最好的男人的医院Early in March it was arranged, to her great joy, that before the close of the month she might expect to be back in Batala again, living there with Mr. and Mrs. Beutel. When the time came, the roads being especially bad with the heavy rains, Miss Tucker performed her journey from Amritsar to Batala in what she called ‘a most luxurious conveyance,—the big, heavy Government dak gari, in which one can recline at ease, as if in a bed.’ The twenty-four miles’ drive proved, however, to be not altogether luxurious; for on the worst and roughest part of the road the whole gari went over on its side,—‘one big wheel aloft, another big wheel below.’ Miss Tucker being entirely unhurt, thought mainly of the safety of her desks and of her ‘dear travelling clock.’ She found them, to her great relief, ‘quite serene,’ as serene as she was herself in her ‘funny position,’—the clock ticking placidly on, undisturbed by the jar. Describing the scene afterwards, she continued:Although the Stoney family did not lack for funds, her early life was as grim as that of Julius Turing. All four Stoney children were sent back to Ireland to be educated. It was a pattern familiar to British India, whose children's loveless lives were part of the price of the Empire. They were landed upon their uncle William Crawford, a bank manager of County Clare, with two children of his own by a first marriage and four by a second. It was not a place for affection or attention. The Crawfords moved to Dublin in 1891, where Ethel dutifully went to school each day on the horse-bus, crushed by a regimen that permitted her a mean threepence for lunch. At seventeen, she was transferred to Cheltenham Ladies College, 'to get rid of her brogue,' and there she endured the legendary Miss Beale and Miss Buss, and the indignity of being the Irish product of the railway and the bank among the offspring of the English gentry. There remained a flickering dream of culture and freedom in Ethel Stoney's heart and for six months she was sent, at her own request, to study music and art at the Sorbonne. The brief experiment was vitiated by the discovery that French snobbery and Grundyism could equal that of the British Isles. So when in 1900 she returned with her elder sister Evie to her parents' grand bungalow in Coonoor, it was to an India which represented an end to petty privation, but left her knowing that there was a world of knowledge from which she had been forever excluded.‘We were very thankful that it was possible to delay the meeting at Batala till Tuesday, as it gave opportunity for friends from some distance to be present. We all met in the Church for the first part of the Service and sermon by Mr. Clark,—the dear familiar face no longer among the worshippers, but in the King’s Presence.... The walk from the Church to the little Cemetery, quite near her own home, is long, and occupied an hour; during which time many hymns of faith and love were softly sung, and at the grave her own hymn, one she had composed not six weeks ago for her own funeral.... Dr. Weitbrecht then completed the Service.... The silence of the onlookers, as one went towards the grave, was very noticeable. Many of them felt that they had indeed lost a friend. A large number of the Native gentlemen of the City were present in the Church and during the Service, with reverent demeanour; and when we had left, I was told, many of the poor women came to weep at her grave.Chapter 16 Whispers最好的男人的医院
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