Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
She went to thedoor and called them. There entered a tall man in khaki, with the parson'scollar, handsome in a somewhat heavy fashion, but with the frank eyes that Iremembered in him as a boy. He was followed by his sister. She must have beenthe same age as was her mother when first I knew her, and she was very likeher. She too gave one the impression that as a girl she must have been prettierthan indeed she was.
"I supposeyou don't remember them in the least, " said Mrs. Strickland, proud andsmiling. "My daughter is now Mrs. Ronaldson. Her husband's a Major in theGunners. "
"He's byway of being a pukka soldier, you know, " said Mrs. Ronaldson gaily."That's why he's only a Major. "
I remembered myanticipation long ago that she would marry a soldier. It was inevitable. Shehad all the graces of the soldier's wife. She was civil and affable, but shecould hardly conceal her intimate conviction that she was not quite as otherswere. Robert was breezy.
"It's abit of luck that I should be in London when you turned up, " he said."I've only got three days' leave. "
"He'sdying to get back, " said his mother.
"Well, Idon't mind confessing it, I have a rattling good time at the front. I've made alot of good pals. It's a first-rate life. Of course war's terrible, and allthat sort of thing; but it does bring out the best qualities in a man, there'sno denying that. "
Then I toldthem what I had learned about Charles Strickland in Tahiti. I thought itunnecessary to say anything of Ata and her boy, but for the rest I was asaccurate as I could be. When I had narrated his lamentable death I ceased. Fora minute or two we were all silent. Then Robert Strickland struck a match andlit a cigarette.