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Dare was an Irrigation Officer of three years’ standing—three years that, until lately, had passed with such pleasant smoothness and congeniality that India had impressed him as a most desirable quarter of the globe. But then Dare had been unusually fortunate, seeing that his first sub-division, or portion of canal of which he was given charge, had lain within easy reach of his headquarters—a large military station. Much of his time had of necessity to be spent on the canal banks moving from one inspection-house to another, but he had seldom been so far distant as to prevent his riding into the station for dinners, dances, and other entertainments. He had shared a bungalow with another young engineer, and in moderation had contrived to play polo, tennis, cards, hunt with the bobbery pack, and, to quote his own opinion, have a rattling good time.’

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