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قراءة كتاب The Four Corners of the World

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‏اللغة: English
The Four Corners of the World

The Four Corners of the World

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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Transcriber's Notes:
1. Page scan source:
http://www.archive.org/details/fourcornersof00masoiala







BOOKS BY A. E. W. MASON

Published By CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS


THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD. net $1.50

THE BROKEN ROAD. net $1.35

AT THE VILLA ROSE. Illustrated. net $1.35

THE TURNSTILE. net $1.35

THE WITNESS FOR THE DEFENCE. net $1.35







THE FOUR CORNERS
OF THE WORLD







THE FOUR CORNERS
OF THE WORLD





BY

A. E. W. MASON






CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS
NEW YORK :: :: :: 1917







Copyright, 1917, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS


Published October, 1917


Copyright, 1909, by THE CURTIS PUBLISHING CO.
Copyright, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1917, By A. E. W. MASON
Copyright, 1914, 1915, 1917, By THE METROPOLITAN MAGAZINE CO.







CONTENTS







THE CLOCK





THE CLOCK


I


Mr. Twiss was a great walker, and it was his habit, after his day's work was done, to walk from his pleasant office in the Adelphi to his home at Hampstead. On an afternoon he was detained to a later hour than usual by one of his clients, a Captain Brayton, over some matter of a mortgage. Mr. Twiss looked at his office clock.

"You are going west, I suppose?" he said. "I wonder if you would walk with me as far as Piccadilly? It will not be very much out of your way, and I have a reason for wishing your company."

"By all means," replied Captain Brayton, and the two men set forth.

Mr. Twiss, however, seemed in a difficulty as to how he should broach his subject, and for a while the pair walked in silence. They, indeed, reached Pall Mall, and were walking down that broad thoroughfare, before a word of any importance was uttered. And even then it was chance which furnished the occasion. A young man of Captain Brayton's age came down from the steps of a club and walked towards them. As he passed beneath a street lamp, Mr. Twiss noticed his face, and ever so slightly started with surprise. At almost the same moment, the young man swerved across the road at a run, as though suddenly he remembered a very pressing appointment. The two men walked on again for a few paces, and then Captain Brayton observed: "There is a screw loose there, I am afraid."

Mr. Twiss shook his head.

"I am sorry to hear you say so," he replied. "It was, indeed, about Archie Cranfield that I was anxious to speak to you. I promised his father that I would be something more than Archie's mere man of affairs, if I were allowed, and I confess that I am troubled by him. You know him well?"

Captain Brayton nodded his head.

"Perhaps I should say that I did know him well," he returned. "We were at the same school, we passed through Chatham together, but since he has relinquished actual service we have seen very little of one another." Here he hesitated, but eventually made up his mind to continue in a guarded fashion. "Also, I am bound to admit that there has been cause for disagreement. We quarrelled."

Mr. Twiss was disappointed. "Then you can tell me nothing of him recently?" he asked, and Captain Brayton shrugged his shoulders.

"Nothing but what all the little world of his acquaintances already knows. He has grown solitary, forbidding in his manner, and, what is most noticeable, sly--extraordinarily sly. While he is speaking with you, he will smile at some secret thought of his; the affairs of the world have lost their interest for him; he hardly listens and seldom speaks. He is concerned with some private matter, and he hides it cunningly. That is the character, at all events, which his friends give of him."

They had now reached the corner of St. James's Street, and as they turned up the hill,

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