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The Country House by John Galsworthy
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By John Galsworthy



The year was 1891, the month October, the day Monday. In the dark
outside the railway-station at Worsted Skeynes Mr. Horace Pendyce's
omnibus, his brougham, his luggage-cart, monopolised space. The face
of Mr. Horace Pendyce's coachman monopolised the light of the solitary
station lantern. Rosy-gilled, with fat close-clipped grey whiskers and
inscrutably pursed lips, it presided high up in the easterly air like
an emblem of the feudal system. On the platform within, Mr. Horace
Pendyce's first footman and second groom in long livery coats with
silver buttons, their appearance slightly relieved by the rakish cock of
their top-hats, awaited the arrival of the 6.15.

The first footman took from his pocket a half-sheet of stamped and
crested notepaper covered with Mr. Horace Pendyce's small and precise
calligraphy. He read from it in a nasal, derisive voice:

"Hon. Geoff, and Mrs. Winlow, blue room and dress; maid, small drab. Mr.
George, white room. Mrs. Jaspar Bellew, gold. The Captain, red. General
Pendyce, pink room; valet, back attic. That's the lot."

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