The Voice in the Fog (Chapter 3, page 1 of 8)

Previous Page
Next Page

Chapter 3

That same morning, at eleven precisely (when an insolent west wind
sprang up and tore the fog into ribbons and scarves and finally blew it
into smithereens, channelward) there stood before the windows of a
famous haberdashery in the Strand a young man, twenty-four years of
age, typically English, beardless, hair clipped neatly about his neck
and temples, his skin fresh colored, his body carefully but thriftily
clothed. Smooth-skinned he was about the eyes and nose and mouth,
unmarked by dissipation; and he stood straight; and by the set of his
shoulders (not particularly deep or wide) you would infer that when he
looked at you he would look straight. Pity, isn't it, that you never
really can tell what a man is inside by drawing up your brief from what
he is outside. There is always the heel of Achilles somewhere; trust
the devil to find that.

Of course you wish to know forthwith who returned the ruby, and why.
As our statesmen say, regarding any important measure for public
welfare, the time is not yet ripe. Besides, the young man I am
describing had never heard of the Nana Sahib's ruby, unless vaguely in
some Sepoy Mutiny tale.

His expression at this moment was rather mournful. He was regretting
the thirty shillings the week he had for several years drawn regularly
in this shop. Inside there he had introduced the Raglan shirt, the
Duke of Westminster four-in-hand, and the Churchill batwing collar. He
longed to enter and plead for reinstatement, but his new-found pride
refused to budge his legs door-ward. Thirty shillings, twelve for his
"third floor back," and the rest for clothes and books and simple
amusements. What a whirl he had been in, this past fortnight!

Previous Page
Next Page

Rate This Book

Current Rating: 2.8/5 (307 votes cast)

Review This Book or Post a Comment