(Jan 1st to 9th)

Format: Triple

Behind the blue-green of the twin trees rose a dark-bluish brick Georgian pile, with a shell-shaped fan-light over its pillared door. The hound had gone off on his own foolish quests. Except for some stir it the branches and the flight of four startled magpies; there was neither life nor sound about the square house, but it looked out of its long windows most friendlily.


This is from “An Habitation Enforced” in Actions and Reactions. A young American businessman is convalescing with his wife after a breakdown. Deep in the English countryside they happen on an elegant deserted old house. It will be the beginning of a new life for them.

Then we came to silence more profound&#8212the utter quiet of an old, low-roofed, deep-verandahed house, sitting with its hands folded among its lawns, terraces, bathing-ponds, statues and flaming-flowered trees. Yes, this was the heart of things … Children’s voices, startlingly distinct, lifted themselves from behind hedges and tinted walls … its deep breathing spirit, through all the low-lighted rooms, opening one out of another, drew from unaltering generations.


This is from “San Paulo and a coffee estate”, the fifth of Kipling’s Brazilian Sketches, published in December 1027.

Across the lawn&#8212the marshalled woods besieged it on three sides&#8212stood an ancient house of lichened and weather&#8211worn stone, with mullioned windows and roofs of rose&#8211red tile. It was flanked by semi-circular walls, also rose-red, that closed the lawn on the fourth side, and at their feet a box hedge grew man-high. There were doves on the roof about the slim brick chimneys, and I caught a glimpse of an octagonal dove&#8211house behind the screening wall.


This is from “They” in Traffics and Discoveries.

The story-teller, driving across the country has found himself in the garden of a beautiful old house. He later finds it is full of ghosts.