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CHAPTER I PARIS: SEPTEMBER, 1792 A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation's glory and his own vanity. During... more...

CHAPTER I THE FENCHURCH STREET MYSTERY   The man in the corner pushed aside his glass, and leant across the table. "Mysteries!" he commented. "There is no such thing as a mystery in connection with any crime, provided intelligence is brought to bear upon its investigation." Very much astonished Polly Burton looked over the top of her newspaper, and fixed a pair of very severe, coldly inquiring brown eyes upon him. She had disapproved... more...

CHAPTER I THE HOUSE OF A KENTISH SQUIRE   Master Hymn-of-Praise Busy folded his hands before him ere he spoke: "Nay! but I tell thee, woman, that the Lord hath no love for such frivolities! and alack! but 'tis a sign of the times that an English Squire should favor such evil ways." "Evil ways? The Lord love you, Master Hymn-of-Praise, and pray do you call half an hour at the skittle alley 'evil ways'?" "Aye, evil it is to indulge our... more...

SIR PERCY EXPLAINS It was not, Heaven help us all! a very uncommon occurrence these days: a woman almost unsexed by misery, starvation, and the abnormal excitement engendered by daily spectacles of revenge and of cruelty. They were to be met with every day, round every street corner, these harridans, more terrible far than were the men. This one was still comparatively young, thirty at most; would have been good-looking too, for the features... more...

Does it need one? If so it must also come from those members of the Blakeney family in whose veins runs the blood of that Sir Percy Blakeney who is known to history as the Scarlet Pimpernel—for they in a manner are responsible for the telling of this veracious chronicle. For the past eight years now—ever since the true story of The Scarlet Pimpernel was put on record by the present author—these gentle, kind, inquisitive... more...


CHAPTER IWHICH TELLS OF A VERY COMMONPLACE INCIDENT No! No! she was not going to gush!—Not even though there was nothing in the room at this moment to stand up afterward before her as dumb witness to a moment's possible weakness. Less than nothing in fact: space might have spoken and recalled that moment . . . infinite nothingness might at some future time have brought back the memory of it . . . but these dumb, impassive objects! . . .... more...

Chapter I: Paris: 1793 There was not even a reaction. On! ever on! in that wild, surging torrent; sowing the wind of anarchy, of terrorism, of lust of blood and hate, and reaping a hurricane of destruction and of horror. On! ever on! France, with Paris and all her children still rushes blindly, madly on; defies the powerful coalition,—Austria, England, Spain, Prussia, all joined together to stem the flow of carnage,—defies the... more...

THE LANDING AT JOUAN The perfect calm of an early spring dawn lies over headland and sea—hardly a ripple stirs the blue cheek of the bay. The softness of departing night lies upon the bosom of the Mediterranean like the dew upon the heart of a flower. A silent dawn. Veils of transparent greys and purples and mauves still conceal the distant horizon. Breathless calm rests upon the water and that awed hush which at times descends upon... more...

CHAPTER IA FAREWELL BANQUET "D'Aumont!" "Eh? d'Aumont!" The voice, that of a man still in the prime of life, but already raucous in its tone, thickened through constant mirthless laughter, rendered querulous too from long vigils kept at the shrine of pleasure, rose above the incessant babel of women's chatter, the din of silver, china and glasses passing to and fro. "Your commands, sire?" M. le Duc d'Aumont, Marshal of France, prime and sole... more...

Paris: 1783. “Coward! Coward! Coward!” The words rang out, clear, strident, passionate, in a crescendo of agonised humiliation. The boy, quivering with rage, had sprung to his feet, and, losing his balance, he fell forward clutching at the table, whilst with a convulsive movement of the lids, he tried in vain to suppress the tears of shame which were blinding him. “Coward!” He tried to shout the insult so that all... more...