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Captain Dieppe (1900)
by Anthony Hope
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To the eye of an onlooker Captain Dieppe's circumstances afforded high spirits no opportunity, and made ordinary cheerfulness a virtue which a stoic would not have disdained to own. Fresh from the failure of important plans; if not exactly a fugitive, still a man to whom recognition would be inconvenient and perhaps dangerous; with fifty francs in his pocket, and his spare wardrobe in a knapsack on his back; without immediate prospect of future employment or a replenishment of his purse; yet by no means in his first youth or of an age when men love to begin the world utterly afresh; in few words, with none of those inner comforts of the mind which make external hardships no more than a pleasurable contrast, he marched up a long steep hill in the growing dusk of a stormy evening, his best hope to find, before he was soaked to the skin, some poor inn or poorer cottage where he might get food and beg shelter from the severity of the wind and rain that swept across the high ground and swooped down on the deep valleys, seeming to assail with a peculiar, conscious malice the human figure which faced them with unflinching front and the buoyant step of strength and confidence.
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