A retired military man -- depressed and bitter at the state of his mansion, social life, and marriage -- shows his ruined estate, damaged by billeting soldiers, to a guest. The narrator, a diffident observer similar to many semi-autobiographical narrators in Bates's work, declines to join the Captain as he puts away drink after drink. In Cornhill Magazine, (Winter 1950/1951), Colonel Julian and Other Stories (1951), Seven by Five/The Best of H.E. Bates (1963), A Month by the Lake & Other Stories (1987).
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