The tysons

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TheProjectGutenbergeBook,TheTysons,byMaySinclair ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.net Title:TheTysons (Mr andMrs NevillTyson) Author:MaySinclair ReleaseDate:April28,2005[eBook#15722] Language:English Charactersetencoding:ISO-8859-1 ***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHETYSONS*** E-textpreparedbySuzanneShell,MaryMeehan, andtheProjectGutenbergOnlineDistributedProofreadingTeam THETYSONS (MR ANDMRS NEVILLTYSON) BYMAYSINCLAIR AuthorofTHEDIVINEFIRE,THEHELPMATE,etc 1906 CONTENTS CHAPTERI. MR NEVILLTYSON CHAPTERII. MRS NEVILLTYSON CHAPTERIII. MR ANDMRS NEVILLTYSONATHOME CHAPTERIV. THEFIRSTSTONE CHAPTERV. THENIGHTWATCH CHAPTERVI. ASONANDHEIR CHAPTERVII. SIRPETER'SNEWCLOTHES CHAPTERVIII. TOWARDS"THECROSS-ROADS" CHAPTERIX. ANUNNATURALMOTHER CHAPTERX. CIRCUMSTANTIALEVIDENCE CHAPTERXI. THERETURNOFODYSSEUS CHAPTERXII. AFLATINTOWN CHAPTERXIII. MRS WILCOXTOTHERESCUE CHAPTERXIV. THE"CRITERION" CHAPTERXV. CONFLAGRATION CHAPTERXVI. THENEWLIFE CHAPTERXVII. THECAPTAINOFHISSOUL CHAPTERXVIII. AMIRACLE CHAPTERXIX. CONFESSIONAL CHAPTERXX. AMANANDASPHINX CHAPTERXXI. OUTOFTHENIGHT CHAPTERXXII. INTHEDESERT CHAPTERXXIII. INMEMORIAM CHAPTERI MR NEVILLTYSON There were only two or three houses in Drayton Parva where Mr and Mrs NevillTysonwerereceived Athrillofguiltyexpectationusedtogothroughthe room when they were announced, and people watched them with a fearful interest,asiftheyweretheactorsinsomeenthrallingbutforbiddendrama Perhaps,ifshehadbeentriedbyajuryofherpeers—butMrs NevillTysonhad nopeersinDraytonParva Shewastriedbyaninvisibleandincorruptiblejury of ideas in Miss Batchelor's head Opinion sways all things in Drayton Parva, andMissBatchelorswayedopinion AsforMr NevillTyson,hehaddroppedintoLeicestershirefromheavenknows where, and was understood to be more or less on his trial Nobody knew anythingabouthim,exceptthathewasanephewofoldTysonofThorneytoft, and had come in for the property Nobody cared much for old Tyson of Thorneytoft;hewasnotexactly—well,nomatter,hewasveryrespectableand he was dead, which entitled him to a little consideration And as Mr Nevill Tysonwasanunmarriedmaninthosedayshenaturallyattractedsomeattention onhisownaccount,aswellasforthesakeoftheveryrespectableoldman,his uncle HewasfirstseenatadinnerattheMorleys Somebodyelsehappenedtobethe guestoftheevening,andsomebodyelsetookLadyMorleyintodinner Tyson took Miss Batchelor, and I don't think he quite liked it Miss Batchelor was clever—frightfully clever—but she never showed up well in public; she had a nervousmanner,andawayoflookingatyouasifyouweresomecuriousanimal thatshewouldliketopatifshewereperfectlysureyouwerenotdangerous And whenyouwereabouttotakecompassiononhershyness,shestartledyouwitha sudden lapse into self-possession IcanseehernowlookingatTysonoverthe frills on her shoulder, with her thin crooked little mouth smiling slightly She mightwelllook,forNevillTyson'sappearancewasremarkable Hemighthave beenanyagebetweentwenty-fiveandforty;asamatteroffacthewasthirty-six EnglandhadmadehimfloridandAnglo-Saxon,butthetropicshadbleachedhis skinanddriedhisstraw-coloredhairtillitlookedlikehay Hisfigurewasshort andratherclumsilybuilt,butithadacertainstrengthanddetermination;sohad hisface Thedeterminationwasnotexpresslystatedbyanysinglefeature—the mouthwasnotwhatyouwouldcallfirm,andthechinretreatedeversoslightly inaheavycurve—butitwassomehowimpliedbythewhole Hegaveyouthe ideaofironbatteredinallthearsenalsoftheworld MissBatchelorwondered whathewouldhavetosayforhimself Hesaidverylittle,andlookedatnobody,untilsomecasualremarkofhismade somebody look at him Then he began to talk, laconically at first, and finally withgreatfluency Itwasallabouthimself,andeverybodylistened Heproveda good talker, as a man ought to be who has knocked about four continents and seen strange men and stranger women You could tell that Miss Batchelor was interested, for she had turned round in her chair now and was looking him straight in the face It seemed that he had worked his way out to Bombay and backagain Hehadbeenreportertohalf-a-dozenprovincialpapers Hehadbeen tutor to Somebody's son at some place not specified He had tried his hand at comic journalism in London and at cattle-driving in Texas, and had been halfway to glory as a captain of irregulars in the Soudanese war No, nobody was moresurprisedthanhimselfwhenthatmysticoldmanlefthimThorneytoft He thoughthehadchuckedcivilizationforgood Forgood?But—afterhisexciting life—wouldn'thefindcivilizationalittle—dull?(MissBatchelorhadawayof pointinghersentencesasifshewerespeakinginparables.)Notinthecountry, there was hardly enough of it there, and he had never tried being a country gentlemanbefore;heratherwantedtoseewhatitwaslike Wouldn'titbealittle hard,ifhehadnever—?Hethoughtnot Thefirstthingheshoulddowouldbeto getsomedecenthunters Hunterswereallverywell,buthadhenohobbies?No,hehadnot;thebonafide country gentleman never had hobbies They were kept by amateur gentlemen retired from business to the suburbs Here Sir Peter observed that talking of hobbies,oldMr Tysonhadaperfect—er—maniafororchids;hespentthebest part of his life in his greenhouse Mr Nevill Tyson thought he would rather spendhisinCalcuttaatonce A dark lean man who had arrived with Tyson was seen to smile frequently during the above dialogue Miss Batchelor caught him doing it and turned to Tyson "CaptainStanistreetseemedratheramusedatthenotionofyourbeinga fineoldcountrygentleman." "Stanistreet?Idaresay Butheknowsnothingaboutit,Iassureyou Hehasthe soulofacabman HemeasureseverythingbyitsdistancefromCharingCross." "Isee Andyou—areallforgreenfieldsandidyllicsimplicity?" Hebowed,asmuchastosay,"Iam,ifyousayso." MissBatchelorbecameinstantlyself-possessed "Youwon'tlikeit Nothinghappenshere;nothingeverwillhappen Youwillbe dreadfullybored." "If I am bored I shall get something to I shall dissipate myself in a bland parochialpatriotism Icanfeelitcomingonalready WhenIoncegetmyfeeton aplatformIshallletmyselfgo." "Do You'll astonish our simple Arcadian farmers Nothing but good old Tory melodramagoesdownhere Areyouequaltothat?" "Ohyes I'mterrificinTorymelodrama Ishallbringdownthehouse." Sheturnedacuriousscrutinizinglookonhim "Yes," said she, "you'll bring down the house—like Samson among the Philistines." Hereturnedherlookwithinterest "Ishouldimmenselyliketoknow,"saidhe, "whatyougoinfor I'msureyougoinforsomething." Shelookedatherplate "Well,Idabblealittleinpsychology." "Oh!"Therewasamoment'ssilence "Psychologyisalargeorder,"saidTyson, presently "Yes,ifyougoindeep I'mnotdeep I'mperfectlyhappywhenI'vegotholdof the first principles It sounds dreadfully superficial, but I'm not interested in anythingbutprinciples." "I'msorrytohearit,forinthatcaseyouwon'tbeinterestedinme." Shelaughednervously Shewasaccustomedtoberalliedonherattainments,but neverquiteafterthisfashion "Whynot?" "BecauseIhaven'tanyprinciples." Shebentherbrows;buthereyesweresmilingunderherfrown "Youreallymustn'tsaythesethingshere Wearesodreadfullyliteral Wemight takeyouatyourword." Tysonsmiled,showinghisratherprominentteethunpleasantly "I wish," said she, "I knew what you think a country gentleman's duties really are." "Doyou?Theyarethree Tohunthard;toshootstraight;andtogotochurch." "Ihopeyouwillperformthem—all." "Ishall—all No—onsecondthoughtsIdrawthelineatgoingtochurch It'sall very well if you've got a private chapel, or an easy chair in the chancel, or a familyvaultyoucansitin ButIdetestthesemodernarrangements;Iobjectto bestuckinatightpositionbetweentwoboards,withmyfeetinsomebodyelse's hat, and somebody else's feet in mine, and to have people breathing down my collarandhissingandyellingalternately,inmyear." Again Miss Batchelor drew her eyebrows together in a friendly frown of warning ShelikedthecosmopolitanTysonandhisrecklessspeech,andshehad herownreasonsforwishinghimtomakeagoodimpression Butherhintshad rousedinhimtheinstinctofantagonism,andhewentonmorerecklesslythan before "No; you are perfectly wrong I'm not an interesting atheist I have the mostbeautifulchild-likefaithin—" "The God who was clever enough to make Mr Nevill Tyson?" said Miss Batchelor,verysoftly Shehadfelttheantagonism,andresentedit AtthispointSirPetercamedownwithoneofthosetremendousplatitudesthat rollconversationoutflat Thatwashisnotionofthedutyofahost,torushinand change the subject just as it was getting exciting The old gentleman had destroyedmanyapromisingtopicinthisway,undertheimpressionthathewas savingasituation "You'llbeboredtodeath—Igiveyousixmonths,"wereMissBatchelor'sparting words,murmuredasideoverhershoulder OntheirwayhomeStanistreetcongratulatedTyson "By Jove! you've fallen on your feet, Tyson They tell me Miss Batchelor is thatmightstillhappenanddestroyhisplans Bywayofguardingagainstithe had stuck the Steamship Company's labels on all his luggage long ago That seemedtomakehisdecisionirrevocablewhateverhappened Buthewouldnot besafetillhefeltwaterunderhim At the last minute Molly took a feverish turn, and was on no account to be agitated IfhemustgoitwouldbebetternottosayGood-bye Oh,muchbetter Hewentintoherroom Shewasdrowsy Hersmallforeheadwasfurrowedwith much thinking; there was a deep flush on her cheek, and her breath came and wentlikesighing Hestoopedoverherandwhispered"Goodnight,"thesameas anyothernight No,notquitethesame,forMollystartedandtrembled Hehad kissednotherhandsonly,buthermouthandherface Hisshipsailedatmidnight,andhesailedwithit Shehadnotstoodinhisway, thelittlething When,indeed,hadsheeverhinderedhim? TowardsmidnightMrs Wilcoxandtheservantswerestartledfromtheirsleepby hearing Mrs Nevill Tyson calling "Nevill, Nevill!" They hurried to her room; herbedwasempty;theclotheswereallrumpledbackasifflungoffsuddenly Theylookedintothecharred,dismantleddrawing-room,shewasnotthere;but thedoorofcommunication,alwayskeptshutatnight,wasajar Shemusthave gone through into the dining-room They found her there, stretched across the couch,unconscious ThecordthathadheldNevill'sswordtothenailabovewas lyingonthefloorwhereshehadfoundit Shehaddivinedhisdestiny Thenextdayshewasslightlydelirious Thedoctorsandnursescameandwent softly, and Mrs Wilcox brooded over the sick-room like a vast hope They listened now and then She was talking about the baby, the baby that died two yearsago "It's very strange," said Mrs Wilcox, "she never took much notice of the little thingwhenitwasalive." Thedoctorsaidnothingtothat;butheaskedwhetherherfatherhadnotdiedof consumption Hecertainlyhad;butnobodyhadeverbeenafraidforMolly;her lungs were always particularly strong Yes, but the lungs were not always attacked Tuberculosis,likeotherthings,followsthelineofleastresistance Her braincouldneverhavebeenverystrong.—"Herbrainwasasstrongasyoursor mine, sir You don't know; she has had a miserable life."—Ah, any shock or strong excitement, or any great drain on the system, was enough to bring on brainfever Inotherwords,whatcouldyouexpectaftersomuchagony,somuchthinking, andthestrivingofthatlifewithinherlife,thehopethatwouldhaverenewedthe world for her—the fruit of three days and three nights of happiness? It was a gravecase,but—ohyes,whiletherewaslifetherewashope Sotheytalked Butshewasfarawayfromthem,lostinherdream Andinher dreamthedeadchildandtheunbornchildwereone Bynightthetumultinherbrainwasraginglikeafire Shehadbaddreams They werefullofnoises First,thehissofathinvoicesingingfromagreatdistancean insistent, intolerable song; then the roar of hell, and the hissing of a thousand snakesofflame Andnowacrowdofevilfacespressedonher;theysprangup quick out of the darkness, and then they left her alone She was outside in the streets Itwastwilight,adreadfultwilight;andperhapsitwasonlyadream,for itisalwaystwilightindreams Shewasallin white,inhernight-gown,andit wasopenatthenecktoo Sheclutchedatittohide—whatwasitshewantedto hide?Shehadforgotten—forgotten Butthatwasnothing,onlyadream,andshewasawakenow Itwaslight;itwas broaddaylight Thenwhywassheouthere,inthestreet,inhernight-gown?She musthideherself—anywhere—downthatdarkalley,quick!No,notthere—there wasabundle—adeadbaby No,no,sheknewallaboutitnow;therewasafire,andshehadgotupoutofher bedtosavesomeone—tosave—"Nevill!Nevill!"Shemustrunorshewouldbe late Ah, the crowd again, and those faces—all looking at her and wondering They were running too, they were hunting her down, the brutes, driving her beforethemwithpitchforks Theshameofit,theshameofit!Whowassinging thathideoussong?Itwasabouther,Whathadshedone?Shehaddonenothing —nothing Shewasbearingthesinsofallwomen,thesinsofthewholeworld It was swords now—sharp burning swords, and they hurt her back—her head— Nevill! Thedreamchanged Mrs NevillTysonwaswanderingaboutsomewherealone, alwaysalone;shewaswalkingoversand,hotlikethefloorofafurnace,onand on,aterriblylongway,towardssomethingblackthatlayontheveryedgeofthe worldandwasnowacloud,andnowacloak,andnowadeadman Two people were talking about her now, and there was no sense in what they said "Istherenohope?"saidone "None,"saidtheother,"none." Therewasasoundofsomeonecrying;itseemedtolastalongtime,butitwas sofaintshecouldscarcelyhearit "Itisjustaswell Shewouldhavediedinchild-birth,orlostherreason." Thecryingsoundedveryfaraway Itceased Thesanddriftedandfellfromunderherfeet;shewassinkingintoa whirlpool, sucked down by a great spinning darkness and by an icy wind She threwupherarmsaboveherheadlikeadreamerawakingfromsleep Shehad donewithfeversandwithdreams Thedoctorpushedbackthesoftfringeofdownfromherforehead "Look,"he said,"itisliketheforeheadofachild." CHAPTERXXII INTHEDESERT It was an hour before dawn, and Tyson was kneeling on the floor of his tent, doingsomethingtothebodyofasickman Hehadturnedthenarrowplaceinto a temporary ambulance Dysentery had broken out among his little troop; and wherevertherewasareasonablechanceofsavingaman'slife,Tysoncarriedthat manfromunderthelongawning,pitchedinthepitilesssunlightwherethemen swooned and maddened in their sickness, and brought him into his own tent, where as often as not he died This boy was dying The air was stifling; but it was better than what they had down there among those close-packed rows, wherethepoordevilsweredyingfasterthanyoucouldburythem—eveninthe desert,wherefuneralritesareshort Andashestoopedtomoistentheboy'slips, Tysonsworewithagreatoath:therewasnowaterinthetinbasin;thesponge wasdryassand,andcakedwithblood Hisowntonguewaslikeahotfilelaidto the roof of his mouth The heat by night was the heat of the great desert, stretchedoutlikeasheetofslowlycoolingiron;andtheheatbydaywaslikethe fireofthefurnacethattriedit He went out to find water When they were not interrupted by the enemy, he might be kept at this sort of work for days; if it was not this boy it would be another The care of at least one-half of his sick and wounded had fallen to Tyson'scharge LettheJusticethatcriesoutagainstwhatmenhavedoneforwomenremember whattheyhavedoneformen Theboydiedbeforedawn Andnow,whatwithsicknessandmuchfighting,out ofthefiftyTysonhadbroughtoutwithhimtherewerebuttwentysoundmen When he had seen to the burying of his dead, and gone his rounds among the hopelesslydying,Tysonturnedtohisownaffairs Themailhadcomein,andhis lettershadbeenforwardedtohimovernightfromtheneareststation Therewas one from Stanistreet; it lay unopened on a box of cartridges amongst his other papers Thesehebegantolookoverandarrange They were curious documents One was a letter to his wife, imploring her forgiveness "And yet," he had written, "except for one sin (committed when I was to all intents and purposes insane), and for one mistake, the grossest man evermade,youhavenothingtoforgive IswearthatIlovedyoueventhen;andI shall always love you, as I have never loved—never could love—any other woman Believeme,Idon'tsaythistojustifymyself Therewouldbefarmore excuse for me if I had been simply incapable of the feeling As it is, I sinned againstthehighest,thebestpartofmyself,asmuchasagainstyou."Therewas moreinthesamestrain,onlylesscoherent;hurriedsentencesjotteddowninthe night, whenever he could snatch a minute from his duty He must have meant everywordofitatthemomentofwriting;andyet—thisisthecuriousthing—it wasinflatcontradictiontocertainstatementsmadeintheotherpaper ThiswasalonglettertoStanistreet,begunintheformofanirregulardiary—a roughaccountofthemarch,ofthefighting,ofthestrugglewithdysentery,given in the fewest and plainest words possible, with hardly a trace of the writer's naturalegotism Thetwolastsheetswereapostscript Theyhadevidentlybeen writtenatoneshortsitting,insentencesthatranintoeachother,asifthewriter had been in passionate haste to deliver himself of all he had to say The first sentencewasabriefself-accusation,whatfollowedwasthedefense—asinner's apologia pro vita sua He had behaved like a scoundrel to his wife To other women too, if you like, but it had been fair fighting with them, brute against beast, an even match While she—she was not a woman; she was an adorable mixture—two parts child to one part angel And he, Tyson, had never been an angel, and it was a long time since he had been a child That accounted for everything Barringhismarriage,noneofhiscrimeshadbeencommittedincold blood; but he had gone into that with his eyes open, knowing himself to be incapableofthefeelingwomencalllove (Ofcourse,therewasalwaystheother thing.)Butthatloveofhiswife'swassomethingdivine—athingtobelievein, nottosee Menwerenotmadetomatewithdivinities Heoughttohavefallen downandworshipedthelittlething,notmarriedher Butwasithisfault! That particular crime would never have been committed if he had been left to himself ItwasnotthewillofGod;itwasthatwilloftheoldmanTyson The whole thingwasacursedhandicap frombeginning toend Hewasstrong;but theworldandlifeanddestinywereabitstronger—itwasthreetoone,andtwo outofthethreewerewomen—see?It'salwaystwotooneonthem Youcan'thit outstraight fromtheshoulderwhenyoufightwithwomen,Stanny Ifyoucan keep 'em going, it's about all He had nothing to say against Destiny, mind Destinyfightsfairenough(forawoman),andshehadfoughtfairwithhim She hadpickedhimupoutofthedirtwhenthescrimmagewashottest,andpitched himintothedeserttodie Itwasbettertodieouthereinthedesertcleanly,than todieinthegutterathome Ifonlyhecoulddiefighting! Now,whatevermaybesaidofthisremarkabledocument,atanyrateitboreon thefaceofitapassionateveracity Butitgavethelietoeverywordofhisletter tohiswife Tysonhaddasheditoffinhothaste,risentohiswork,andthenhe musthavesatdownagaintowritethatletter Takensingly,thethreedocuments weremisleading;takenaltogether,theyformedamasterpieceofautobiography The self-revelation was lucid and complete; it gave you Tyson the man of no class,Tysonthebundleofparadoxes,BritishandBohemian,cosmopolitanand barbarian;thebrutewiththeimmortalhumansoulstrugglingperpetuallytobe He put the diary into his dispatch-box It was found there afterwards, and publishedwithafewotherletters Everybodyknowsthatsimplestraightforward record;itshowsTysonathisbravestandhisbest Ifhehadtriedtoseparatethe littlegoldofhislifefromthedrossofithecouldnothavesucceededbetter He looked over the postscript hurriedly When he came to the words, "Knowing myselftobeincapableofthefeelingwomencalllove,"hecompareditwiththe otherletter,"TherewouldhavebeenfarmoreexcuseformeifIhadbeensimply incapableofthefeeling."Thetwostatementsdidnotexactlytally;butwhatelse couldhesay?Anditwastoolatetomenditnow HelaiddownthesheetsandopenedStanistreet'sletter Itwasshort;itgavethe newsofMolly'sdeathwithafewdetails,andthesewords:"Inanycaseitmust havecomesoon Yourgoingawaymadenodifference Itbeganbeforeyouleft —thefeverwashangingabouther;andtheysayherbraincouldneverhavebeen verystrong." Hesatstaringatthecanvasofthetenttillitglowedapurplishcrimsonagainst thedawn Theairchokedhim;itreekedwithpestilenceanddeath OGod!the futilityofeverythinghehadeverdone!Theliehehadwrittenwasfutile;ithad cometoolate Hiscomingoutherewasfutile;hehadcometoosoon Ifhehad waitedanotherthreeweekshecouldhavegonewithoutbreakingMolly'sheart "Her brain could never have been very strong." At that he laughed—horribly, aloud The sound of his own laughter drove him from the tent He went out As he strained his eyes over the desert, the waste Infinity that had claimed him, he seemedtobebroughtnearertothenakedsincerityofthings Therewasnopity for himandno excuse;butneitherwastherecondemnation Heknewhimself, andheknewthehourofhisredemption Exorientelux!Itwasasifillumination had come with that fierce penetrating dawn that was beating the sand of the desertintofire Ah—that was a shot! The outpost stood a hundred yards to the left of him reloading A black head started up behind a curve of rising ground, a bullet whizzedby,andthemanwiththemusketfellinalittlecloudofsand And now the bullets were crossing each other in mid-air The camp was surrounded Tyson called up his twenty men and ran to his tent for arms The papers were stillthereintheboxofcartridges Hehesitatedforasecond Herealizedwithasuddenluciditythatifhedied,and thosedamningdocumentswerefound,therewouldbeasluronhismemoryout of keeping with the end He could not have it said that the last words he had writtenhadbeenanapologyandalie Hetorethepapersacross,once,twice—notimeformore—andrushedintothe desert,hisheartbeatingwiththebrutal,jubilantlustofbattle CHAPTERXXIII INMEMORIAM Lateronnews cameofthatheroicstandmadebyTysonandhismen—amere handfulagainsthundredsoftheenemy Hehadledthemintheirlastmadrushon a line of naked steel; he had fallen first, face downwards, pierced through the backandbreast Hediedfighting EveninDraytonParva,whereallthingsareremembered,hissinsareforgotten Nay,more,theyforbeartospeakofhiswife'ssinsoutofrespectforthememory ofabraveman In Drayton Parish Church there is a stained glass window with a figure of St Michael;hehasadrawnswordinhishandandtheflamesofhellareabouthis feet Thatwindowisdedicated TOTHEGLORYOFGODANDTHEMEMORYOFNEVILL TYSON Sotheyremember And out there, in the great Soudan, there is a wooden cross that mounts guard overalongmound Alreadyitisburieduptoitsarmsintheshiftingsand;bytomorrow the dead and their place will be one with the eternal desert And the desertremembersnothing,neitherglorynorsin ***ENDOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHETYSONS*** *******Thisfileshouldbenamed15722-h.txtor15722-h.zip******* Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/1/5/7/2/15722 Updatededitionswillreplacethepreviousone theoldeditionswillberenamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatnooneownsa 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