The Happy Foreigner

Produced by Suzanne Shell, Charlie Kirschner and the PG
Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

THE HAPPY FOREIGNER

by

ENID BAGNOLD

1920

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE: THE EVE

PART I. THE BLACK HUT AT BAR

CHAPTER I. THE TRAVELLER

PART II. LORRAINE

CHAPTER II. METZ
CHAPTER III. JULIEN
CHAPTER IV. VERDUN
CHAPTER V. VERDUN
CHAPTER VI. THE LOVER IN THE LAMP
CHAPTER VII. THE THREE “CLIENTS”
CHAPTER VIII. GERMANY
CHAPTER IX. THE CRINOLINE
CHAPTER X. FANNY ROBBED AND RESCUED
CHAPTER XI. THE LAST NIGHT IN METZ: THE JOURNEY

PART III. THE FORESTS OF CHANTILLY

CHAPTER XII. PRECY-SUR-OISE
CHAPTER XIII. THE INN
CHAPTER XIV. THE RIVER
CHAPTER XV. ALLIES
CHAPTER XVI. THE ARDENNES

PART IV. SPRING IN CHARLEVILLE

CHAPTER XVII. THE STUFFED OWL
CHAPTER XVIII. PHILIPPE’S HOUSE
CHAPTER XIX. PHILIPPE’S MOTHER
CHAPTER XX. THE LAST DAY

PROLOGUE

THE EVE

Between the grey walls of its bath—so like its cradle and its
coffin—lay one of those small and lonely creatures which inhabit the
surface of the earth for seventy years.

As on every other evening the sun was sinking and the moon, unseen, was
rising.

The round head of flesh and bone floated upon the deep water of the
bath.

“Why should I move?” rolled its thoughts, bewitched by solitude. “The
earth itself is moving.

“Summer and winter and winter and summer I have travelled in my head,
saying—’All secrets, all wonders, lie within the breast!’ But now that
is at an end, and to-morrow I go upon a journey.

“I have been accustomed to finding something in nothing—how do I know
if I am equipped for a larger horizon!…”

And suddenly the little creature chanted aloud:—

     ”The strange things of travel,

        The East and the West,

      The hill beyond the hill,—

        They lie within the breast!”

PART I

THE BLACK HUT AT BAR

CHAPTER I

THE TRAVELLER

The war had stopped.

The King of England was in Paris, and the President of the United States
was hourly expected.

Humbler guests poured each night from the termini into the overflowing
city, and sought anxiously for some bed, lounge-chair, or pillowed
corner, in which to rest until the morning. Stretched upon the table in
a branch of the Y.W.C.A. lay a young woman from England whose clothes
were of brand-new khaki, and whose name was Fanny.

She had arrived that night at the Gare du Nord at eight o’clock, and the
following night at eight o’clock she left Paris by the Gare de l’Est.

Just as she entered the station a small boy with a basket of violets for
sale held a bunch to her face.

“No, thank you.”

He pursued her and held it against her chin.

“No, thank you.”

“But I give it to you! I give it to you!”

As she had neither slept on the boat from Southampton nor on the table
of the Y.W.C.A., tears of pleasure came into her eyes as she took them.
But while she dragged her heavy kitbag and her suitcase across the
platform another boy of a different spirit ran beside her.

“Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle! Wait a minute…” he panted.

“Well?”

“Haven’t you heard … haven’t you heard! The war is over!”

She continued to drag the weighty sack behind her over the platform.

“She didn’t know!” howled the wicked boy. “No one had told her!”

And in the train which carried her towards the dead of night the taunt

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