The night was hot in Paris. Breathless heat had brooded over the city all Saturday, the 23rd of August, 1572. It was the eve of Saint Bartholomew. The bell of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois had just clashed out the signal. The Louvre was one blaze of lights. Men with lanterns and poleaxes, as if going to the shambles to kill oxen, hurried along the streets. Only in the houses in which were lodged the great Huguenot gentlemen, come to the city for the... more...

CHAPTER I. MY GOSSIP, MAISIE MAY. It was upon the fair green braes that look over the Black Water of Dee near by where it meets the clear Ken, that Maisie May and I played many a morning at Wanderers and King's men. I mind it as it were yesterday, for the dales and holms were pranked out with white hawthorn and broad gowans, and by our woodland hiding-places little frail wildflowers grew, nodding at us as we lay and held our breath. Now Maisie... more...

CHAPTER I. THE BLANKET-WASHING. Ralph Peden lay well content under a thorn bush above the Grannoch water. It was the second day of his sojourning in Galloway—the first of his breathing the heather scent on which the bees grew tipsy, and of listening to the grasshoppers CHIRRING in the long bent by the loch side. Yesterday his father's friend, Allan Welsh, minister of the Marrow kirk in the parish of Dullarg, had held high discourse with... more...

CHAPTER I THE BLACK DOUGLAS RIDES HOME Merry fell the eve of Whitsunday of the year 1439, in the fairest and heartsomest spot in all the Scottish southland. The twined May-pole had not yet been taken down from the house of Brawny Kim, master armourer and foster father to William, sixth Earl of Douglas and Lord of Galloway. Malise Kim, who by the common voice was well named "The Brawny," sat in his wicker chair before his door, overlooking the... more...

A sleepy Sunday morning—and no need for any one to go to church. It was at Neuchâtel, under the trees by the lake, that I first became conscious of what wonderful assistance Sweetheart might be to me in my literary work. She corrected me as to the date upon which we had made our pilgrimage to Chaumont, as to the color of the hair of the pretty daughter of the innkeeper whom we had seen there—in her way quite a Swiss Elizabeth... more...


CERTAIN SMALL PHARAOHS THAT KNEW NOT JOSEPH It was all Sweetheart's fault, and this is how it came about. She and I were at Dryburgh Abbey, sitting quietly on a rustic seat, and looking toward the aisle in which slept the Great Dead. The long expected had happened, and we had made pilgrimage to our Mecca. Yet, in spite of the still beauty of the June day, I could see that a shadow lay upon our Sweetheart's brow. "Oh, I know he was great," she... more...

CHAPTER I DUKE CASIMIR RIDES LATE Well do I, Hugo Gottfried, remember the night of snow and moonlight when first they brought the Little Playmate home. I had been sleeping—a sturdy, well-grown fellow I, ten years or so as to my age—in a stomacher of blanket and a bed-gown my mother had made me before she died at the beginning of the cold weather. Suddenly something awoke me out of my sleep. So, all in the sharp chill of the night, I... more...

HEIRESS AND HEIR They stood high on the Abbey cliff-edge—an old man, eagle-profiled, hawk-beaked, cockatoo-crested, with angry grey eyebrows running peakily upwards towards his temples at either side ... and a boy. They were the Earl Raincy and his grandson Louis—all the world knew them in that country of the Southern Albanach. For Leo Raincy was a great man, and the lad the heir of all he possessed. For all—or almost... more...

CHAPTER I THE EMPTY MAIL GIG I was only a young fellow when these things began to happen among us, but I remember very well the morning when it first came out about the Bewick carrier. He was postman, too, but had got permission to keep a horse and cart so that he might make a good little bit by fetching parcels and orders from town. Town to us meant East Dene, and Bewick, to which Harry went, lay away to the east among the woods and hills. It... more...

BOOK FIRST ADVENTURES   Lo, in the dance the wine-drenched coronal  From shoulder white and golden hair doth fall!  A-nigh his breast each youth doth hold an head,  Twin flushing cheeks and locks unfilleted;  Swifter and swifter doth the revel move  Athwart the dim recesses of the grove …  Where Aphrodite reigneth in her prime,  And laughter ringeth all the... more...