The lamp in the desert

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TheProjectGutenbergeBook,TheLampintheDesert,byEthelM Dell ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.net Title:TheLampintheDesert Author:EthelM Dell ReleaseDate:October16,2004[eBook#13763] Mostrecentlyupdated:July28,2011 Language:English Charactersetencoding:ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LAMP IN THE DESERT*** E-textpreparedbyAudreyLonghurst,GregorySmith, andtheProjectGutenbergOnlineDistributedProofreadingTeam TheLampintheDesert ByEthelM Dell TheWayofanEagle TheKnaveofDiamonds TheRocksofValpré TheSwindler,andOtherStories TheKeeperoftheDoor TheBarsofIron TheHundredthChance TheSafetyCurtain,andOtherStories Greatheart Hekneltbesideher,hisarmscomfortinglyaroundher DrawnbyD.C Hutchinson ChapterV TheLampintheDesert By EthelM Dell AuthorofTheWayofanEagle,TheHundredthChance,etc 1919 IDEDICATETHISBOOKTO MYDEARLY-LOVED ELIZABETH ANDTOTHEMEMORYOFHERGREATGOODNESS WHENSHEWALKEDINTHE DESERTWITHME "Heledthemallthenightthroughwithalightoffire." PSALMlxxviii,14 Lampsthatgleaminthecity, Lampsthatflareonthewall, Lampsthatshineonthewaysofmen, Kindledbymenareall Butthedesertofburnt-outashes, Whichonlythelosthavetrod, Darkandbarrenandflowerless, IslitbytheHandofGod Tolightentheouterdarkness, Tohastenthehaltingfeet, Heliftsalampinthedesert Likethelampsofmeninthestreet Onlythewanderersknowit, Thelostwiththosewhomourn, Thatlampinthedesertdarkness, Andthejoythatcomesinthedawn Thatthelostmaycomeintosafety, Andthemournersmayceasetodoubt, TheLampofGodwillbeshiningstill Whenthelampsofmengoout PARTI I.—BEGGAR'SCHOICE II.—THEPRISONERATTHEBAR III.—THETRIUMPH IV.—THEBRIDE V.—THEDREAM VI.—THEGARDEN VII.—THESERPENTINTHEGARDEN VIII.—THEFORBIDDENPARADISE PARTII I.—THEMINISTERINGANGEL II.—THERETURN III.—THEBARRENSOIL IV.—THESUMMONS V.—THEMORNING VI.—THENIGHT-WATCH VII.—SERVICERENDERED VIII.—THETRUCE IX.—THEOASIS X.—THESURRENDER PARTIII I.—BLUEBEARD'SCHAMBER II.—EVILTIDINGS III.—THEBEASTOFPREY IV.—THEFLAMINGSWORD V.—TESSA VI.—THEARRIVAL VII.—FALSEPRETENCES VIII.—THEWRATHOFTHEGODS PARTIV I.—DEVIL'SDICE II.—OUTOFTHEDARKNESS III.—PRINCESSBLUEBELL IV.—THESERPENTINTHEDESERT V.—THEWOMAN'SWAY VI.—THESURPRISEPARTY VII.—RUSTAMKARIN VIII.—PETER IX.—THECONSUMINGFIRE X.—THEDESERTPLACE PARTV I.—GREATERTHANDEATH II.—THELAMP III.—TESSA'SMOTHER IV.—THEBROADROAD V.—THEDARKNIGHT VI.—THEFIRSTGLIMMER VII.—THEFIRSTVICTIM VIII.—THEFIERYVORTEX IX.—THEDESERTOFASHES X.—THEANGEL XI.—THEDAWN XII.—THEBLUEJAY PARTI CHAPTERI BEGGAR'SCHOICE AgreatroarofBritishvoicespiercedthejewelledcurtainoftheIndiannight A toastwithmusicalhonourswasbeingdrunkintheswelteringdining-roomofthe officers' mess The enthusiastic hubbub spread far, for every door and window wasflungwide Thoughtheseasonwasyetinitsinfancy,theheatwasintense Markestan had the reputation in the Indian Army for being one of the hottest corners in the Empire in more senses than one, and Kurrumpore, the military centre, had not been chosen for any especial advantages of climate So few indeed did it possess in the eyes of Europeans that none ever went there save those whom an inexorable fate compelled The rickety, wooden bungalows scattered about the cantonment were temporary lodgings, not abiding-places The women of the community, like migratory birds, dwelt in them for barely fourmonthsintheyear,flittingwiththecomingofthepitilessheattoBhulwana, theirlittleparadiseintheHills Butthatwasatwenty-fourhours'journeyaway, andthemenhadtobecontentwithanoccasionalweek'sleavefromthedepths oftheirinferno,unless,asTommyDenversputit,theywereluckyenoughtogo sick,inwhichcasetheirsojourninparadisewasprolonged,muchtothedelight oftheangels Butonthathotnighttheannualflittingoftheangelshadnotyetcometopass, andnotwithstandingtheheatthelastdanceoftheseasonwastotakeplaceatthe Club House The occasion was an exceptional one, as the jovial sounds that issued from the officers' mess-house testified Round after round of cheers followedthenoisytoast,fillingthenightwiththemerryuproarthatechoedfar andwide Aconfusionofvoicessucceededthese;andthenbydegreesthebabel died down, and a single voice made itself heard It spoke with easy fluency to theevidentappreciationofitslisteners,andwhenitceasedtherecameanother heartycheer ThenwithjokesandcarelesslaughterthelittlecompanyofBritish officersbegantodisperse Theycameforthinlounginggroupsontothestepsof themess-house,theforemostofthem—TommyDenvers—holdingthearmofhis captain,whosufferedthefamiliarityashesufferedmostthings,withtheutmost indifference None but Tommy ever attempted to get on familiar terms with EverardMonck Hewasessentiallyamanwhostoodalone Buttheslim,fairhaired young subaltern worshipped him openly and with reason For Monck it waswho,grimlyresolute,hadpulledhimthroughtheworstillnesshehadever known,accomplishingbysheerforceofwillwhatRalston,thedoctor,hadfailed to accomplish by any other means And in consequence and for all time the youngestsubalterninthemesshadbecomeMonck'sdevotedadherent TheystoodtogetherforamomentatthetopofthestepswhileMonck,hisdark, leanfacewhollyunresponsiveandinscrutable,tookoutacigar Thenightwasa wonderland of deep spaces and glittering stars Somewhere far away a native tom-tomthrobbedlikethebeatingofafeveredpulse,quickeningspasmodically at intervals and then dying away again into mere monotony The air was scentless,still,andheavy "It'sgoingtobedeucedwarm,"saidTommy "Haveasmoke?"saidMonck,profferinghiscase Theboysmiledwithswiftgratification "Oh,thanksawfully!Butit'sashameto hurryoveragoodcigar,andIpromisedStellatogostraightback." "Apromiseisapromise,"saidMonck "Haveitlater!"Headdedrathercurtly, "I'mgoingyourwaymyself." "Good!"saidTommyheartily "Butaren'tyougoingtoshowattheClubHouse? Aren'tyougoingtodance?" Monck tossed down his lighted match and set his heel on it "I'm keeping my dancingforto-morrow,"hesaid "Thebestmanalwayshasmorethanenoughof that." Tommy made a gloomy sound that was like a groan and began to descend the stepsbyhisside Theywalkedseveralpacesalongthedimroadinsilence;then quitesuddenlyheburstintoimpulsivespeech "I'lltellyouwhatitis,Monck!" "Ishouldn't,"saidMonck Bernard!She'sgoingtoracemetoTheGrandStand." "ButIwanttogoandseeUncleEverardandAuntStellaatTheNest,"protested Tessa, hanging back from the contest "Besides Aunt Mary says I'm not to get hot." "Youcan'tgothereanyway,"saidTommyinexorably "TheNestisclosedtothe publicforto-night Theyaregoingtohaveaverysacredandparticularevening alltothemselves That'swhytheywouldn'tcomeinherewithus." "Aretheylove-making?"askedTessa,withseriouseyes "Doyouknow,Iheard abluejaylaughinguptherethismorning Wasthatwhathemeant?" "Something of that silly nature," said Tommy "And he's going to be a public characterisUncleEverard,soheiswisetomakethemostofhisprivacynow Ah,Bhulwana,"hestretchedhisarmstothepine-trees,"howIhaveyearnedfor thee!" "Andmetoo,"saidTessajealously Helookedather "You,youscaramouch?Ofcoursenot!Whoeveryearnedfora thinglikeyou?Along-legged,snub-nosedcreaturewithoutanyfrontteethworth mentioning!" "Ihave!You'rehorrid!"criedTessa,stampinganindignantfoot "Isn'thehorrid, UncleSt Bernard?Ifitweren'tforthatdarlingmongoose,Ishouldhatehim!" "Oh,butit'swrongtohatepeople,youknow."Bernardpassedapacifyingarm aboutherquiveringform "Youjusttreathimtothecontempthedeserves,and giveallyourattentiontoyourdotingoldunclewhohashonestlybeenlonging foryoufromthemomentyoulefthim!" "Oh,darling!"Sheturnedtohimswiftly "I'llnevergoawayfromyouagain I cansaythatnow,can'tI?" Herredlipswerelifted Hestoopedandkissedthem "It'stheonethingIloveto hearyousay,myprincess,"hesaid Thesunsetinagloryofredandpurplethatnight,spreadingtheroyalcolours faracrossthecalmsky Itfadedveryquickly Thenightswoopeddown,swiftandsoundless,andinthe verandahofthebungalowknownasTheNestaredlampglowedwithasteady beamacrossthedarkness Two figures stood for a space under the acacia by the gate, lingering in the eveningquiet Nowandthentherewastheflutterofwingsabovethem,andthe whiteflowersfellandscatteredlikebridalblossomsallaround "Wemustgoin,"saidStella "Peterwillbedisappointedifwekeepthedinner waiting." "Ah! We mustn't hurt his august feelings," conceded Everard "We owe him a mightylot,myStella Iwishwecouldmakesomereturn." "Hisgreatestrewardistolethimserveus,"sheanswered "Hisloveisthekind thatneedstoserve." "Whichisthehighestkindoflove,"saidEverardholdinghertohim "Doyou know—Hananidiscoveredthatforme." Shepressedclosetohisside "Everarddarling,whydidyoukeepthatsecretso long?" "Mydear!"hesaid,andwassilent "Well,won'tyoutellme?"sheurged "Ithinkyoumight." Hehesitatedamomentlonger;then,"Don'tletithurtyou,dear!"hesaid "But— actually—Iwasn'tsurethatyoucared—untilIwaswithyouinthetempleand sawyou—weepingforme." "Oh,Everard!"shesaid He folded her in his arms "My darling, I thought I had killed your love; and even though I found then that I was wrong, I wasn't sure that you would ever forgivemeforplayingthatlasttrickuponyou." "Ah!"shewhispered "AndifI—hadn't—forgiven—you?" "Ishouldhavegoneaway,"hesaid "Youwouldhaveleftme?"Shepressedcloser "Ishouldhavecomebacktoyousometimes,sweetheart,insomeotherguise I couldn'thavekeptawayforever ButIwouldneverhaveintrudeduponyou,"he said "Everard! Everard!" She hid her face against him "You make me feel so ashamed—soutterly—unworthy." "Don'tdarling!Don't,"hewhispered "Letusbehappy—to-night!" "AndIwantedyouso!Imissedyouso!"shesaidbrokenly Heturnedherfaceuptohisown "Imissedmyselfabit,too,"hesaid "Icouldn't haveplayedtheHananigameifPeterhadn'tputmeuptoit Darling,arethose actually tears? Because I won't have them You are going to look forward, not back." Sheclungtohimclosely,passionately "Yes—yes Iwilllookforward But,oh, Everard,promiseme—promiseme—youwillneverdeceivemeagain!" "Idon'tbelieveIcould,anymore,"hesaid "Butpromise!"sheurged "Very well, my dear one I promise There! Is that enough?" He kissed her quiveringface,holdingherclaspedtohisheart "Iwillnevertrickyouagainas long as I live But I had to be near you, and it was the only way Now—am I quiteforgiven?" "Of course you are," she told him tremulously "It wasn't a matter for forgiveness Besides—anyhow—you were justified And,—Everard,—" her breathingquickenedalittle;shejustcaughtbackasob—"Ilovetothink—now —thatyourarmsheldourbaby—whenhedied." "My darling! My own girl!" he said, and stopped abruptly, for his voice was tremblingtoo Thenextmomentverytenderlyhekissedheragain "PleaseGodhewon'tbetheonlyone!"hesaidsoftly "Amen!"shewhisperedback Intheacaciaboughsabovethemthebluejaysuddenlyutteredaripplinglaugh ofsheerjoyandflewaway THEEND GREATHEART ByEthelM Dell There were two of them—as unlike as two men could be Sir Eustace, big, domineering, haughty, used to sweeping all before him with the power of his personality TheotherwasStumpy,small,insignificant,quiet,withalittlelimp They clashed over the greatest question that may come to men—the love of a girl She took Sir Eustace just because she could not help herself—and was swept aheadonthetideofhispassion Andthen,whensheneededhelpmost—onthedaybeforethewedding—Stumpy savedher—andthequietflameofhiseyeswasmorethanthebrutepowerofhis brother How did it all come out? Did she choose wisely? Is Greatheart more to be desiredthangreatriches?Theansweristhemostvividandcharmingstorythat EthelM Dellhaswritteninalongtime G P Putnam'sSons NewYork London TheHundredthChance By EthelM Dell Author of "The Way of an Eagle," "The Knave of Diamonds," "The Rocks of Valpré,""TheKeeperoftheDoor,""BarsofIron,"etc 12° ColorFrontispiecebyEdnaCrompton The hero is a man of masterful force, of hard and rough exterior, who can remake a human being with the assurance of success with which he breaks a horse Towardtheheroineheisalllove,patience,solicitude,butsheseesinhim only the brute and the master To break down her hostility, and defeat unscrupulouscraftwhichdrawsherrelentlesslytothevergeofdisaster,thehero can rely only on the weight of his personality and innate tenderness It is the HundredthChance;onithestakesall G P Putnam'sSons NewYork London BlueAloes ByCynthiaStockley Authorof"Poppy,""TheClaw,""WildHoney,"etc No writer can so unfailingly summons and materialize the spirit of the weird, mysterious South Africa as can Cynthia Stockley She is a favored medium throughwhomthegreatDarkContinentitstalesunfolds A strange story is this, of a Karoo farm,—a hedge of Blue Aloes, a cactus of fantastic beauty, which shelters a myriad of creeping things,—a whisper and a summonsinthedeadofthenight,—anodorofdeathandtheold There are three other stories in the book, stories throbbing with the sudden, intensepassionandthemysticatmosphereoftheVeldt G P Putnam'sSons NewYork London TheBelovedSinner By RachelSweteMacnamara Authorofthe"FringeoftheDesert,""TheTorchofLife,"and"DriftingWaters" One of the very prettiest of springtime romances—a tale of exuberant young spiritsintoxicatedwiththespringtimeofliving,oflovegoneadventuringonthe roughroad—astory,humorouswiththegayimpudencesofayoungEvewhois half-afraidandaltogetherdelightedwithherfairy-prince G.P Putnam'sSons NewYorkLondon ***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LAMP IN THE DESERT*** 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That lamp in the desert darkness, And the joythatcomes in the dawn That the lostmaycomeintosafety, And the mournersmayceasetodoubt, The Lamp ofGodwillbeshiningstill When the lampsofmengoout... and window wasflungwide Though the seasonwasyet in itsinfancy, the heatwasintense Markestan had the reputation in the Indian Army for being one of the hottest corners in the Empire in more
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