“The picture hangs at my lodgings here at Avignon, a stone’s throw from the Porte de la Ligne, and within the shadow of Notre Dame des Doms, though its intended housing-place was the great gallery of Blackladies. But it never did hang there, nor ever will; nor do I care that it should—no, not the scrape of a fiddle. I have heard men circumstanced like myself tell how, as they fell into years, more and more their thoughts flew homewards like so many carrier-pigeons, each with its message of longing. But Blackladies, though it was the only home I ever knew in England, did not of right belong to me, and the period during which I was master there was so populous with troubles, so chequered with the impertinent follies of an inexperienced youth raised of a sudden above his station, that even now, after all these years, I look back on it with a burning shame. And if one day, perchance, as I walk in the alleys here beyond the city walls, the wind in the branches will whisper to me of the house and the brown hills about it—it is only because I was in England while I lived there. And if, again, as I happen to stand upon the banks of the Rhone, I see unexpectedly reflected in the broken mirror of its waters, the terraces, the gardens, the long row of windows, and am touched for the moment to a foolish melancholy by the native aspect of its gables—why, it is only because I look out here across a country of tourelles.”
Acerca de A. E. W. Mason
A. E. W. MASON (1865–1948) was born at Dulwich, England. A graduate of Oxford, he was first a professional actor before becoming a playwright. When he turned to writing fiction, he proved to be a versatile and prolific author, excelling at historical fiction, adventure fiction, social melodrama, and crime fiction. He is perhaps best remembered today for his tales of adventure and detection, often set in exotic locales.