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Benson's humour and prose craft is here in spades, with the addition of the historical interest of the subject matter and location. The story of Tobit provides the framework for the story, with White Russian exiles taking the place of the exiled Jews.
twenty-fifth year when the party reached the station. Seryozha?s impression was that his father-in-law had matured extremely slowly, but no detail of the process remained in the young man?s mind. The station, a humble, flat affair?a mere wooden box on the edge of a couple of metal stripes, distracted Pavel?s attention from his recital. ?Here we are,? he said. ?Only twenty minutes to wait. I timed that very neatly.? The mud strip that acted as platform was empty, except for a Korean woman, who
jokes or secrets. He glowered at the stranger and then, struck in his tender heart by the look of polite confident expectancy in the face of the Chinese, he said, ?I speak English?not much, but enough.? ?I could see at once you were not English, of course,? said the young man. ?You are Russian. I could not, of course, make a mistake on a thing like that. Yet, since I speak no Russian and you?probably?no Cantonese dialect, I thought I was perhaps justified in addressing you in English. I was
some the Peking of Korea. Of course, my professional escort was paid for with a very handsome salary, but, most unfortunately, I received bad advice about investments in Harbin and, to make a long?I mean, in short, I found myself stranded in Manchuria with scarcely a??? ?You have been to Seoul?? ?Yes, I have told you. I went to Seoul with Sir Theo Mustard and spent there a very enjoyable week, since there Sir Theo Mustard was afflicted with ear-ache, which obliged us to stay longer in that
only six inches from world level instead of the usual six feet. He saw the darkening sandbanks like clouds, the bullock and the dog like giants, wild geese resting on far-distant sandbanks like tall electric grey ghosts. ?Mr. Chew?Mr. Chew,? Seryozha?s voice came with a curious clang across the water to the inn. Wilfred came rather nervously out on to the shore, but seeing that he need not yet see that Seryozha was naked?since six-sevenths of that nakedness was modestly submerged?he looked
the worst old husband in the world. And he?s not the worst. He?s only just an old fool?and he?s fond of me.? But her conscience would not let even this description of him stand. She began tenderly to remember him as he was when she married him?a thin, fanciful, conscientious bookkeeper in a Russian firm in London?such a bad linguist that he could never even announce his destination to busmen, and was always getting lost?a member of a high-thinking debating society, and interested in moths. He was