Without that three-year international effort—that rearguardaction, you might say—sterling might have collapsed in muchgreater disorder, with far more damaging repercussions thanwe’ve seen even now. Remember that, after all, our effort andthe effort of the other central-banks wasn’t to hold up sterlingfor its own sake. It was to hold it up for the sake ofpreserving the system. And the system has survived.”
Hayes, on the surface, seemed exactly as he had when I lastsaw him, a year and a half earlier—as placid and unruffled asif he had 杭州有口的足浴 been spending all that time studying up on Corfu. Iasked him whether he was still living up to his principle ofkeeping bankers’ hours, and he replied, smiling very slightly,that the principle had long since yielded to expediency—that, asa time consumer, the 1967 sterling crisis had made the 1964crisis seem like child’s play, and that the subsequent dollarcrisis was turning out to be more of the same. A side benefitof the whole three-and-a-half-year affair, he said, was that itsfrequently excruciating melodrama had contributed something toMrs. Hayes’ interest in banking, and even something, if not somuch, to the position of business in Tom’s scale of values.
When Hayes spoke of the devaluation, however, I saw thathis placidity was a mask. “Oh, I was disappointed, all right,” hesaid quietly. “After all, we worked like the devil 杭州按摩会所推荐 to prevent it.
And we nearly did. In my opinion, Britain could
have gotenough assistance from abroad to hold the rate. It could havebeen done without France. Britain chose to devalue. I thinkthere’s a good chance that the devaluation will eventually be asuccess. And the gain for international co?peration is beyondquestion. Charlie Coombs and I could feel that at Frankfurt inNovember, at the gold-pool meeting—a sense everyone therehad that now is the time to lock arms. But still …” Hayespaused, and when he spoke again his voice was full of suchquiet force that I saw the devaluation through his eyes—not asjust a severe professional reverse but as an ideal lost and anidol fallen. He said, “That day in November, here at the bank,when a courier brought me the top-secret British documentinforming us of the decision to devalue, I 杭州油压哪里好 felt physically sick.
Sterling would not be the same. It would never again commandthe same amount of faith around the world.”
CHAPTER I GAS VALLEY
Briefest and biggest of all words thrust by the Great War into the fore-ranks of speech, the word rang aloud upon the summer air.
A kernel of compressed menace, it burst explosively, spread elastically, until the very sky–the peaceful, lamb’s-wool New England sky–seemed darkened by its threat, until the brown buds, withered in their tender youth, and the rags of yellow grasses blighted before by its poisoned breath, trembled and wilted, as it were, anew!
It even withered the morning-glory bloom upon the faces of a quartette of young girls, who stood a few yards to windward of a little red-and-white post labeled “Danger Zone,” on the other side of which the warning 杭州夜生活红灯区 was given.
Breathlessly, nervously, they shrank together until their shoulders touched, like fledgling birds struck by the terrors of the first storm that assails them in the nest, seeking for contact and comfort.
“Now the party is beginning–the ball opening, as our boys say over in France, when a gas attack is being launched against them. That smoke-candle off there on the edge of the trench, which is doing more than’s required of it–bursting into flame as well as smoke–that’s the illumination for ‘Fritzie’s’ party! And the rattle–you hear the policeman’s rattle, don’t you, shaking its teeth down in the trenches–that’s the opening stunt of the orchestra. See?”
It was a young lieutenant, a boy-officer of twenty-three, who spoke, with a silver dart in his gray eye matching the gleaming bars upon his shoulders, as 杭州高端男士休闲会所 he bent towards the tallest of the four girls whose face was paling under her velvet hat, uniquely embroidered by her own hand with certain silken emblems, typifying her name and symbol, together with the rank she held as a Camp Fire Girl.
“Smoke-candle! D’you mean that foot-high metal thing flaring away there behind the sand-bags, one of a dozen or so, stationed along the trench-brim? They don’t look much like ordinary candles, but they certainly can smoke! Such horrid, blinding sulphur smoke, too! Bah!”
She caught her breath a little, that oldest girl, her wide dark eyes watering, as a tiny yellow feather of the sulphur fumes, stealing stealthily to windward, wafted from the wing of the main cloud drifting off to leeward, tickled her throat in teasing fashion.
“Yes, it is blinding thick, isn’t it? We must move farther to 杭州桑拿水疗会所爽记 windward, away from it.” The lieutenant smiled down at her, thinking the hat with its wide brim, and its delicate, emblematic frontispiece against the rich velvet–representing crossed logs, a tongue of flame rising from them and shading into a pearly pinion purporting to be smoke–was the prettiest headgear he had ever seen.
“Thick! So thick that you could drink it, if–if it wasn’t so horridly pea-soupy and pungent, eh?” laughed another girl, who stood next to the tallest one, their shoulders touching. “It’s as dense as the fog our Captain Andy used to tell us about; the fog out on the fishing banks–Grand Banks–which he declared was so thick at times that the poor fish didn’t know when they were atop of the water; they went on swimming up in the fog. Don’t you remember, Olive?” she asked as she merrily nudged the older, dark-eyed girl who wore the Torch Bearer’s insignia of logs, flame, and smoke–an insignia that stood for a high-beating heart, as ready and eager to do its share in this moment of world conflict, as that typified by the silver bars on the lieutenant’s shoulders and the cross-gun on his khaki collar.
It was he, Lieutenant Iver Davenport, or, to come down to detail, Lieutenant Iver O. P. Davenport, who, thanks to his middle initials and that keen silver of scrutiny between his narrowed eyelids, was christened in his infantry company “O Pips,” the camp nickname for an observation post, he who answered, with brotherly freedom, 杭州419同城 glancing over the Torch Bearer’s shoulder at the brown-eyed girl beyond her.
“Yes, sis, it’s as thick as the fogged-fish yarn, or as the fabled fog that the half-breed pathfinder who was attached to our Boy Scout troop used to tell of when he’d begin quite modestly that he ‘hadn’t seen fog ver’ tick–non–only one time he see fog so tick dat one mans try for drink eet an’ mos’ choke hisself; and wen dey take out dat fog wat dat mans try for drink, dey take dat for make broomstick–yaas!’ Oh! you couldn’t get ahead of Toiney; he who–was it three summers ago?–pulled one of your Camp Fire Group out of dangerous quicksands, eh?”
“Yes, that will be three years ago next August and we’re going to camp in that same region of white sand-dunes this coming summer, too, under the spell of the Green Com Moon,” returned the boy-officer’s sister, 杭州调情spa Sara Davenport, named by the Council Fire Sesooā, the Flame.