After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

Excerpt

It HAD all been arranged by telegram; Jeremy Pordage was to look out for a coloured chauffeur in a grey uniform with a carnation in his button-hole; and the coloured chauffeur was to look out for a middle-aged Englishman carrying the Poetical Works of Wordsworth. In spite of the crowds at the station, they found one another without difficulty.

"Mr. Stoyte's chauffeur?"

"Mr. Pordage, sah!"

Jeremy nodded and, his Wordsworth in one hand, his umbrella in the other, half extended his arms in the gesture of a self-deprecatory mannequin exhibiting, with a full and humorous consciousness of their defects, a deplorable figure accentuated by the most ridiculous clothes. "A poor thing," he seemed to be implying, "but myself." A defensive and, so to say, prophylactic disparagement had become a habit with him. He resorted to it on every sort of occasion. Suddenly a new idea came into his head. Anxiously, he began to wonder whether, in this democratic Far West of theirs, one shook hands with the chauffeur--particularly if he happened to be a blackamoor, just to demonstrate that one wasn't a pukka sahib even if one's country did happen to be bearing the White Man's burden. In the end he decided to do nothing. Or, to be more accurate, the . . .

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