THE STORY OF LITTLE BOY BLUE "But it was not your niece! It was always you I wanted," said the Boy. He lay back, in a deep wicker chair, under the old mulberry-tree. He had taken the precaution of depositing his cup and saucer on the soft turf beneath his chair, because he knew that, under the stress of sudden emotion, china—especially the best china—had a way of flying off his knee. And there was no question as to the exquisite... more...

CHAPTER I THE SUBTERRANEAN WAY The slanting rays of afternoon sunshine, pouring through stone arches, lay in broad, golden bands, upon the flags of the Convent cloister. The old lay-sister, Mary Antony, stepped from the cool shade of the cell passage and, blinking at the sunshine, shuffled slowly to her appointed post at the top of the crypt steps, up which would shortly pass the silent procession of nuns returning from Vespers. Daily they... more...

CHAPTER I WHICH SHALL SPEAK FIRST? Ronald West stood at the window of his wife's sitting-room, looking across the bright garden-borders to the wide park beyond, and wondering how on earth he should open the subject of which his mind had been full during their morning ride. He had swung off his own horse a few moments before; thrown the bridle to a waiting groom, and made his way round to her stirrup. Then he had laid his hand upon Silverheels'... more...

CHAPTER I ENTER THE DUCHESS. The peaceful stillness of an English summer afternoon brooded over the park and gardens at Overdene. A hush of moving sunlight and lengthening shadows lay upon the lawn, and a promise of refreshing coolness made the shade of the great cedar tree a place to be desired. The old stone house, solid, substantial, and unadorned, suggested unlimited spaciousness and comfort within; and was redeemed from positive ugliness... more...

CHAPTER I ON THE TERRACE AT SHENSTONE Three o’clock on a dank afternoon, early in November. The wintry sunshine, in fitful gleams, pierced the greyness of the leaden sky. The great trees in Shenstone Park stood gaunt and bare, spreading wide arms over the sodden grass. All nature seemed waiting the first fall of winter’s snow, which should hide its deadness and decay under a lovely pall of sparkling white, beneath which a promise... more...