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Allan Quatermain - H. Rider Haggard

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Allan Quatermain

by H. Rider Haggard


INTRODUCTION

December 23

'I have just buried my boy, my poor handsome boy of whom I was so
proud, and my heart is broken.  It is very hard having only one
son to lose him thus, but God's will be done.  Who am I that I
should complain?  The great wheel of Fate rolls on like a
Juggernaut, and crushes us all in turn, some soon, some late--it
does not matter when, in the end, it crushes us all.  We do not
prostrate ourselves before it like the poor Indians; we fly
hither and thither--we cry for mercy; but it is of no use, the
black Fate thunders on and in its season reduces us to powder.

'Poor Harry to go so soon! just when his life was opening to him. 
He was doing so well at the hospital, he had passed his last
examination with honours, and I was proud of them, much prouder
than he was, I think.  And then he must needs go to that smallpox
hospital.  He wrote to me that he was not afraid of smallpox and
wanted to gain the experience; and now the disease has killed
him, and I, old and grey and withered, am left to mourn over him,
without a chick or child to comfort me.  I might have saved him,
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