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The Far Horizon

by Lucas Malet

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1906. Lucas Malet was the pen name of English novelist, Mrs. Mary St. Leger Harrison. The author's first novel since The History of Sir Richard Calmady. It begins: Dominic Iglesias stood watching while the lingering June twilight darkened into night. He was tired in body, but his mind was eminently, consciously awake, to the point of restlessness, and this was unusual with him. He had raised the lower sash of each of the three tall, narrow windows to its extreme height, since the first-floor sitting-room, though of fair proportions, appeared close. His thought refused the limits of it, and ranged outward over the expanse of Trimmer's Green, the roadway and houses bordering it, to the far northwest, that region of hurried storm, of fierce, equinoctial passion and conflict, now paved with plaques of flat, dingy, violet cloud opening on smoky rose-red wastes of London sunset. All day thunder had threatened, but had not broken. And, even yet, the face of heaven seemed less peaceful than remonstrant, a sullenness holding it as of troops in retreat denied satisfaction of imminent battle.

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And Dominic Iglesias found himself called upon to rally all his humanity, all his faith in merciful dealing and the reward which goes along with it. For it was hard to give, hard to befriend, so thankless and ungracious a being. Yet, having put his hand to the plough, he refused to look back. He had inherited a strain of fanaticism which took the form of unswerving loyalty to his own word once given. So he spoke gravely and kindly, as one speaks to the sick who are beyond the obligation of showing courtesy for very suffering. And truly, as he reminded himself, this man was grievously sick; not only physically from insufficient food, but morally from disappointment and that most fruitful source of disease, inordinate and unsatisfied vanity.



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