Fargus's theory of life was that everybody was placed in life to fulfil a divine purpose and invested with the power to fulfil it. "No, no, it's not fatalism," Mr. Fargus used to say. "Not predestination. It's just exactly like a chess problem or an acrostic. The Creator sets it. He knows the solution, the answer. You've got to work it out.
This was a surprising affair; the runs had recently been excitingly good; and when Low Jinks came out to take the bicycle he greeted her: "I say, Low Jinks, I only got just up to Mr. Fargus's gate just now. Worst I've ever done." Low Jinks was enormously concerned. "Well! I never did!" exclaimed Low Jinks. "If those bicycles aren't just things! You'll want a peg for that, sir.
They would sit for hours solemnly staring at one another, puffing at pipes, in quest of a hidden word beginning with one letter and ending with another, or in search of the two master moves that alone would produce Mate. And to all these mental exercises chess, acrostics and Patience an added interest was given by Mr. Fargus's presentation of them as illustrative of his theory of life. Mr.
How can you work towards a purpose if you don't know what it is?" Then little old Mr. Fargus would grow intense. "Why, Sabre, that's just where you are with an acrostic or in chess. How can you work out the solution when you don't know what the solution is?" "Yes, but you know there is a solution." Mr. Fargus's eyes would shine. "Well, there you are! And you know that in life there is a purpose."
When presently he left he carried with him that which, when his mind would turn to it, caused his heart to swell enormously within him. Through the evening, and gone to bed and lying awake long into the night, he was at intervals caught up from the dark and oppressive pictures of his mind by surging onset of the emotions that came with Mr. Fargus's emotion. War.... His spirit answered, "England!"
Sounds of some one descending the stairs at break-neck speed were heard, and the chorus shrilled, "Papa, take care! Papa, take care! Papa, take care!" Mr. Fargus's grey little figure came terrifically down the last flight and up the hall, a cloud of female Farguses in his wake. He ran to Sabre with hands outstretched and grasped Sabre's hands and wrung them. "Sabre! Sabre! What's this? Really?
Yesterday I only got as far as here," and he walked some paces towards Mr. Fargus's gate and struck his heel in the ground and looked at her, smiling. "Absolutely the same conditions, mind you. No wind. And I always start from the top practically at rest; and yet always finish up different. Jolly funny, eh?" She opened the gate for him. "What you can see in it!" she murmured. He said, "Oh, well!"
We've sent an ultimatum to Germany. It ends to-night." Low Jinks threw up her hands. "Well, if that isn't a short war!" "Girl alive, the ultimatum ends, not the war. Don't you know what an ultimatum is?" Outside he ran down the drive and ran to Fargus's door. It stood open. In the hall the eldest Miss Fargus appeared to be maintaining the last moment before dinner by "doing" a silver card salver.
Fargus's grey little face would sometimes appear above the dividing wall to Sabre in the garden there would come a loud cry of "Papa, the plums!" and from several quarters of the garden this would he echoed "Papa, the plums!" "Papa, the plums!" and the grey little head, in the middle of a sentence, would disappear with great swiftness.