Haikus from Greenmantle by John Buchan

From a book categorized as Fiction / Action & Adventure and 360 pages follows a description and a number of hidden haikus found in the book:

I had just finished breakfast and was filling my pipe when I got Bullivant's telegram. It was at Furling, the big country house in Hampshire where I had come to convalesce after Loos, and Sandy, who was in the same case, was hunting for the marmalade. I flung him the flimsy with the blue strip pasted down on it, and he whistled.

'Hullo, Dick, you've got the battalion. Or maybe it's a staff billet. You'll be a blighted brass-hat, coming it heavy over the hard-working regimental officer. And to think of the language you've wasted on brass-hats in your time!'

I sat and thought for a bit, for the name 'Bullivant' carried me back eighteen months to the hot summer before the war. I had not seen the man since, though I had read about him in the papers. For more than a year I had been a busy battalion officer, with no other thought than to hammer a lot of raw stuff into good soldiers. I had succeeded pretty well, and there was no prouder man on earth than Richard Hannay when he took his Lennox Highlanders over the parapets on that glorious and bloody 25th day of September. Loos was no picnic, and we had had some ugly bits of scrapping before that, but the worst bit of the campaign I had seen was a tea-party to the show I had been in with Bullivant before the war started. [Major Hannay's narrative of this affair has been published under the title of The Thirty-nine Steps.]

The sight of his name on a telegram form seemed to change all my outlook on life. I had been hoping for the command of the battalion, and looking forward to being in at the finish with Brother Boche. But this message jerked my thoughts on to a new road. There might be other things in the war than straightforward fighting. Why on earth should the Foreign Office want to see an obscure Major of the New Army, and want to see him in double-quick time...


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'Tell me more,' I said.
 'You can give me no details
and no instructions.

Well, there was trouble,
 and I had a merry time
for a month or two.

'Gruss Gott,' I replied.
 I leaned against the door-post,
and speech forsook me.

I kissed the children,
 shook the woman's hand, and went
off down the clearing.

I had forgotten
 that winter is pretty much
the same everywhere.

Then I paid the bill,
 for I didn't dare to stay
there another night.

He raised his eyes once
 and looked at us, and then kept
on with his business.

They evidently
 saw by the cut of our jib
that we weren't Germans.

Sandy had started
 forward at the sound of it,
and I followed him.

'You will presently
 learn many things, for the Faith
marches to victory.

'May the devil fly
 away with this pistol,' said
Peter ruefully.

There was somebody
 in that barracks who wanted
badly to see us.

Then something he saw
 there made him cock his eyebrows.
'Where did you steal these?'

After that he went
 straight on himself, taking strange
short steps like a bird.

This change in the bold
 and unshakeable Sandy
took my breath away.

Peter said he could
 hear nothing but the far-off
sighing of the wind.

'"Before God, Peter,"
 he said, "you're the mightiest
hunter since Nimrod.

We turned our horses
 and made off east-ward along
the skirts of the cliffs.

A little hill split
 the valley, and on its top
was a _kranz_ of rocks.

'There's our fort,' I cried.
 'If we once get there we can
hold it for a week.

I noted that most
 seemed to be moving downward
and few going up.

It seemed to me, too,
 that the guns on the other
fronts had come nearer.

We should never be
 heard of again any more,
but our work remained.

The gun was well laid,
 for a shell plumped on the near
edge of the castro.

When I remember
 the good times I've had I could
sing a hymn of praise.