Page:The Days Work (1899).djvu/208

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

Ellis and Clay have been moved from the Northwest already, and they 've taken half a dozen Bombay men, too. It 's pukka famine, by the looks of it."

"They're nearer the scene of action than we are; but if it comes to indenting on the Punjab this early, there 's more in this than meets the eye," said Martyn.

"Here to-day and gone to-morrow. 'Did n't come to stay for ever," said Scott, dropping one of Marryat's novels, and rising to his feet. "Martyn, your sister 's waiting for you."

A rough grey horse was backing and shifting at the edge of the verandah, where the light of a kerosene-lamp fell on a brown-calico habit and a white face under a grey felt hat.

"Right, O!" said Martyn. "I 'm ready. Better come and dine with us, if you 've nothing to do, Scott. William, is there any dinner in the house?"

"I 'll go home and see," was the rider's answer. "You can drive him over—at eight, remember."

Scott moved leisurely to his room, and changed into the evening-dress of the season and the country: spotless white linen from head to foot, with a broad silk cummerbund. Dinner at the Martyns' was a decided improvement on the goat-mutton, twiney-tough fowl, and tinned entrées of the Club. But it was a great pity that Martyn could not afford to send his sister to the hills for the hot weather. As an Acting District Superintendent of Police, Martyn drew the magnificent pay of six hundred depreciated silver rupees a month, and his little four-roomed bungalow said just as much. There were the usual blue-and- white-striped jail-made

[196]