Connection Timeout Mr. Standfast

ISBN 13: 9781153737777

Mr. Standfast

9781153737777: Mr. Standfast
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Excerpt: ...and bringing about a dozen officers from the training unit at home. I inspected the men and my eyes caught sight of a familiar face. I asked his name and the colonel got it from the sergeant-major. It was Lance-Corporal George Hamilton. Now I wanted a new batman, and I resolved then and there to have my old antagonist. That afternoon he reported to me at brigade headquarters. As I looked at that solid bandy-legged figure, standing as stiff to attention as a tobacconist's sign, his ugly face hewn out of brown oak, his honest, sullen mouth, and his blue eyes staring into vacancy, I knew I had got the man I wanted. 'Hamilton,' I said, 'you and I have met before.' 'Sirr?' came the mystified answer. 'Look at me, man, and tell me if you don't recognize me.' He moved his eyes a fraction, in a respectful glance. 'Sirr, I don't mind of you.' 'Well, I'll refresh your memory. Do you remember the hall in Newmilns Street and the meeting there? You had a fight with a man outside, and got knocked down.' He made no answer, but his colour deepened. 'And a fortnight later in a public-house in Muirtown you saw the same man, and gave him the chase of his life.' I could see his mouth set, for visions of the penalties laid down by the King's Regulations for striking an officer must have crossed his mind. But he never budged. 'Look me in the face, man,' I said. 'Do you remember me now?' He did as he was bid. 'Sirr, I mind of you.' 'Have you nothing more to say?' He cleared his throat. 'Sirr, I did not ken I was hittin' an officer.' 'Of course you didn't. You did perfectly right, and if the war was over and we were both free men, I would give you a chance of knocking me down here and now. That's got to wait. When you saw me last I was serving my country, though you didn't know it. We're serving together now, and you must get your revenge out of the Boche. I'm going to make you my servant, for you and I have a pretty close bond between us. What do you say to that?' This...

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