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|6. The Encounter At Stonehenge||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
|Page 2 of 3||
"And what do you find you are?"
"Europeans. Who came away from kings and churches-@-and Corinthian capitals."
"You feel all this country belongs to you?"
"As much as it does to you." Sir Richmond smiled radiantly at her. "But if I say that America belongs to me as much as it does to you?"
"We are one people," she said.
"Europe. These parts of Europe anyhow. And ourselves."
"You are the most civilized person I've met for weeks and weeks." "Well, you are the first civilized person I've met in Europe for a long time. If I understand you."
"There are multitudes of reasonable, civilized people in Europe."
"I've heard or seen very little of them.
"They're scattered, I admit."
"And hard to find."
"So ours is a lucky meeting. I've wanted a serious talk to an American for some time. I want to know very badly what you think you are up to with the world,--our world. "
"I'm equally anxious to know what England thinks she is doing. Her ways recently have been a little difficult to understand. On any hypothesis-that is honourable to her." "H'm," said Sir Richmond.
"I assure you we don't like it. This Irish business. We feel a sort of ownership in England. It's like finding your dearest aunt torturing the cat."
"We must talk of that," said Sir Richmond.
"I wish you would."
"It is a cat and a dog--and they have been very naughty animals. And poor Aunt Britannia almost deliberately lost her temper. But I admit she hits about in a very nasty fashion."
"And favours the dog."
"I want to know all you admit."
"You shall. And incidentally my friend and I may have the pleasure of showing you Salisbury and Avebury. If you are free?"
"We're travelling together, just we two. We are wandering about the south of England on our way to Falmouth. Where I join a father in a few days' time, and I go on with him to Paris. And if you and your friend are coming to the Old George--"
"We are," said Sir Richmond.
"I see no great scandal in talking right on to bedtime. And seeing Avebury to-morrow. Why not? Perhaps if we did as the Germans do and gave our names now, it might mitigate something of the extreme informality of our behaviour."
"My name is Hardy. I've been a munition manufacturer. I was slightly wounded by a stray shell near Arras while I was inspecting some plant I had set up, and also I was hit by a stray knighthood. So my name is now Sir Richmond Hardy. My friend is a very distinguished Harley Street physician. Chiefly nervous and mental cases. His name is Dr. Martineau. He is quite as civilized as I am. He is also a philosophical writer. He is really a very wise and learned man indeed. He is full of ideas. He's stimulated me tremendously. You must talk to him."
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|The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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