The Valley of Bones (Dance to the Music of Time, Book 7)

By Anthony Powell

A Dance to the song of Time – Powell's really good 12-novel series, which chronicles the lives of over 300 characters, is a distinct evocation of lifestyles in twentieth-century England.

Early in 1940 Jenkins joins his regiment in Wales as a moment Lieutenant. we're brought to his commanding officer Captain Gwatkin and the alcoholic Lieutenant Bithel. The battalion is moved to Northern eire the place Gwatkin disastrously muddles directions in the course of an workout and there's a snap inspection by means of common Liddament.

On path to a coaching direction at Aldershot Nick makes pals with David Pennistone. At Aldershot Jenkins meets Odo Stevens and likewise Jimmy Brent who provides an account of his affair with Jean. Stevens provides Nick a boost to spend weekend depart at Frederica Budd's condominium, the place Isobel, Robert Tolland and Priscilla are staying. Robert Tolland's depart is without warning cancelled. in the meantime Stevens has made a success with Priscilla.

On rejoining his regiment at Castlemallock Nick unearths Gwatkin in unrequited ardour for a barmaid, and having a working conflict with Bithel. Jenkins is recommended to report back to the DAAG at Divisional HQ, who seems to be Widmerpool.

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Despite the fact that, whatever concerning the means I requested the query should have indicated to Frederica herself that her demeanour struck me as unaccustomed. whereas we her in the course of the corridor, she spoke extra quietly. ‘It’s in basic terms that I’m expecting your assembly an outdated good friend, Nick,’ she acknowledged. obviously Robert used to be now not the purpose at factor. We entered a sitting-room packed with humans, together with loads of youngsters. those more youthful individuals turned decreased, sooner or later, to 4 purely; Frederica’s sons, Edward and Christopher, elderly approximately ten and twelve respectively, including a number of particularly teenagers, who performed with bricks at the ground. this kind of latter was once possibly Priscilla’s daughter, Caroline. Priscilla herself, blonde and leggy, really a attractiveness in her method, was once additionally mendacity at the flooring, aiding to construct a tower with the bricks. Her brother, Robert Tolland, donning battle-dress, sat at the couch beside a tall, handsome lady of approximately 40. Robert had got rid of his gaiters, yet nonetheless wore military boots. the girl was once Flavia Wisebite. now not notably like her brother in characteristic, she had a few of Stringham’s air of liveliness weighed down with depression. In her, too, the depression predominated. there has been anything greyhound-like approximately her nostril and mouth. those , Robert and Mrs Wisebite, looked as if it would have arrived in the home just a very little while earlier than Stevens and myself. Tall, angular, Robert wore Intelligence Corps shoulder titles, corporal’s stripes on his arm. the military had elevated his hungry, even quite wolfish visual appeal. He jumped up right now together with his ordinary demeanour of conveying that the final individual to go into the room used to be the single he such a lot desired to see, an attractive social gesture that frequently prompted humans to magnify Robert’s own curiosity in his fellow people, concerning whom, in truth, he was once prone to believe little situation. ‘Nick,’ he acknowledged, ‘it’s marvellous we should always have struck simply the instant while you’ve been in a position to escape for a weekend. I don’t imagine you’ve ever met Flavia, yet she is aware all approximately you from her brother. ’ I brought Odo Stevens to them. ‘How do you do, sir,’ stated Robert. ‘Oh, blow the sir, chum,’ acknowledged Stevens. ‘You can hold that for while we’re on responsibility. I’m fairly thick with the lance-corporal on your racket who features with my Battalion. I’ve borrowed his motor motorbike prior to now. the place are you stationed? ’ ‘Mytchett,’ acknowledged Robert, ‘but i'm hoping to maneuver quickly. ’ ‘My God, so do I,’ stated Stevens. ‘They educate your I. Corps team of workers at Mytchett, don’t they? ’ He appeared completely relaxed during this relatively extraordinary amassing. ahead of I had time to claim a lot to Mrs Wisebite, a middle-aged guy rose from an armchair. He had a tanned face, deep blue eyes, a really neat gray moustache. The sweater worn over a couple of khaki trousers appeared very typical outfits for him, giving by some means the effect of horsy attractiveness. It was once Dicky Umfraville. Frederica was once correct. His presence was once definitely a shock. ‘You didn’t anticipate finding me right here, outdated boy, did you? ’ stated Umfraville.

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