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Chapter 1 COMING HOME Three young men stood together on a wharf one bright October day awaiting the arrival of an ocean steamer with an impatience which found a vent in lively skirmishes with a small lad, who pervaded the premises like a will-o'-the-wisp and afforded much amusement to the other groups assembled there. "They are the Campbells, waiting for their cousin, who has been abroad several years with her uncle, the doctor," whispered one... more...

Chapter I To and fro, like a wild creature in its cage, paced that handsome woman, with bent head, locked hands, and restless steps. Some mental storm, swift and sudden as a tempest of the tropics, had swept over her and left its marks behind. As if in anger at the beauty now proved powerless, all ornaments had been flung away, yet still it shone undimmed, and filled her with a passionate regret. A jewel glittered at her feet, leaving the lace... more...

THE FROST KING AND HOW THE FAIRIES CONQUERED HIM. The Queen sat upon her throne, and all the fairies from the four kingdoms were gathered for a grand council. A very important question was to be decided, and the bravest, wisest elves were met to see what could be done. The Frost King made war upon the flowers; and it was a great grief to Queen Blossom and her subjects to see their darlings die year after year, instead of enjoying one long... more...

CHAPTER I The "Really, Truly" True WHEN "Little Women," the play, reopened to many readers the pages of "Little Women," the book, that delightful chronicle of family life, dramatist and producer learned from many unconscious sources the depth of Louisa M. Alcott's human appeal. Standing one night at the back of the theater as the audience was dispersing, they listened to its comments on the play. "A wonderful picture of home life, only we... more...

CHAPTER I. NAT "Please, sir, is this Plumfield?" asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him. "Yes. Who sent you?" "Mr. Laurence. I have got a letter for the lady." "All right; go up to the house, and give it to her; she'll see to you, little chap." The man spoke pleasantly, and the boy went on, feeling much cheered by the words. Through the soft spring rain that fell on sprouting grass and budding... more...


CHAPTER I. CHRISTIE. CHRISTIE. "AUNT BETSEY, there's going to be a new Declaration ofIndependence." "Bless and save us, what do you mean, child?" And the startled old lady precipitated a pie into the oven with destructive haste. "I mean that, being of age, I'm going to take care of myself, and not be a burden any longer. Uncle wishes me out of the way; thinks I ought to go, and, sooner or later, will tell me so. I don't intend to wait for... more...

CHAPTER I A MYSTERIOUS DOG The elm-tree avenue was all overgrown, the great gate was never unlocked, and the old house had been shut up for several years. Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded over the high wall as if they said, "We could tell fine secrets if we chose," and the mullein outside the gate made haste to reach the keyhole, that it might peep in and see what was going on. If it had suddenly grown up like a magic... more...

There is a room upstairs in the old house at Fruitlands in Harvard, Massachusetts, where the visitors pause and look about them with a softening glance and often with visible emotion, as though they felt a sudden nearness to something infinitely intimate and personal. They have come to see the place where Bronson Alcott and the group of transcendentalists cut themselves off from the world in the spring of 1843 and tried to found a New Eden where... more...

I. A CHRISTMAS DREAM, AND HOW IT CAME TRUE. "I'm so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!" exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given. "Why, Effie, what a dreadful thing to say! You are as bad as old Scrooge; and I'm afraid something will happen to you, as it did to him, if you don't care for dear Christmas," answered... more...

THE CANDY COUNTRY “I shall take mamma’s red sun umbrella, it is so warm, and none of the children at school will have one like it,” said Lily, one day, as she went through the hall. “The wind is very high; I’m afraid you’ll be blown away if you carry that big thing,” called Nurse from the window, as the red umbrella went bobbing down the garden walk with a small girl under it. “I wish it would;... more...