If

If

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If by Lord Dunsany

Published:

1921

Pages:

1331

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1,376

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If

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Book Excerpt

f an ass, but there's no harm in him. In fact, I'm contented, Mary. I wouldn't even change Aunt Martha now.

[Points at frowning framed photograph centrally hung.]

You remember when she first came and you said "Where shall we hang her?" I said the cellar. You said we couldn't. So she had to go there. But I wouldn't change her now. I suppose there are old watch-dogs like her in every family. I wouldn't change anything.

MARY

O, John, wouldn't you really?

JOHN

No, I'm contented. Grim old soul, I wouldn't even change Aunt Martha.

MARY

I'm glad of that, John. I was frightened. I couldn't bear to tamper with the past. You don't know what it is, it's what's gone. But if it really isn't gone at all, if it can be dug up like that, why you don't know what mightn't happen! I don't mind the future, but if the past can come back like that.... O, don't, don't, John. Don't think of it. It isn't canny. There's the children, John.

JOHN

Yes, yes, that's all right. It's only a little ornament. I won

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