George Alfred Henty (8 December 1832 – 16 November 1902), was a prolific English novelist and special correspondent. He is best known for his historical adventure stories that were popular in the late 19th century. His works include Out on the Pampas (1871), The Young Buglers (1880), With Clive in India (1884) and Wulf the Saxon (1895).
A wandering musician was a rarity in the village of Scarcombe. In fact, such a thing had not been known in the memory of the oldest inhabitant. What could have brought him here? men and women asked themselves. There was surely nobody who could dance in the village, and the few coppers he would gain by performing on his violin would not repay him for his trouble. Moreover, Scarcombe was a bleak place, and the man looked sorely shaken with the storm of life. He seemed, indeed, almost unable to hold out much longer; his breath was short, and he had a hacking cough.
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