The Vintage of Yon Yee - Louise Jordan Miln - ebook

The Vintage of Yon Yee ebook

Louise Jordan Miln

0,0

Opis

The novel is about a young woman of both English and Chinese descent, who must choose between lovers of both races, between East and West. Neither effort, nor suffering, nor experience can give perfection to any person, nor any race. Humanity, individual or herd, can only strive – never fully triumph or to fulfill. But there are separate people, there are different people: vintage masculinity, vintage nation.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 543

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER VI

CHAPTER VII

CHAPTER VIII

CHAPTER IX

CHAPTER X

CHAPTER XI

CHAPTER XII

CHAPTER XIII

CHAPTER XIV

CHAPTER XV

CHAPTER XVI

CHAPTER XVII

CHAPTER XVIII

CHAPTER XIX

CHAPTER XX

CHAPTER XXI

CHAPTER XXII

CHAPTER XXIII

CHAPTER XXIV

CHAPTER XXV

CHAPTER XXVI

CHAPTER XXVII

CHAPTER XXVIII

CHAPTER XXIX

CHAPTER XXX

CHAPTER XXXI

CHAPTER XXXII

CHAPTER XXXIII

CHAPTER XXXIV

CHAPTER XXXV

CHAPTER XXXVI

CHAPTER XXXVII

CHAPTER XXXVIII

CHAPTER XXXIX

CHAPTER XL

CHAPTER XLI

CHAPTER XLII

CHAPTER XLIII

CHAPTER XLIV

CHAPTER XLV

CHAPTER XLVI

CHAPTER XLVII

CHAPTER I

Many things go to the making of the perfect wine. Many conditions are essential to its achievement. Every few years–sometimes sooner, frequently less often–there is a perfect wine, a vintage apart.

There are no perfect personalities. There has been no perfect nation. To the grape, and its epic of smooth ruby, or its lyric of sparkling gold, perfection is given now and then; to immortalize it and to rejoice the appreciative souls of its lovers who know. No effort, no suffering, no experience can give perfection to any man or to any race. Humanity, individual or herd, can but strive–never entirely triumph or fulfil. But there are men apart, there are peoples apart: vintage manhood, vintage nations. As many things, as many essential conditions, go to the making of those finer, more worth knowing, human individuals and races as do to the vintage wines.

Charles Monroe lifted his glass slowly–he did most things slowly–and studied the wine gravely. Monroe usually was grave. But he never was glum; his face was ardent, his mouth sensitive, his chin clear-cut, square, firm. His gray eyes, clear as a child’s, saw most things, saw through almost as many, told nothing. His glance was direct and full, it took but did not give, rarely announced or revealed. And yet–the man’s gray eyes, watching the wine’s delicate golden bubbles gather and break and gather again, were affectionate now. Neither the man nor his eyes doted or gloated on the perfect wine, but they loved it.

“Perrier Jouët 1911!” he said softly.

“Thank goodness!” the woman said.

“I do,” he told her, “goodness, and France, and all else that are priests of the beautiful cult of good wine. But you? You surprise me, Betty–you who I thought could never surprise me again. What in the world does it matter to you? You are not going to affect an interest in wines, or the slightest knowledge or taste, are you? It’s rather late in the day for that. Get some other new affectation, do. You’ll come a bad cropper, if you take on a pose of wine expert.”

“I never pose!”

“You never do anything else.”

“Don’t be such a donkey, Char. I don’t mind your being rude.”

“Splendid!”

“Of course I don’t give a mustard seed who made your silly old wine, or what silly year they made it in–or pretend that they did. I said, “Thank goodness’–and I jolly well meant it–because you didn’t say “extraterritoriality,’ I’m tired of living with a one-word-vocabulary man.”

“Sorry!”

But Monroe was not in the least sorry–as they both knew. He was not even interested. All his interest was in the wine glass. He had not looked at Betty once.

She sat turned in her chair towards him, her bare arms on the black table, and her eyes had not left his face. Betty adored him. He was sincerely fond of her.

They were not quarreling. They never quarreled. No two people in Han-chow were more deeply devoted to each other than these two; unless, just possibly Que Shan and Que Nee were, or Edward Allingham and his daughter Lois.

“Extraterritoriality! I’m afraid, Miss Monroe, that even to please you, and much as we all want to please you–I know I do–the objectionable word will be the oftenest used word in China–White China, I mean of course–for many a day. It’s got to be.” Henry Cotterel refilled the girl’s glass as he spoke. The brother and sister were his guests to-night, and so was the man who made the fourth at the little table under the banyan tree at the edge of the dancers on the velvet-smooth grass.

Miss Monroe half drained her delicate glass before she bit savagely into another pâté sandwich.

“Extrater–” she began, despite the sandwich.

Charles interrupted her fiercely. “You are not to drink vintage wine like that, or eat those things with it. It’s criminal.”

“Rubbish. I’m hungry as well as thirsty. Ever such nice sandwiches, Mr. Cotterel. I’m going to finish the plateful.”

“Then leave this wine alone. Tell the boy to get her some lemonade, Cotterel, or cheap claret! It breaks my heart to see Betty drink this wonderful wine as if it were cocoa. I’d no more give her a glass of A I wine than I’d–” He broke off with an exclamation of unaffected indignation, and caught his sister’s wrist in a vice. “No, you don’t!”

“Stop bullying me, Char, do! Let me enjoy myself my way while you enjoy yourself yours. Sit looking at a glass of bubbly as if it were a pretty girl, instead of drinking it like a little man! It’s nice wine, I know, or Mr. Cotterel wouldn’t have it, and these sandwiches are heavenly. And I am going to smoke while I eat them. That’s when I love a cigarette most. You sip, and be happy. I am going to drink–not sip–eat and smoke, and be happy.”

“For goodness’ sake, take her away, and dance with her again,” Monroe implored their host. “No girl is going to smoke across this glass of mine. There’ll be bloodshed first!”

“Let’s leave him and Dudley to their vice then?” Cotterel pleaded.

“When I’ve finished my sandwiches.”

She finished them with provoking deliberation, her brother watching her gloomily.

The sandwiches finished to a crumb, she gestured to Monroe derisively, and got up lazily.

“Bring my cigarettes with you,” she told Cotterel.

“Won’t mine do?”

“They will not. They’re vintage–like Charlie’s wine. I like common things. When I smoke a cigarette I want to taste tobacco, straight honest tobacco, not dead rose-leaves, jasmine and oil of tuberoses.” She emptied her glass, winked at her brother patronizingly, and went with Cotterel back towards the dancers.

“Ripping sister you’ve got, what!” Dudley remarked politely.

“Betty’s all right,” Monroe agreed, “she’d be A 1, in fact, if she wasn’t quite unmanageable. I wonder how the dickens I am going to get her to nip back home–now!”

“Thought she had come to you for a year or so?”

“That’s what I asked her to do, more fool me! But I want her to go back home all the same.”

“Squally?”

“Exactly. It may blow over. It usually does. But it hasn’t always. Nineteen hundred.”

“Yes; some dust-up! But we are on our guard now. And we are too strong for the beggars now, surely.”

“H’m.”

“China’s not strong enough to do anything much.”

“Perhaps not–yet.”

“All split up, no control, no cohesion. And Russia’s just bluster and fake. I don’t see that anything very bad is going to happen. I don’t see what can. Do you?”

“Anything can happen in China at any time.”

“They’ll get the worst of it!”

“A few times more, I believe. Not always, I believe. But all that’s guesswork. What I know is that I wish Betty would go home. But there!”

Monroe drank his one glass of perfect wine very slowly.

The two men were silent for several minutes. Dudley, comparatively a newcomer, was interested in looking about him.

It looked anything but squally here in Mo-kan-shan: the Europeans’ lovely Han-chow annex.

“I say, Monroe!”

“Hello!”

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.