The Kingdom of the Blind HTML version

Chapter 18
Granet, a few days later, brought his car to a standstill in front of an ordinary five-barred
gate upon which was painted in white letters "Market Burnham Hall." A slight grey mist
was falling and the country inland was almost blotted from sight. On the other side of the
gate a sandy driver disappeared into an avenue of ragged and stunted elm trees, which
effectually concealed any view of the house.
"Seems as though the girl were right," Granet muttered to himself. "However, here goes."
He backed his car close to the side of the hedge, and laying his hand upon the latch of the
gate, prepared to swing it open. Almost immediately a figure stepped out from the shrubs.
Granet looked with surprise at the khaki-clad figure.
"Your name and destination?" the man demanded.
"Captain Granet of the Royal Fusiliers, home from the Front on leave," Granet replied. "I
was going up to the Hall to call on Miss Worth."
"Stay where you are, if you please, sir," the man replied.
He stepped back into the sentry box and spoke through a telephone. In a moment or two
he reappeared.
"Pass on, please, sir," he said.
Granet walked slowly up the avenue, his hands behind him, a frown upon his forehead.
Perhaps, after all, things were not to be so easy for him. On either side he could see the
stretches of sand, and here and there the long creeks of salt water. As he came nearer to
the house, the smell of the sea grew stronger, the tops of the trees were more bowed than
ever, sand was blown everywhere across the hopeless flower-beds. The house itself,
suddenly revealed, was a grim weather-beaten structure, built on the very edge of a queer,
barrow-like tongue of land which ended with the house itself. The sea was breaking on
the few yards of beach sheer below the windows. To his right was a walled garden, some
lawns and greenhouses; to the left, stables, a garage, and two or three labourer's cottages.
At the front door another soldier was stationed doing sentry duty. He stood on one side,
however, and allowed Granet to ring the bell.
"Officers quartered here?" Granet inquired.
"Only one, sir," the man replied.