Indian Summer of a Forsyte

John Galsworthy
Indian Summer of a Forsyte

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Title: Indian Summer of a Forsyte and In Chancery Part 2 of the
Forstye Saga
Author: John Galsworthy
Release Date: April, 2001 [EBook #2594] [This file was last updated
on June 22, 2003]

Edition: 12
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by David Widger With Proofing
assistance from Fredrik Hausmann

[Spelling conforms to the original: "s's" instead of our "z's"; and "c's"
where we would have "s's"; and "...our" as in colour and flavour; many
interesting double consonants; etc.]

By John Galsworthy

Contents: Indian Summer of a Forsyte In Chancery


"And Summer's lease hath all too short a date." --Shakespeare

In the last day of May in the early 'nineties, about six o'clock of the
evening, old Jolyon Forsyte sat under the oak tree below the terrace of
his house at Robin Hill. He was waiting for the midges to bite him,
before abandoning the glory of the afternoon. His thin brown hand,
where blue veins stood out, held the end of a cigar in its tapering,
long-nailed fingers--a pointed polished nail had survived with him from
those earlier Victorian days when to touch nothing, even with the tips

of the fingers, had been so distinguished. His domed forehead, great
white moustache, lean cheeks, and long lean jaw were covered from the
westering sunshine by an old brown Panama hat. His legs were crossed;
in all his attitude was serenity and a kind of elegance, as of an old man
who every morning put eau de Cologne upon his silk handkerchief. At
his feet lay a woolly brown-and-white dog trying to be a
Pomeranian--the dog Balthasar between whom and old Jolyon primal
aversion had changed into attachment with the years. Close to his chair
was a swing, and on the swing was seated one of Holly's dolls --called
'Duffer Alice'--with her body fallen over her legs and her doleful nose
buried in a black petticoat. She was never out of disgrace, so it did not
matter to her how she sat. Below the oak tree the lawn dipped down a
bank, stretched to the fernery, and, beyond that refinement, became
fields, dropping to the pond, the coppice, and the prospect--'Fine,
remarkable'--at which Swithin Forsyte, from under this very tree, had
stared five years ago when he drove down with Irene to look at the
house. Old Jolyon had heard of his brother's exploit--that drive which
had become quite celebrated on Forsyte 'Change. Swithin! And the
fellow had gone and died, last November, at the age of only
seventy-nine, renewing the doubt whether Forsytes could live for ever,
which had first arisen when Aunt Ann passed away. Died! and left only
Jolyon and James, Roger and Nicholas and Timothy, Julia, Hester,
Susan! And old Jolyon thought: 'Eighty-five! I don't feel it--except
when I get that pain.'
His memory went searching. He had not felt his age since he had
bought his nephew Soames' ill-starred house and settled into it here at
Robin Hill over three years ago. It was as if he had been getting
younger every spring, living in the country with his son and his
grandchildren--June, and the little ones of the second marriage, Jolly
and Holly; living down here out of the racket of London and the cackle
of Forsyte 'Change,' free of his boards, in a delicious atmosphere of no
work and all play, with plenty of occupation in the perfecting and
mellowing of the house and its twenty acres, and in ministering to the
whims of Holly and Jolly. All the knots and crankiness, which had
gathered in his heart
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