THE CHRONICLES OF CLOVIS by SAKI (H. H. MUNRO)
[obi/H. H. Munro/Chronicles. of. Clovis]
This text is in the Public Domain.
Text prepared in May 1993 by
ath@linkoping. trab. se
Esm, who had lagged somewhat behind. With a few springy
Bounds he drew up level, and then shot past us.
“The wailing accompaniment was explained. The gipsy
Child was firmly, and I expect painfully, held in his jaws.
” `Merciful Heaven!’ screamed Constance, `what on earth
Shall we do? What are we to do?’
“I am perfectly certain that at the Last Judgment
Constance will ask more questions than any of the examining
” `Can’t we do something?’ she persisted tearfully, as
Esm,’ I exclaimed bitterly.
” `I’m so awfully sorry,’ said the young man; `I keep
Dogs myself, so I know what you must feel about it. I’ll
Anything I can in reparation.’
” `Please bury him at once,’ I said; `that much I think I
May ask of you.
” `Bring the spade, William,’ he called to the chauffeur.
Evidently hasty roadside interments were contingencies that
Had been provided against.
“The digging of a sufficiently large grave took some
Little time. `I say, what a magnificent fellow,’ said the
Motorist as the corpse was rolled over into the trench.
`I’m afraid he must have been rather a valuable animal.’
” `He took second in the puppy class at Birmingham last
Year,’ I said resolutely.
Constance snorted loudly.
” `Don’t cry, dear,’ I said brokenly; `it was all over in
A moment. He couldn’t have suffered much.’
” `Look here,’ said the young fellow desperately, `you
Simply must let me do something by way of reparation.’
“I refused sweetly, but as he persisted I let him have my
“Of course, we kept our own counsel as to the earlier
Episodes of the evening. Lord Pabham never advertised the
Loss of his hyna; when a strictly fruit-eating animal
Strayed from his park a year or two previously he was called
Upon to give compensation in eleven cases of sheep-worrying
And practically to re-stock his neighbours’ poultry-yards,
And an escaped hyna would have mounted up to something
On the scale of a Government grant. The gipsies were
Equally unobtrusive over their missing offspring; I don’t
Suppose in large encampments they really know to a child or
Two how many they’ve got.”
The Baroness paused reflectively, and then continued:
“There was a sequel to the adventure, though. I got
Through the post a charming little diamond broach, with the
Name Esm part
Of the affair was my own invention, and the hyna part of
It belonged to Lord Pabham, if it really was his hyna,
Of which, of course, I’ve no proof.”
The grill-room clock struck eleven with the respectful
Unobtrusiveness of one whose mission in life is to be
Ignored. When the flight of time should really have
Rendered abstinence and migration imperative the lighting
Apparatus would signal the fact in the usual way.
Six minutes later Clovis approached the supper-table, in
The blessed expectancy of one who has dined sketchily and
“I’m starving,” he announced, making an effort to sit
Down gracefully and read the menu at the same time.
“So I gathered,” said his host, “from the fact that you
Were nearly punctual. I ought to have told you that I’m a
Food Reformer. I’ve ordered two bowls of bread-and-milk and
Some health biscuits. I hope you don’t mind.”