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Harmer John (1926) by Hugh Walpole

Harmer John (1926) by Hugh Walpole



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Title: Harmer John (1926)Author: Hugh Walpole* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *eBook No.: 0400471.txtEdition: 1Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bitDate first posted: May 2004Date most recently updated: May 2004This eBook was produced by: Don Lainson dlainson@sympatico.caProject Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editionswhich are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright noticeis included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particularpaper edition.Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing thisfile.This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictionswhatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the termsof the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online athttp://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html---------------------------------------------------------------------------A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBookTitle: Harmer John (1926)Author: Hugh WalpoleAn Unworldly StoryTO DAVIDOCTOBER 7TH, 1920Life is a pure flame and we live by an invisible Sun within us . . .'Tis all one to live in St. Innocents' Churchyard as in theSands of Aegypt; Ready to be anything, in the ecstasie of beingever, and as content with six Foot as the moles of Adrianus.--UrnBurial
CONTENTSBOOK I: HIS ARRIVALI. How he came to our Town on a Stormy Night and found unexpectedlya HomeII. The Reverend Tom at Home and AbroadIII. From Gabrielle Midgeley's Diary--IIV. Portrait of the HeroV. Friendship: March WeatherVI. The SistersVII. The Birthday PartyVIII. Four MenIX. Mary's ReturnX. Seatown CavesBOOK II: OF HOW HE STAYED WITH USI. In the Upper Air--PopularityII. The First LectureIII. From Gabrielle Midgeley's Diary--IIIV. Life and Death of a CrisisV. Summer NightVI. The QuarrelVII. Gabrielle Midgeley's Diary--IIIVIII. Seatown FantasyIX. The Last LectureBOOK III: HOW HE LEFT USI. AloneII. The WatchersIII. Penethen Interlude
IV. October 7: On the HillV. October 7: Life and DeathVI. Miss Midgeley revisitsHARMER JOHNBOOK IHIS ARRIVALCHAPTER IHOW HE CAME TO OUR TOWN ON A STORMY NIGHT AND FOUND UNEXPECTEDLY AHOMEOn a December night in the year 1906 a ferocious storm swept acrossour town.There was nothing unusual in this: in Southern Glebeshire thewinter is so often mild that the sea (impatient at the lassitude ofthe air) seems suddenly to rise, and to wish to beat its way acrossthe narrow peninsula, to sweep the fields and hedges with its saltwater: it calls the heavens to its assistance, the skies open,water pours out in torrents, the wind screams, shrieks, bellows--suddenly it knows that all is vanity, shrugs its hoary shoulders,creeps back muttering, lifts its hand to the sky in a gesture ofcynical farewell, and lies, heaving, hoping for a more victoriousday.In the weeks around Christmas there is often such a storm, and,when other parts of England are showing gratitude sentimentally forthe traditional snow, we recover from our torrents of rain to findthe air warm, our skies mildly blue, the tower of our Cathedralstretching pearl-grey to heaven, and the Pol rumpled with sunshinesliding to the sea.But the storm while it lasts seems to shake our town to its veryroots; you can almost feel wild hands tearing at the stones beneathyour feet, rocking, rocking, rocking, hoping that at least onehouse may tumble. . . .On this especial evening, December 22, 1906, Mrs. Penethen, a well-known and respected widow, was sitting in front of her kitchenfire, her skirt drawn up to her knees, her toes resting on a wool-worked cushion, in her old old house in Canon's Yard. The housesin Canon's Yard are, as every one knows, the oldest in Polchester,and Mrs. Penethen's was possibly the oldest in Canon's Yard, so youcan guess from that how old it was.

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