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  The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

Between Two Lives

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Six weeks after he had made his speech in the House of Lords, Tremayne was sitting in his oak-panelled library at Alanmere, in deep and earnest converse with a man who was sitting in an invalid chair by a window looking out upon the lawn. The face of this man exhibited a contrast so striking and at the same time terrible, that the most careless glance cast upon it would have revealed the fact that it was the face of a man of extraordinary character, and that the story of some strange fate was indelibly stamped upon it.

The upper part of it, as far down as the mouth, was cast in a mould of the highest and most intellectual manly beauty. The forehead was high and broad and smooth, the eyebrows dark and firm but finely arched, the nose somewhat prominently aquiline, but well shaped, and with delicate, sensitive nostrils. The eyes were deep-set, large and soft, and dark as the sky of a moonless night, yet shining in the firelight with a strange magnetic glint that seemed to fasten Tremayne's gaze and hold it at will.

But the lower portion of the face was as repulsive as the upper part was attractive. The mouth was the mouth of a wild beast, and the lips and cheeks and chin were seared and seamed as though with fire, and what looked like the remains of a moustache and beard stood in black ragged patches about the heavy unsightly jaws.

When the thick, shapeless lips parted, they did so in a hideous grin, which made visible long, sharp white teeth, more like those of a wolf than those of a human being.

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His body, too, exhibited no less strange a contrast than his face did. To the hips it was that of a man of well-knit, muscular frame, not massive, but strong and well-proportioned. The arms were long and muscular, and the hands white and small, but firm, well-shaped, and nervous.

But from his hips downwards, this strange being was a dwarf and a cripple. His hips were narrow and shrunken, one of his legs was some inches shorter than the other, and both were twisted and distorted, and hung helplessly down from the chair as he sat.

Such was Natas, the Master of the Terror, and the man whose wrongs, whatever they might have been, had caused him to devote his life to a work of colossal vengeance, and his incomparable powers to the overthrow of a whole civilisation.

The tremendous task to which he had addressed himself with all the force of his mighty nature for twenty years, was now at length approaching completion. The mine that he had so patiently laid, year after year, beneath the foundations of Society, was complete in every detail, the first spark had been applied, and the first rumbling of the explosion was already sounding in the ears of men, though they little knew how much it imported. The work of the master-intellect was almost done. The long days and nights of plotting and planning were over, and the hour for action had arrived at last.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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