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…The Boy was dead on the bed in the centre of the bare, lime-washed room. He had shot his head nearly to pieces with his revolver. The gun-cases were still strapped with the bedding, and on the table lay the Boy’s writing case with photographs. He had gone away to die like a poisoned rat! …


This is from ‘Thrown Away’ in ‘Plain Tales from the Hills’.

A sensitive young subaltern, recently out from England, has quarrelled with the other young officers in his mess, made heavy losses betting and gambling, and had a ‘wigging’ from his Colonel. Thinking himself a failure he has written farewell letters to his family and shot himself. The friends who find him conceal the suicide and report that he has died of cholera.