“He found himself ushered into a fair-sized room where a bright fire was burning. On a table lay the remains of breakfast, and the odour of food mingled pleasantly with the scent of peat. The horns and heads of big game, foxes’ masks, the model of a gigantic salmon, and several bookcases adorned the walls, and books and maps were mixed with decanters and cigar-boxes on the long sideboard. After the wild out of doors the place seemed the very shrine of comfort. A young man sat in an arm-chair by the fire with a leg on a stool; he was smoking a pipe, and reading the Field, and on another stool at his elbow was a pile of new novels. He was a pleasant brown-faced young man, with remarkably smooth hair and a roving humorous eye.” Huntingtower
 
Archie Roylance and his Imitators
"Lord Lamancha--the title had no connection with Don Quixote and Spain, but was the name of a shieling in a Border glen which had been the home six centuries ago of the ancient house of Merkland--was an object of interest to many of his countrymen.  The Marquis of Liddesdale, his father, was a hale old man who might reasonably be expected to live for another ten years and so prevent his son's career being compromised by a premature removal to the House of Lords.  He had a safe seat for a London division, was a member of the Cabinet, and had a high reputation for the matter-of-fact oratory which has replaced the pre-war grandiloquence.  People trusted him, because, in spite of his hidalgo-ish appearance, he was believed to have that combination of candour and intelligence which England desires in her public men. Also he was popular, for his record in the war and the rumour of a youth spent in adventurous travel touched the imagination of the ordinary citizen.  At the moment he was being talked of for a great Imperial post which was soon to become vacant, and there was gossip, in the alternative, of a Ministerial readjustment which would make him the pivot of a controversial Government.  It was a remarkable position for a man to have won in his early forties, who had entered public life with every disadvantage of birth." John Macnab
Hard Enough?
Capital Fellow
Tweedy
Lean and Brown
“He took up boxing very early and entirely of his own accord, because he didn’t like the notion of being hit in the face, and thought he had better conquer that funk.” The Island of Sheep
 
“At ten o’clock precisely I start on a walk – right round the head of the Windrush and home by the Forest. It’s going to be a thirty-mile stride at a steady four and a half miles an hour, which, with half an hour for lunch, will get me back here before six. I’m going to drug my body and mind into apathy by hard exercise.” The Three Hostages
 
“He told himself that this sharp weather was better than sunshine. He remembered that all travellers in romance battled with mist and rain. Presently his body recovered comfort and vigour.” Huntingtower
“Soon he was wet; presently every part of him – boots, body and pack, was one vast sponge. The waterproof was not water-proof, and the rain penetrated to his most intimate garments. Little he cared. He felt lighter, younger….” Huntingtower
 
“The first cocks had just begun to crow and the clocks had not yet struck five when Dickson presented himself at Mrs. Moran’s back door. That active woman had already been half an hour out of bed, and was drinking her morning cup of tea in the kitchen.”
Huntingtower
 
"The wind was blowing great guns but there was only the thinnest sprinkle of rain. Sitting on the hen-house roof and munching a raw turnip was a figure which she recognised as the smallest of the Die-Hards.” Huntingtower   

“Sandy, dressed like some bandit in melodrama, his lean face as brown as a nut, his bare arms all tattooed with crimson rings, and the fox pelt drawn tight over brow and ears.” Greenmantle
Are you hard enough?
“He saw himself daily becoming browner and leaner.” Huntingtower


“He was tall and free from any superfluous flesh; his face was lean, fine-drawn, and deeply sunburnt, so that his hair above showed oddly pale; the hands were brown and beautifully shaped, but the forearm revealed by the loose cuffs of his shirt was as brawny as a blacksmith’s…....'Australian’ he said. ‘How d’you know?’ ‘Can’t mistake them. There’s nothing else so lean and fine produced on the globe today.”
Huntingtower

“A creature of whipcord muscles and large lean bones, who seemed to be strung on wires….”
The House of the Four Winds

"The master of the house was a lean old gentleman dressed in an ancient
loud-patterned tweed jacket and a very faded kilt.  Still erect as a post, he had a barrack-square voice, and high-boned, aquiline face, and a kindly but irritable blue eye."
John Macnab
 
“He was very lean and brown, with the stoop in the shoulder that one gets from being constantly on horseback” Greenmantle                                 

“whatever the faults of Tommy’s appearance, he had a wholesome, sunburnt face, and he knew it.”
A Lucid Interval” in The Moon Endureth
“I saw, behind the well-covered cheeks and the full chin and high varnish of good living, a leaner and younger face….” The Island of Sheep


“We all make pictures of ourselves that we try to live up to, and mine had always been of somebody hard and taut who could preserve to the last day of life a decent vigour of spirit. Well, I kept my body in fair training by exercise, but I realised that my soul was in danger of fatty degeneration.”
The Island of Sheep
Are you lean and brown enough?
“Then Cargill and Vennard came in together. Both looked uncommonly fit, younger, trimmer, cleaner. Vennard, instead of his sloppy clothes and shaggy hair, was groomed like a Guardsman;” A Lucid Interval” in The Moon Endureth
 
“I recognized the lean agility of Hussin” Greenmantle
 
“As trim and light and hard as an Olympic athlete” The Island of Sheep


“Striding with long steps over the heather, his jacket open to the wind, his face aglow, and his capless head like a whin-bush for disorder, he cut a more wholesome and picturesque figure than in the smoking-room the night before.”
Huntingtower
 
"James Fraser, the youngest and the leanest, set out for Carnmore, with the speed of an Indian hunter...." John Macnab
Or are you an unwholesome urbanite?
“I should have taken him for a soldier but for the slouch of his shoulders, which suggested a sedentary life. He spoke like an educated Englishman – a Londoner, I guessed, for he had that indefinable clipping and blurring of his words which is the mark of the true metropolitan. The younger man was an American from his accent, and at the first glance I disliked him He was the faux bonhome, if I knew the breed, always grinning and pawing the man he spoke to, but with cold, cunning grey eyes that never smiled. We were not a dressy lot in Rhodesia, and the clothes of these two cried out like a tuberose in a cottage window. They wore the most smartly cut flannels, and soft linen collars, and they had wonderful buckskin shoes…” The Island of Sheep

  “They were clearly not countrymen, for they had the pallor of indoor workers, and the stoop which comes from bending many hours in the day. They had solemn flat faces with a touch of the Mongol in them….”
The House of the Four Winds

“He had a bad, loose figure, and a quantity of studiously neglected hair, but his face was the face of a young Greek.” A Lucid Interval in
The Moon Endureth

“He was a big man in his shirt sleeves, wearing old riding breeches unbuttoned at the knees, and thick ploughman’s boots. He had no leggings, and his fleshy calves were imperfectly covered with woollen socks. His face was large and pale, his neck bulged, and he had a gross unshaven jowl. He was a type familiar to students of society; not the innkeeper, which is a thing consistent with good breeding and all the refinements; a type not unknown in the House of Lords, especially among recent creations, common enough in the House of Commons and the City of London, and by no means infrequent in the governing circles of Labour; the type known to the discerning as the Licensed Victualler.”
Huntingtower
 
"Mr Claybody was a very splendid person.  He looked rather like a large edition of the great Napoleon, for he had the same full fleshy face, and his head was set on a thickish neck. His blond hair was beautifully sleek and his clothes were of a perfection uncommon in September north of the Forth.  Not that Mr Claybody was either fat or dandified; he was only what the ballad calls "fair of flesh," and he employed a good tailor and an assiduous valet.  His exact age was thirty-two, and he did not look older, once the observer had got over his curiously sophisticated eyes." John Macnab

“With his light figure and bleached fair hair and brown skin he looked the very model of the adventurous Englishman. I thought that there might be a touch of the Jew in his ancestry – something high-coloured and foreign at any rate, for he was more expansive and quickly fired than the rest of us. But on the whole he was as English as a Hampshire water-meadow….” The Island of Sheep

“He had a face like a Portuguese Jew, but I had seen that type before among people with Highland names; they might be Jews or not, but they could speak Gaelic.”
Mr. Standfast

    “There was that in his eyes too, which marked him out from the ordinary blond type of our countrymen. They were large and brown and mysterious, and the light of another race was in their odd depths.
 
To hint such a thing would have meant a breach of friendship, for Lawson was very proud of his birth. When he first made his fortune he had gone to the Heralds to discover his family, and these obliging gentlemen had provided a pedigree. It appeared that he was a scion of the house of Lowson or Lowieson, an ancient and rather disreputable clan on the Scottish side of the Border. He took a shooting in Teviotdale on the strength of it, and used to commit lengthy Border ballads to memory. But I had known his father, a financial journalist who never quite succeeded, and I had heard of a grandfather who sold antiques in a back street at Brighton. The latter, I think, had not changed his name, and still frequented the synagogue. The father was a progressive Christian, and the mother had been a blonde Saxon from the Midlands. In my mind there was no doubt, as I caught Lawson’s heavy-lidded eyes fixed on me. My friend was of a more ancient race than the Lowsons of the Border.” The Grove of Ashtaroth” in The Moon Endureth
 
"It occurred to him that this must be a man on stilts. He had heard of these as a custom in malarial foreign places." The House of the Four Winds p29
 
"A glimpse of gold ear-rings and a hairy face......." The House of the Four Winds
Or, worse still, Foreign
"It was the other man that caught my eye. He stood with his back to the fire leaning his elbows on the mantelpiece. He was a perfect mountain of a fellow, six and a half feet if he was an inch, with shoulders on him like a shorthorn bull. His tunic was all wrinkled and strained as if it could scarecely contain his huge chest, and mighty hands were clasped over his stomach. That man must have had the length of reach of a gorilla. He had a great, lazy, smiling face, with a square cleft chin which stuck out beyond the rest. His brow retreated and the stubby back of his head ran forward to meet it, while his neck below bulged out over his collar. His head was exactly the shape of a pear with the sharp end topmost. He stared at me with his small bright eyes and I stared back. I had struck something I hadn't been looking for for a long time, and till that moment I wasn't sure that it existed. Here was the German of caricature, the  real German, the fellow we were up against. He was as ugly as a hippopotamus, but effective. Every bristle on his odd head was effective." Greenmantle
                          
“ But I thought Australians had a queer accent, like the English.’ ‘They’ve all kinds of accents, but you can never mistake their voice. It’s got the sun in it. Canadians have got grinding ice in theirs, and Virginians have got butter. So have the Irish. In Britain there are no voices, only speaking-tubes.’ ”
 
"Mr Bandicott regarded Sir Archie with interest.

'So you're standing for Parliament," he said.  "Few things impress me more in Great Britain than the way young men take up public life as if it were the natural coping-stone to their education. We have no such tradition, and we feel the absence of it. Junius would as soon think of running for Congress as of keeping a faro-saloon.'
John Macnab
 
Or even a Socialist?
‘Class-conscious we are, and class-conscious wull be
Till our fit’s on the neck o’ the Boorjoyzee……’

‘What on earth are you singing?’ Dickson inquired.

‘Wee Jaikie went to a Socialist Sunday School last winter because he heard they were for fechtin’ battles. Ay, and they telled him he was to jyne a thing called an International, and Jaikie thought it was a fitba’ club. But when he fund out there was no magic lantern or swaree at Christmas he gie’d it the chuck. They learned him a heap o’queer songs. That’s one.’

‘What does the last word mean?’

‘I don’t ken. Jaikie thought it was some kind of draigon’
Huntingtower


“Bolshevism we know all about, and I admit Trotsky and his friends are a pretty effective push…”
Huntingtower

“As for the Government of the Bolsheviki it matters little, for it will pass.”
Huntingtower

“A Bolshevik and an awful bad lot.” Huntingtower
 
"Surely it is absurd that this part of the Highlands, which your sister says was so loyal to Prince Charlie, should be a hot-bed of radicalism. Claybody thinks that that can all be changed, but not with a candidate who truckles to socialist nonsense."
Pedigree