"It was the weather" said the Colonel.
"It wasn't just the weather" interrupted Hardy, "It was Ashton, Congleton and Prescot all in a row".
The General rose from the leather chair, took a sip of his brandy and whispered "It was all of those things and more".
He walked over to the tall window and stared out at the rain, a shallow mist hung low across the faraway hills, after a long silence he spoke again....... "It was the arrogance that finished it".
"What news of a return" asked Hardy reverentially???
The bird flew from the tree, glistening droplets fell from the branch, then nothing, all was still.