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CHAPTER 1. Inasmuch as the scene of this story is that historic pile, Belpher Castle, in the county of Hampshire, it would be an agreeable task to open it with a leisurely description of the place, followed by some notes on the history of the Earls of Marshmoreton, who have owned it since the fifteenth century. Unfortunately, in these days of rush and hurry, a novelist works at a disadvantage. He must leap into the middle of his tale with as... more...

1. Freddie Rooke gazed coldly at the breakfast-table. Through a gleaming eye-glass he inspected the revolting object which Parker, his faithful man, had placed on a plate before him. "Parker!" His voice had a ring of pain. "Sir?" "What's this?" "Poached egg, sir." Freddie averted his eyes with a silent shudder. "It looks just like an old aunt of mine," he said. "Remove it!" He got up, and, wrapping his dressing-gown about his long legs,... more...

CHAPTER I JIMMY MAKES A BET The main smoking-room of the Strollers' Club had been filling for the last half-hour, and was now nearly full. In many ways, the Strollers', though not the most magnificent, is the pleasantest club in New York. Its ideals are comfort without pomp; and it is given over after eleven o'clock at night mainly to the Stage. Everybody is young, clean-shaven, and full of conversation: and the conversation strikes a purely... more...

-1- "Jeeves," I said, "may I speak frankly?" "Certainly, sir." "What I have to say may wound you." "Not at all, sir." "Well, then——" No—wait. Hold the line a minute. I've gone off the rails. I don't know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I always come up against when I'm telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it. It's a thing you don't want to go wrong over, because one... more...

CHAPTER I THE FAMILY CURSE I Freddie Rooke gazed coldly at the breakfast-table. Through a gleaming eye-glass he inspected the revolting object which Barker, his faithful man, had placed on a plate before him. "Barker!" His voice had a ring of pain. "Sir?" "What's this?" "Poached egg, sir." Freddie averted his eyes with a silent shudder. "It looks just like an old aunt of mine," he said. "Remove it!" He got up, and, wrapping his... more...


CHAPTER I Once upon a time, more years ago than anybody can remember, before the first hotel had been built or the first Englishman had taken a photograph of Mont Blanc and brought it home to be pasted in an album and shown after tea to his envious friends, Switzerland belonged to the Emperor of Austria, to do what he liked with. One of the first things the Emperor did was to send his friend Hermann Gessler to govern the country. Gessler was... more...

CHAPTER ONE Through the curtained windows of the furnished apartment which Mrs. Horace Hignett had rented for her stay in New York rays of golden sunlight peeped in like the foremost spies of some advancing army. It was a fine summer morning. The hands of the Dutch clock in the hall pointed to thirteen minutes past nine; those of the ormolu clock in the sitting-room to eleven minutes past ten; those of the carriage clock on the bookshelf to... more...

"With apologies to gent opposite," said Clowes, "I must say I don't think much of the team." "Don't apologise to me," said Allardyce disgustedly, as he filled the teapot, "I think they're rotten." "They ought to have got into form by now, too," said Trevor. "It's not as if this was the first game of the term." "First game!" Allardyce laughed shortly. "Why, we've only got a couple of club matches and the return match with Ripton to end the... more...

Chapter 1 AN ENGLISH BOY'S HOME August the First, 19— Clarence Chugwater looked around him with a frown, and gritted his teeth. "England—my England!" he moaned. Clarence was a sturdy lad of some fourteen summers. He was neatly, but not gaudily, dressed in a flat-brimmed hat, a coloured handkerchief, a flannel shirt, a bunch of ribbons, a haversack, football shorts, brown boots, a whistle, and a hockey-stick. He was, in fact, one... more...

CHAPTER I THE CABLE PROM MERVO A pretty girl in a blue dress came out of the house, and began to walk slowly across the terrace to where Elsa Keith sat with Marvin Rossiter in the shade of the big sycamore. Elsa and Marvin had become engaged some few days before, and were generally to be found at this time sitting together in some shaded spot in the grounds of the Keith's Long Island home. "What's troubling Betty, I wonder," said Elsa. "She... more...