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Also what does the initial word without trying to say here.

"Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnum villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess; the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical chances, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire."

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  • It should be "Laburnum Villa" (both words capitalised). Is that a pirate copy? Jun 28, 2020 at 7:39

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"Without" here mean outdoors i.e. outside of Laburnum villa.

"The former" (similarly "the latter") generally refers back to two items and indicates one of them based on their order in the text. The sentence in question starts with "Father and son...", they are the two items. The father is the former and the son is the latter.

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