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Michael
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A year before the flame of war went roaring through Europe in unquenchable conflagration it would have seemed that nothing could possibly rouse Ashbridge from its red-brick Georgian repose. There was never a town so inimitably drowsy or so sternly uncompetitive. A hundred years ago it must have presented almost precisely the same appearance as it did in the summer of 1913, if we leave out of reckoning a few dozen of modern upstart villas that line its outskirts, and the very inconspicuous railway station that hides itself behind the warehouses near the river's bank. Most of the trains, too, quite ignore its existence, and pass through it on their way to more rewarding stopping-places, hardly recognizing it even by a spurt of steam from their whistles, and it is only if you travel by those that require the most frequent pauses in their progress that you will be enabled to alight at its thin and depopulated platform. . . .
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