The Green Years: And Shannon's Way: (Two Complete Novels)

The Green Years: And Shannon's Way: (Two Complete Novels)

The Green Years: And Shannon's Way: (Two Complete Novels)

The Green Years: And Shannon's Way: (Two Complete Novels)

Excerpt

ON A DAMP evening in December, the fifth of that month, in the year 1919 -- a date which marked the beginning of a great change in my life -- six o'clock had struck from the University tower and the soft mist from the Eldon River was creeping round the Experimental Pathology buildings at the foot of Fenner Hill, invading our long work-room that smelled faintly of formalin, and was lit only by low, green-shaded lamps.

Professor Usher was still in his study -- from behind the closed door on my right, with eardrums unnaturally attuned, I could hear his precise tones as he spoke, at length, upon the telephone. Surreptitiously, I glanced at the two other assistants who, with myself, made up the Professor's team.

Directly opposite, Spence stood at his bench, racking culture tubes, awaiting the arrival of his wife. She called for him regularly, every Friday night, and they went out together to dinner and the theatre. A slanting beam drew a cruel caricature of his broken profile upon the wall.

In the far corner of the laboratory Lomax had knocked off work and was idly tapping a cigarette upon his thumbnail --signal for a departure which he generally contrived to make easy and negligent. Presently, in a bored manner, surrounded by a languid cloud of smoke, he stood up, adjusting the wave in his hair at the mirror he kept over his sink.

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