Berry And Co.
135 Pages

Berry And Co.


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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Berry And Co., by Dornford Yates This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Berry And Co. Author: Dornford Yates Release Date: January 5, 2006 [EBook #17469] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BERRY AND CO. *** Produced by Hilary Caws-Elwitt, in honor of Peter Caws BERRY AND CO. BY THE SAME AUTHOR Published by Ward, Lock & Co.:— BERRY AND CO. JONAH AND CO. MAIDEN STAKES. THE STOLEN MARCH. ANTHONY LYVEDEN. VALERIE FRENCH. AND FIVE WERE FOOLISH. AS OTHER MEN ARE. THE BROTHER OF DAPHNE. THE COURTS OF IDLENESS. Published by Hodder & Stoughton:— BLIND CORNER. PERISHABLE GOODS. BLOOD ROYAL. FIRE BELOW. ADÈLE AND CO. BERRY AND CO. BY DORNFORD YATES WARD, LOCK & CO., LIMITED LONDON AND MELBOURNE PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY PURNELL AND SONS PAULTON (SOMERSET) AND LONDON DEAR VALERIE, When a writer admits that he has an affection for something which he has written, it is high time to pray for his soul. Yet I make bold to confess that there are in this book some passages which I hold dear—a seeming vanity, which must be explained. Many times you have found me at work upon these chapters. Often you have taken ill-written pages of manuscript from my table and, sitting down in a chair, deciphered them for what they were worth. Once or twice, whilst you read, you have fallen into silvery laughter. Do you wonder that I treasure the sentences which drew forth such music? This is my dedication. As many as see you are glad of the sight. All who know you are proud of the honour. But the man whose efforts your mirth has commended is the proudest and happiest of the lot. Need I say that your name is not Valerie? I think not. You will know whom I mean. Most faithfully yours, DORNFORD YATES. Pau, November, 1920. CONTENTS I HOW WILL NOGGIN WAS FOOLED, AND BERRY RODE FORTH AGAINST HIS WILL II HOW DAPHNE WROTE FOR ASSISTANCE, AND MR. HOLLY WAS OUTBID III HOW A MAN MAY FOLLOW HIS OWN HAT, AND BERRY TOOK A LAMP IN HIS HAND IV HOW NOBBY CAME TO SLEEP UPON MY BED, AND BERRY FELL AMONG THIEVES V HOW JILL'S EDUCATION WAS IMPROVED, AND DAPHNE GAVE HER HUSBAND THE SLIP VI HOW NOBBY ATTENDED A WEDDING, AND BERRY SPOKE NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH VII HOW JONAH OBEYED HIS ORDERS, AND DAPHNE AND KATHARINE FESTIVAL BACKED THE SAME HORSE VIII HOW JILL SLEPT UNDISTURBED, AND NOBBY ATTENDED CHURCH PARADE IX HOW ADÈLE FESTE ARRIVED, AND MR. DUNKELSBAUM SUPPED WITH THE DEVIL X HOW ADÈLE BROKE HER DREAM, AND VANDY PLEYDELL TOOK EXERCISE XI HOW NOBBY MET BLUE BANDALA, AND ADÈLE GAVE JONAH A KISS CHAPTER I HOW WILL NOGGIN WAS FOOLED, AND BERRY RODE FORTH AGAINST HIS WILL. ho's church?" said Daphne, " W going to profound silence. consulting her wrist-watch. There was a My sister turned to Jill. "Are you coming?" she said. "Berry and I are." "I beg your pardon," said her husband. "Of course you're coming," said Daphne. "Not in these trousers. This is the first time I've worn them, and I'm not going to kneel in them for any one." "Then you'll change," said his wife. "You've plenty of time." Berry groaned. "This is sheer Bolshevism," he said. "Is not my soul my own?" "We shall start," said Daphne, "in twenty minutes." It was nearly half-past ten in the morning of a beautiful summer day, and we were all taking our ease in the sunshine upon the terrace. It was the first Sunday which we had spent all together at White Ladies for nearly five years. So far as the eye could see, nothing had changed. At the foot of the steps the great smooth lawn stretched like a fine green carpet, its shadowed patches yet bright with dew. There were the tall elms and the copper beech and all the proud company of spreading giants—what were five years to them? There was the clump of rhododendrons, a ragged blotch of crimson, seemingly spilled upon the green turf, and there the close box hedge that walled away the rose-garden. Beyond the sunk fence a gap showed an acre or so of Bull's Mead—a great deep meadow, and in it two horses beneath a chestnut tree, their long tails a-swish, sleepily nosing each other to rout the flies; while in the distance the haze of heat hung like a film over the rolling hills. Close at hand echoed the soft impertinence of a cuckoo, and two fat wood-pigeons waddled about the lawn, picking and stealing as they went. The sky was cloudless, and there was not a breath of wind. The stable clock chimed the half-hour. My sister returned to the attack. "Are you coming, Boy?" "Yes," said I. "I am." Berry sat up and stared at me. "Don't be silly," he said. "There's a service this morning. Besides, they've changed the lock of the poor-box." "I want to watch the Vicar's face when he sees you," said I. "It will be a bit of a shock," said Jonah, looking up from the paper. "Is his heart all right?" "Rotten," said Daphne. "But that doesn't matter. I sent him a note to warn him yesterday." "What did you say?" demanded her husband. "I said, 'We're back at last, and—don't faint—we're all coming to Church to-morrow and you've got to come , back to lunch.' And now, for goodness' sake, go and change." "But we shall perspire," said Berry. "Profusely. To walk half a mile in this sun is simply asking for it. Besides——" "What's the car done?" said Jonah. "I'm going, and I can't hurry with this." He tapped his short leg affectionately. "We needn't take Fitch. Boy or I can drive." "Right oh," said my sister, rising. "Is ten-minutes-to early enough?" Jonah nodded. "This," said Berry, "is a conspiracy for which you will all pay. Literally. I shall take the plate round, and from you four I shall accept nothing but paper. Possibly I shall——" Here the girls fell upon him and bore him protesting into the house and out of earshot. "Who's going to look after the car while we're in church?" said I. "There's sure to be somebody ready to earn a couple of bob," said Jonah. "Besides, we can always disconnect the north-east trunnion, or jack her up and put the wheels in the vestry or something."