said to him: "You must 
have a cast-iron constitution, my lad." 

The memory caused a flicker round his lips. It 
wasn't everybody who coiild crawl on his beUy 
for nearly a quarter of a mile with a bullet through 
his leg, and come up smiling at the end of it. A cast- 
iron constitution! If he had only known it fifteen, 
even ten years ago, what a different life he might 
have ledl The great disgrace would never have 
come upon him. 

And JeanneP What of JeanneP After he had 
told his story, they had given him to imderstand 
that an officer would be sent to Fr^lus to corroborate 
it, and, if he found it true, that Jeaime would enter 
into possession of her packet. And that was all he 
knew; for they had bundled him out of the front 
trenches as quickly as possible; and once out he 
had become a case, a stretcher case, and although 
he had been treated, as a case, with almost super- 
human tenderness, not a soul r^arded him as 
a human being with a personality or a history — 
not even with a military history. And this same 
military history had vaguely worried him all the 
time, and now that be could liiiiik clearly, worried 
him with a very definite worry. In leaving his 
firing party he had been guilty of a crime. Every 
misdemeanour in the army is termed a crime — fcom 
murder to appearing buttonless on parade. Was it 
desertionP If so, he might be shot. He had not 
Ibought of that when he started on his quest. It had 
seemed so simple to account for half an hour's absence 
by saying that he had lost bis way in the dark. But 
now, that plausible excuse was iavahd. . . . 

Doggie thought terribly hard that quiet, sea- 
scentra morning. After all, it did not very much 

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232 THE ROUGH ROAD 

matter what they did to him. Sticking him up 
against a wall and ^looting him w^ a remote 
possihility ; he was in tiie British and not the German 
Aimy. Field punishments of unpleasant kinds 
were only inflicted on people convict«l of unpleasant 
delinquencies. If he were a sergeant or a corporal 
he doubtless would be broken. But sudi is the 
fortunate position of a private, that he cannot be 
degraded to an inferior rank. At the worst they 
might give him cells when he recovered. Well, 
he could stick it. It didn't matter. What really 
mattered was Jeanne. Was she in imdisputed 
possession of her packet? Whrai it was a question 
t^ practical warfare, Doggie had blind faith in his 
officers — a faith perhaps even more childhke than 
that of his fellow-privates, for officers were the mea 
who had come through the ordeal in which he had 
so lamentably failed; but when it came to admin- 
istrative affairs, he was more critical. He had 
suffered during his military career from more than 
one subaltern on whose arid consciousness the brain- 
wave never beat. He had never met even a field 
officer before whom, in the realm of intellect, he had 
stood in awe. If any one of those dimly envisaged 
and still more dimly remembered officers of the 
Lancashire Fusiliers had ordered him to stand on 
his head on top of the parapet, he would have obeyed 
in cheerful confidence; but he was not at all certain 
that, in the effort to deliver the packet to Jeanne, 
they would not make an unholy mess of thii^ 
He saw stacks of dirty, yellowish bits of paper, with 
A. F. No. something or the other, floating between 
Frelus and the Lancashire Battahon H. Q. and the 
Brigade H. Q. and the Divisional H. Q., and so on 
through the migesty of G. H. Q. to the awful War 
Office itself. In pesmuistic mood he thought that 
if Jeanne recovered her property within a year, she 
would be lucky. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 233 

' What a wonderful creature was Jeaimel He 

diut his eyes to the hlue sky and pictured her as 
she stood in the light, on toe ragged escarpment, 
with her garments beaten by wind and rain. And 
he remembered the weary thud, thud of railway and 
steamer, which had resolved itself, like tbe rhythmic 
tramp <^ feet that night, into the ceaseless refrain: 
"Jeannel Jeannel" 

He opened his eyes again and frowned at the blue 
English sky. It had no business to proclaim simple 
s^enity when his mind was in such a state of com- 

Slex tangle. It was all very well to think of Jeanne, 
eanne, whom it was unlikely that Fate would ever ' 
allow him te see again, even supposing the war 
ended during his lifetime; but there was Peggy — 
Peggy, his future wife, who had stuck to him loyally 
through good smd evil repute. Yes, there was Peggy 
— not the faintest shadow of doubt about it. Doggie 
kept on frowning at the blue sky. Blighty was a 
very desirable countjy, but in it you were compelled 
to think. And enforced thoi^ght was €in infernal 
nuisance. The beastly trenches had their good 
points, after all. There you were not called upon 
to think of anything; the less you thought, the 
better for your job; you just ate your bully-beef 
and drank your tea and cursed whizz-bangs and 
killed a rat or two, and thanked Grod you were alive. 
Now that he came to look at it in proper per- 
spective, it wasn't at £ill a bad life. When had he 
been worried to death, as he was now? And there 
were his friends: the humorous, genial, deboshed, 
yet ever kindly Phineas; dear old Mo Shendish, 
whose material feet were hankering after the vulgar 
pavement of Mare Street, Hackney, but whose 
spiritUEil tread rang on golden floors djmly imagined 
by the Seer of Patmos; Barrett, the D. C. M., the 
miniature Hercules, who, according to legend, 
though, modestly, he would never own to it, seized 

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234 THE ROUGH ROAD 

two Boches by the neck and knocked their heads to- 
gether till they died, and who, musically inclined, 
would sit at his. Doggie's, feet while he played on 
his penny whistle all the sentimental tunes he had 
ever heard of; Sergeant Ballinghall, a tower of a 
man, a champion amateur heavy-weight boxer with 
a voice compared with which a megaphone sounded 
like a maiden's prayer, and a Bardolphian nose and 
an eagle eye and tbe heart of a broody hen, who 
bad not only given him boxing lessons, but had 
pulled ^im through difficult placra innumerable . • ■ 
and scores of others. He wondered what tbey 
were doing. He also was foolish enough to wonder 
whether they missed him, forgetting for the moment 
that if a regiment took seriously to "missing" their 
comrades sent to Kingdom Come or Blighty, they 
would be more like weeping willows tlian destroyers 
of Huns. 

All the same, be knew that be would always live 
in the hearts of two or three of them, and the knowl- 
edge brought him considerable comfort. It was 
strange to realise how the tentacles of his being 
stretched out gropingly towards these (from the 
old Durdlebury pmnt of view) impossible friends. 
They had grafts] themselves on to his life. Or 
was that a correct way of putting iti* Had they 
not, rather, all grafted themselves on to a common 
stock of life, so tnat the one common sap ran throu^ 
all their veinsP 

It took him a long time to get this idea formulated, 
fixed and acc^ted. But Doggie was not one to 
boggle at the truth, as he saw it. And this was 
the truth. He, James Maimaduke Trevor of Denby 
Hall, was a Tommy of the Tommies. He had 
lived the Tommy life intensely. He was hving 
it now. And the extraordinary part of it was that 
he didn't want to be anything else but a Tommy. 
iWn the social or gregarious point of view his life 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 235 

for the past year had been one of unclouded hap- 
piness. The realisation of it, now that he was 
clearly sizing up the ramshackle thing which he 
called his existence, hit him like the butt-end of a 
riile. Hardship, cold, hunger, fatigue, stench, rats, 
the dread of inefficiency — all these had been factors 
of misery which he coxdd never eliminate from his 
soldier's equation; but such free, joyous, intimate 
companionship with real human beings he had 
never enjoyed since he was bom. He longed to be 
back among them, doing the same old weary, dreary 
things, eating the same old Robinson Crusoe kind 
of food, crouching with them in the same old 
betiBtly hole in the ground, while the Boche let 
loose hell on the trench: Mo Shendish's grin and 
his "'Ere, get in art of the rain," and his grip on 
his shoulder dragging him a few inches further into 
shelter, were a spiritual compensation transcending 
all physical discomfitures and perils. 

"It's all dam' funny," he said half aloud. 

But this was England, and although he was 
hedged about, protected and restricted by War 
Office Regulation Red Tape twisted round to the 
strength of steel cables, yet he was in command of 
telegraphs, of telephones and, in a secondary degree, 
of me railway system of the United Kingdom. 
He found lumself deprecating the compulsory 
facilities of communication in the civilised world. 
The Deanery must be informed of his homecoming. 

As soon as he could secure the services of a nurse 
he wrote out three telegrams: one addressed " Con- 
over, the Deanery, Durdlebury"; one to Peddle 
at Denby Hall; and one to Jeanne. The one to 
Jeanne was the longest and was "Reply paid." 

"This is going to cost a small fortune, young man," 
said the nurse. ; ■ 

Doggie smiled as he drew out a £1 treasury note 
from his soldier's pocket-book, the pathetic object 



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236 THE ROUGH ROAD 

containing a form of Will on the rig^t hand flap, 
and on the left the directions for the making of the 
will, concluding with the world-famous typical 
signature of Thomas Atkins. 

"It's a bust, Sister," said he. "I've been saving 
op for it for months." 

Then, duty accomplished, he reconciled himself 
to the comer of Fairyland in which he had awoke 
that morning. Things must take their course, 
and while they were taking it, why worry? So long 
as they didnt commit the outrage of giving him 
bully-beef for dinner, the present coolness and com- 
fort sufiiced for his happiness. 



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CHAPTER XVIII 

THE replies to the telegrams were satisfactory. 
Peg^, adjuring him to write a full account 
of nimsel^ announced her intention of cam- 
ing up to see him as soon as he could guarantee his 
fitness to receive visitors. Jeanne wired: "Paquet 
regu. Mille remerciements." The news cheered niTn 
exceedingly. It was worth a hole in the leg. Hence- 
forward Jeanne would be independent of Aunt 
Morin, of whose generous afifection, in spite of 
Jeanne's loyal reticence, he had formed but a poor 
croinion. Now the old lady could die whenever 
she liked, and so much the better for Jeanne. Jeanne 
would then be freed from the imhealthy sick room, 
from dreary little Frelus, and from enforced con- 
sorting with the riff-raff (namely, all other regiments 
except bis own) of the British Army. Even as it 
was, he did not enjoy thinking of her as hail-fellow- 
well-met with his own fellow-privates — perhaps 
with the exception of Phineas and Mo, who were m 
a different position, having been formally admitted 
into a peculiar intimacy. Of course if Doggie had 
possessed a more analytiod mind, he would have 
been greatly surprised to discover that these feelings 
arose from a healthy, barbaric sense of owner^p 
of Jeanne; that Mo and Phineas were in a special 
position because they humbly recognised this fact 
of ownership and adopted a respectful attitude 
towards his property, and that of all other predatory 
men in imiform he was distrustful and jealous. 
But Doggie was a simple soul, and went through a 
great many elementary emotions, just fis Monsieur 

237 

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238 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Jourdain spoke prose, sans le savoir. Without 
knowing it, he would have gone to the ends of the 
earth for Jeanne, have claimed over the head any 
fellow savage who should seek to rob him of Jeanne. 
It did not occur to him that savage instinct had 
already sent him into the jaws of Death solely in 
order to establish his primitive man's ownership of 
Jeanne. When he came to reflect, in his Doggie-idi 
way, on the motives of his exploit, be was some- 
what baffled. Jeanne, with her tragic face, and het 
tragic history, and her steadfast soul shining out 
of ber eyes, was the most wonderful woman he bad 
ever met. She personified the heroic womanhood 
of France. The foul invader had robbed her of 
her family and ber patrimony. The dead were dead 
and could not be restored; but the material wealth, 
God — who else? — bad given him this miraculous 
chance to recover; and be had recovered it. Na- 
tional pride helped to confuse issues. He, an 
Englishman, haa saved this heroic daughter of 
France from poverty. . . . 

If only he could have won back to bis own trench, 
and, later, when the company returned to Fr^us, 
he could have handed her the packet and seen the 
light come into those wonderful eyesl 

Anyhow she bad received it. _She sent him a 
thousand thanks. How did she look, what did 
she say when she cut the string and undid the seals 
and found her Httle fortune? 

Translate Jeanne into a princess, the dirty water- 
proof package into a golden casket, himself into 
a knight disguised as a Squire of low degree, and 
what more could you want for a first dass fairy- 
tale? The idea struck Doggie at the moment of 
"lights out," and he laughed aloud. 

' It doesn't take muoi to amuse some people," 
growled his neighbour, Penworthy. 

" Sign of a happy disposition," said Do^e. 

A logic 



THE ROUGH ROAD 239 

"WhatVe you got to be happy about?" 

"I was thinking how alive we are, and how dead 
you and I might be," said Doggie. 

"Well, I don't think it funny thinki n g how one 
might be dead," rephed Penworthy. "It gives me 
the creeps. It's all very well for you. You'U 
stump around for the rest of your life hke a gentle- 
man on a wooden leg. Chaps like you have all the 
luck; but as soon as I get out of this, I'U he passed 
fit for active service, . . . and not so much of your 
larfii^ at not being dead- See? " 

"AJl right, mate," said Domie. "Good-night." 

Penworthy made no immediate reply; but pres- 
ently he broke out : 

"What d'you mean by talking like that? I'd 
hate being dead." 

A voice from the far end of the room luridly 
requested that the (X}nveisation should cease. Sil^ice 



A letter from Jeanne. The envelope bore a 
French stamp with the Frelus postmark, and the 
address was m a bold feminine hand. From whom 
could it be but Jeanne? His heart gave a ridicu- 
lous leap, and he tore the envelope open as he had 
never torn open envelope of Pe^y's. But at the 
£rst two words the leap segued to be one in mid 
air, and ]m heart w^it down, down, down, like an 
aero{dane done in, and arrived with a hideous bump 
upon rocks. 

"Cher Monsieur" 

Cher iMonsieur from Jeanne — Jeanne who had 
called him "Dog-gie" in accents that had rendered 
adorable the once execrated syllables I Cher Mon- 
sieur! 

And the following, in formal French — it might 
have been a convent exercise in composition — is 
what she said: 

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240 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"The military (mthoritiet have remiUed into my 
possession the package which you so heroically rescaed 
from the well of the farm of La Folelie. It contains all 
that my father was able to sate of his fortune, and on 
consultation with Matire Ptpineau here, it appears 
that 1 have sufficient to live modestly for the rest of my 
life. For the marvelous devotion of you. Monsieur, 
an English gentleman, to the poor interest of an obscure 
young French girl, I can never be sufficiently grateful. 
There will never be a prayer of mine, until I die, in 
which you will not be mentioned. To me it will be 
always a symbolic act of your chivalrous England in 
the aid of my beloved France. That you mve been 
wounded in this noble and selfless enterprise, is to me a 
subject both of pride and terrifying dismay. I am 
moved to the depths of my being. But I have been 
assured, and your telegram confirms the assurance, 
that yoar wound is not dangerous. If you had been 
killed while rendering me this imnderful service, or 
incapacitated so that you could no longer strike a blow 
for your country ana mine, I should never have for- 
given myself. I should have felt that I had robbed 
France of a heroic defender. I pray God that you 
may soon recover, and in fighting once more against 
our common enemy, you may win the glory that no 
English soldier can deserve more than you. Forgive 
me if I express badly the emotions which overwhelm 
me. It is impossible that we shall meet again. One 
of the few English novels I have tried to r&jd k coups 
de dictionnaire, was 'Ships that Pass in the Nigfd.' 
In spite of the great thing that you have done for me, 
it is inevilcdjle that we should be such passing vessels. 
It is life. If, as I shall ceaselessly pray, you survive 
this terrible war, you will follow your destiny as an 
Englishman of high position and I that which God 
marks out for me. 

" I ask you to accept again the expression of my im- 
perishable gratitude. Adieu. 

Jeaitne Boissiere. " 



THE ROUGH ROAD 241 

The more often Doggie read this perfectly phrased 

epistle, the greater waxed his puzzledom. The 
gratitude was all there; more than enough. It was 
gratitude and nothing else. He had longed for a 
human story telling just how the thing had happened, 
just how Jeanne tad felt. He had wanted W to 
say: "Get well soon and come back and I'll tell 
you all about it." But instead of that ^e dwelt 
on the difference of their social status, loftilv an- 
nounced that they would never meet again, ana that 
they would follow different destinies, and bade him 
the adieu which in French is the final leave-taking. 
All of which to Doggie the unsophisticated would 
have seemed ridiculous, had it not been so tragic. 
He couldn't reconcUe the beautiful letter, written in 
faultless handwriting and impeccable French, with 
the rain-swept girl on the escarpment. What did 
she mean? What had come over no'? 

But the ways of Jeannes are not the wa^ of 
Doggies. How was he to know of the boetstings 
of Phineas McPhail, and the hopelessness wiui 
which they filled Jeamie's heeirt? How was he to 
know that she had sat up most of the night in her 
little room over the gateway, drafting and re- 
drfifting this piwious composition until, having 
reduced it to soul-devastatmg correctitude, and, 
with aching eyes and head, made a fair and faults 
less copy, ^e had once more cried herself into mis- 
erable slumberP 

At once Doggie called for pad and pencil, and be- 
gan to write; 

"My dear Jeaejne. / dorCt understand. What 
fly has slang you? (Quelle mouehe vous a piquee?) 
Of course toe shall meet again. Do you suppose I 
am going to lei you go out of my life ? ' ' 

He sucked his pencil. Jeanne must be spoken to 
severely. 



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242 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"What rubbish are you talking about my social 
position? My father was an English parson (pasteur 
aiiglais), €oid yours a French lawyer. If I have a 
lime money of my own, so have you. And we are not 
ships, and we have not passed in the night. And thai 
toe should wrf meet again is not Life. It is absurdity. 
We are going to meet as soon as wounds and war will 
let me, and I am not your ' Cher Monsieur,' bat your 
'CherDog-gie,' and—" 

"Here is a letter for you, brought by htind," said 
the nxuse, buBtJing to his bedside. 

It was irom Pe^gy. 

"Oh, Lord I "said Doggie. 

P^gy was there. She had arrived firom Durdle- 
bury all alone, the night before, and was putting 
up at €in hotel. The venerable idiot with red crosses 
and bits of tin all over her who seemed to run the 
hospital, wouldn't let her in to see him till the regu- 
lation visiting hour of three o'clock. That me, 
Peggy, was a Dean's daughter who had travelled 
hundreds of miles to see the man ^e was engaged 
to, did not se^n to imiuress the venerable idiot m the 
least. "TiU three o clock, then. With love from 

'The lady, I believe, is waiting for an answer," 
said the nurse. 

"Oh, my hatt" said Doggie, below his breath. 

To write the answer he had to strip from the 
pad the page on which he had begun the letter to 
Jeimne. He wrote: "Dearest Peggy." Then the 
pencil point's impress through the thm paper stared 
at him. Almost every word was decipherable. 
Recklessly he tore the pad in half and on a virgin 

Sage scribbled his message to Peggy. The nurse 
eparted with it. He took up the flimsy sheet 
containing his interrupted letter to Jeanne and 
glanced at it in dismay. For the first time it struck 

I,. L.CilXI^IC 



THE ROUGH ROAD 243 

him that such words, to a girl even of the lowest in- 
teiligence, could only have one interpretation. Dog- 
gie said "Oh, Lordl" and "Oh, my hatl" and Oh 
all sorts of unprintable things that he had learned 
in the Army. And he put to himself the essential 
question: What the Hades was he playing atP 

Obviously the first thing to do was to destroy the 
letter to Jeanne and the tell-tale impress. liiis he 
forthwith did. He tore the sheets mto ^e tiniest 
fragments, stretched out his arm to put the handful 
on the table by the bed, missed his auu and dropped 
it on the floor. Whereby he incurred the just wrath 
of the bard-worked nurse. 

Again he took up Jeiume's letter. After all, 
what was wrong with itP He must look at things 
from her point m view. What had really happened? 
Let him set out the facts judicially. They had 
struck up a day or two's friendship. She had told 
him, as she might have told any decent soul, her 
sad and romantic story. The English during the 
great retreat had rendered her unforgetable services. 
She was a girl of a generously responsive nature. 
She would pay her debt of gratitude to the English 
soldier. Her fine vale on the memorable night of 
rain was part payment of her debt to England. 
Yes. Let him get tbin^ in the r^bt perspective. 
. . . She bad made fnends with him because he 
was one of the few private soldiers who could speak 
her language. It was but natural that she should 
tell bitn of the sunken packet. It was one of the 
most vital facts of her life. But just an outside 
fact; nothing to do with any shy, mysterious work- 
ings of her woman's soul. She might have told the 
story to any man in the company without deroga- 
tion from her womanly dignity. And any man Jack 
of them, having Jeanne s confidence, having the 
knowledge of the situation of the ruined well, 
having me God-sent opportunity of recovering the 



nOOgIC 



244 THE ROUGH ROAD 

treasure, would, of absolute certainty, have done 
exactly what he. Doggie, had done. Supposing 
Mo Shendish had been the privileged person, instead 
of himself. What, by way of thanks, could Jeanne 
have written? A letter practically identical. 

Practically. A very comfortable sort of word; 
but Doggie s cultivated mind disliked it. It was 
a slovenly word, a make-shift for the hard brotmi of 
clean thought. This infernal "practically" begged 
the whole question. Jeanne would not have sen- 
timentalised to Mo Shendish about ships passii^ 
in the night. No, she wouldn't, in spite of all his 
efforts to persuade faims^ that she would. Well, 
perhaps dear old Mo was a rough, uneducated sort 
of chap. He could not have established with 
Jeanne such deUcate relations of friendship as exist 
between social eqoab. Obviously the finer shades 
of her letter would have varied according to the 
personahty of the recipient. Jeanne and himsdf, 
owing to the abnormal conditions of war, had 
suddenly became very intimate friends. The war, 
as she imagined, must part them for ever. She 
bade him a touching and dignified farewell, and 
that was the end of the matter. It had all been an 
idyUic episode: beginning, middle and end; neatly 
rounded off; a thing done, and done with — except 
as a strange romantic memory. It was all over. 
As long as he remained in the Army, a condition 
for which, as a private soldier, he was not responsible, 
how could he see Jeanne againP By the time he 
re-joined, the regiment would be many miles away 
from Fr^lus. Inis, in her clear, steady way, ^e 
realised. Her letter must be final. 

. It had to he finaL Was not Peggy coming at 
three o'clock? 

Again Doggie thought, somewhat wistfully, of the 
old carefree, full physical life, and again he murmured : 

"It's all dam' funny I" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 245 

Peggy stood for a moment at the door scamiing 
the ward; then, perceiving him, she marched down 
with defiant glance at nurses and blue-miifonned 
comrades and men in bed and other strangers, 
swung a chair and established herself by his 



"You dear old thing, I couldn't bear to think of 
you lying here alone," she said with the hurry that 
seeks to cover shyness. "I had to come. Mother's 
gone Jut and can t travel, and Dad's running all the 
parsons' shows in the district. Otherwise one of 
them would have come too." 

"It's awfully good of you, P^gy," he said, with 
a smile, for fair and flushed, she was pleasant to 
look upon. "But it must have been a fiendi^ 
journey." 

"Rotten I" said Peggy. "But that's a trifle. 
You're the all important thing. Tell me straight. 
You're not badly nurt, are you?" 

"Lord, no," he replied cheerfully. "Just the 
fleshy iMirt of the leg — a clean bullet wound. 
Bone touched; but they say I'll be fit quite soon." 

"Sure? They're not going to cut off your leg 
or do anything horrid?" 

Helaughed. "Sure," said he. 

"That^s all right." 

There was a pause. Now that they had met they 
seemed to have Uttle to say. She looked around. 
Presently she remarked: 

"Everything looks quite fresh and dean." 

"It's perfect." 

"Rather pubhc, though," said Peggy. 

"Publicity is the piuradoxical omdition of the 
private's life," lauded Doggie. 

Another pause. 

" WeU, how are you feeling?" 

"FuBt rate," said Dt^gie. "It's nothing to fusa 
over. I hope to be out again in a month or two." 

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246 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Out where?" 

" In France — with the iwiment." 

Peggy drew a little breath of astonishment and 
sat up on her chair. His surprising statement 
seemed to have broken up the atmosphere of re- 
straint. 

"Do you mean to say you uwtni to go back to the 
trenches?" 

Conscientious Doggie knitted his brows. A fer- 
vent "Yes" would proclaim him a modem Paladin 
eager to slay Huns. Now, as a patriotic English- 
man, he loved Huns to be slain, but as the survivor 
of James Marmaduke Trevor, dilettante expert on 
the theorbo and the viol da gamba and owner of 
the peacock and ivory room in Denby Hall, to say 
nothing of the collector of little china dogs, he could 
not honestly declare that he enjoyed the various 
processes of slaying them. 

" I can't ejcplain, ' he repHed after a while. " When 
I was out, I thought I hated every minute of it. 
Now I look back, I find I've had qmte a good time. 
I've not once really been sick or sorry. For instfuice, 
I've often thought myself beastly miserable with 
wet and mud and east wind — but I've never had 
even a cold in the head. I never knew how ^ood 
it was to feel fit. And there are other thmgs. 
When I left Durdlebury, I hadn't a man friend in 
the world. Now I have a lot of wonderful pals 
who would go tbrou^ HeU for one another — and, 
for me." 

" TommiesP " 

" Of course — Tommies." 

"You mean gentlemen in the ranks?" 

"Not a bit of it. Or yes. All are gentlemen in 
the ranks. All sorts and conditions of men. The 
man whom I honour and love more than anyone 
else, comes from a fish-shop in Hackney. That's 
the fascinating part of it. Do underhand me. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 247 

Peggy," he continued, after a short silence, during 
whim she regarded him ahnost uncomprehendingly. 
" I don't say I'm yearning to sleep in a filthy dug-out, 
or to wallow in the groimd under shell-fire, or any- 
thing of that sort. That's beastly. There's only 
one other word for it, which begins with the same 
letter, and the superior kind of private doesn't use 
it in ladies' soraety. . . . But while I'm lying here, 
I wonder what all the other fellows are doing — 
they're such good chaps — real, true, clean men — 
out there you seem to get to essentials — all the 
rest is leather and prunella — and I want to be 
back among than again. Why should I be in clover 
while they're in choking dust — a lot of it composed 
of desiccated Boches?" 

"How horrid!" cried Peggy with a Mttle shiver. 

"Of course it's horrid. But they've got to stick 
it, haven't they? And Uien there a anothw thing. 
Out there one hasn't any worries." 

Peggy pricked up her ears. "Worries? What 
kind of worries? " 

Doggie became conscious of indiscretion. He 
temporised. 

"Oh, all kinds. Every man with a sort of trained 
intellect must have them. You remember James 
Stuart Mill's problem: 'which would you sooner be 
— a contented hog or a discontented philosopher?' 
At the front you have all the joys of the contented 
hog." 

Instinctively he stretched out his hand for a 
cigarette. She bent forward, gripped a matchbox 
and lit the cigarette for him. 

Doggie thanked her politely; but in a dim way 
he felt conscious of something lacking in her little 
act of helpfulness. It had been performed with the 
nnsmiling perfunctoriness of the nurse; an act 
of duty not of tenderness. As she blew out the 
match, which she did with an odd air of delibera- 

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248 THE ROUGH ROAD 

ticoi, her face wore the same expression o£ hardness 
it had done on that memorable day when ^e had 
refused him her sympathy over the white feather 
incident. 

" I can't understand your wanting to go back at 
all. Surely you've done your bit," she said. 

"No one has done his bit who's alive and able to 
carry on," rej^ed Doggie. 

Peggy reflected. Yes. There was some truth in 
that. But ahe thou^t it rather hard lines cm the 
wounded to be sent back as soon as ^ey were 
patched up. Most of them hated the prospect. 
That was why she couldn't understand Doggie's 
desire. 

"Anyhow, it's ioUy noble of you, dear old thing," 
she declared with rather a spasmodic change of 
manner, "and I'm very proud oi you." 

"For Grod's sake, don t go irnqgining me a hero," 
cried Dcwgie in alarm; "for I'm not. I hate the 
fighting Eke poison. The only reason I don't run 
away is because I can't. It would be far more 
dangerous than standing still. It woidd mean an 
oflBcer's bullet through my head at once." 

"Any man who is wounded in the defence of his 
coimtry is a hero," said Peggy, defiantly. 

"RotI" said Doggie. 

"And all this time you haven't told me how you 
got it. How did you? ' 

Do^e squirmed. The inevitable and dreaded 
question had come at last. 

" I just got sniped when I was out, at night, with 
a wiring party," he said hurriedly. 

"But thats no description at all," she objected. 

"I'm afraid it's all I can give," Doggie replied. 
Then, by way of salve to a sensitive conscience, he 
added: "There was nothing brave or heroic fdxtut 
it, at all — just a silly accident. It was as safe as 
tying up hollyhocks in a garden. Only an idiot 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 249 

Bodie let off his gun on spec and got me. Doa't 
let us talk about it." 

But Peggy was insistent. "I'm not sudb a fool 
as not to Know what mending barbed wire at night 
means. And whatever you may say, you got 
woimded in the service of your country. ' 

It was on Doggie's agitated lips to shout a- true 
"I didn't I" For that was the devil of it. Had he 
been so wounded, he could have purred contentedly 
while accepting the genuine hero s meed of homage 
and consolation. But he had left his country s 
service to enter that of Jeanne. In her service 
be had been shot through the leg. He had no bud- 
ness to be wounded at aD. Jeanne saw that very 
clearly. To have exposed himself to the risk of his 
eiqploit was contrary to all his country's interests. 
His wound had robbed her of a fighting man, not a 
particularly valuable warrior, but a soldier in the 
firing line all the same. If every man went off like 
that on private missions of his own and got properly 
potted, there would be the end of the army. It 
was horrible to be an interesting hero under false 
pretences. 

Of course he might have been George- Wasbing- 
tonian enough to ^out: "I cannot tell a lie. I 
didn't." But that would have meant relating 
the whole story of Jeanne. And would Peggy have 
understood the story of Jeanne? Could Peggy, 
in her plain-sailing, breezy British way, have ap- 

Jreciated all the subtleties of his relations with 
eanne? She would ask pointed, probably barbed, 
questions about Jeanne. She would tear the whole 
romance to shreds. Jeanne stood too exquisite a 
symbol for him to permit the sacrilege of Peggy's 
ruthless vivisection. For vivisect she would, with- 
out shadow of doubt. His long find innocent 
familiarity with womankind in Durdlebury had led 
him instinctively to the conclusion formulated by 

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250 THE ROUGH ROAD 

one of the world's great cynics in his advice to a 
young man: "If you care for happiness, never 
speak to a woman about another woman." 

Doggie felt uncomfortable as he looked into 
Peggy's clear blue eyes; not conscience-stricken at 
the realisation of himself as a scoundrelly Don Juan 
— that never entered his ingenuous mind; but he 
hated his enforced depeirture from veracity. The 
one virtue that had dragged the Toy Pom success- 
fully along the Rough Road of the soldier's life was 
his uncompromisiug attitude to Truth. It cost 
him a Bharpstniggle with his soul to reply to Peggy: — 

"All right. Have it bo if it pleases you, my dear. 
Rut it was an idiot fluke all the same." 

"I wonder if you know how you've changed," 
she said, after a while. 

"For better or worse?" 

"The obvious thing to say would be 'for the bet- 
ter.' Rut I wondo". Do you mind if I'm frankP " 

"Not a hit." 

" There's something hard about you, Marmaduke." 

D<^gie wrinkled lips and brow in a curious smile. 
"I'll be frank too. You see, I've been Hving among 
men instead of a pack of old women." 

"I suppose that's it," Peggy said thoughtfully. 

"It's a dud sort of pkce, Dunllebury," said he. 

"Dud?" 

He laughed. "It never goes off." 

"You used to say, in your lettws, that you longed 
for it." 

" Perhaps I do now — in a way. I don't know." 

"I bet you'll settle down there, after the war, 
just as though nothiiu had happened." 

"I wonder," said Doggie. 

"Of course you wiJtt. Do you remember our 
plans for the reconstruction of Denhy Hall, which 
were knocked on the head? All that 11 have to be 
gone into again." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 251 

"That doesn't mean that we need curl ourselves 
up there forever like caterpillars in a cabbage." 

She arched her eyebrows. "What would you 
like to do?" 

"I think I'll want to go round and round the 
world till I'm dizzy." 

At this amazing pronoimcement from Mfinna- 
duke Trevor, Peggy gasped. It also astonished 
Doggie himself. He bad not progressed so far on the 
road to seif-emancipation as to dream of a rupture 
of his engagement. His marriage was as much a 
decree of destiny as bad been his enlistment when 
he walked to Peter Pan's statue in Kensington 
Gardens. But the war had made the prospect a 
distant one. In the vague future he would marry 
and settle down. But now Peggy brought it into 
alarming nearness, thereby causing him considerable 
agitation. To go back to vegetation in Durdlebury, 
even with so desirable a companion cabbage as 
Peggy, just when he was beginning to conjecture 
what there might be of joy and thnll in life — the 
thought dismayed him; and the sudden dismay 
found expression in his rhetorical outburst. 

" Oh, u you want to travel for a year or two, I'm 
all for it,' cried Peggy. "I can't say I've seen 
much of the world. But we'll soon get sick of it 
and yearn for home. There'll be lots of things to 
do. we'll take up our position as county people 
— no more of the stuffy oM women you're so down 
on — and you'll get into Parliament and sit on 
committees, and so on, and altogether we'll have 
a topping time." 

Doggie bad an odd sensation that a stranger spoke 
through Peggy's famihar lips. Well, perhaps, not 
a stranger, but a half-forgotten dead and gone 
acquaintance. 

' Don't you think the war will change things — 
if it hasn't changed them already P " 

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252 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Not a bit," Peggy replied. "Dad's always 
talking learnedly about social reconstruction, what- 
ever that means. But if people have got money 
and position and all that sort of thing, who's going 
to take it away from themP You don't suppose 
we're all going to turn socialists and pool the w^th 
of the country, and everybody's gomg to live in a 
garden-city Eim wear sandals and eat nuts?" 

"Of course not," said Doggie. 

"Well, how are people like ourselves going to feel 
any difference in what you call social conditionsP " 

Doggie lit another cigarette, chiefly in order to 
gain tune for thought; but an odd mstinct made 
him secure the matchbox before he picked out the 
cigarette. Superficially Peggy's proposition was 
incontrovertible. Unless there happened srane 
social cataclysm involvin^g a newly democratised 
world in ghastly chaos, which, after all, was a remote 
possibility, the externals of gentle life would undergo 
very shght modification. Yet there was something 
fundamentally wrong in Pe^y's conception of 
postrwar existence. Something wrong in essentials. 
Now, a critical attitude towards Peggy, whose 
presence was a proof of her splendid loyalty, seemed 
hateful. But Uiere was something wrong, all the 
same. Something wrong in P^gy herself that put 
her into opposition. In one aspect, she was the 
pre-war Peggy, with her cut and dried little social 
ambitions, and her definite projects of attainment; 
but in another she was not. The pre-war Peg^ 
had swiftly turned into the patriotic English gu-1 
who had hounded him into tbe army. He found 
himself face to face with an amorphous, character- 
less sort of Peggy whom he did not know. It was 
petplexiog, bammg. Before he could formulate 
an idea, E^e went on: 

"You silly old thing, what change is there likely 
to be? What change is there now, after all?_ Tl^re's 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 253 

a scarcity of men. Naturally. They're out fight- 
ing. But when they come home on leave, life ^pes 
on just the same as before — tennis parties, little 
dances, dinners. Of course, lots of people are hard 
bit. Did I tell you that Jack Pounceby was killed 
— the only son? The war's awful and dreadful, I 
know — but if we don't go through with it cheer- 
fully, what's the good of us?" 

"I think I'm pretty cheerful," said Doggie. 

"Oh, you're not grousing and you're making the 
best of it. You're perfectly splendid. But you're 
philosophising such a lot over it. The only thing 
before us is to do in Germany, Prussian mihtarism, 
and so on, find then there'll be peace, and we'll 
all be happy again." 

"Have you met many men who say that?" he 
asked. 

"Heaps. Ohver was ttiUdng about it only the 
other day." 

"Oliver?" 

At his quick challenge he could not help noticing 
a little cloud, as of vexation, pass over her face. 

"Yes, Oliver," die replied with an unnecessary air 
of defiance. "He has been over here on short leave. 
Went badt a fortni^t ago. He's as cheerful as 
cheerful can be. Jomer tbon ever he was. I took 
him out in the dear old two-seater, and he insisted 
on driving to show how they drove at the front — 
and it's only because the Almi^ty must have kept 
a special eye on a Dean's daughter that I'm here 
to tell the tale." 

"You saw a lot of him, I suppose," said Dog^e. 

A flush rose on P^»y's dieet. "Of course. He 
was staying at the Deanery most of his time. I 
wrote to you about it. I've made a point of telling 
you everything. I even told you anout the two- 
seater." 

"So you did," said Doggie. "I ranember." 



254 THE ROUGH ROAD 

He smiled. "Your description made me laugh. 
Oliver's a Major now, isn't he?" 

"Yes. And just before he eot his Majority they 
gave him the Mihtary Cross.' 

"He must he an amul swell," said Dogc;ie. 

She replied with some heat. "He hasn t changed 
the least Uttle hit in the world." 

Doggie shook his head. "No one can go through 
it, really go through it, and come back the same." 

"You don't insinuate that Oliver hasn't really 
gone through it?" 

"Of course not, Peggy dear. They don't throw 
M. C's about like Iron Crosses. In order to get it 
Oliver must have looked into the jaws of Hell. 
They all do. But no man is the same afterwards. 
Oliver has what the French call panache — ' ' 

""WhaX'a panache?" 

"The real heroic swe^^ — something spiritual 
about it. Oliver's not gomg to let you notice the 
change in him." 

"We saw 'The Bing Boys' at the Alhambra, and 
he laughed as if such a thing as war had never been 
heard of." 

" Naturally," said Doggie. "All that's part of the 
panache." 

"You're talking throi^h your hat, Mannaduke," 
she exclaimed with some irritation. "Oliver's a 
straight, clean, English soldier." 

"I ve been doing my best to tell you so," said 
Doggie. 

"But you seem to be critidsing him because he's 
concealing something behind what you call his 
panache.' 

"Not criticising, dear. Only stating. I think 
I'm more Oliverian than you." 

"I'm not OUverian," cried Peggy, with burning 
cheeks. "And I don't see why we should discuss 
him like this. All I said was mat Oliver, who has 



THE ROUGH ROAD 255 

made himself a distinguished man and will be even 
more distingui^ed, and, at any rate, knows what 
he's talking about, doesn't worry bis bead with social 
reconstruction and aU that sort of rot. I've ccone 
here to talk about you, not about OUver. Let us 
leave him out of the question." 

"Willingly," said Doggie. "I never had any 
reason to love OUver; but I must do him justice. 
I only wanted to show you that be must be a b^ger 
man than you imagine. ' 

"I'm ^d to hear you say so," cried Peggy, with 
a flash of the eyes. "I hope it's true." 

"The war's such a whacldng big thing, you see," 
he said with a conciliatory smile. "No one can 
prophesy exactly what's going to come out of it. 
But the whole of human society . . . the world, 
the whole of civilisation is being stirred up like a 
Christmas pudding. The war's bound to change 
the trend of all human thou^t. There must be 
an entire rearrangement of social values." 

"I'm sorrry, but I don't see it," said Peggy. 

Doggie again wrinkled his brow and looked at 
her, and she retiuned his glance stonily. 

"You think I'm mulish." 

She bad interpreted Doggie's thought, but he 
raised a hand in protest. 

"No, no." 

"Yes, yes. Every man looks at a woman like 
that when he thinks her a mule or an idiot. We 
get to learn it in our cradles. But in ^ite of your 
superior wisdom, I know I'm right. After the war 
there won't be a bit of change, really. A duke will 
be a duke and a costermonger a costermonger." 

"These are extreme cases. "ITie duke may re- 
main a duke but he won't be such a Uttle tin god 
on wheels. He'll find himself in the position of a 
democratic viscount. And the costennongCT wiU 
rise to the politiced position of an important trades- 

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256 THE ROUGH ROAD 

man. But betweeo the two there'll be any oW sort 
of flux." 

"Did you learn all this horrible, rank socialism in 
France?" 

"Perhaps, but it seems so obvious." 

"It's only because you've been livinjg amoi^ 
Tommies, who've eot these stupid ideas into their 
heads. If you had been living among your social 
e(]uals — " 

"In Durdlebury?" 

She flashed rebdiion. "Yes. In Durdlebury. Why 
not?" ^■ 

" I'm afraid, Peggy dear," he said, with his patient, 
pleasant smile, "you are rather Weltered from the 
war in Durdlebury." 

She cried out iDdignanUy. 

" Indeed we're ■ not. "Ine newspapers come to 
Durdlebury, don't they? And everybody's doing 
something. We have the war all around us. We've 
even succeeded in getting wounded soldiers in the 
Cottage Hospital. Nancy Murdoch is a V. A. D. 
and stTubs floors. Cissy James is driving a Y. M. C. A. 
motor car in Calais. Jane Brown-Gore is nursing 
in Salonika. We read all their letters. Personally 
I can't do much because mother has crocked up 
and I've got to run the Deanery. But I'm slaving 
from morning to night. Only last week I got up a 
concert for me wounded. AJone I did it — ana it 
takes scxue doing in Durdlebury, now that you're 
away and the Musical Association has perished of 
inamtion. Old Dr. Flint's no earthly good, since 
Tom, the eldest son, you remember, Was killed in 
MesopotamiEL So I <ud it all, and it was a great 
success. We netted four hundred and seventy 
pounds. And whenever I can get a chance, I go 
round the hospital and talk and read to the men ami 
write their letters, and hear of everything. I don't 
thiiik you've any -right to say we're out of touch 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 257 

with the war. In a sort of way I know as much about 
it as you do." 

Do^e in some perplexity scratched his head, a 
thing which he would never have done at Durdle- 
bury. With humorous intent he asked; 

"Do you know as much as OKver?" 

"OKver's a field oflBca-," she rephed tartly, and 
Dog^e felt snubbed. "But I'm siure he agrees with 
everything I say." She paused imd, in a different 
tone, went on: "Don't you think it's rather rotten 
to have this pifiQing argument when I've come all 
this long way to see you?" 

"Forgive me, Peggy," he said penitently. "I 
appreciate your conung more than I can say . " 

She was not appeased. "And yet you don't 
give me credit for playing the game.' 

"What game?" he asked with a smile. 

"Surely you ought to know." 

He reached out his hand and took hers. "Am 
I worth it, Pe^gy?" 

Her lips twitched and tears stood in her eyes. 

"I don't know what you mean?" 

"Neither do I, quite," he repUed simply. "But 
it seems that I'm a Tommy through and through, 
and that L'll never get Tommy out of my soul." 

"That's nothing to be ashamed of," she declared 
stoutly. 

"Of course not. But it makes one see aU sorts 
of things in a different light." 

"Oh, don't worry your head about that," she 
said, with pathetic misunderstanding. "We'll put 
you all right as soon as we get you back to Durdle- 
bury. I suppose you wont refuse to come this 
time." 

"Yes; m come this tiine," said Doggie. 

So he promised, and the talk driftra on to casual 
lines. She gave him the mild chronicle of the sleepy 
town, descnbed plays which she had seen on her 

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258 THE ROUGH ROAD 

rare visits to London, sketdied out a programme 
for his all too short visit to the Deanery. 

"And in the meanwhile," she remarked, "try to 
get these morbid ideas out of your sUIy old head." 

Time came for parting. She rose and shook 
hands. 

"Don't think I've said anything in depreciation of 
Tommies. I understand them thoroughly. They're 
-wonderful fellows. Good-bye, old lH>y. Get well 
soon." 

She kissed her hand to him at the door and was 
gone. 

It was now that Doggie b^an to hate himself. 
For all the time that Peggy had been running on, 
eager to convince him that Ids imputation of aloof- 
ness from the war was undeserved, the voice of one 
who, knowing its splendours and its terrors, had 
pierced to the heart of its mysteries, rang in his ears. 

" Lew gaieii fail pew." 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER XrX 

THE X-rays shoved the tiniest splinter of bone 
in Dc^gie's thi^. The surgeon Qshed it up 
and the clean wound healed rapidly. The 
gloomy Penworthy's prognostication had not come 
true. Doggie would not stiuup about at ease on a 
wooden leg; but io all probability would soon find 
himself hack, in the firing line — a prospect which 
brought great cheer to Penworthy. Also to Doggie. 
For, m spite of the charm of the pretty hospital, the 
health-giving sea air, the long rest for body and 
nerves Ufe seemed flat and unprofitable. 

He had written a gay, irreproachable letter to 
Jeanne, to which Jeanne, doubtless thinking it the 
last word of the episode, had not replied. Loyalty 
to Peggy foibade further thought of Jeanne. He 
must henceforward think of Peggy and her sturdy 
faithfulness as bard as he could. But the more he 
thought, the more remote did Peggy seem. Of 
course the publicity of the interview had invested 
it witb a certain constraint, knocked out of it any 
approach to sentimentality or romance. They had 
not even kissed. They had spent most of the time 
arguing from differ^it points of view. They had 
been near to quarrdling. It was outrageous of 
him to criticise her; yet how could he help it? The 
mere fact of striving to exalt her was a criticism. 

Indeed they were far apart. Into the sensitive 
soul of Doggie the war in all its meaning had passed. 
The soul 01 Peggy had remained untouched. To 
her, in her sheltered comer of England, it was a 
ghastiy accident, like a railway collision blocking 
me traffic on her favourite line. For the men (U 

259 .-. . 



260 THE ROUGH ROAD 

her own dass who took part in it, it was a brave 
adventure; for the common soldier, a sad but pa- 
triotic necessity. If circumstances bad allowed her 
to go forth into the war-world, as nurse or canteen 
helper at a London terminus, or motor driver in 
France, her horizon would have broadened. But 
the contact with realities into which her dilettante 
littJe war activities brought her, was too slight to 
make the deep impression. In her heart, as far as 
she revealed herseli to Doggie, she resented the war 
because it interfered with her own definitely marked 
out scheme of existence. The war over, she would 
regard it politely as a thing that had never been, 
and woidd forthwith set to work upon her afore- 
said interrupted plan. And towards a comprehen- 
sion of this appttfent serenity the perplexed mind of 
D(wgie gropwi with ill success. All nis old values 
had been kicked into higgledy-piggledy confusion. 
All hers remained steadfast. 

So Doggie reflected with some grimness that there 
are rougher roads than those which lead to the 
trenches. 

A letter from Phineas did not r^tore equanimity. 
It ran: 

"My dear Laddie, 

"Ow unsophisticated friend, Mo, and myself are 
writing this tetter together, and he bids me b^in it by 
saying that he hopes itjindsyou as it leaves us at present, 
in a muck of dust and perspiration. Where we are 
now I must not tell, for {in me opinion of the Censor) 
you would reveal it U> the Very Reverend the Dean of 
Durdlebury, who would naturally telegraph the in- 
formation to the Kaiser. But the Division is far, far 
from the idyllic land of your dreams, and there is 
bloody fighting ahead of us. And though the hearts 
of Mo and me go out to you, laddie, and though toe 
miss you sore, yet Mo says he's blistering glad you're 



THE ROUGH ROAD 261 

out of ii and safe in your perishing bed wUh a Blighty 
one. And such, in more academic phraseology, are 
the sentiments of your old friend Phineas. 

"Ah, laddie! ii uxts a bad day when we marched 
from vie old billets; for the word had gone round thai 
ive toeren't going back. I had taken the liberty of 
telling the lassie ye ken of something about your private 
position and your wwldly affairs, of which it seems 
you had left her entirely ignorant. Of course, with 
my native Scottish caution, and my knowledge of 
human nature gained in the academies of prosperify 
and the ragged schools of adversity, I did not touch on 
certain matters of a delicate nature. That is no busi- 
ness of mine. If there is discretion in this world in 
which you can trust blindly, il is that of Phineas 
McPhail. I just told her of Denby Hall and your 
fortune, which I fairly axcuraiely computed ai a 
couple of million francs. For I thought it was right 
she should know that you weren't just a scallywag 
private soldier like the rest of us. And I am bound 
to say that the lassie vxis cortsidertMy impressed. In 
further conversation I told her something of your early 
life, and, though not over desirous of blackening my 
maracter in her bonnie eyes, I let her know what kind 
of an injudicious upbringing you bad been compelled 
to undergo. ' II a 6t6 ^levfi, said I, 'dans — ' What 
the blazes was the French for cotton-wool? The war 
has a pernicious effect on one's memory — I some- 
times even forget the elemerdary sensations of inebriety 
— 'Dans la ouate,' she said. And I remembered 
the word, *0m, dans la ouate,' said I. And she 
looked at me, laddie, or, rather, through me, out of her 
great, dark eyes — you mind the way she treats your 
substance as a shadow and looks through it at the 
shadows that to her are substances — and she said 
below her breaih — / don't think she meant me to bear 
it — 'Et c'est lui qui a fait cela pour moi.' 

"Mo, in his materialistic way, is clamorous ihtd I 



THE ROUGH ROAD 

HI TOU < . „ 

symixdical, I proceed to do. It was our last day. She 
invit^ us to lunch in the kiichen, and shut the door 
so IhcU none of ihe hungry varlels of the company should 
stick in their unmannerly noses and whine for scraps. 
And there, laddie, teas an omelette and ctmels ana a 
chicken arid a fromage & la cr^e sudt as in Ihe days 
of my vanity I have never eaten, cooked by the old 
body whose soid you won with a pinch of snuff. The 
poor lassie could scarcely eat; but Mo saw that there 
tvas nothing left. The bones on his plale look&i as if 
a dog had been at them for a uieeA. Arui there was 
vintage Haut Sauterne which ran down one's throat 
like scented gold. ' Man,' said I to Mo, ' if you lap 
il up like that, you'll be as drunk as Noah.' So he 
cast a frightened glance at Mademoiselle, and sipped 
like a young lady at a christening party. Then she 
brings out cherries and plums and peaches, and opens 
a hmf bottle of champagne and fills all our glasses, and 
Toinette had a glass; and she rises in the pale, dignified, 
Greek tragedy way she has, and she makes a wee bit 
speech. Messieurs,' she said, 'perhaps you may 
wonder why I have invited you. Bat I mink you 
understand. It is the only way I had of sharing with 
Doggie's friends the fortune thai he had so heroically 
brought me. U is but a little tribute of my gratitude 
to Doggie. You are his friends and I wish well that 
you would be mine — tres franchement, fr^ loyale- 
ment.' She put out her hand and we shook it And 
old Mo said, 'Miss, Fd go to Hell for you!' Where- 
upon the little red spot you may have seen for yourself 
came into her pale cheek, and a soft look lilx a flitting 
moonbeam crept into her eyes. Laddie, if I'm waxing 
' too poetical, just consider that Mademoiselle Jeanne 
Boissihe is not the ordinary woman the British private 
soldier is in the habit of consorting with. Then she 
took up her glass. 'Je vais porter un toast — Vive 
rAngleterrel' And although a Scotsman, I drank 

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THE ROUGH ROAB 263 

U as if it applied to me. And then she cried 'Vive la 
Francel' And old Toinetie cried 'Vive la Francel' 
And they looked transfigured, and I fairly itched to 
sing the Marseillaise, though I knew I couldn't. 
Then she chinked glasses with us — 

"'Bonne chance, mes amisl' 

"And then she made a sign to the aald wife, who 
added the few remaining drops to our glasses. ' To 
Doggie! ' said Mademoiselle. We drank the toast, 
latmie. Old Mo began in his cracked voice, 'For he's 
a jolly good fellow. I kicked him and fold him to 
shi^ up. But Mademoiselle said: 

"'Ive heardof thai. It is a ceremony. I like ii. 
Continue.' 

"So Mo and J held up our glasses and, in indifferent 
song, proclaimed you what the Army, developing 
certain rudimentary germs, has made you, and Made- 
moiselle too held up her glass and threw back her head 
and joined us in the Hip, hip, hoorays. It would have 
done your heart good, laddie, to have been there to see. " 
But we did you proud. 

" When we emerged from ffie festival, the prettiest 
which, in the course of a variegated career, I have ever 
amended. Mo says: 

"' If I hadn't a gel at home — ' 

"*If you hadn't got a girl at home,' said I, ^you'd 
be the next damn&Iest fool in the army to Phineas 
McPhaiir 

" We marched out just before dusk, and there she 
toas by the front door; and though she stood proud and 
upright, and smiled with her lips and blew us kisses 
with both hands, to which the boys all responded with 
a cheer, there were tears streaming down her cheeks — 
and the tears, laddie, uxre not for Mo, or me, or anyone 
of us ugly beggars that passed her by. 

"I also have good news for you, in that I hear from 
the thunderous, though excellent. Sergeant Ballinghall 
there is a probability thai when you rejoin, the C. 0. 



264 THE ROUGH ROAD 

will be abided with a grievous lapse of memory, and 
thai he wiU be persuaded thai you received your loound 
during the aiiack on the wiring party. 

"As I said before, laddie, we're all like the Scots 
wha hae wV Wallace bled, and are going to our gory 
bed or to victory. Possibly both. But I will remain 
steadfast to my philosophy, and if I am cond^nned to 
the said sanguinoUnt couch, I will do my best to derive 
from it the utmost enjoyment possible. All kinds of 
poets and such like lusty loons have shed their, last drop 
of ink in the effort to describe the Pleasures of Life — 
but it will be reserved for the disanbodied spirit of 
Phineas McPhail to write the great philosophic 
Poem of the World's History, which will be entitled 
' The Pteaswes of Deaih.' While you're doing nothing, 
laddie, you might bestir yourself and find on enlightened 
Publisher, who woidd be willing to give me an ante- 
mortem advance, in respect of royalties accruing to 
my ghost. 

*'Mo, to whom I have read the last paragraph, says 
he always knew that eddicalion affected the bram. 
With which incontrovertible proposition and our Joint 
love, I now conclude this episHe. 

Yours, Phineas." 

"Of all the blazing imbeciles!" Doggie cried Eiloud, 
Why the unprintable imprintableness couldn't 
Phineas mind his own business? Why had he given 
his silly accident of fortune away in this childish 
manner? Why had he told Jeanne of his cotton-wool 
upbringing? His feet, even that of his wounded leg, 
tingled to kick Phineas. Of couise Jeanne, knowing 
him now to be such a gilded ass, would have nothing 
more to do with him. It explained her letter. He 
damned Phineas to all etermty, in terms compared 
with which the curse of Saint E^idpbus enunciated 
by the late Mr. Shandy was a fantastic benediction. 
"If I had a dog, quoth my Uncle Toby, I would not 



THE ROUGH ROAD 265 

curse him so." But if Uncle Toby had heard Doggie 
of the Twentieth Century Annies, ^o also swore 
terribly in Flanders, for ' d<^" he would have sub- 
stitutta "rattlesnake" or "German oflBcer." 

Yet such is the quiddity of the Englidi Tommy, 
that through this devastating anathema ran a 
streak of love which at the end turned the whole 
thing into forlorn derision. And as soon as he could 
laugh, he saw thii^ in a clear li^ht. Both of his 
two friends were, in their respective ways, in love 
with his wonderful Jeanne. Both of them were 
steel-true to him. It was just part of their loyalty 
to fom^it this impossible romance between Jeanne 
and himself. If the three of them were now at 
Fr^lus, the two idiots would be playing gooseberry 
with the RTnirlrJT^ conscientiousness of a pair oif 
sdioolgirls. So Doggie forgave the indiscretion. 
After all, what did it matter? 

It mattered, however, to this extent, that he read 
the letter over and over again until he knew it by 
heart, and could picture to himself every phase (u 
the banouet and every fleeting look on Jeanne's face. 

"All mis," he declared at last, "is utterly ridicu- 
lous." And he tore up Phineas's letter and, during 
his convalescence, devoted himself to the study m 
European poHtics, a subject which he had scandal- 
ously neglected during ms d^antly leisured youth. 

The day of his discharge came in due couorse. A 
suit of khaki took the place of the hospital blue. 
He received his papers, the seven days' sick furlough, 
and his railway wturant, shook hands with nurses 
and comrades, and OTied to Durdlebury in the third- 
class carriage of the Tommy. 

Peggy, in the two-seater, was waiting for him in the 
station yard. He exchanged greetings from afar, 
grinned, waved a hand, and jumped in beside her. 

"How jolly of you to meet mel" 

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266 THE ROUGH ROAD 

" Where's your luggage? " 

"Lu^ageP" 

It seemed to be a new word. He had not heard 
it for many montlu. He laughed. 

"Haven't got any, thank GodI If you knew 
what it was to hunch a horrible canvas sausage of 
kit about, you'd appreciate feelins free." 

"It's a mercy you've got Peddle," said Peggy. 
"He has been at the Deanery fixing things up for 
you for the last two days." 

"I wonder if I shall be able to live up to Peddle," 
said Dt^eie. 

"Who 8 goiiu; to start the carP" she asked. 

"Oh, I/mll' he oied, and bolted out and turned 
the crank. "I'm awfully sorry," he added, whai, 
the engine nmning, he resumed his place. "I had 
forgotten all about these pretty things. Out thra^ a 
car is a sacred chariot set apart for gods in brass 
hats, and the ordinary Tommy looks on them with 
awe and reverence." 

"Can't you foi^et you're a Tommy for a few 
days?" she said, as soon as the car had cleared the 
station gates and was safeW under way. 

He noted a touch of irritation. "All right, 
Ptwgy dear," said he. " I'll do what I can." 

Oliver's here, with his man Chipmunk," she 
remarked, her eyes on the road. 

" OliverP On leave againP How has he managed 
it?" 

"You'd better ask him," abe replied tartly. "All 
I know is that he turned up yesterday, and he's 
staying with us. That's why I don't want you to 
ram the fact of your being a Tommy down every- 
body's throat." 

He laughed at the queer little social problem that 
seemed to be wonying her. "I think you'll find 
blood is thicker than military etiguette. After all, 
Oliver's my first cousin. If he can t get on witb me. 



TEIE ROUGH ROAD 267 

he can get out." To change the conversation, he 
added after a pause: "The httle car's rmmlng splrai- 
didW." 

Iney swept through':'the familiar old-world streets, 
which, now that me early frenzy of mobiliEdDg 
Territorials and training of new Armies was over, 
had resumed mare or less their pre-war appearance. 
The sleepy meadows by the rivCT, once ground 
into black slush by guns and anuuunition waggons 
and horses, were now green again and idle, and the 
troops once billeted on the citizens had marched 
Heaven knows whither — many to Heaven itself — 
or whatever Paradise is reserved for the great- 
hearted English fighting man who has given his hfe 
for England. Only here and there a stray soldier 
on leave, or one of the convalescents from the cot- 
tage hospital, struck an incongruous note ai war. 
They drew up at the door of the Deanery under the 
shadow of the grey cathedral. 

"Thank God that is out of reach of the Boche," 
said Doggie, regarding it with a new sense of its 
beauty and spintual significance. "To think of it 
like Rheims or Arras— I've seen Arras — seen a 
shell burst among the still standing ruins. Oh, 
Peggy — " he gripped her arm — "you dear people 
haven't the ranotest conception erf what it aB is — 
what France has suffered. Imagine this mass of 
wonder all one horrible stone pie, without a trace of 
what it once had been." 

" I suppose we're jolly lucky," she replied. 

The door was opened by the old butler, who had 
been on the alert for the arrival. 

"You nm in," said Peggy. "I'U take the car 
round to the yard." 

So Doggie, with a smile and a word of greeting, 
entered the Deanery. His uncle appeared in the 
hall, florid, whitehan'ed, benevolent, and extended 
both hands to the home-come warricn'. 

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268 THE ROUGH ROAB 

"My dear boy, how glad I am to see you. Wel- 
crane back. And how's the wound? We ve thought 
night and day of you. If I could have spared the 
time, I should have run up north, hut Tve not a 
minute to call my own. We're doing our share of 
war work here, my boy. Come into the drawing- 
room." 

He put his hand affectionatdy on Dog^e's arm 
and, opening the drawing-room door, pusbed him 
in and stood, in his kind, courtly way, until the 
young man had passed the threshold. Mrs. Con- 
over, feeble from illness, rose and kissed him, and 
gave him much the same greeting as her husband. 
Then a tall, lean figure in umform, who had remained 
in the background by the fireplace, advanced with 
outstretched hand. 

"Hello, old chapl" 

Doggie took the hand in an honest grip. 

"Hello, OUyerl" 

"How goes it?" 

"^lendid," said Dc^gie. "You €dl right?" 

"Top hole," said Ouver. He clapped his cousin 
on the shoidder. "My hati you do look fit." 
He turned to the Dean. "Uncle Edward, isn't 
he a hundred times the man he was?" 

"I told you, my boy, you would see a difference," 
said the Dean. 

Peggy ran in, having delivered ovrar the two- 
seater to myrmidons. 

"Now that the affecting meeting is over, let us 
have tea. Oliver, ring the bell." 

The tea came. It appeared to Doggie, handing ■ 
round the three-tiered silver cake-stand, that he 
had returned to some forgotten former incarnation. 
The delicate china cup in his hand seemed too fitul 
for the material us^^ of life, and he feared lest 
he should break it with rough handling. Old habit, 
however, prevailed, and no one noticed his sense of 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 269 

awkwardness. The talk lay chiefly between Ohv» 
and himself. They exchanged experiences as to 
dates and localities. They bandied about the mimes 
(^ places which will be inscribed in letters of blood 
in history for all time, as though they were popufer 

folf-courses. Both had known Ypres, and Plug 
treet, and the famous wall at Arras where the 
British and Grerman trenches were but five yards 
apart. Oliver's division had gone down to the 
Somme in July for the great pu^. 

"I ought to be there now, ' said Oliver. "I feel 
a hulking slacker and fraud, being home on sic^ 
leave. But the M. O. said I had just escaped sheU- 
shock by the skin of my nerves, and they packed 
me home for a fortnight to rest up — while the regi- 
ment, what there's left of it, went into reserve." 

"Did you get badly cut up?" asked Doggie. 

"Rather. We broke through all right. Then 
madune guns which we had overlooked, got us in 
the back. Luckily they were spotted in time, and 
done in by the artillery, or not a soul would have 
come back." 

"My lot's down there now," said Doggie. 

"You're well out of it, old chap," laughed Oliver. 

For the first time in his life Doggie began really 
to like Oliver. The old-time, swashbuckling swagger 
had gone — the swagger of one who would say : " I 
am the only live man in this comatose crowd. I 
am the dare-devil buccaneer who defies the thunder 
and sleeps on boards while the rest of you are lying 
soft in feather-beds." His direct, cavafier way he 
still retained; but the Army, with the omnipotent 
might of its inherited traditions, had moulded him 
to its pattern; even as it had moulded Doggie. 
And Doggie, who had learned many of the lessons 
in human psychology which the Army teaches, 
knew that Oliver's genial, familiar talk was not all 
due to his appreciation of their social equality in the 

iooglc 



270 THE ROUGH ROAD 

bosom of their own family, but that he would have 
treated much the same any Tommy into whose 
companionahip he had been casually thrown. The 
Tommy would have said "Sir" very scrupulously, 
which on Doggie's part would have been an idiotic 
thing to do; but they would have got on famously 
together, bound by the freemasonry of fighting men 
who had cursed the same foe for tiie same reasons. 
So Oliver stood out before Doggie's eyes in a new 
Hght, that of the typical officer, trusted and beloved 
by his men, and his heart went out to him. 

"I've brought Chipmunk over," said Oliver. 
"You remember the freak? The poor devil hasn't 
had a day's leave for a couple of yefirs. Didn't 
want it. Why ahould he go and waste money in a 
country where he didn't know a human being? 
But this time I've fixed it up for him, and his leave 
is co-tenninous witb mine. He has been my ser- 
vant all through. If they took him away from me, 
he'd be quite capable of strangling the C. 0. He's 
a funny B^gar.' 

"And what kind of a soldier?" the Dean asked 
politely. 

"ThCTe's not a finer one in all the armies of the 
earth," said Oliver. 

After much further talk the dressing gong boomed 
softly through the house. 

"You've got the Green Room, Marmaduke," 
said Peggy. "The one with the Chippendale stuff 
you used to covet so much." 

"I haven't got much to change into," laughed 
Dcwgie. 

' You'll find Peddle up there waiting for you," 
sherephed. 

And when Doggie entered the Green Room, there 
he found Peddle, who welcomed him with tears of 
joy and a display of all the fim'Tiin luxuries of the 
todet and adornment which he had left behind at 



THE ROUGH ROAD 271 

Denby HalL There were pots of pomade and face- 
cream, and nail polish; bottles of hair-wafih and 
tooth-wash; Uttle boxes and brushes for the mous- 
tache; half-a-dozen gleaming razors; the array of 
brushes and combs and manicure set in tortoise- 
aheU with his crest in silver; the bottles of scent 
with spray attachments; the onyx bowl of bath 
salts beside the hip-bath ready to be filled from the 
ewers of hot and cold water — the Deanery, old- 
fashioned house, had but one ffunily bath-room; 
the deep-purple, siUt dressing-gown over the foot- 
rail of the bed; the silk pyjamas in a lighter shade 
spread out over the pillow; the silk underwear and 
soft-fronted shirt fitted with his ruby and diamond 
sleeve-links, hung up before the fire to air; the 
dinner jacket suit laid out on the glass-topped 
Chippendale table, with black tie siid dehcate 
lumdkerchic^; the alk socks carefuUy tucked inside 
out, the glossy pumps with the silver shoe-horn 
laid across them. 

"My GodI Peddle," cried Doggie, scratching his 
closely cropped head. "What the devil's all this?" ■ 

Peddle, grey, beat, uncomprehending, regarded 
bin) blankly. 

"All what, sir?" 

"I only want to wash my hands," said Doggie. 

"But aren't you going to dress for dinner, air?" 

"A private soldier's not allowed to wear mufti. 
Peddle. They'd dock me of a week's pay if they 
found out." 

"Who's to find out, drP" 

"There's Mr. Oliver — he's a major." 

"Lord, Mr. Marmaduke, I don't think he'd mind. 
Miss Peggy gave me my orders, sir, and I think you 
can leave thmM to her." 

"All right, Peddle," he laughed. "If it's Miss 
Peggy's decree, I'll change. I've got all I want." 
Are you sure you can manage, sir?" Peddle 

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272 THE ROUGH ROAD 

asked aiudoushr, for time was when Do^e couldn't 
stick his I^gs mto his trousers unless Peddle held 
them out uir hun. 

"Quite," said Doggie. 

" It seems rather roughing it here, Mr. Marmaduke. 
after what you've been accustomed to at the Hall." 

"That's so," said Dog^e. "And it's martyrdom 
compared with what it is in the trenches. There 
we always have a Major-General to lace up our 
boots, and a Field-Marshal's always hovering romid 
to light our cigarettes." 

P^dle, who had never known him to jest, or his 
father before him, went out in a muddled frame of 
mind, leaving Doggie to struggle into hk dress 
trousers as best he might. 



ec by Google 



w 



CHAPTER XX 

HEN Doggie, in dinner suit, went down- 
stairs, he found Peggy alone in the draw- 
ins room. She gave him the Idss of one 
accustomed to kiss him from childhood, and sat 
down again on the fender-stool. 

" Now you look more like a Christian gentleman," 
she laughed. "Confess. It's much more comfort- 
able thtm your wretched private's uniform." 

"I'm not quite so sure," he said, somewhat 
ruefully, indicating his dinner jacket tightly con- 
stricted beneath the arms. "Already I've had to 
slit my waistcoat down the back. Poor old Peddle 
will have an apopleptic fit when he sees it. I've 
grown a bit since these elegant rags were made for 
me." 

"Ilfaut souffrir pour Sire beau," said Peggy. 

"If my being beau pleases you, Peggy, Til suffer 
gladly. I've been in tighter places.' He threw 



r down in the comer of the sofa and joggled 
up and down like a child. "After all," he said, 
"it's jolly to sit on something squashy again, and to 
see a pretty girl in a pretty frock." 

" I m glad you like this frock." 

"New?" 

She nodded. "Dad said it was too much of a 
Vanity Fair of a vanity for war-time. You don't 
think so, do you?" 

"It's charming," said Doggie. "A treat for tired 
eyes." 

"That's just what I told Dad. What's the good 
of women dressing in sacks tied round the middle 
wilhi a bit of stri^? When men come home from 

273 

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274 THE ROUGH ROAD 

the front, they want to see their womenfolk looking 
[»etty and dainty. That's what they've come 
over for. It's part of the cure. It's the first time 
you've been a real dear, Marmaduke. 'A treat for 
tired eyes.' I'll rub it into Dad hard." 

Oliver came in — in khaki. Doggie jumped up 
and pointed to him. 

"Look here, Peggy. It's the guard-room for 
me." 

Oliver laughed. "'Where the dinner kit I bought 
when I came home is now, God only can tell." He 
turned to Peggy. "I did change, you know." 

"That's the puU of being a beastly Major," said 
Doggie. " They have heaps of suits. On tjtie march, 
there are motor lorries full of them. It's the scandal 
of the army. The wretched Tommy has but one 
suit to his name. That's why, sir, I've taken the 
liberty of appearing before you in outgrown mufti." 

"All right, my man," said Oliver. "We'll hush 
it up and say no more about it." 

"Then the Dean and Mrs. Conover entered, and 
soon they went in to dinner. It was for Doggie 
the most pleasant of meals. He had the superbly 
healthy man's whole-hearted or whole-stomached 
appreciation of unaccustomed good food] and drink: 
so much so, that when the Dean, after agonic of 
thwarted mastication, said gently to his wife: "My 
dear, don't you think you might speak a word in 
season to Peck" — Peck being the butcher — "and, 
forbid him, under the Defence of the Realm Act, 
if you like, to deliver to us in the evening as mutton 
that which weis in the morning a lusty sheep?" 
he stared at the good old man as thou^ he were 
ViteUius in person. Tough? It was like muk- 
fatted baby. He was already devouring, like Oliver, 
his second helping. Thrai the Dean, pledging 
him and Oliver in champagne, apologised: "I'm 
aarrf, my dear boys, the 1904 has run out tuid th^e's 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 275 

no more to be got. But the 1906, though not having 
the quality, is quite drinkable." 

Drinkable! It y/sa latching, dancing joy that 
went down his throat. 

So much for gross delights. There were others 

— finer. The charm to the eye of the table with 
its exquisite i^ipery and china and glass and ailv^ 
and flowers. Ine almost into:xicating atmosphere of 
peace and gentle living. The full, loving welcome 
R h'pin g from the eye of the kind old Dean, his uncle 
by marriage, and of the faded, delicate lady, his 
own flesh and blood, his mother's sister. And 
Peggy, pretty, flushed, bright-eyed, radiant in her 
new dr^. And there was Ohver. . . . 

Most of all he appreciated Oliver's comrade- 
like attitude. It was a recognition of him as a man 
and a soldier. In the course of dinner talk Oliver 
said: — 

"J. M. T. and I have looked Death in the face 
many a time — and really he's a poor raw-head and 
bloody-bones sort of Bogey; don't you think so, 
old chap?" 

"It aU depends on whether you've got a funk- 
hole hajady," he rephed. 

But that was mere lightness of speech. Ohver*s 
infusion of him in his remark shook him to the 
depths of his sensitive nature. The man who 
despises the petty feelings and fraflties of mankind 
is doomed to remain in awful ignorance of that which 
is of beauty and pathos in the lives of his feUow- 
creatures. After all, what did it matter what Oliver 
thought of him? Who was Ohver? His cousin 

— accident of birth — the black sheep of the family; 
now a Major in a different regiment and a different 
division. What was Oliver to him or he to OHver? 
He had "made good" in the eyes of one whose 
Tud^ent had b^n forged keen and absolute by 
neroic stnrows. What did anyone else matter? 



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276 THE ROUGH ROAD 

But to Do^e the supreme joy of the evening was 
the knowleo^ that he had made good in the eyes of 
Oliver. Oliver wore on his tunic the white mauve 
and white ribbon of the Mihtary Cross. Honour 
where honour was due. But he, Doggie, bad been 
wounded (no matter bow), and Ohver frankly put 
them both on the same plane of achievement, thus 
wiping away, with graierous hand, all hated memories 
of the past. 

'When the ladies had left the roran, history re- 
peated itself, in that the Dean was called away on 
busmess and the cousins w»:« Idt alone tt^ether 
ovOT their wine. Said Doggie: 

"Do you remanber the last time we sat at this 
table?" 

"Perfectly," replied Ohv^, holding up a glass of 
the old Deanery port to the light. 'You were 
hoirified at my attempting to clean out my pipe 
with a dessert Knife." 

Doggie laughed. "After all, it was a filthy thing 
todo.^^ 

" I quite agree with you. Since then I've learned 
manners." 

"You also made me squirm at the idea of scoop- 
ing out Boches' insides with bayonets." 

And you've learned not to squirm, so we're 
quits." 

"You thought me a rotten ass in those days, 
didn't you?" 

Oliver looked at him squarely. 

"I don't think it would hurt you now if I said 
that I did." He laughed, stretched himself on his 
chair, thrusting both hands into his trouser pockets. 
"In many ways, it's a jolly good old war, you know 
— for those that pull through. It has taught us 
both a lot, Marmaduke." 

Doggie wrinkled his fcv^ead in his half humorous 
way. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 277 

"I wish it would teach people not to call me by 
that damn silly name." 

"I have always abominated it, as yoa may have 
observed," said Oliver. "But in our present pohte 
relations, old chap, what else is there? 

"You ought to know — " 

Ohver stared at him. "You don't mean — ?" 

"Yes, I do." 

"But you used to loathe it, and I went on calling 
you Doggie because I knew you loathed it. I 
never dreamed of using it now.' 

"I can't help it," repUed Doggie. "The name 
got into the army and has stuck to me right through, 
and now those I love and trust most in the world 
and who love and trust me, call me 'Doggie,' and 
I don't seem to be able to answer to any other name. 
So, although I'm only a Tommy and you're a devil 
of a swell of a second in command, yet if you want 
to be fiiendly — well — " 

Ohver leaned forward quickly. "Of course I 
want to be friends. Doggie, old chap. As for Major 
and private — when you pass me in the street you ve 
damn well got to salute me, and that's all there is 
to it — but otherwise it's all rot. And now we've 
got to the heart-to-heart stage, don't you think 
you're a bit of a fool? " 

"I know it," said Doggie cheerfully. "The 
Army has drummed that into me, at any rate." 

"I mean in sUmng in the ranks. Why don't 
you apply for the C^det Corps and so get through to 
a commission again?" 

Dole's brow grew dark. "I had all that out 
with Peggy long ago — vh&a things were perhaps 
somewhat different with me. I was sore all over. 
I dare say you can understaud. But now there 
are oth^ reasons, much stronger reasons. The 
only real happiness I've had in my life has been as a 
Tommy. I m not talking through my hat. Hie 

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278 THE ROUGH ROAD 

only real friends I've ever made in my life are 
Tommies. I've found real things as a Tommy, 
and I'm notgoin^ to start all over again to find them 
in another capaaty." 

"You wouldn't have to start all over again," 
Oliver objected. 

"Oh, yes, I should. Don't run away with the 
idea that I've been turned by a miracle into a brawny 
hero. I ain't anything of the sort. To have to lead 
m^i into action would be a holy terror. The old 
dread of seeking new paths still acts, you see. I'm 
the same Dogeie that wouldn't go out to Huaheine 
with you. Only now I'm a private and I'm used 
to it. I love it, and I'm not going to change to the 
aid of the whole gory business. Of coxubc Pe«gy 
doesn't like it," he added after a sip of wine. "But 
I can't help that. It's a matter of temperament and 
conscience — in a way, a matter of honour." 

"What has honour got to do with itP" asked 
(Miver. 

"I'll try to explain. It's somehow this way. 
When I came to my senses after being chucked for 
incompetence — that was the wrast hell I ever 
wait through in my Ufe — and I enlisted, I swore 
that I would stick to it a Tommy without anybody's 

rpathy, least of all that of me folks here. And 
L I swore I'd make good to myself as a Tommy. 
I was just beginning to feel happier when that 
infernal Boche sniper knocked me out for a time. 
So Peggy or no Peggy, I'm going through witii it. 
I suppose I'm telling you all this because I should 
like you to know." 

He passed his hand, in the familiar gesture, fmu 
back to front of his short-cropped hair. Oliver 
smiled at the reminiscence of the old disturbed 
Dcwxie; but he said very gravely: 

' Tm glad you've told me, old man. I appreciate 
it very much. I've been through the imiks my- 



THE ROUGH ROAD 279 

self and know what it is — the bad and the good. 
Many a man has found his soul that way — " 

"Good God!" cried Doggie, starting to his feet. 
"Do you say that tooP" 

"who else said it?" 

The quick question caused the blood to rush to 
Doggie's face. Oliver's keen, half-mocking gaze 
hela him. He cursed himself for an impulsive 
idiot. The true answer to the question would be a 
confession of Jeanne. The scene in the kitchen 
of Fr^us swam before his eyes. He dropped into 
his cfafur again with a laugh. 

"Oh, someone out there — in another heart-to- 
heart talk. As a matter of fact, I think I said it 
myself. It's odd you should have used the same 
words. Anyhow, you're the only other person who 
has hit on tbe trum as far as I'm concCTned. Find- 
ing one's soul is a bit high-falutin' — but that's 
about the size of it." 

"Peggy hasn't hit on the truth, then?" Oliver 
asked, with curious earnestness, the shade of 
mockery gone. 

"The war has scarcely touched her yet, you see," 
said Doggie. He rose, ahrinlcing frcmi discusfflon. 
"Shall we go in?" 

In the drawing room they played bridge till the 
ladies' bedtime. The Dean commg in, ^yed the 
last rubber. 

"I hope you'll be able to sleep in a conmion (x 
garden bed, Marmaduke," said Peggy, and kissed 
him a perfunctory good-night. 

"I have heard, remarked the Dean, "that it 
takes cpaite a time to grow accustomed to the little 
amenities of civilisation." 

"That's quite true, Uncle Edward," laughed 
Doggie. "I'm terrified at the thought of the sUk 
pyjamas Peddle has prescribed for me." 

"Why?" Peggy asked bluntly. 

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280 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Oliver interposed laughing, his hand on Doggie's 
shoulder. 

"Tonuny's accustomed to go to bed in his day- 
shirt." 

"How perfectly disgustingl" cried Pe^y, and 
swept irom the room. 

Oliver dropped his hand and looked somewhat 
abashed. 

"I'm afraid I've been and gone and done it. Fm 
sorry. I'm still a barbarian South Sea Islander." 

"I wish I were a young man," said the Dean, 
moving from the door, and with his comtly gestiu^ 
inviting them to sit, "and could take part in these 
strange hardships. This question of night attire, 
for instance, has never struck me before. The 
whole thing is of amazing interest. Ahl what it is 
to be oldt If I were young, I should be with you, 
cloth or no cloth, in the trenches. I hope both of 
you know that I vehemently dissent from the 
bishops who prohibit the younger clergy from taking 
their place in the fighting line. If God's archangels 
and angels themselves took np the sword agsiinst 
the Powers of Dsirkness, surely a stalwart young 
curate of the Church of England would find his 
vocation in warring with rifle and bayonet against 
the ^oclaimed enemies of (zod and mankindt' " 

"The influence of the twenty thousand or so of 
priests fighting in the French army is said to be 
enormous," Oliver remarked. 

The Dean sighed. "I'm afraid we're losing a big 
chance." 

"Why don't you take up the Fiery Cross, Uncle 
Edward, and run a new Crusade?" 

The Dean sighed. Five-and-tbirty years ago, 
when he bad set all Dxudlebury by the ears, ne 
might have preached glo lous heresy and heroic 
schism; but now at seventy the immutabifity of the 
great grey fabric had become part of his being. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 281 

"I've done my best, my boy," he replied, "'with 
the result that I am held in high disfavour." 

"But that doesn't matter a little bit." 

"Not a httle bit," said the Dean. "A man 
can only do his duty according to the dictates of 
his conscience. I have puhhcly deplored the atti- 
tude of the Church of England. I nave -written to 
the Times. I have published a pamphlet — I sent 
you each a copy — which has brought a hornet's 
nest about mv ears. I have warned those in high 
places that wnat they are doing is not in the b^t 
mterests of the Church. But tbey won't listen." 

Ohver lit a pipe. "I'm afraid, Uncle Edward," 
he said, "that though I come of a clerical family, 
I know no more of religion than a Hun Bishop; 
but it has always struck me that the Church's job 
is to look after the people, whereas, as far as I can 
make out, the Church is now squealing because the 
people won't look after the Church." 

The Dean rose. "I won't go as far as that," 
said he with a smile. "But there is, I fear, some 
justification for such a criticism from the laity. 
As soon as the war began, the Church should have 
gathered the people together and said, 'Onward, 
Christiain soldiers. Go and fight like — er — ' " 

"Like Hell," suggested Ohver, CTeatly daring. 

"Or words to uiat effect," sumed the old Dean. 
He looked at hia watdi. "Dear, dearl past eleven. 
I wish I could sit up talking to you boys — But I 
start my day's work at eight o'clock. If you want 
anything, you've only got to ring. Good-night. It 
is one of tiie proudest days of my life to have you 
both here together." 

His courtly charm seemed to linger in the room 
after he had left. 

"He's a dear old chapi" said Oliver. 

"One of the best," said Dog^e. 

"It's rather pathetic," said Oliver. "In his 

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282 THE ROUGH ROAD 

heart he would like to i^y the devil with the Bishops 
and kick every able-bodied parson into the trenches 
— and there are thousands of them that don't need 
any kicking and, on the contrary, have been kicked 
back; but he has become half petrified in the at- 
mosphere of this place. It's lovely to come to as a 
sort of funk-hole of peace — but my holy Auutl — 
What the blazes are you laughing at?" 

"I'm only thinking of a beast of a boy here who 
used to say that," replied Doggie. 

"OhI" said Oliver, and he grinned. "Anyway, 
I was only going to remark that if I thought I was 
going to sp^id the rest of my life here, I'd paint the 
town vennilhon for a week and then cut my throat." 

"I quite agree with you," said Doggie. 

"What are you going to do when tJae war's over?" 

"Who knows what he's going to do? What are 
you goir^ to do? Fly back to your httle Robinson 
Crusoe Durdlebury of a Pacific Islimd? I don't 
think so." 

OUver stuck his pibe on the mantelpiece and his 
hands on his hips, and made a stride towards Doggie. 

"Damn you, Doggiel Damn you to little bits! 
How the Hades did you guess what I've scarcely 
told myself, much less another human being?" 

"You yoxu-self said it was a good old war, and it 
has taught us a lot of things." 

"It has," said Ohver. "But I never ejected 
to hear Huaheine called Durdlebiuy by you. Doggie. 
Oh, Lord I I must have another dnnk. Where's 
your glass? Say when?" 

They parted for the night the best of friends. 

Doggie, in spite of the silk pyjamas and the soft 
bed and the blazing fire in his room — he stripped 
back the light excluding curtains forgetful of 
Defence of the Realm Acts, and opened alt the 
windows wide, to the horror of Peddle in the morn- 
ing — slept like an unperturbed dcmnouse. When 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 283 

Peddle woke him, he lay drowsily while the old 
butler filled hi8 bath and fiddled about the drawers. 
At laat aroused, he cried out: 

"What the dickens are you doing?" 

Peddle turned with an injured air. " I am match- 
ing yotiT ties and socks for your bottle-green suit, 
sir." 

Doggie leaped out of bed. "You dear old 
idiot, I can't go about the streets in bottle-green 
suits. I've got to wear my uniform." He looked 
around the room. "Where the devil is it?" 

Peddle's injured air deepened almost into resent- 
ment. "Where the devil — I" Never had Mr. 
Marmaduke, or his father, the Cimon, used such 
language. He drew himself up. 

' I have given orders, sir, for the uniform suit 
you wore yesterday to be sent to the cleaners." 

"Oh, Helll" said Doggie — And Peddle, unaccus- 
tomed to the vernacular of the British Army, gaped 
with horror. "Oh, Hell! Look here. Peddle, just 
you get on a bicycle, or a motorcar, or an express 
train at once and retrieve that uniform. Don't you 
understand? I'm a private soldier. I've got to 
wear uniform idl the time, and I'll have to stay in 
this beastly bed until you get it for me." 

Peddle fled. The picture that he left on Doggie's 
mind was that of the faithful steward with dismayed, 
upfifted hands, retiring from the room in one of the 
great scenes of Hogarth's "Rake's Progress." The 
similitude made ham laugh — for Doggie always 
had a saving sense of humour — but he was very 
angry with Peddle, while he stamped around the 
room in his silk pyjamas. What the deuce was he 
going to do? Even if he committed the military 
crime (and there was a far more serious crime 
already against him) of appearing in public in mufti, 
did that old ass think ne was gomg to swa^^ 
about Durdlebury in bottle-green suits, as though 

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284 THE ROUGH ROAD 

he were ashamed of the King's uniform? He dipped 
his shaving brush into the hot water. Then he 
threw it, anyhow, across the room. Instead of 
shaving, he would be gloating over the idea of cutting 
that old fool, Peddle s throat, and therefore would 
slash his own face to bits. 

Thii^, however, were not done at lightning speed 
in the Deanery of Durdlebiuy. The mst steps had 
not even been taken to send the uniform to the 
cleaners, and soon Peddle reappeared ctirrying 
it over his arm, and the heavy pair of munitioa 
boots in his hand. 

"These too, sir?" he asked exhibiting the latter 
resignedly, and casting a sad glance at the neat pair 
of brown shoes exquisitely polished and beautifully 
treed which he haa put out for lus master's wear. 

"These, too," said Doggie. "And where's my 
grey flannel shirt?" 

This time Peddle triumphed. "I've given that 
away, sir, to the gardener's boy." 

"Well, you can just ^ £uid buy me half-a-dozen 
more like it," said Doggie. 

He dismissed the old man, dressed, and went 
downstairs. The Dean had breakfasted at seven. 
Peggy and Oliver were not yet down for the nine 
o'clock meal. Doggie strolled about the garden 
and sauntered round to the stable-yard. There he 
encountered Chipmunk in his shirt-sleeves, sitting 
on a packing ctise and polishing Ohver's leggings. 
He raised an ugly, clean-shaven mug and scowled 
beneath his bushy eyebrows at the newcomer. 

"Morning, matel' said Doggie pleasantly. 

"Morning," said Chipmunk, resuming his work. 

Doggie turned over a stable bucket and sat down 
on it and* lit a cigarette. 

"Glad to be back?" 

Chipmunk poised the cloth on which he had 
poured some brown dressing: "Not if I has to be 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 285 

worried with private soljers," he replied. "I came 
'ere to get away from 'em." 

"What's wrong with private soldiers? They're 
good enough for you, aren't they?" asked Do^e 
with a laugh. 

"Naow,' snarled Chipmunk, "especially when 
they ought to be orficers. Go to 'ell 1 ' 

Doggie, who had suffered muc& in the army, but 
had never before been taunted with being a dilet- 
tante gentleman private, still less been consigned 
to hell on that account, leapt to his feet shaken by 
one of his rare sudden gusts of anger. 

" If you don't say I m as good a private soldier 
as any in your rotten, mangy regiment, I'll knock 
your blinking head offi" 

An insult to a soldier's regiment can only be wiped 
out in blood. Chipmunk threw cloth and leg^ug 
to the winds and, springing from his seat like a 
monkey, went for Doggie. 

"You just try." 

Doggie tried, and had not Chipmunk's head been 
very firmly secured to his shoulders, he would have 
succeeded. Chipmunk went down as if he had been 
bombed. It was bis unguarded and unscientific 
rush that did it. Dopgie regarded his prostrate 
figure in gratified surprise. 

"What the devil's all this about?" cried a sharp, 
imperious voice. 

DMgie instinctively stood at attention and saluted, 
and Chipmunk, picking himsBlf up in a dazed sort 
of way, did likewise. 

"You two men shake hands and make friends at 
once," Oliver commanded. 

"Yes, sir," said Doggie. He extended his hand 
and Chipmunk, with the nautical shamble, which 
in moments of stress defied a couple of years' mili- 
tary discii)line, advtuiced and shook it. Oliver 
strode hurriedly away. 

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286 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"I'm Sony I said that about the regim^it, mate. 
I didn't mean it," said Doggie. 

Chipmunk, looked tmcertaJnly into Doggie's eyes 
for what Doggie felt to be a very long time. Chip- 
munk's dull brain was slowly realising liie ^tuation. 
The mfia opposite to him -was his master's cousin. 
When he had last seen him, he had no title to be 
called a man at all. His vocabuleoy volcanically 
rich, but otherwise limited, bad not been able to 
express him in adequate terms of contempt and 
derision. Now behold him masquerading as a 
private. Wounded. But any fool could get 
wounded. Behold him further coming down from 
the social heights whereon his master dwelt, to 
take a rise out of him, Chipmunk. In self-defence 
he had taken the obvious course. He had told him 
to go to hell. Then the important things had hap- 
pened. Not the effeminate gentleman but some- 
one very much like the common Tommy of his 
acquaintance, had responded. And he had further 
responded with the familiar vigour but imwonted 
science of the rank and file. He had also stood at 
attention and saluted and obeyed like any common 
Tommy, when the Major appeared. The last 
fact appealed to him, perhaps, as much as the one 
more mvested in violence. 

'"Ere," said he at last, jerking his head and rub- 
binghis jaw, "how the 'ell did you do it?" 

"We'll get some gloves and I'll rfiow you," said 
Doggie. 

So peace and firm friendship were made. Do^e 
went mto the house, and in the dining room found 
Oliver in convulsive laughter. 

"Oh, my holy AuntI you'll be the death of me. 
Doggie. 'Yes, sir!'" He mimicked him. "The 
peifect Tommy. After doing in old Chipmunk. 
Chipmunk with the strength of a gorilla and the 
courage of a lion. I just happened round to see faioi 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 287 

Kdown. How the blazes did you manage it, 
wgie?" 

' That's what Chipmunk's just asked me," Do^e 
replied. "I belong to a regiment where boxing is 
taught. Really a good regiment," he grinned. 
" There's an Sergeant Instructor, a diap called 
Ballinghall — " 

"Not Joe Ballinghall, Uie well-known amateur 
heavy-weight? " 

"That's him right enough," said Doggie. 

"My dear old chap," said Oliver, 'this is the 
funniest war that ever wtis." 

Peggy stiiled in full of apologies and began to 
pour out coffee. 

"Do hdp yourselves with dishes and things. 
I'm so sorry to have kept you pora: hungry thi^s 
waiting." 

"We've filled up the time amazingly," cried 
Oliver, waving a silver dish-cover. 'What do 
you think P Doggie's had a fight with Chipmunk 
and knocked .him out." 

Peggy splashed the milk over the brim of Doggie's 
cup and mto the saucer. There came a sudden 
flu^ on her cheek and a sudden hard look into her 
eyes. 

"Fighting? Do you mean to say you've been 
fighting wiui a coounon man like Chipmunk?" 

"Were the best of friends now," said Doggie. 
"We imderstand each other." 

"I can't quite see the necessity," said Peggy. 

"I'm afraid it's rather hard to explam," he 
rephed with a rueful knitting of the brows, for he 
realised her disgust at the vulgar brawl. 

" I think the less said, the better," she remarked 
acidly. 

The meal proceeded in ominous gloom, and as 
soon as Peggy had finished she left the room. 

" It seems, old chap, that I can never do rijibt," 

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288 THE ROUGH ROAD 

said Oliver. "Long ago, when I used to crab you, 
she gave it to me in the neck; and now when I 
try to boost you, you seem to get it." 

"I'm afraid I've got on Peggy's nerves," said 
Doggie. "You see, we've only met once before dur- 
ing the last two years, and I suppose I've changed." 
There's no doubt about tniat, old son," said 
Oliver. "Rut all the same, P^gy has stood by 
you like a brick, hasn't sheP" 

"That's the devil of it," replied Doggie, rubbing 
up his hair. 

"Why the devil of it?" Oliver adied quickly. 

"Oh, I don't know," rephed Doggie. "As you 
have once or twice observed, it's a funny old war." 

He rose, went to the door. 

"Where are you cff to?" asked Oliver. 

"I'm going to Denby Hall to take a look rouocL" 

"Like me to come with you? We cira borrow 
the two-seater." 

Doggie advanced a pace. "You're an awfully 
good sort, Oliver," he said, touched, "but would 
you mind — I feel rather a beast — " 

"All right, you silly old ass," cried Oliver cheerily. 
"You wimt, of course, to root about there by your- 
self. Go ahead." 

" If you'll take a spin with me this afternoon, or 
to-morrow — " said Doggie in his sensitive way. 

"Oh, clear out!" laughed Oliver. 

And Doggie cleared. 



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CHAPTER XXI 

ALL right. Peddle, I can find my way about," 
said Doggie, diamifwing the old butler and 
his wife after a little colloquy in the haJl. 

"Everything's in perfect order, sir, just as it 
was when you left; and there are the keys," said 
Mrs. Peddle. 

The Peddles retired. Do^e eyed the heavy 
bunch of keys with an air of distaste. For two 
years he had not seen a key. What on earth could 
be the good of Etll this locking and unlockingt* 
He stuffed the bunch in his tuooic pocket, and 
looked around him. It seemed difficult to realise 
that everything he saw was his own. Those trees 
visible from the hidl windows were his own, and the 
land on which they grew. This spacious, beau- 
tiful house was his own. He had only to wave a 
hand, as it were, and it would be filled with serving 
men and serving maids ready to do his bidding. 
His foot was on nis native heath, and his name was 
Jfunes Marmaduke Trevor. 

Did he ever actually live here, have his being 
here? Was he ever part and parcel of it all — 
the oriental rugs, the soft stair-^rpet on the noble 
oak staircase leading to the gallery, the oil paint- 
ings, the impressive statuary, the solid historical 
oak hall furniture? Were it not so acutely remem- 
bered, he would have felt like a man accustomed 
all his life to bams and tents and hedgerows and 
fetid holes in the ground, who had wandered into 
some ill-guarded p^ce. He entered the drawing 
room. The faitmid Peddles, with pathetic zed 
to give him a true home-coming, had set it oat 

289 

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290 THE ROUGH ROAD 

fresh and clean and polished; the windows were 
like crystal, and flowers welcomed him from every 
available vase. And so in the dining room. The 
Chippendale fining table gleamed like a sombre 
translucent pool. On the sideboard, amid the 
array of shimne silver, the very best old Water- 
ford decanters filled with whisky and brajidy, and 
old cut glass goblets invited him to refreshment. 
The precious mezzotint portraits, mostly of his own 
collecting, regarded him urbanely from the walls. 
The Times and the Morning Post were laid out on 
the little table by his accustomed chair near the 
massive marble mantelpiece. 

"The dear old idiots," said Doggie, and he sat 
down for a moment and unfolded the newspapers 
and strewed them around, to give the impression 
that he had read and enjoyed them. 

And then he went into his own private and par- 
ticular den, the peacock and ivory room, which 
had been the supreme expression of himself and 
for which he had ached during many nights of 
misery. He looked round and his heart sank. 
He seemed to come face to face with the ineffectual, 
effeminate creature who had brought upon him 
the disgrace of his man's life. But for the creator 
and s^^oarite enjoyer of this sickening boudoir, 
he would now be in honoured command of men. 
He conceived a sudden violent hati^ of the room. 
The only thing in the place worth a man's con- 
sideration, save a few water-colours, was the honest 
grand piano, which, because it did not aestheti- 
cally harmonise with his squeaky, pot-bellied theor- 
bos and tinkling spinet, he had hidden in an alcove 
behind a curtain. He turned an eye of disgust 
on the vellum hacks of his books in the closed 
Chippendale cases, on the drawers containing his 
collection of wall-papers, on the footling peacocks, 
on the curtains and cuf^ons, on the veined ivory 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 291 

paper which, beginmng to fade two years ago, 
now looked mean and meaningless. It was an 
abominable room. - It ought to be smelline of 
musk or pastilles or joss-sticks. It might neve 
done so, for once he had tried something of the 
sort, and did not renew the experiment only be- 
cause the smell happened to make him sick. 

There was one feature of the room at which for 
a long time he avoided lookii^: but wherever he 
turned, it impressed itself on his consciousness as 
the miserable genius of the despicable place. And 
that was his collection of little china dogs. 

At last he planted himself in iront of the great 
glass cabinet, whence thousands of Uttle dogs looked 
at him out of little black dots of eyes. There 
were dogs of all oationahties, all breeds, all twisted 
enormities of human invention. There were mon- 
strous dogs of China and Japan; Aztec dogs; dogs 
in Sevres and Dresden and Chelsea; sixpenny 
dogs from Austria and Switzerland; everytiiing 
in the way of a little dog that man had made. He 
stood in front of it with almost a doggish snarl 
on his Upe. He had spent himdreds and hundreds 
of pounds over these futile dogs. Yet never a 
flesh and blood, real, lusty canis futilis had he 
possessed. He used to dislike real dogs. He had 
wasted his heart over these contemptible counter- 
feits. To add to his collection, catalogue it, 
describe it, correspond about it with the semi-im- 
becile Russian prince, his only rival collect<H', had 
once ranked with his history of wall-papers as the 
serious and absorbing pursuit of his life. 

Then suddenly D<^gie's hatred reached the crisis 
of ferocity. He saw red. He seized the first 
instrument of destruction that came to his hand, 
a little gilt Louis XV music stool, and biished the 
cabinet full in front. The glass flew into a thousand 
splinters. He hashed again. The woodwork d 

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292 THE ROUGH ROAD 

the cabinet stoutly resisting, worked hideous dam- 
age on the ^t stotd. But Do^e went on bashing 
1^ the cabmet sank in ruins and the little dogs, 
headless, tail-less, rent in twain, strewed the floor. 
Then Doggie stamped on .them with his heavy 
munition ooota until dogs and glass were reduced 
to powder and the Aubusson carpet cut to pieces. 

' Damn the whole infernal place 1" cried Doggie, 
and he heaved a mandolin lied up with disgustms 
peacock-blue ribbons at the bookcase, and fled 
from the Toosa. 

He stood for a while in the ludl shaken with his 
anger; then mounted the staircase and went into 
his own bedroom, with the satinwood furniture 
and Nattier blue hangings. Godl what a bed- 
chamber for a mant He would have liked to throw 
bombs into the nest of effeminacy. But his mother 
had arranged it, so in a way it was immime from 
his iconoclastic rage. He went down to the dining 
room, helped himself to a whisky and soda fnnn the 
sideboard, and sat down in the armdiair amidst 
the scattered newspapers, and held his head in his 
hands and thought. 

The house was hateful; all its associations were 
hateful. If he lived there imtil he was ninety, 
the abhorred ghost of the pre-war little Doggie 
IVevor would always haimt every nook and cranny 
of the place, mouthing the quarter of a century's 
shame that had culminated in the Great Disgrace. 
At last he brought his hand down wiUi a bang 
on the arm of the chair. He would never live 
in this House of Dishonour again. Never. He 
would sell it. 

"By Godl" he cried, starting to his feet, as the 
inspiration came. 

He would sell it, as it stood, lock, stock and 
barrel, with everything in it. He would wipe 
out at one stroke the whole of his unedi^ring hu- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 293 

tory. Denby Hall gone, what could tie him to 
DurdleburyP He would be freed for ever from 
the petrifaction of the grey, cramping little city. 
If Peggy didn't like it, that was Peegy's affair. 
In matmal thinga he was master of ms destiny. 
Peggy would have to follow him in his career, 
whatever it was, not he Peggy. He saw clearly 
that which had been mapped out for him, the 
sillv little social ambitions, the useless existence, 
little Doggie Trevor for ever trailing obediently 
behind the lady of Denby Hall. DoMJe threw 
himself back in his chair and laughed. No one 
had ever heard him laugh like that. After a while 
he was even surprised at himself. 

He was perfectly ready to marry Peggy. It 
was almost a pre-ordained thing. A rupture of 
the engagement was imthinkable. Her undevi- 
ating loyalty bound him by every fibre of grati- 
tude and honour. But it was essential that Peggy 
should know whom and what she was marrying. 
The Doggie trailing in her wake no longer existed. 
If she were prepared to follow the new Dogj^je, 
well and good. If not, there would be conflict. 
For that he was prepared. 

He strode, this time contemptuously, into his 
wrecked peacock and ivory room, where his tele- 
phone (blatant and hideous thing) was ingeniously 
concealed behind a screen, and rang up Spooner 
and Smithson, the leading firm of Auctioneers 
and Estate Agents in the town. At the mention 
of his name, Mr. Spooner, the senior partner, 
came to the telephone. 

"Yes, I'm back, Mr. Spooner, and I'm quite 
well," said Doggie. "I want to see you on very 
important busmess. When can you fix it upP 
Any timeP Can you come along now to Denby 
Hall?" 

Mr. Spooner would be pleased to wait upon Mr. 



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294 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Trevor immediately. He would start at once. 
Dc«gie went out and sat on the front doorstep 
and amoked cigarettes till he came. 

"Mr. Spooner," said he, as soon as the dderly 
auctioneer descended from his little car, "I'm going 
to sell the whole of the Deuby Hall estate, and, 
with the exception of a few odds and ends, family 
relics and so forth, which I'll pick out, all the coD' 
tents of the house, furniture, pictm^s, sheets, 
towels and kitchen clutter. I've only got six 
days' leave, tmd I want all the worries, as far as I 
am concerned, settled and done with before I go. 
So you'll have to buck up, Mr. Spooner. If you 
say you can't do it, I'll put the business by tele- 
phone into the hands of a London agent." 

It took Mr. Spooner nearly a quarter of an hour 
to recover his breath, gain a grasp of the situation, 
and assemble his business wits. 

"Of course I'll ctury out your insUuctions, 
Mr. Trevor," he said at last. "You ceui safely 
leave the matter in our hands. But, although 
it is against my business interests, pray let me 
beg you to reconsider your decision. It is such 
a beautiful home, your grandfather, the Bishop's, 
before you." 

"He bought it pretty cheap, didn't he, some- 
where in the seventies?" 

"I forget the price he paid for it, but I could 
look it up. Of course we were the agents." 

"And then it was let to some dismal people 
until my fathw died and my mother took it over. 
I'm sorry I can't get sentimental about it, as if 
it were an ancestral hall, Mr. Spooner. I want 
to get rid of the place, because I hate the sight 
of it." 

"It would be presumptuous of me to say any- 
thing more," answered the old-fashioned country 
auctioneer. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 295 

"Say what you like, Mr. Spooner," lauded 
Doggie in his disarming way. "We're old 
friends. But send in your people this afternoon 
to start on inventories and measuring up, or 
whatever they do, and I'll look round to-morrow 
and sdect the bits I may want to keep. You'll 
see after the storing of them, won't you?" 

"Of course, Mr. Trevor." 

Mr. Spooner drove away in his little car, a much 
dazed man. Like the rest of Durdlebury and the 
circumjacent county, he had assumed that when 
the war was over Mr. James Marmaduke Trevor 
would lead his bride from the Deanedry into Denby 
Hall, where the latter, in her own words, would 
proceed to make things hum. 

"My dear," said he to his wife at luncheon, 
"you could have knocked me over with a feathCT. 
What he's doing it for, goodness knows. I can 
only Eissume ttmt he has grown so accustomed 
to the destruction of property in France, that he 
has got bitten by the fever." 

"Perhaps Peggy Conover has turned him down," 
suggested his wife, who, much younger than he, 
employed more modem turns of speech. "And 
I shouldn't wonder if she has. Smce the war 
girls aren't on the lookout for pretty monkeys." 

"If Miss Conover thinks she has got hold of a 
pretty monkey in that young man, she is very much 
misteuten," replied Mr. Spooner. 

Meanwhile Doggie summoned Peddle to the 
haU. He knew that his annoimcement would 
be a blow to the old man; hut this was a world 
of blows; and, after all, one could not organise 
one's life to suit the sentiments of old family idiots 
of retainers, served they never so faithfully. 

"Peddle," said he, "I'm sorry to say I'm going 
to sell Denby HaU. Messrs. Spooner and Smith- 
son's people are coming in this afternoon. So 

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296 THE ROUGH ROAD 

give them every facili^. Also tea, or beer, or 
whisky, or whatever they want. About what's 
going to happen to you and Mrs. Peddle, don't 
worry a bit. I'll look after that. You've been 
jolly good friends of mine all my life, and I'll see 
that everything's as right as rain.' 

He turned, before the amazed (dd butler could 
reply, and marched away. Peddle gaped at his 
retreating figure. If those were the ways which 
Mr. Marmaduke had learned in the Army, the lower 
sank the Army in Peddle's estimation. To sell 
Deuhy Hall over his head I Why, the place and 
all about it was his! So deeply are squatters' rights 
implanted in the human instinct. 

Dogde marched along the familiar hi^ road, 
stnui^y eidiilarated. What was to be his future 
he neither knew nor cared. At any rate, it would 
not lie in Durdlebury. He had cut out Durdle- 
bury for ever from his scheme of ejostence. If 
he got through the war, he and Peggy would go out 
somewhere into the great world where there was 
man's work to do. Parliament! Peggy had sug- 
gested it as a sort of country-gentleman's hobby 
that would keep him amused during the autumn 
and summer London seasons — so might pro- 
spective bride have talked to prospective husband 
faty years ago. Parliament! C!od hdp him and 
God help P^gy if ever he got into Parliament. 
He would speak the most impopular truths about 
the race of politicians if ever he got into Parlia- 
ment. Peggy would wish that neither of them 
had ever b^i bom. He held the trenches' views 
on politicians. No fear. No muddy politics as 
an elegant amusement ita hinL He laughed as 
he had laughed in the dJTiJTw nxon at Deuby 
Hall. 

He would have a bad quarter of an hour with 
Peggy. Naturally. She would say, and with every 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 297 

right: "What about meP Am I not to be con- 
sidered?" Yes, of course she would be considered. 
The position ]ns fortune assured him would ahrays 
be hers. He had no notion of asking her to share 
a log cabin in the wilds of Canada, or to bury her- 
self in Oliver's dud island of Hufiheine. The 
great world would be before Ibem. "But give 
me some sort of an idea of what you propose to 
do," she would with perfect propriety demand. 
And there Doggie was stuck. He had not the 
ghost of a progranune. All he had was faith in 
the war, faiui in the British spirit and Genius that 
would bring it to a perfect end, in which there 
' would be unimagined opportunities for a man to 
fling himself into a new Ufe, amid new conditions, 
and begin the new work of a new civilisation. 

"If she'll only understand," said he, "that I 
can't go back to those blasted httle dogs, all will 
be wdl." 

Not quite all. Although his future was as neb- 
ulous as the phmetary system in the Milky Way, 
at the back of his mind was a vague conviction 
that it would be connected somehow with the 
welfare of those men whom he had learned to 
know and love; the men to whom reading was 
httle pleasure, writing a schoolcliild's laborious 
task, the glories of the earth as interpreted through 
art a sealed book; the men whose daily speech was 
foul metaphor; the men, hemi-demi-semi-educated, 
whose crude socialistic opinions the open lessons 
of history and the etemeu facts of human nature 
derisively refuted; the men who had sweated 
and slaved in factory and in field to no other pur- 
pose than to obey the biological laws of the per- 
petuation of the species; yet the men with the 
sweet minds of children, the gulling tenderness of 
women, the hearts of lions;- the men compared to 
whom the rotten squealing fa«x>es of H(Hner were 

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298 THE ROUGH ROAD 

a horde of cowardly sav^es. They were men, 
these comTades of nis, swift witii all that there 
can be of divine glory in man. 

And when they came home and the high gods 
sounded the fiilse trumpet of p^cet> 

There would be mens work in England for all 
the Doggies in England to do. 

Again, if Peggy could understand this, all would 
be well. If she missed the point altogether, and 
tauntingly advised him to go and join his firiend 
Mr. Ramsay Macdonald at once — then — he 
shoved his cap to the back of his head and wrinkled 
his forehead — then — 

"Everything will be in the soup," said he. 

These reflections brought him to the Deanery. 
The nearest way of entrance was the stable yard 
gate, which was always open. He strode in, waved 
a hand to Chipmunk, who was sitting on the ground 
with his back against the garage, smoking a pipe, 
and entered the house by the French wmdow of 
the dining room. Where should he find Peggy? 
His whole mind was set on the immediate inter- 
view. Obviously the drawing room was the first 
place of search. He opened the drawing room door, 
the hinges and lock oily, noiseless, perfectly or- 
dained, like everything in that perfectly ordained 
English Deanery, and strode in. 

His entrance was so swift, so protected from 
sound, that the pair had no time to start apart 
before he was there, with his amazed eyes full 
upon them. Peggy's hands were on Oliver's shoul- 
ders, tears were streaming down her face, as her 
head was thrown back from him, and Oliver's arm 
viaa around her. Her back was to the door. Oliver 
withdrew his arm and retired a pace or two. 

"Lord Almighty," he whispered, "here's Doggiel" 

Then Peggy, realising what had happened, 
wheeled round and stared tragically at Doggie 

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THE ROUGH ROAB 299 

who, preoccupied with the search for her, had not 
removed his cap. He drew himself up and saluted. 

"I beg your pardon, sir," he said with imper- 
turbable irony, and turned. 

Oliver rushed across the room. 

"Stop, you siUy fooll" 

He Slammed me open door, caught Doggie by 
the aim and dragged him away from the threshold. 
His blue eyes blazed, and the lips beneath the &liort- 
cropped moustache quivered. 

' It's all my fault, Dc^gie. I'm a beast and a 
cad eind coiyuiing you lute to call me. But for 
things you said last night — well — no, hang it 
all, there's no excuse. Everything's on me. Peggy's 
as true as gold." 

Peggy, red-eyed, pale-cheeked, stood a httle 
way hack, silent, on the defensive. Doggie, look- 
iDg from one to the oUier, said ^etly: 

'A triangular explanation is scarcely decent. 
Perha^ you might let me have a word or two 
with Peggy." 

"Yes. It would be best," die whispered. 

"I'll be in the dining room if you want me," 
said Oliver, and went out. 

D(w;gie took her hand and very gently led ho* 
to a chair. 

"Let UB sit down. There," said he, "now we 
can talk more comfortably. First, before we touch 
on this situation, let me say something to you. 
It may ease things." 

Peggy, humiliated, did not look at him. She 
uodd^. 

"All right." 

"I made up my mind this morning to sell Denby 
Hall and its contents. I've given old Spooner 
instructions." 

She glanced at him involuntarily. "Sell Denby 
HaU?" 

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300 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Yes, deer. Yoii see, I had made i^ my mind 
definitely, if I'm rajared, not to live m Durdle- 
bury aftCT the war.' 

"What were you thinliing of doing?" she asked, 
in a low voice. 

"That would depend on after war circmnstances. 
Anyhow, I was coming to yon, when I entered the 
room, with my decision. I knew of comse that 
it wouldn't please you — that you would have 
something to say to it — pohaps something very 
serious." 

"What do you mean by something very serious?" 

"Our little contract, dear," said Doggie, "was 
based on the understanding that you would not 
be uprooted from the place in which are all your 
life's associations. If I broke that understanding 
it would leave you a free agent to determine the 
contract, as the lawyers say. So perhaps, Peggy 
dear, we might disiniss — well — other considera- 
tions, and just discuss this." 

Peggy twisted a rag of a handkerchief and wavered 
for a moment. Then she broke out, with fresh 
tears on her chedc. 

"You're a dear of dears to put it that way. Only 
you could do it. I've been a brute, old boy; but 
I couldn't help it. I did try to jplay the game." 

"You did, Pecg^ dear. You ve been wonderful." 

"And althougn it didn't look like it, I was trying 
to play the game when you came in. I really was. 
And so was he." She rose and threw the hand- 
kerchief away from her. "I'm not going to step 
out of the engagement by the side door you've Im 
open for me, you dear, old simple thing. It stands 
if you like. We're all honourable people, and 
Oliver — " she drew a sharp Uttle breatn — "Oliver 
will go out of our lives." 

Doggie smiled — he had risen — and t^lfing her 
hands, kissed than. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 301 

"I've never known what a splendid P^gy it is, 
until I lose her. Look here, dear, here's me whole 
thing in a nutshell. While I've been morbidly 
ocxupied with myaelf and my grievances and my 
disgrace and my efforts to pull through, and have 
gradually developed into a sort of ludf-breed be- 
tween a Tommy and a gentleman, with every 
mortal thing in me warped imd changed, you've 
stuck to the original rotten fiss you lashed into 
the setublance of a man, in this very room, good- 
ness knows how many months, or years, or cen- 
turies ago. In my infernal selfishness, I've treated 
you awfully badly. ' 

"No, you haven't," ahe declared stoutly. 

"Yes, I have. The ordinary girl would have 
told a living expmment like me to go hang long 
before this. But you didn't. And now you see a 
totally different sort of Doggie, and you're making 
yourself miserable because he's a queer, unsym- 
pathetic, unfamihar strange." 

"All that may be so," ^e said, meeting his eyes 
bravely. "But if the unfamihar Doggie stUl cares 
for me, it doesn't matter." 

Here was a delicate situation. Two very tender- 
skinned vanities opposed to each other. TTie 
smart of seeing one s affianced bride in the arms 
of another man hurts grievously sore. It's a primi- 
tive sex affair, independent of love in its modem 
sense. If the savage's abandoned squaw runs off 
with another fellow, he pursues him with clubs and 
tomahawks until he has avenged the insult. Hav- 
ing known ME, to decline to Spotted Crocodile! 
So the finest flower of civilisation cannot surrender 
the lady who once was his to the more favoured 
male without a primitive pang. On the other hand. 
Doggie knew very well that he did not love Peggy, 
that he had never loved Peggy. But how in com- 
mon decency could a man tell a girl who had wasted 



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302 THE ROUGH ROAD 

a couple of years of her life over liim, that be 
had never loved her? Instead of replying to her 
question, he walked about the room in a worried 
way. 

' I take it," said Peggy incisively, after a while, 
"that you don't care for me any longer." 

He turned and halted at the challenge. He 
snapped his fingers. What was the good of all 
this beating of tne bushP 

"Look here, Peggy, let's face it out. If you'll 
confess that you and Oliver are in love with each 
other, I'll comess to a girl in France." 

"Oh?" said Peggy, with a swift change to cool- 
ness. "There's a girl in France, is there? How 
long has this been going on?" 

' The last four days in billete before I got 
wounded," said Doggie. 

"WhatisshelikeP 

Then Doggie suddenly laughed out loud, and 
took her by the shoulders in a grasp rougher than 
she had ever dreamed to lie in liie strength or 
nature of Marmaduke Trevor, and kissed her the 
heartiest, hoaestest kiss she had ever had from 
man, and rushed out of the room. 

Presently he returned, dragging with him a 
disconsolate Major. 

"Here," said he, "fix it mj between you. I've 
told Peggy about a ^1 in France, and she wants 
to know what she's like." 

Peggy, shaken by the rude grip and the kiss, 
flashaa, and cried TebeUlously: 

"I'm not quite so sure that I want to fix it up 
wilb Oliver." 

"Oh, yes, you do," cried OUvct. 

He snatdied up Doggie's cap and jammed it on 
Dogde's head and cried: 

"Doggie, you're the best and truest and finest 
of dear old chaps in the whole wide world I " 



THE ROUGH ROAD 303 

Doggie settled his cap, griimed and moved to 
the door. 

"Anything else, sir?" 

Oliver roared, dehghted: *'No, Private Trevor; 
you can go." 

"Very good, sir." 

Doggie saluted smartly and went out. He passed 
through the French window of the dining room 
into the mellow autumn sunshine. Found him- 
self standing in front of Chipmimk, who stiU smoked 
the pipe of elegant leisure hy the door of the garage. 

"This is a dam' good old world, all the same. 
Isn't it? "said he. 

"If it was always like this, it would have ita 
points," repUed the unworried Chipmunk. 

Doggie had an inspiration. He looked at his 
watch. It was nearly one o'clock. 

"Hungry?" 

"Always 'ungry. Specially about dinner time." 

" Come alon^ of me to the Downshire Arms and 
have a bite of dinner." 

Chipmunk rose slowly to his feet, and put his 

Eipe into his tunic pocket, and jerked a slow thumb 
ackwards. 

"Ain't yer having yer meals 'ere?" 

"Only now and then, as sort of treats," said 
Dogrie. "Come along." 

"Ker-istt" said Chipmunk. "Can yer wait a 
bit until I've cleaned me buttons?" 

"Oh, bust your old buttonsi" laughed Dc^gie. 
"I'm hungiry.' 

So the pair of privates marched through the 
old city to the Downshire Anns, the select, old- 
world Hotel of Durdlebury, where Doggie was 
known since babyhood; and there, sittu^ at a 
window table with Chipmunk, he gave Durdle- 
bury the great . sensation of its life. If the Dean 
hiniself, clad in tights and spangles, had juggled 



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304 THE ROUGH ROAD 

for pence by the West door of the cathedral, tongues 
could scarcely have wagged faster. But Doggie 
worried his head about gossip not one jot. He 
was in joyous mood, ana ordered a Gargantuan 
feast for Chipmimk and battles of the strongest 
old Burgundy, such as he thought would get a 
grip on Chipmunk's whiskyfied throat; and under 
the genial influence of food and drink, Chipmunk 
told him tales of far lands and strange adventures; 
and when they emerged much later into the Quiet 
streets, it was the great good fortune of Chip- 
munk's life that there was not the ghost of an 
Assistant Provost Marshal in Durdlebury. 

"Doggie, old man,'* said Oliver afterwards, 
"my wonder and reverence for you iocreases hour 
by hour. You are the only man in the whole 
wide world who ht« ever made Chipmunk dnmk." 

" You see," said Doggie modestly, " I don't 
think he ever really lovra anyone who fed him 
before." 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER XXII 

DOGGIE, the lighteslrhearted private in the 
British Anny, danced, in a metaphorical 
sense, ba(^ to London, where he stayed 
for the rest of his leave at his rooms in Wofomn 
Place; took his wholesome fill of theatres and music- 
halls, going to those parts of the house where Tom- 
mies congregate; and bought an old Crown Derby 
dinner service as a wedding present for Peggy and 
Oliver, a tortoise-shell-fitted (fressing-case for Peggy, 
and for OUver a magnificent gold watch that wfis 
an encyclopaedia of current information. He had 
never felt so happy in his fife, so enchanted with 
the grimly smihng old world. Were it not for 
the Bodie, it could hold its own as a brave place 
with any planet going. He blessed Oliver, who, 
in turn, had blessed him as though he had dif^yed 
heroic magnanimity. He ble^ed Peggy, who, 
flushed wiw love and happiness and gratitude, 
had shown him, for the firat time, what a really 
adorable young woman she could be. He tiianked 
Heaven for making three people hf^py, instead of 
three people miserable. 

He marched along the wet pavementa with a 
new light in his eyes, with a new exhilarating breath 
in his nostrils. He was free. The war over, he 
could do exactly what he liked. An untrammelled 
future lay before him. During the war he could 
hop about trenches and shell-holes with the free- 
dom of a bird. . . . 

Those awful duty letters to Peggy! Only now 
he fully realised their nev^-ending strain. Now 
he could write to her spontaneously, whenever 



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306 THE ROUGH ROAD 

the mood suited, write to her from his heart: 
"Dear old Peggy, I'm so glad you're happy. Oliver's 
a splendid auip. Et edera, et cetera, et cetera." 
He had lost a dreaded bride; but he had found a 
dear and devoted &i^id. Nay, mare: he had 
found two devoted friends. When he drew up 
his account with humanity, he found himself pasa- 
ing rich in love. 

His furlough expired, he reported at his dep5t 
and was put on light duty. He went about it 
the cheeriest soul ahve, and laughed at the mem- 
ory of his former miseries as a recuit. This camp 
life in England, after the mud and blood of France 

— like the African gentleman in Mr. Addison's 
"Cato," he blessed his stars and thought it luxury. 
He was not sorry that the exigences of service pre- 
vented him from being present at the wedding of 
Oliver and Peggy. For it was the most sudden 
of ph^omena, uke the fight of two rams, as Shake- 
speare hath it. In war-tune people marry in haste; 
and often, dear God, they have not the leisure 
to repent. Since the beginning of the war there 
are many, many women twice widowed. . . . But 
that is by the way. Doggie was grateful to an 
UD^atefuI mihtEiry system. If he had attended 

— m the capacity erf best man, so please you — 
so violent and imreasoning had Ohver's affection 
become, Durdlebury would have gaped and whis- 
pered behind its hand and made things uncom- 
fortable for everybody. Doggie from the security 
of his regiment wished them joy by letter and 
telegram, and sent them Ihe wedding presents 
aforesaid. 

Then, for a season, there were three hapyy peocJe, 
at least, in this war-wildemras of suffermg. The 
newl^ wedded pair went off for a honeymoon whose 
promise of indefinite length was eventually cut 
short by an imromantic War Office. Ohver re- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 307 

turned to his regiment in France and Peggy to 
the Deanery, where she sat among her wedding 
presents and her hopes for the future. 

*'I never realised, my dear," said the Dean 
to his wife, "what a remarkably pretty girl Peggy 
has grown into." 

"It's because she has got the man she loves," 
said Mrs. Conover. 

"Do you think that's the reasonP" 

"I've known the plainest of women bec<Hne 
quite good-looking. In the early days of our 
married life" — ^e smiled — "even I was not 
quite xmattractive." 

The old Dean bent down — she was sitting and 
he standing — and lifted her chin witii his fore- 
finger. 

' You, mv dear, have always been hy far the 
most beautiful woman of my ao^uaintance." 

".We're taUdng of Peggy, ' snmed Mrs. Conov». 

"Aht" said me Dean. "So we were. I was 
saying that the child's happiness was reflected 
in her face — " 

"I rather thou^t I said it, dear," replied Mrs. 
Conover. 

"It doesn't matter," said her husband, who 
was first a man and then a Dean. He waved a 
band in benign dismissal of the argument. "It's 
a great ma^," said he, "that she has married the 
man she loves instead of — weU . . . Marmaduke 
has turned out a capital fellow, and a credit to the 
family — but I never was quite easy in my mind 
over the engagement. . . . And yet, ' he continued, 
after a turn or two about the room, "I'm rather 
conscience-stricken about Marmaduke, poor chap. 
He has taken it like a brick. Yes, my dear, like 
a brick. Like a gentleman. But all the same, 
no man likes to see another fellow walk off with 
his sweetheart." 

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308 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"I don't think Marmaduke was ever bo bucked 
in his life," said Mrs. Conover placidly. 

"So—?" 

Tlie Dean gasped. His wife's smile playing 
ironicnJlIy among her wrinkles was rather b^utifm. 

"Peggy's word, Edward, not mine. The modem 
vocabulary. It means — " 

"Oh, I know what the hideous word means. 
It was your u»ng it that caused a shiver down my 
^ine. But why buckedP" 

"It appears there's a girl in France." 

"Oho! ' said the Dean. "Whoisshe?" 

"That's what Peggy, even now, would give a 
good deal to find out. 

For Doggie had told Peggy nothing more about 
the girl in France. Jeanne was his own precious 
secret. That it was shared by Phineas and Mo 
didn't matter. To discuss her with Peggy, besides 
being irrelevant, in the circumstances, was quite 
anotaer affair. Indeed, when he had avowed the 
girl in France, it was not so much a confession as 
a gallant desire to help P^gy out of her predica- 
ment. For, after all, what was Jeanne but a be- 
loved war-wraith that had passed through his life 
and disappearedP 

"The development of Marmaduke," said the 
Dean, "is not the least ertraordinary phenomenon 
of the war." 

Now that Doggie had gained his freedom, Jeanne 
ceased to be a wraith. She became once again 
a wonderful thing of flesh and blood towards whom 
all his young, freeh instinct yearned tremendously. 
One day it struck his ingenuous mind that, if Jeanne 
were willing, there could be no possible reason why 
he should not marry her. Who was to say him 
nay? Convention? He had put all the conven- 
tions of his life under the auctioneer's hammir* 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 309 

The family? He pictured a meeting between 
Jeamie and the kind and comleous old Dean. It 
could not be other than an episode of beauty. 
All he had to do was to seek out Jeanne and begm 
his wooing in earnest. The simplest adventure 
in the world for a well-to-do and unattached young 
man — if only that young man had not been a 
private soldier on active service. 

That was the rub. Doggie passed his hand over 
his hair ruefully. How on earth could he get 
to Fr£us again? Not till the end of the war, at 
any rate, which might be years hence. There 
was nothing for it but a resumption of intimacy 
by letter. So he wrote to Jeanne the letter which 
loyalty to Peggy had made him destroy weeks 
ago. But no answer came. Then he wrote another, 
telling her of Peggy and his freedom, and his love 
and his hopes, and to that there came no reply. 

A pr^)aid telegrcun produced no result. 

Doggie began to despair. What had happened 

_ T r( xtn j;j _t~ ;_» ;_ i: 1,1 4. 



to Jeanne? "Why did she persist in ruling him out 
of her existence? Was it oecause, in spite of her 
gratitude, she wanted none of his love? He sat 
on the railing on the sea front of the South coast 
town where ne was quartered, and looked across 
the Channel in dismayed apprehension. He was 
a fool. What could there possibly be in little 
Doggie Trevor to ii^ire a romantic passion in 
any woman's heart? Take Peggy's case. As soon 
as a real, genuine fellow like Oliver came along, 
Peggy's heart flew out to him like needle to magnet. 
Even had he been of Oliver's Paladin mould, what 
right had he to expect Jeanne to give him all the 
wonder of herself after a four days' acquaintance? 
Being what he was, ^ust little Doggie Trevor, the 
assumption was an impertinence. She had shel- 
tered herself from it behind a bfurier of silence. 
A girl, a thing of low cut blouse, truncated skirts 



i.,CJoo(^Ic 



310 THE ROUGH ROAD 

and cheap silk stockings, who had been leaning 
unnoticed for some time on the rails by his side» 
spoke. 

"You seem to be jw^tty Ioti^." 

Doggie swerved round. "YeB, I am, darned 
lon^. ' 

" Crane for a walk, ot take me to the pictures." 

"And thent*" asked Doggie, swinging to his feet. 

"If we get on all ri^t, we can fGc up sometliiDg 
for to-morrow." 

She was pretty, with a fair, firizzy, insolent pretti- 
ness. She might have beoi any age £rom fourteen 
to four-imd-twenty. 

Doggie smiled, tanpted to while away a daxk 
ham. But he said, honestly : 

"Fm airaid I should be a dull companion." 

"What's the matter?" she laughed. "Lost your 
bestgirl?" 

"Something like it." He waved a hand across 
the sea. "Oiver there." 

"French? Oh!" She drew herself up. "Aren't 
English girls good enough for you?" 

' When they're sympathetic, they're delightful," 
said he. 

"Oh, you make me tired I Good-bye," she snapped 
and stalked away. 

After a few yards she glanced over her shoulder 
to see whether he was fcJlowing. But Doggie re- 
mained by the railings and presently went off to 
a picture palace by himself and thmi^t wistfully 
of Jeanne. 

And Jeanne? Well, Jeanne was no longer at 
Fr^us; for there came a morning when Aunt 
Morin was found dead in her bed. The old doctor 
came and spread out his thin hands and said "Eh 
bien" and Que voulez-vous?" and "It wm bound 
to happen sooner or later," and munnured learned 



THE ROUGH ROAD 311 

words. The old Ciir€ came and a neighbour or 
two, and candles were put round the coffin, and the 
pompes fanibres draped the front steps and entrance 
and vestibule in heavy black. And as soon as was 
possible Aunt Morin was laid to rest in the little 
cemetery adjoining the church, and Jeanne went 
back to the house with Toinette, alone in the wide 
world. And because there had been a death in 
the place the billeted soldiers went about the court- 
yard very quietly. 

Since Pbineas and Mo and Doggie's regiment 
had gone away, she had devoted, with a new pas- 
sionate zeal, all the time she could Efpare from the 
sick woman to the comforts of the men. No longer 
restrained by the tightly drawn purse-strings of 
Aunt Morin, but with money of her own to spend 
— cOid money restored to her by these men's 
dear and heroic connade — she a)uld give them 
unexpected treats of rich coffee and milk, fresh 
eggs, fruit. . . . She mended and darned for them 
and suborned old women to help her. She con- 
spired with the Town Major to render the granary 
more habitable; and the Town Major, who had 
not to issue a return for a centime's expense, re- 
ceived all her suggestions with courteous enthu- 
siasm. Toinette, taking good care to impress upon 
every British soldier who could understand her, 
the fact that to Mademoiselle personally and in- 
dividually he was indebted for all these luxuries, 
the fame of Jeanne be^an to spread tbrough that 
sector of the Front behmd which lay Fr^lus. Con- 
currently spread the story of Doggie Trevor's ex- 
ploit. Jeanne became a legendary figure, save to 
those thrice fotlimate who were billeted on Veuve 
Morin el Fits, Marchands des Foins en Gros et Dk- 
iail, and these, according to their several stoUd 
Britirfi ways, bowed down and worshipped before 
the ^iim French girl with the tiagic eyes, and when 

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312 THE ROUGH ROAD 

they departed, confiimed the legend and made 
things nasty fw the sceptically superior private. 

So, on the day of the funeral of Aunt Morin, the 
whole of the billet sent in a wreatii to the house, 
and the whole of the billet attended the service 
in the little church, and they marched back and 
drew up by the front door — a guard of honour 
extending a httle distance down the road. The 
other men billeted in the viUage hun^ around, 
together with the remnant of the inhabitants, old 
men, women and children; but kept quite clear 
of the guarded path through which Jeanne was 
to pass. One or two officers looked on curiously. 
But they stood in the background. It was none 
of their business. If the men, in their free time, 
chose to put themselves on parade, without arms, 
of course, so much the better for the army. 

Then Jeanne and the old Cure, in his time- 
scarred ehovel-hat and his rusty soutane, followed 
by Toinette, turned round the comer of the lane . 
and emerged into the main street. A sergeant 
gave a word of command. The guard stood at 
attenticm. Jeanne and her companions proceeded 
up the street, unaware of the unusual, until they 
entered between the £bret two files, llien for the 
first time the tears welled into Jeanne's eyes. She 
could only stretch out her hands and cry somewhat 
wildly to the bronzed statues on each side of her, 
"Merci, mes amig, merci, merci" and flee into the 
house. 

The next day Mfdtre P^pineau, the notary, 
summoned her to his cabinet. Mciitre P^pineau 
was very old. His partner had gone off to the 
war. "One c^ the necessities of the present situa- 
tion," he would say, "is that I should go on living 
in spite of myself; for if I died the imole of the 
affairs c£ Frelus would foe in the soup." Now, 
a fortnight back, Mattre P^pineau and lonr neigh- 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 313 

boors — the four witnesses required by French 
law when there is only one notaiy to draw up the 
instrument public — had visited Aunt Moriu; so 
Jeanne knew that she had made a fresh will. 

"Mon enfold" said the old m£ui, unfolding the 
document, 'in a previous will your Aunt had left 
you a little heritage out of the half of her fortune 
which she was free to dispose of by the code. You 
having come into possession of your owu money, 
she has revoked that will, and left everything to 
her only surviving son, Geispard Morin m Mada- 
gascar.' 

"It is only just and right," said Jetume. 

"The unfortunate part of the matter," said 
Mattre P6pineau, "is that Madame Morin has 
appointed official trustee to carry on the estate 
until Monsieur Gaspard Morin can make his own 
arrangements. The result is that you have no 
loeas standi as a resident in the house. I pointed 
this out to her. But you know, in spite of her 
good qualities, she was obstinate. ... It pains 
me greatly, my dear child, to have to state your 
position." 

"I am then," said Jeanne, "sans asile — home- 
less?" 

"As far as the house of Monsieur Gaspard Morin 
is concerned — yes." 

"And my English soldiersP" asked Jeaime. 

"Alas, my child," replied the old man, "you 
will find them everywhere." 

Which was cold consolation. For, however much 
inspired by patriotic gratitude a French girl may 
he, she cannot settle down in a strange place where 
British troops are billeted, and procewi straightway 
to minister to their comforts. Misunderstandings 
are apt to arise even in the best regulated Briti^ 
regiments. In the house of Aunt Morin, in Fr^lus, 
hffl praition was unassailable. Anywhere else. . . . 

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314 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"So, my good Toinette," said Jeanne, after 
having explained the situation to the Indignant 
old woman, "I can only go back to my Mend ia 
Paris and reconstitute my life. Si tu veux m'ae- 
compagner — ?" 

But no. Toinette had the peasant's awful dread 
of Paris. She had heard about Paris; there were 
thieves, rufiSans that they called apaches, who 
murdered you if you went outside your door — 

"The apaches, ' laughed Jeanne, "were swept 
into the army on the outbreak of war, and they've 
neariy all heea killed, fighting like heroes." 

"Tliere are the old ones left, who are worse than 
the young," retorted Toinette. 

No. Mademoiselle could teach her nothing about 
Paris. You could not even croas a street without 
risk of life, so many were the omnibuses and auto- 
mobiles. In every ^op you were a stranger to 
be robbed. There was no air in Paris. You 
could not deep for the noise. And then — to live 
in a city of a hundred million people and not know 
one living bouII It was a mad-house matter. 
Again, no. It grieved her to part from Mademoiselle, 
but she had made her little economies — a cbffi- 
cult achievement, considering how regardful of her 
pence Madame Morin had oeen — and she would 
return to her Breton town, which forty years ago 
she had left to enter the service of her payse, Madame 
Morin. 

"But after forty years, Toinette, who in Paimpol 
will remember youP" 

"It is I who remember Paimpol," said Toinette. 
She remained for a few moments in thought. Then 
she said: "C'est drole, tout de mime. I haven't 
seen the sea for forty years, and now I can't sleep 
of nights thinking of it. The first man I loved was 
a fisherman of Paimpol. We were to be married 
after he returned frcm an Iceland voyage, with a 

I I,. L.Ciixi^lc 



THE ROUGH ROAD 315 

fros Hn^jke. When the time came for his retmn, 
would stand on the shore and watch and watch 
the sea. But he nev^ came. The sea swallowed 
him up. And then — you can understand quite 
well — the child was bom dead. And I thought' 
I would never want to look at the sea again. So 
I came here to your Aunt Morin, the daughter of' 
Doctor Kersadec, your grandfather, and I married 
Jules Dagnant, the foreman of the carters of the 
hay . . . and he died a long time ago . . . and now 
I have forgotten him, and I want to go and look 
at the sea where my man w€is drowned." 

"But your grandson, who is fighting in the 
ArgonneP ' 

' What difTereuce can it make to him wheth^ 
I am in Fr^lus or Paimpol?" 

"Cest vrai" said Jeanne. 

Toinette bustled about the kitchen. Folks had 
to eat, whatever happened. But ^e went on 
talking. Madame Morin. One must not qteak 
evil (M the dead. They have their work cut out 
to extricate themselves from Purgatory. But all 
the same — after forty years' faithful service — 
and not a mention in the will — mime pour une 
BreUmne, c'iiait raide. Jeanne agreed. She had 
no reason to love her Aunt Morin. Her father's 
people came from Agen on the confines of Gascony, 
he nad been a man of great gestures and vehement 
speech; her mother, gentle, reserved, un peu dhote. 
Jeanne drew her maract^ from both sources; 
but her sympathies were rather Southern than 
N(uihem. For some reason or the other, perhaps 
for his expansive ways — who knowsP — Aunt 
Morin had held the late Monsieur Boissi^ in 
detestation. She had no love for Jeanne, whom 
she made eat the bitter bread of servitude. Jeanne, 
who before her ^ood fortune had expected nothing 
from Aunt Morm, regarded the will with feelixigs 

. :, Google 



316 THE ROUGH ROAD 

of indifference. Except as far as it concerned 
Toinette. Forty years' faithful service deserved 
recognition. But what was the use of talking 
about it? 

"So we must separate, ToinetteP" 

"Alas, yes, Mademoiselle — unless Mademoiselle 
would come with me to Paimpol." 

Jeanne laughed. What should she do in Paim- 
pol? There wasn't even a fiahermEm left there to 
ffdl in love with. 

"Mademoiselle," said Toinette later, "do you 
think you will meet the little Kngliah soldier. Mon- 
sieur Trevor, in Paris? " 

"Dans la guerre on Tie ae revolt jamais," said 
Jeanne. 

But there was more of personal decision than of 
fatalism in her tone. 

So Jeanne waited for a day or two until the r^- 
ment marched away, and then, with heavy heart, 
set out for Paris. She wrote, indeed, to Phineas, 
and weeks afterwards Phineas, who was in the thick 
of the Somme fighting, wrote to Doggie telling him 
of her departure from Fr61us; but rep-etted that 
as he had lost her letter he could not give him her 
Paris address. 

And in the meantime the house of Gaspard Morin 
was shuttered and locked and sealed; and the 
bureaucratically minded old Postmaster of Fr3us, 
who had received no instructions from Jeanne to 
forward her correspondence, handed Doggie's letters 
and telegrams to the aged postmim, a superan- 
nuated herdsman, who stuck them into the letter 
box of the deserted house, and went away conscious 
of duty perfectly accomplished. 

Then, at last, Doggie, fit again for active service, 
went out with a draft to France, and joined Phineas 
and Mo, almost the only survivors of the cheery, 
familiar crowd that he had loved, and the grimness 



THE ROUGH ROAD 317 

of battles such as he had never conceived possible 
took him in its inexorable grip, and he l(»t sense 
of everything save that he was the least important 
thing on God's earth struggling desperately for 
animal existence. 

Yet there were rare times of relief from stress, 
when he could gropingly string together the facts 
of a pre-Somme existence. And then he would 
curse Phineas lustily for losing the precious letter. 

"Man," Phioeas once rephed, "don't you see 
that you are breaking a heart which, in spite of 
its apparent rugosity and callosity, is as tender as 
a new-made mother s? Tell me to do it, and I'll 
desOTt and make my way to Paris and — " 

"And the mihtary poUce will see that you make 
your way to hell via a stone wall. And serve you 
right. Don't be a blithering fool," said Doggie. 

"Then 1 don't know what I can do for you, laddie, 
except die of remorse at your feet." 

"We're all going to die of rheumatic fever," 
said Doggie, shivering in his sodden imiform. 
"Blast this rainl" 

Phineas thrust his hand beneath his clothing and 
produced a long, amorphous, and repulsive sub- 
stance, like a painted tallow candle overcome by 
intense heat from which he gravely bit an inch 
or two. 

"What's that?" asked Doggie. 

"It's a stick of peppermint, ' said Phineas. "I've 



still an Aunt in Gala^els who remembers my 
existence." 

Doggie stuck out his hand like a monkey in the 
Zoo. 

"You selfish beasti" said be. 



ec by Google 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE fighting went on, and to Doggie the in- 
habitants of the outside world became ahnost 
as phantasmagorical as Phineas's providential 
Aunt in Galashiels. Immediate existence held him. 
In an historic battle. Mo Shendish fell with a ma- 
chine bullet through his heart. Doggie, staggerii^ 
with the rest of the company to the attack over the 
muddy, shell-tom ground, saw him go down, a few 
yards away. It was not till later that he knew 
he bad gone West with many other great souls. 
Doggie and Phineas moumed for bim as a brother. 
Without him, France was a muddier and a bloodier 
place, and the outside world more mireal than ever. 
Then to Doggie came a heart>-bToken lett^ from 
the Dean. Oliver had gone the same road as 
Mo. Peggy was frantic with grief. Vividly Dc^^ 
saw the peac^ul deanery, on which all the calamity 
of all the war had crashed with sudden violence. 
"Why I should thank God we parted as friends, 
' ' ' " sie, '*butld * 



I don't quite know," said Do^ie, ' but I do." 

"I suppose, laddie," saidlniineas, "it's good to 
feel that smiUng eyes and hearty hfinds wul n«et 
us when we too pass over the Border. My God, 
man," he added reflectively, after a pause, "have 
you ever considered what a goodly company it 
will beP When you come to look at it that way, it 
makes Death {^te a trivial affair." 

"I suppose It does to us while we're here," said 

Doggie. "We've seen such a lot of it. But .to 

those who haven't — my poor Peggy — it's Uie 

end of ha* imiverse." 

Yes, it was all very well to take death ^alo- 



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THE ROUGH ROAD 319 

sophically, or fatalistically, or callously, or whatever 
you liked to call it, out there, where such an atti- 
tude was the only stand against raving madness; 
but at home, beneath the grey mass of the Cathedral, 
hitherto imtouched by tragedy, folks met Death 
as a strange and cruel horror. The new glory of 
life that Peggy had found, he had blackened out 
in an instant. Doggie looked i^;ain at the old 
mEm's letter — his faandwritii^ was growing shaky 
— and forgot for a while the ^miliEir things around 
him, and hved with Peggy in h«r sorrow. 

Then, as far as Doggie's sorely tried Dividon was 
affected, came the end of the great autiunn fitt- 
ing. He found himself well behind the lines in 
reserve, and so continued during the cold, dreary 
winter months. And the more the wedts that 
crept by, and the more remote seemed Jeanne, 
the more Dogpe bmi^ered for the sight of her. 
But all this period of his life was but a dim-coloured 
monotony, with but few happenings to distinguish 
week from week. Most of the company that had 
marched with him into Fr61us were dead or wounded. 
Nearly all the officers had gone. Captain Wil- 
loughby, who had interrogated Jeanne with regard 
to the restored packet, and, on Doggie's return, 
had informed him with a friendly smile that they 
were a damned sight too busy then to worry about 
defaulters or the hkes of him, but that he was going 
to be court-martialled and shot as soon as peace 
was declared, when they would have time to think 
of serious matters — Captain Willoughby had gone 
to Blighty with a leg so mauled that never would 
he command agsan a company in the field. Ser- 
geant Ballinghall, who had taught Doggie to use 
his fists, had retired, minus a hand, into civil life. 
A scientific and sporting helper at Roehampton, 
he informed Doggie by letter, was busily engaged 

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320 THE ROUGH ROAD 

on the invention of a boxing glove which would 
enable him to carry on his pugilistic career. "So, 
in future times," said he, * if any of your friends 
among the nobility Euid gentry want l^sons in the 
noble art, don't forget your old Mend Balling- 
hall." Wbereat — incidentally — Doggie wondered. 
Never, for a fraction of a second, dunng their com- 
mon mihtary association, had Ballinghall given 
him to understand that he regarded bim otherwise 
than as a mere Tommv, wiuout any pretensions 
to gentility. There had been times when Balling- 
half had cursed him — perhaps justifiably and 
perhaps lovingly — as though he had been the 
scum of the earth. Doggie would no more have 
dared address bim in terms of familiarity than he 
would have dared slap the Brigadier-General on 
the hack. And now the honest warrior sought 
Doggie's patronage. Of the original crowd in 
EngUmd who had transfonned Dog^e's military 
existence by making him penny-wmstler to the 
Company, only Phmeas and himself were left. 
There were others, of course, good and gallant 
fellows, witb whom he became bound in tbe rough 
intimacy of the Army; but the first friends, those 
under whose protecting kindliness his manhood 
had developed, were the dearest. And their ghoste 
remained (fear. ' 

At last the Division was moved up, and there 
was more fighting. 

One day, after a successful raid. Doggie tumbled 
back with the rest of the men into the trench and, 
looking about, missed Fhineas. Presently the word 
went round that "Mac" had been hit, and later 
the rumour was confirmed by the passage down 
the trench of Fhineas on a stretcher, his weather- 
battered face a ghastly ivory. 

"I'm alive all right, laddie," he gasped, con- 
torting his lips into a smile. "I've got it clean 

ru.:.ci:, Google 



THE ROUGH ROAD 321 

through the chest like a gentleman. But it gars 
me greet I canna look after you any longer." 

He made an attempt at waving a hand, and the 
stretcher-bearers earned him away, out of the army 
for ever. 

Thereafter Doggie felt the loneliest thing on 
earth, like Shelley's cloud, or the Last Man in Tom 
Hood's grim poem. For was he not the last man 
of the original Company, as he had joined it, hun- 
dreds of years ago, in England? It was only then 
that he realised fully the merits of the wastrel, 
Phineas McPhail. Not once or twice, hut a thou- 
sand times had the man's vigilant affection, veiled 
under cynical humour, savra him from despair. 
Not once, hut a thousand times had the gaunt, 
tireless Scotdmian saved him from physical ex- 
haustion. At every turn of his career, since his 
enlistment, Phineas had been there, watchful, 
helpful, devoted. There he had been, always 
ready and willing to be cursed. To curse him had 
been the great comfort of Doggie's life. Whran 
could he curse now? Not a soul — no one, at 
any rate, against whom he could launch an anath- 
ema with any real heart in it. Than curse vainly 
and superficially, far better not to curse at all. 
He missed PbineEts beyond all his conception of the 
blankness of bereavement. Like himself, Phineas 
had found salvation in the army. Doggie retilised 
how he had striven in his own queer way to redeem 
the villainy (rf his tutorship. No woman could 
have been more gentle, more unselfi^. 

"What the devil am I going to do?" said 
Doggie. 

Meanwhile Phineas, lying in a London hospital 
with a bullet through his body, tiiought much and 
earnestly of his fnend, and one morning Peggy 
got a letter. 



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322 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"Dear Madam, 

" Time wag v^ien I could not have addresKd you with- 
oiU incurring your not ui^ustijiable disapproval. 
But I take the libaiy oj doipg so now, trusting to 
your generous acquiescence in the proposition that 
the war has purged many offences. If this has not 
happened, to some extent, in my cage, I do not see 
htm it hag been possible for me to have regained and 
retained the trust and friendship of so sensitive and 
honourable a gentleman as Mr. Marmaduke Trews; 

" If I ask yoa to come and see me here, where I am 
lying seoerely wounded, U is not with an inteiUion, to 
solicit a favour for myself personally — although 
ril not deny that the gight of a kind and familiar 
face would not be a boon to a lonely and friendless 
man — but with a deep desire to admuice Mr. Trevor's 
happiness. Lest you may imagine I am committing 
an unpardonable irnpertinence, and thereby totally 
misunderstand me, I may say thai this happiness 
can only be achieved by the aid of powerful friends 
both in London arvi Paris. 

"It is only because the lad is the one thing dear to 
me left in the toorld, thai I venture to intrude on your 
privacy at sudi a time. 

I am. 
Dear Madam, 
Yours very faitMully, 
PmNEAs McPhail." 

Veggy came down to breakfast, and having duti- 
fully kissed her partita, announced her intention 
of going to London by the eleven o'clock train. 

Why, how can you, my dear?" asked Mrs. Con- 
over. 

"I've nothing particular to do here for the next 
few days." 

"But your father and I have. Neither of us can 
start oS to London at a moment's notice." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 323 

Peggy replied with a wan smile: "But, dearest 
mother, you forget. I'm an old, old married 
woman." 

"Besides, my dear," said the Dean, "Peggy has 
often gone away by herself." 

"But never to London," said Mrs. Conover. 

"Anyhow, I've got to go, dearest." Peggy turned 
to the old butler. "Ring up Sturrocks and tell 
them I'm coming." 

"Yes, Miss," said Burford. 

"He's as bad as you are, mother," said Peggy. 

So she went up to London, and stayed the ni^t 
at Sturrocks' alone, for the first time in her life. 
She half ate a lon^y, execrable war dinner in the 
stuSy, old-fashioned dining room, served cere- 
momously by the ancient head-waiter, the friend 
of her childhood, who, in view of her recent widow- 
hood, addressed her in the muffled tones of the 
sympathetic undertaker. P^gy nearly cried. She 
wished she had chc^en another hotel. But where 
else could she have gone? She had stayed at few 
hotels in London; once at the Savoy; once at 
Claridge'a; every other time at Sturrocks'. The 
Savoy? Its vastness frightened her. And Cla- 
ridge 3? — no; that was sanctified for ever. Oliver 
in his lordly way had snapped his fingers at Stur- 
rocks'. Only the brat was good enough for Peggy. 

Now, only Sturrocks' remamed. 

She sought her room inunediately after the drearv 
meal and sat before the fire — it was a damp, chill 
February night — and thought miserable and aching 
thoughts. It happened to be the same room which 
she had occupied, oh — thousands of years ago — 
on the night when Doggie, point-device in new 
Savile Row uniform, had taken her to dinner at 
the Carlton. And die had sat, in the same imita- 
tion Charles the Second brocaded chair, looking 
into the same generous, old-fashioned fire, thinking 

CJooglc 



324 THE ROUGH ROAD 

— Uunking. . . . And she remembered olendiing 
her fist and apostrophising the fire and crying out 
aloud: "Oh, my Goal if only he makes good I' 

Oceans of years lay between then and now. 
Doggie had made good; every man who came home 
wounded must have made eood. Poor old Doggie. 
But how in the name of all that was meant by the 
word Love she could ever have contemplated — 
as she had contemplated, with an obstinate, vir- 
ginal loyalty — marriage with Doggie, she coidd 
not understand. 

She undressed, brought the straight-backed chair 
dose to the fire, and, in her dainty nightgown, part 
of her trousseau, sat elbow on knee, face in Uun, 
clutching hands, shppered feet on fender, thinking, 
thiTiliing once again. T hinking now of the gates 
of Paradise that nad opened to her for a few nrief 
weeks. Of the mEin who never had to make good, 
being the wond^ of wonders of men, the dehcious 
companion, the incomparable lover, the all-com- 
pelling revealer, the great, gay, scarcely, to her 
wonum's limited power of vision, comprehended, 
heroic soldier. Oi the terrifying meaninglessness of 
life, now that her Grod of Very God, in human form, 
had been swept, on an instant, off the earth into 
the Unknown. 

Yet was life meaningless after allP There must 
be some significance, some inner truth veiled in 
mystery, b^iind even the casually accepted and 
never probed religion to which she had been bom, 
and in which she had found poor refuge. For, like 
many of her thoiightless, unquestioning class, she 
had looked at Christ through stained-glass windows, 
and now the windows were darkened. . . . For 
the first time in her life her soul groped intensely 
towards eternal verities. The fi^ numed low, 
and ^e shivered. She became again the bit of 
human flotsam cruelly buffeted i>y the waves. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 325 

fcH^tten of God. Yet, after she had risen and 
crept into bed, and while she was staring into the 
darkness, her heart became filled with a vast pity 
for the thousands and thousands of women, her 
sisters, who at that moment were staring, hopeless, 
like her, into the unrelenting night. 

She did not fall asleep till early morning. She 
rose late. About half past eleven as she was pre- 
paring to walk abroad on a dreary shopping ex- 
cursion — the hospital visiting hour was in the 
afternoon — a telegram arrived from the Dean. 

"Just heard thai Marmadahe is severely wounded." 

She scarcely recognised the young private tutor 
of Deuby Hall in the elderly man with the deeply- 
furrowed face, who smiled as she approached ms 
bed. She had brought him flowers, cigarettes of 
the exquisite kind that Doggie used to smoke, 
diocolates . . . 

She sat down by his bedside. 

"All this is more than gracious, Mrs. Manning- 
tree," said Phineas. "To a iiieux roatier like me, 
it is a wee bit overwhelming." 

"It's very httle to do for Doggie's beat friend." 

Phineas's eyes twinkled. " If you call him Doggie, 
like that, maybe it won't be so difficult for me to 
talk to you." 

"Why should it be difBcult at allP" she asked. 
"We both love him." 

"Ay," said Phineas. "He's a lovable lad, and 
it is because others besides you and me find bim 
lovable, that I took the liberty of writing to you." 

"The girl in France?" 

"EbP' He put out a bony hand and r^arded 
her in some disappointment. "Has he told you? 
Perhaps you know all about it." 

" I know nothing except that — 'A girl in France,' 
was all he told me. But — first about yourself. 

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326 THE ROUGH ROAD 

How badly are yoa wounded — and what can we 

do for you?". 

She dragged from a reluctant PhJneas the history 
of his wound, and obtained confirmation of his 
statement frcan a nurse who happened to pass up 
the gangway of the pleasant ward and lingered by 
the Dedside. McPhail was doing splendidly. Cn 
course, a man with a hole through his body must 
be expected to go hack to the rS^me of babyhood. 
So long as he bdiaved himself like a well-conducted 
baby all would be weU. Peggy drew the nurse 
a few yards away. 

"I've just heaid that his dearest friend out there, 
a boy wh(Hn he loves dearly and has been throu^ the 
whole tbing with him in the same company — it's 
odd, but he was his private tutor years ago — - both 
gentlemen, you know — in fact, I'm here just to talk 
about the boy — " Pe^y grew somewhat incoherent 
— "Wdl — I've just^eaxd that the boy has been 
seriously wounded. Shall I tell him?" 

" I thmk it would be better to wait for a few days. 
Any shock like that sends up their temperatures, — 
we hate temperatures — and we're getting his 
down so nicely. ' 

"All ri^t," said Peggy, and she went back 
smiling to Phineas. "She says you're getting on 
amazin^y, Mr. McPhaiL" 

Said Pnineas: "I'm grateful to you, Mrs. Man- 
ningtree, for concerning yourself about my en- 
tirely unimportant carctiss. Now, as Virgil says, 
'paullo majora canemas/" 

"You have me there, Mr. McPhail," said Peffiy. 

"Let us sing of somewhat greater thin^. Inat 
is the bald translation. Let us talk of Dogfpe — 
if so be it is agreeable to you." 

"Carry on,' said Peggy. 

"Well," said Phineas, 'to b^in at the begimung, 
we marched into a place called Frflus — " 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 327 

In his pedantic way he began to tell her the story 
of Jeanne, so far as he knew it. He told her of the 
girl standing in the night wind and rain on the bluff 
by the turning of the road. He told h^ of Doggie's 
insane adventure across No Man's Land to the 
Farm of La Folette. Tears rolled down Peggy's 
cheeks. She cried, incredulous: 

"Do^e did that? Doggie?" 

"It was child's play to what he had to do at 
Guedecourt." 

But Peggy waved away the vague heroism of 
Guedecourt. 

"Doggie did that? For a woman?" 

The whole elaborate structure of her conception 
of Doggie tumbled down like a house of cards. 

"Ay, ' said Phineas. 

"He did that — " Phineas had given an imagina- 
tive and picturesque account of the episode — 
"for this gu-l Jeanne?" 

"It is a strange coincidence, Mrs. Manningtree," 
rephed Phineas, with a flicker of his lips elusively 
suggestive of unctuousness, "that almost those 
identical words were used by Mademoiselle Boissiere 
in my presence. ' // a fait cela pour moi! ' But — 
you will pardon me for saying it — with a dif- 
i^^nce of mtonation, which, as a woman, no doubt 
you will be able to divine and appreciate." 

"I know," said Peggy. She bent forward and 
picked with finger and thumb at the fluff of the 
blanket. Then she said, intent on the fluff: "If 
a man had done a thing like that for me, I should 
have crawled after him to the ends of the earth." 
Presently she looked up with a flash oi the eyes. 
"Why isn't this girl doing it?" 

"You must listen to the end of the story," said 
Phineas. " I may tell you that I always regarded 
myself, with my Scot's caution, as a model of tact 
and discretion; but aft^ many conversations with 

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328 THE ROUGH ROAD 

Do^ie, I'm b^imuDg to have my doubts. I also 
imagmed that I was very careful of my personal 
beloDgingB; but Cacts have convicted me of criminal 
laxity." 

Peggy smiled. "That sounds like a oonfession, 
Mr. McPhaiL" 

"Maybe it's in the nature of one," he assented. 
"But, by your leave, Mrs. Manningtree, I'll resume 
my narrative." 

He continued the storv of Jeanne; how she had 
learned through him of Doggie's wealth and posi- 
tion and early upbringing; of the memorable 
dinner party with poor Mo; of Doggie's sensitive 
interpretation of her French bourgeoise attitude; 
and finally of the loss of the letter containing her 
address in Paris. 

After he had finished, Pe^y sat for a long while 
thinking. This romance in Dole's life had moved 
her as ^e thought she could never be moved since 
the death of Oliver. Her thoughts winged them- 
selves bat^ to an afternoon, remote almost as her 
socked and sashed childhood, when Doggie, im- 
maculately attired in grey and pearl harmonies, 
had deckured, with his uttle Gemmate drawl, that 
tennis made one so teiribly hot. The scene in 
the Deanery garden flashed before her. It was 
succeeded by a scene in the DeEinery drawing room, 
when to herself indignant he had pleaded ms deli- 
cacy of constitution. And the same Doggie, besides 
braving death a thousand times in the ordinary 
execution of his soldier's duties, had performed 
this queer deed of heroism fco* a girl. Then his 
return to Durdlebury — 

"I'm afraid," she said suddenly, "I was dread- 
fully unkind to him when he came home the last 
time. I didn't understand. Did he tell you?" 

Pfaineas stretched out a hand and with the tips 
of his fingers touched her sleeve. 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 329 

"Mrs. Manningtree," he said, softly, "don't 
you know that Doggie's a very wonderful gende- 
man?" 

Again her eyes grew moist. "Yes. I know. 
Of course he never would have mentioned it. . . . 
I thought, Mr. McPhail, he had deteriorated — 
God forgive mel I thought he had coarsened, and 
got into the ways of an ordinary Tommy — and I 
was snobbish and uncomprehending and hoirihle. It 
seems as if I am making a confession now." 

"Ay. Why not? If it were not for the soul's 
good, the ancient Church wouldn't have instituted 
the practice." 

She regarded him shrewdly for a second. " You've 
changed, too." 

"Maybe." said Phineas. "It's an ill war that 
blows nobody good, and I'm not complaining of 
this one, but you were talking of your miscompre- 
hension of Doggie." 

"I behaved very badly to him," she said, pick- 
ing again at the blanket. "I misju<^;ed hiin al- 
together — because I was ignorant of everything 
— everything that matters in life. But I've learned 
better since then." 

"Ay," remarked Phineas, gravely. 

"Mr. McPhail," she said, after a pause, "it 
wasn't those rotten ideas that prevented me from 
marrying him — " 

"I know, my dear little lady," said Phineas, 
grasping the plucking hand. 'You just loved 
the other man as you never could have loved Doggie, 
and there's an end to it. Love just happens. It's 
the hohest thing in the world." 

She turned her hand, so as to meet his in a mutual 
dasp, and withdrew it. 

"You're very kind — and sympathetic — and un- 
derstanding — ' hCT voice broke. "I seem to have 
been going about misjudging everybody and every- 

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330 THE ROUGH ROAD 

thiiu;. I'm begiimmg to see a little bit — a little 
bit further — I can't express myself — " 

"Never mind, Mrs. Maniiingtree," said Phineas 
soothingly, "if you cannot express yourself in words. 
Leave that to the poKtidans and the philosophers 
and the theoloeians, and other such windy exposi- 
tors of the useless. But you ' can express yourself 
in deeds." 

"How?" 

"Find Jeanne for Doggie." _^ >v 

Peggy bent forward with a que^ oAt jn her 
eyes. 

"Dora she love him — really love luipi as he 
des«*ves to be loved? " 

"It is not oft^i, Mrs. Manningtree that I com- 
mit myself to a definite statement. But, to my 
certain knowledge, these two are breaking their 
hearts for eadi other. Couldn't you find hra", 
before the poor laddie is killedP" 

"He's not killed yet, thank GodI" said Peggy, 
with an odd thrill in her voice. 

He was ahve. Only severely wounded. He would 
be coining home soon, carried, according to convoy, 
to any unfriendly hospital dumping-ground in the 
United Kingdom. If only she coiud bring this 
French girl to him I She yearned to make repara- 
tion for the past, to act according to the new knowl- 
edge that love Eind sorrow had brought her. 

' But how can I find her — just a girl — an un- 
known Mademoiselle Boissi^ — among the miUions 
of Paris? " 

"I've been racking my brains all the moroing," 
repUed Phineas, "to recall the address, and out of 
the darkness there emerges just two words, Port 
Royal. If you know Paris, does that help you 
at all?" 

"I don't know Paris," replied P^gy hmnbly. 
"I don't know anything. I'm utterly ignorant." 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 331 

"I beg entirely to diff» from you, Mrs. Manning- 
tree," said Phineas. "jYou have come through 
much heavy travail to a) correct appreciation of the 
meaning of human love] between man and woman, 
and so you have in you ihe wisdom of all ihe ages." 

"Yes, yes," said Beggy, becoming practicaL 
" But PoH Royal— ?" \ 

"The due to ihs labyiinth," r^i^ Phineas. 



A 



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CHAPTER XXrV 

THE Dean of an English cathedral is a per^ 
Bonage. He has power. He can stand with 
folded arms at its door and forbid entrance 
to anyone, save perha^ the King in person. He 
can tell not only the Bishop of the Diocese, but 
the very Archbishop of the Province, to nin away 
and play. Having power, and using it benignly 
and graciously, he can exert its subtler form known 
as imluence. In the course of his distinguished 
career he is bound to make many queer firiends 
in high places. 

" My dear Field Maishal, could you do me a little 
favour . . .?" 

"My dear Ambassador, my daughter, etc., 
etc " 

Deans, discreet, dignified gentlranen, who would 
not demand the imp^sible, can generally get what 
they ask for. 

When Peggy returned to Durdlebuiy and put 
Doggie's case oefore her father, and with unusual 
fervour roused him from his first stupefaction at 
the idea of her mad project, he said mildly : 

"Let me imderstand clearly what you want to 
do. You want to go to Paris by yourself, discover 
a girl called Jeanne Boissiere, concerning whose 
address you know nothing but two words — Port 
Royal — of course there is a Boulevard Port Royal 
somewhere south erf the Luxembourg Gardens — ' 

"Then we've found her," cried Peggy. "We 
only want the number." 

' Please don't interrupt," said the Dean. "You 
oonfuse me, my dear, xou want to find this girl 

332 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 333 

and re-establiBh communication between her and 
Marmaduke, and — er — generally [play Fairy ' 
Godmotha"." 

" If you like to put it that way," said P^gy. 

"Are you quite certain you would be acting 
wisely? From Marmaduke's point of view — " 

"Don't call him Marmaduke—" She bent for- 
ward and touched his knee caressingly — "Marma- 
duke could never have risked his life for a woman. 
It was D^gie who did it. She thinks of him as 
Doggie. Everyone thinks (£ him now and loves 
him as Doggie. It was Oliver's name for him, 
don't you see? And he has stuck it out, and made 
it a sort of title of honour and affection — and it 
was as Doggie that Ohver learned to love him, and 
in his last letter to Oliver he signed himself ' Your 
devoted Doggie.'" 

"My dear," smiled the Dean and quoted: 
"'What's in a name? Arose — '" 

"Would be unendurable if it were called a — a 
bug-squash. The poetry would be knocked out 
ofit."^ 

The Dean said indulgently: "So the name Doggie 
connotes something poetic and romanticP" 

"You ask the girl Jeanne." 

The Dean tapped the back of his daughter's 
hand that rested on his knee. 

"There's no fool like an old fool, my dear. Do 
you know why?" 

She shook her head. 

"Because the old fool has learned to imderstand 
the young fool, whereas the young fool doesn't 
understand anybody." 

She laughed and threw herself on her knees by 
his side. 

"Daddy, you're immensel" 

He took the tribute ccNoaplacently. "What was 
I saying, before you interrupted meP Oh, yes. 

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334 THE ROUGH ROAD 

About the wisdom of your proposed action. Are 
you sure they want each other?" 

"As sure as I'm sitting here," said Peggy. 
"Then, my dear," said he, "I'll do what I can." 
Whether he wrote to Field Marshals and Am- 
bassadors or to lesser luminaries, Peggy did not 
know. The Dean observed an old-world punctilio 
about such matters. At the first reply or two to 
his letters he frowned; at the second or two he 
smiled in the way any elderly gentleman may smile 
when he finds himself reco^iised by high-and- 
mightinesses as a person of importance. 

I think, my dear," said he at last, "I've arranged 
everything for you." 

So it came to pass that while Doggie, with a 
shattered shoulder and a touched left lung, was 
being transported from a base hospital in France 
to a hospital in England, Peggy, armed with all 
kinds of passporte and recommendations, and a 
very fixed, personal sanctified idea, was crossing 
the Channel on her way to Paris and Jeanne. 

And, after all, it was no wild goose chase, but a 
very ^im)le matter. An urbane, elderly person 
at the British Embassy performed certain tele- 
phonic gymnastics. At the end: 

"Merci, merci. Adieu!" 

He turned to her. 

"A representative from the Prefecture of Police 
will wait on you at your hotel at ten o'clock to- 
morrow morning." 

The official called, took notes, and confidently 
assured her that he would obtain the address of 
Mademoiselle Jeanne Boissiere within twelve hours. 

"But how. Monsieur, are you going to do it?" 
asked Peggy. 

"Madfmie," said he, "in sFpite of the war, the 



THE ROUGH ROAD 335 

telegraphic, telephonic, and municipal systems of 
France work in perfect order — to say nothing of 
that of the police. Frelua, I think, is the name of 
the place she started fromP" 

At seven o'clock in the evening, after her lonely 
dinn^ in the great hotel, the polite official called 
again. She met him in the lomige. 

"Madame," said he, "I have the pleasure to in- 
form you that Mademoiselle Jeanne Boissiere, late of 
Fr^lus, is living in Paris at 743"™ Boulevard Port 
Royal, and spends all her days at tlie succursale of 
the French Red Cross in the Rue Vaugirard." 

"Have you seen her and told her?" 

"No, Madame; that did not come within my 
instructions." 

" I am infinitely grateful to you," said Peggy. 

"II n*y a pas de quoi, Madame. I perform the 
tasks assigned to me, and am only too happy, in 
this case, to have been successful." 

"But, Monsieur," said Peggy, feeling desperately 
lonely In Paris, aixd pathetically eager to talk to 
a human heing, even in her rusty V§vey school 
French, "haven't you wondered why I've been 
so anxious to find this young lady?" 

"If we began to wonder," he replied with a 
laugh, "at the things which happen during the war, 
we should be so bewild^ed that we shouldn't 
be able to carry on our work. Madame," said he, 
handing her his card, "if you should have further 
need of me ii. 'uq matter, I am always at your 
service." 

He bowed profoundly and left her. 

Peggy stayed at the Ritz because, long ago, 
when her parents had fetched her from V6vey, 
and had given her the one wonderful fortnight m 
Paris she had ever known, they had chosen this 
dimified and not inexpensive hostelry. To her 
giijish mind, it had breaUied the hat wc^ of splen- 

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336 THE ROUGH ROAD 

dour, movement, gaiety — all that was ctmnoted 

by the magical name of the City of Light. But 
now the glamour bad departed. She wondered 
whether it had ever been. Oliver had laughed 
at her experiences. Sandwiched between dear old 
Uncle Edward and Aunt Sophia, what in the sacred 
name of France could she have seen of Paris? Wait 
till ihey could turn round. He would take her to 
Paris. She would have the unimagined time of 
her life. They dreamed dreams of the Rue da la 
Pais — he had five hundred pounds laid by, which 
he had ear-marked for an orgy of shopping in that 
Temptation Avenue of a thoroughfare; of Mont- 
martre, the citadel of delectable wickedness and 
laughter; of fuimy Uttle restaurants in dark streets 
where you are delighted to' pay twenty firancs 
for a mussel, so exqiusitely is it cooked; of dainty 
and crazy theatres; of long drives, folded in each 
other's arms, when moonlight touches dawn, 
through the wonders of the enchanted city. 

Her brief dreams had eclipsed her girlish memories. 
Now the dreams had become blurred. She strove 
to bring them hack till her soul ached, till she broke 
down mto miserable weeping. She was alone in 
a strange, unedifying town; in a strange, vast, 
commonplace hotel. The cold, moonlit Place de 
la Vendome, with its memorable column, just op- 
posite her bedroom window, meant nothing to her. 
She had the desolating sense that nothing in the 
world would ever matter to her again — nothing 
as far as she, Peggy Manningtree, was concerned. 
Her life was over. Altruism alone gave sanction 
to continued existence. Hence her present adven- 
ture. Paris might have been Burslem for all the 
interest it afforded. 

Jeanne worked from morning to night in the 
succursale of the Croix Rouge in the Rue Vaugirard. 



THE ROUGH ROAD 337 

She had tried, after the establMiment of her affairs, 
to enter, in no matter what capacity, a British 
base hospital. It woul4 be a consolation for het 
surrender of Doggie to work for bis wounded com- 
rades. Besides, twice in her hfe abe owed everything 
to the English, and the repayment of the debt was 
a matter of conscience. But she found that the 
^tes of English hospitals were thronged with 
F.n gliah girls; and she could not even speak the 
language. So, guided by the Paris friend with 
whom she lodged, she made her way to the Rue 
Vaugirard, where, in the packing-room, she found 
hard and unemotional employmrait. Yet the work 
had to he done: and it was done for France, which, 
after all, was dearer to her than England, and among 
her fellow-workers, women of all classes, she found 
pleasant companionship. 

When, one day, the old concierge, be-medaUed 
from the war of 1870, appeared to her in the pack- 
ing-room, with the announcemait that a dame 
angJaise desired to speak to her, she was at first 
bewildered. She knew no English ladies — had 
never met one in her life. It took a second or two 
for the thought to flash that the visit might concern 
Dc^gie. Then came conviction. In Uue overall 
and cap, she followed the concierge to the ante-room, 
her heart beating. At the s^t of the young 
English woman in black, with a crSpe hat and little 
white band beneath the veil, it nearly stopped 
altogether. 

Peggy advanced with outstretched hand. 

"You are Mademoiselle Jeanne Boissi^P" 

"Yes, Madame." 

"I am a cousin of Monsieur Trevor — " 

"Ah, Madame — " Jeanne pointed to the mourn- 
ing — "you do not come to teU me he is dead?" 

P^gy smiled. " No. 1 hope not." 

"Jdil" Jeanne sighed in reti^, "1 thought — " 

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338 THE ROUGH ROAD 

"This is for my husband," said Peggy quietly. 

"Ah, Madame! je demande bien pardon. S-ai 
d& was f aire de la peine. Jen'y pensaispas — " 

Jeanne was in great distress. P^gy smiled 
again. "Widows dress differently in ESigland and 
France." She looked around and her eyes f^ 
upcm a bench by the walL "Could we sit down and 
luLve a little talkP" 

"Pardon, Madame, c'ett que je guis un pea 
imue. . . " said Jeanne. 

She led the way to the brach. They sat down 
together, and for a feminine second or two took 
stock of each other. Jeanne's first rebellious in- 
stinct said "I was right." In her furs and perfect 
millinery and perfect shoes and perfect black silk 
stocking that appeared below the short skirt, 
Peggy, blue-eyed, fine-featured, the fine product of 
many generations of scholarly Einglish gentlefolk, 
seemed to incarnate her vague conjectiu^s of the 
aocial atmosphere in which Doggie had his being. 
Her peasant blood impelled her to suspicion, to a 
faalf-grudnng admiration, to self-protective jetdousy. 
Tlie Englishwoman's ease of manner, in spite of 
her heltei'-^elter French, oppressed her with an 
angry sense of inferiority. She was also conscious^ 
of the blue overall and dose-fitting cap. Yet the* 
Englishwoman's snilewas kind and she had lost her 
husband. . . . And Peggy, looking at this girl 
wiUi the dark, tragic eyes and refined, pale nice 
and graceful ^tures, in the funny instinctive 
Britif^ way tned to place her Bocially. Was she 
a ladyp It made such a diffra^nce. This was the 
girl for whom Do^e had p^ormed his deed of 
knight-errantry; tbe rirl wnom she proposed to 
take back to Doggie. For the moment, discount- 
ing the uniform wmch might have hidden a midinette 
or a duchess, she had nothing but the face and the 
gestures and the beautifully modulated voice to 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 339 

go upon; and between the accent of the midinette 
and the duchess — both being equally charming to 
hCT English ear — Peggy could not discriminate. 
She had, however, beautiful, capable hands and 
took care of her finger-nails. 

Jeanne broke the tiny spell of embarraBsed silence. 

"I am at your disposal, Madame." 

Peggy plunged at once into facte. 

"It may seem strange, my coming to you; but 
the fact is that my cousin. Monsieur Trevor, is 
severely wounded ..." 

"Mon Dieu!" said Jeanne. 

"And bis friend, Mr. McPhail, who is also 
wounded, thinks that if you — well — ' ' 

Her French faKed her — to carry off a very deh- 
cate situation one must have command of language 
— she could only blurt out — "// faut comprendre^ 
Mademoiselle. U a fait beaucouppour was." 

She met Jeanne's dark eyes. Jeanne said: 

"Oui, Madame, was avez raison. II a beaucmxp 
fait poor mot." 

Peggy flushed at the unconscious correction — 
"beaucoup fait," for "fait beaucoup." 

"He has done not only mum, but everything 
for me, Madame," Jeanne continued. "And you 
who have come from England expressly to tdl me 
that he is wounded, what do you wish me to do? " 

"Accompany me back to London. I had a 
telegram this morning to say that he had arrived 
at a hospital there." 

"Then you have not seen him?" 

"Not yet." 

"Then how, Madame, do you know that he 
desires my presence? ' ' 

Peggy gWced at the girl's hands dasped on her 
lap, and saw that the knuckles were white. 

"I am sure of it." 

"He would have written, Madame. I only 

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340 THE ROUGH ROAD 

recdved one letter &om bim, and that was while 
I still lived at Frflus." 

"He wrote many letters and telegraphed to 
Fr^lus, and received no answers." 

"Madame," cried Jeanne. "I implore you to 
believe what I say; but not one ol those letters 
has ever reached me." 

"Not one?" 

At first Peggy was incredulous. Phineas McPhail 
had told her of Doggie's despair at the lack of re- 
sponse from Fr^lus, and, after all, Fr6Iu3 had a 
properly constituted post ofBce in working order, 
which might be expected to forward letters. 
She had ^erefore come prepared to reproadi the 
girl. But . . . 

"Jelejure, Madame" said Jeanne. 

And Peggy believed her. 

"But I wrote to Monsieur McPhail, giving him 
my address in Paris." 

"He lost the letter before he saw Doggie again" 

— the name slipped out — "and forgot the address." 
"But how did you find me?" 

" I had a lot of difficulty. The Briti^ Embassy 

— the Prefecture of Police — " 

"Mon Dieul" cried Jeanne again. "Did you 
do all that for me?" 

"For my cousin." 

"You called him 'Do^e.' That is how I know 
Iii'tti and think of him." 

"All right," smiled Peggy. "For Doggie then." 

Jeanne s brain for a moment or two was in a 
whirl. Embassies and Prd'ectures of Police I 

"Madame, to do this, you must love him vexy 
much." 

"I loved him so much — I hope you will imder- 
Btand me — my French I know is terrible — but 
I loved liim so much that untO he came home 
wounded we vere Jiancis" 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 341 

Jeanne drew a diort breath. "I felt it, Madame. 
An English gentleman of great estate would natu- 
rally marry an English lady of his own social class. 
That is why, Madame, I acted as I have done." 

Then something of what Jeanne really was he- 
came obvious to Peggy. Lady or no lady, in the 
conventional British sense, Jeanne appealM to her, 
in her quiet dignity and restraint, as a type of 
Frenchwoman whom she had never met before. 
She suddenly conceived an enormous respect for 
Jeanne. Also for Phineas McPhail, whose eulogis- 
tic character sketch she had accepted with feminine 
reservations subconsciously derisive. 

"My dear," she said. " Voas ites digne de toute 
dame anghise!" — which wasn't an elegant way 
of putting it in the French tongue — ^hut Jeanne, 
with her odd smile of the lips, showed that she 
understood l^f r meaning — she had served her 
apprentic^hip in the interpretation of Anglo- 



Gallic. "But I want to tell you. Doggie and I 
were engaged. A family matter. Then, when 
he came home wounded — you know how — I 
found that I loved someone — aimais d amour, as 
you say — and he found the same. I loved the 
man whom I married. He loved you. He con- 
fessed it. We parted more affectionate fidends 
than we had ever been. 1 married. He searched 
for you. My husband has been killed. Doggie, 
although wounded, is alive. That is why I am 
here." 

They were sitting in a comer of the ante-room, 
and before them passed a continuous stream of the 
busy life of the war, civihans, officers, badged 
workers, elderly orderlies in pathetic bits of uni- 
form that might have dated from 1870, wheeling 
packages in and out, groups talking of the business 
of the organisation, here and there a blue-vested 
young lieutenant and a blue-overalled packer, 



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342 THE ROUGH ROAD 

talking — it did not need Grod to know of what. 
But neither of the two women heeded Ihis multi- 
tude. 

Jeanne said: "Madame, I am profoundly moved 
by what you have told me. If I show httle eauotion, 
it is because I have suffered greatly &om the war. 
One learns self-restraint, Madame, or one goes 
mad. But as you have s^xiken to me in your noble 
English frankness — I have only to confess that 
I love Doggie with all my heart, with all my soul — " 
with her two clenched hands ^e miote her breast 

— and Peggy noted it was the first gesture that she 
had made. "I feel the infinite need, Madame — 
you will understand me, — to care for him, to pro- 
tect him — " 

Peggy raised a beautifully gloved hand. 

"ftotect him?" she interrupted. "Why, hasn't 
he shown himself to be a heroP 

Jeanne leant forward and grasped the protesting 
hand by the wrist; and there waa a wonderful 
light behind her eyes and a curious vibration in 
her voice. 

"It is only Us petils Mros tout fails — the little 
ready-made heroes — ready-made by the bon Dieu 

— who have no need of a woman's protection. 
But it is a different thing with the great heroes who 
have made themselves without the aid of a bon 
Dieu, frran little dogs of no account (despetits chiens 
de rien da toid) to what Dog-gie is at the moment. 
The woman then takes her place. She fixes things 
for ever. She alone can understand." 

Peggpr gasped as at a new Revelation. The 
terms m which this French girl expressed herself 
were far beyond the bounds of her philosophy. 
The varying aspects in which Doggie had presented 
himself to her, in the past few months, had been 
bewildering. Now she saw him, in a iresh light, 
thc»igh as in a glass darkly, as reflected by Jeanne. 

I,. L.Ciixi^lc 



THE ROUGH ROAD 343 

Still, ^e protested again, in order to see more 
clearly. 

"But what would you protect him fromP" 

"From want of faith in himself; from want of 
faith in his destiny, Madame. Once he told me 
he had come to France to fight for his soul. It is 
necessary that he should be victorious. It is 
necessary that the woman who loves him should 
make him victorious." 

Peggy put out her hand and touched Jeanne's 
wrist. 

"I'm dad I didn't mfury Dog^e, Mademoiselle," 
she said simply. "I comdn't have done that." 
She paused. Well?" she resumed. "Will you 
now come with me to London?" 

A faint smile crept into Jeanne's eyes. 

"Mais oui, Madame." 

Do^e lay in the long, pleasant ward of the great 
London hospital, the upper left side of his body 
a mass of bandaged pmn. Neck and shoulder, front 
and back and arm, had been shattered and torn 
by a high explosive sheU. The top of his lung had 
been grazed. Only the remorseless pressure at 
the base hospital had justified the sending of him, 
after a week, to Ekigland. Youth and the splendid 
constitution which Dr. Murdodi had proaaimed 
in the far off days of the war's beginning, and the 
toughsiing tr aining of the war itself, carried hiin 
through. No more fighting for Doggie this side 
of the grave. But the grave was as far distant as 
it is from any young man in his twenties who avoids 
abnormal pent. 

Till to-oay he had not been allowed to see visitors, 
or to receive letters. They told him that the Dean 
of Durdlebury had called; had brought flow^B 
and fruit tmd had left a card "From your Aunt, 
P^gy, and myself." But to-day he felt wonderfully 



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344 THE ROUGH ROAD 

strong, in spite of the imrelenting pain, and tbe 
nurse had said: "I Wouldn't wonder if you had 
some visitors this afternoon." Peggy, oi coarse. 
He followed the hands of his wrist watdi until they 
marked the visiting hour. And sure enough, a 
minute afterwards, amid the stream of men and 
women — chiefly women — of all grades and kinds, 
he caught mght of Peggy's face Emailing beneath 
her widow's hat. She had a great bmich of violets 
in her bodice. 

"My dear old Doggiel" She bent down and 
kissed him. "These rotten people wouldn't let 
me come before." 

"I know,'* said Doggie. He pointed to his 
shoulder. " I'm afraid I m in a hell dT a mesa. It's 
lovely to see you." 

She unpinned the violets and thrust them towards 
his face. 

"Frran home. I've brought 'em for you." 

"My GodI" said Doggie, burying his nose in the 
huge bunch. "I never knew violets could smell 
like this." He laid them down with a sigh. "How's 
everybody?" 

"Quite fit." 

ThsK was a span of silence. Then he stretched 
out his hand and she gave him hers and he gripped 
it tight. 

"Poor old PegKY dear!" 

"Oh, that's ui right," she said bravely. "I 
know you care, dear Doggie. That's enough. 
I've just got to stick it like the rest." She with- 
drew her hand after a little squeeze. "Bless you. 
Don't worry about me. I'm contemptibly healthy. 
But you — r' 

"Getting on splendidly. I say, Peggy, what 
kind of people are the Pulhngers who have taken 
Denby HaU?" 

"Iney're all right, I beUeve. He's something in 

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THE ROUGH ROAD 345 

the Grovemment — Controller of Feeding-bottles — 
I doa't know. But, oh, Doggie, what an aas you 
were to sell the place up I" 

"I W€l8n't." 

"You were." 

Doggie laughed- " If you've come here to ai^e 
with me, I shall cry, and then you'll be turned out 
neck and crop." 

Peggy looked at him direwdly. "You seem to 
be gomg pretty strong." 

' Neva- stronger in my life," lied Doggie. 

"Would you like to see somebody you are very 
fond of?" 

" Somebody I'm fond of? Uncle Edward? " 

" No, no.' She waved the Very Reverend the 
Dean to the empyrean. 

"Dear old Phineas? Has he crane through? 
I've not had time to ask whether you've heard 
anything about him." 

'Yes, he's flourishing. He wrote to me. I've 
seen him." 

"Praise the LordI" cried Doggie. "My dear, 
there's no one on earth, save you, whom I should 
so much love to see as Phineas. If he's there, 
fetch him along." 

Peggy nodd^ and smiled mysteriously and went 
away down the ward. And Doggie thought: 
"Thank God, P^gy has the str^igui to face the 
world — and thank God, PhineM has come 
through." He closed his eyes, feeling rather tired, 
thinking of Phineas. Of his last words as he passed 
him stretcher-borne in the trench. Of the devotion 
of the man. Of his future. Well, never mind his 
future. In all his ' vague post-war schemes for 
reorganisatioa of the social system, Phineas had 
his place. No further need for dear old Phineas 
to stand in mulberry and gold outside a Picture 
Palace. He had thought it out long ago, although 



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346 THE ROUGH ROAD 

he had ttemr said a word to PhineaB. Ncm he could 
set the poor chap's mind at rest for ever. 

He looked round contentedly, and saw Peggy 
and a companion coming down the ward, together. 
And it was not Phineas. It was a girl in black. 

He raised himself, forgetful (^ exquisite pain, 
on his right elbow, and stared in a thnll of amaze- 
ment. 

And Jeanne came to him, and there were no longer 
j^osts behind her eyes, tor they shone like stars. 



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THE NOVELS OF WILLIAM J. LOCKE 



THE RED PLANET 

Cloth. 11.50 net 

A Btory d wartime, but not of war. Lore and mystery and 
love again — these are the threada the war god tangled and W. J. 
Locke haa unravelled in this, his beat story mice "Tlw Beloved 
Vagabond." Iliough it has war (or its background, "The Bed 
Planet" is a story d home; it has its setting in a quid: Englisb 
village, where dwell the mothers and hthers, the wives and sweet- 
hearts of those who arc out "someiriteTe." Love ia there, and 
gte«t devotion, and quiet courage and mysteiT. And the old 
soldier iriio can no longer serve his country thrills you with the 
story at it aQ. 

BrooBvn DaOt E>«li. —" Three RaSf (nut imrki ol Sctian ia Bn^iih 
ban B(i* (OTK out ol tliu nr. H. G. Welli'i ' Hr. Britlinf Ssm It TlnjDfb.' 
St. John ErvJDe^i ' Cha n ji n g Windi.* that immortalun Bopert Bnoke, the 
poet, who died is the DardiBellEi. ud no* thii book of Iddte'*. For thu 
' Bed PUnet^ u foinx to live. It ta a ■pleD<Ud ionr ds Jbrer . . . vorthf of a 
place aloDgiide hit * Beloved Vagabond,* jujt ag mmAjLlJc jujt u teodcf. ... 
The one great chanD ol "Ilu Bad Fluet'ia thatoDce having itarted it tob 
Dem pot it down." 

rib l>ul.— "Iti* the utoDiahing combination ol the modtni and tbemid- 
'nctorian that laidnatea the reads ol ' The Rid Planet.' A veil-ordered 
globe id Mr. Locke'j, an England rubbcr-Ured and baJi-bearing, not the doit^ 
aod irneporuible couotrr of Mj. Britliog. Asd ve are mt luie that Bofoe ia 
not one of the moat virile men that Locke bei era drain." 

Nww Tort Tiwi.— "Mr. Locke hai alvafi >!iovn remarkable lUll ia 
maUng inteteetiiig, even heroic or lovabk. 6gnrca out of moat nnpromiting 
material, lucdi ai that of bii 'Beloved Vagabood,' and nooe of that ikiU 
deaertfl him ai be nofoida thii atory through tbe pen aad peraonalitr of Uajor 
Meredytli, almort helpln parable though hii leading cbaracta ia. . . . W« 
can come into touch with the atniggle only throngb the Bpint- But bia ipjrit 



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THE NOVELS OF WILLIAM J. LOCKE 
JAFFERY 

Illustrated by P. Matania. Qotli. $1.30 net 

" lattery" ia a huge, clever but unawuming and affectionate 
war coneqKodent who, between hii tasks, enlivens and some- 
tiiDet coni[Jicate8 tl>e charmiitg home life ot Ml old Cambridge 
friend. The mental psychology of a third dasamate, who rises to 
fame u a novelist, and the test cl friendship which bis deception 
calls out, make an absoitnng story, to which the keen, whimaicsl, 
yet lynqMtltetic ddineatian of the feminine characten adds 



kind, but all •rrittca w{th ■ 



THE WONDERFUL YEAR 

Ctoth. $1.40 net 

Xnrr kiver of " Tbe Behind Vtftbond," ot " SeptinnH." ud ot ~ JuSerr " 
win wddDDM thia n«T Lockn mvcL To bia Itnif tut of quiiuit and crcr- 
diuguif cli*net«t II bow added the loveble Fbrtinbnu, Hcrchutof Happi- 
Bm uid (odIathB to all tbe atonn-tiMied dnanwn ot tba Qurtw I^tin. Ha 
li, iDdnd a amtnflt to the fcftrleae. aratje JDonaliat, wboae itor^ ma told in 
-Ja«er7." 

"Tb* Wondtrtnl Y«r~ idaln (lie maderinp of ■ josnf gngW.li—i., 
twplmf ot Fnneii in as obacuR bDardlDf-acbDoI, who inipalea to Fnnoe, and 
there Audi DomiibmeDt for hji aouL Be becomea a waiter is a tittle (Ravin- 
eial inn, wbm be leania the intricmte art ot makuii ftU-Jt-fnit-tmi. Hun ia 
a (liBipie. too. ot Bfjpt and, in the end, ot the great war. It ia all aeen 
throng the vhimakml ejei of thia maater storr-CeUer, 

Tin Slit KtpiiKu.— "Tbe lacture ol Pnach tnviiicia] life ii the moit 
eapital thine Locke tiai ever done — ita atnrdineat and inlcfrit^, i(a pimoDate 
diacinc to (he Bil, it! artiitic •elt-nlianoe. 'The Wonderful Year ' ia the Ixat 
Uod o( a romantic novd — nalitr not itnined, but lonebcd witb iraoe and 



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WILLIAM J. LOCKE 
YEAR-BOOK 



"No writnol Bctioii on dthar ada of the nmter hi« pndBsed mMa ch««t- 
fiiL optimutiG sbWM thm TCDum X Locke, wfaoee lume ii funiEir to aU 
nulenolgooil, enterteiaua^ iatenitiuuid Mptal book*. In Uiii duntj 
Tolume, BID* of tbt beat mtuu* of Mr. Locke, or ol eom ol hie beet-known 
cluncten, ksTe been eoDited in tbc form of ■ qnotetion (or oner dw in the 
faa. Titb edeetioB* hnve been mede with ore and p*iM«»fciwr diecnini* 
aetioD, end five ■ food idea of Mr. Locke^A human flympatby and brcadtli 
of Tiw. Soiat of iht paua^ aeJect«d are gcaa of tliouclit and coespo- 
■ition- ^» volume u not nLoply a caJrndaj of Locke'i uyin^- It u a 
hclplnl book, and one that itimulatei thought and inipinn with noble nw- 
tive. It it orlaildr one ol the most deainble hobday gilla of the Heon." 
— Arffttt Leadtr. 

"One geti a tbtt lair idea (^ tbo quuatneaa of the Locke phOoeophr and 
of the Locke wit iB thii enlarUining book. It will lerTB la lortitr the 
bold of the author of 'Seplimiu' and^The Beloved Vanbond'on the aOeo- 
tiona 1^ hij foUowen, and to intnduce him in hie bijihcr Ai^te to tboee 
whoahould know him."— Amlm PolL 

"Tbc William J. Locke Year-Book nur be termed a treat became in it 
are gathered all tbe choice titlnti ftom the mrkl <A thia unoual lODaneer 
of our day. It oontaint a thought for each day in the year, Unally H ia a 
pleaianl and helpful tboD(ht, with which ta ilart the day. Tbne who 
have read Locke • woiki wiD be (lad to renew aeqnaiBtaliee with tbeia 
fine thoughti. Tboee who have not read them wiU take them np after 
reeding tSeee pearb Strang out as effectively in the Year-Book."— St. Lao* 

"The nnique poution of William J. Locke ai one ol the moet widely 
popular BoVMiit*, wbo at the lame time ha> never aacriOeed decency nor 
lowered hie high itandard of bterary erceUeDce* is iltugtrated by the publi- 
cation of an attractive volume. "Tbc mUlam J. Locke Year-Book.'^ with 
daily quotatiou cardully eekcted from hia worki."— Cirulicta Work. 

"Locke'a boob lend themaelvei to nich eelection, aa tbey are lull of ^>o- 
rinui. Bow rich tbey are in wit and wislam, a glauce at thia Ytar-Bosk 
will akow to any reader. The little volnmc iboold be popular aa a ^ 
hook."— San Frmeua Clmnicls. 

"Thtn are lew modern noveHa^ who hai 



pithy ityie of WiUiani 

J. Locke. The author lA 'The Beloved Vafabond' thinks out on the 
edges of tlun^ and ainu lua shaft of epigram at the centre. IIk Locke 
enUiDliuli wUl welcome ■ colketko of big quotable parurapha which has 
' ID iiaued under tbe title iJ.'Tbe Locke Year-Book.' It has a 

™3 Lr- "'- 



le title i^.'Tbe Locke 
il Locke's humor 



id it fi inlcRitLUg to note the variety and poB- 
d pathoa. Horeover, often a lut that yon had 
of the Locks books win come to you, eipreeiiB* 



ID love a Dnam ^Wom 



eipreeiiu 



U tbe spirit ol tbe atvy in 
tbia, from 'Hie Beloved Vuaboi 
her stay tbe divine Woman of the 

blood, no matter bow delicately tenoer ana nno uai nve naa spea at toe 
dawn is a misery loo deep tor tears.' And that is the wbi^ albry of the 



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