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The day broke gray and dull. The clouds hung heavily, and there was a rawness in the air that suggested snow. A woman servant came into a room in which a child was sleeping and drew the curtains. She glanced mechanically at the house opposite, a stucco house with a portico, and went to the child's bed. "Wake up, Philip," she said. She pulled down the bed-clothes, took him in her arms, and carried him downstairs. He was only half awake. "Your... more...

I Two old labourers came out of the lane leading to Great End Farm. Both carried bags slung on sticks over their shoulders. One, the eldest and tallest, was a handsome fellow, with regular features and a delicately humorous mouth. His stoop and his slouching gait, the gray locks also, which straggled from under his broad hat, showed him an old man—probably very near his old-age pension. But he carried still with him a look of youth, and he... more...

CHAPTER ONE To yesterday and to to-day I say my polite "vaya usted con Dios." What are these days to me? But that far-off day of my romance, when from between the blue and white bales in Don Ramon's darkened storeroom, at Kingston, I saw the door open before the figure of an old man with the tired, long, white face, that day I am not likely to forget. I remember the chilly smell of the typical West Indian store, the indescribable smell of damp... more...

Chapter I I confess that when first I made acquaintance with Charles Strickland I never for a moment discerned that there was in him anything out of the ordinary. Yet now few will be found to deny his greatness. I do not speak of that greatness which is achieved by the fortunate politician or the successful soldier; that is a quality which belongs to the place he occupies rather than to the man; and a change of circumstances reduces it to very... more...

CHAPTER I THE MOUNTAIN HOME Far up on the mountain-side stood alone in the clearing. It was roughly yet warmly built. Behind it jagged cliffs broke the north wind, and towered gray-white in the sunshine. Before it a tiny expanse of green sloped gently away to a point where the mountain dropped in another sharp descent, wooded with scrubby firs and pines. At the left a footpath led into the cool depths of the forest. But at the right the... more...


I have told my wife quite plainly that in my opinion I am as little fitted by nature for the task she has laid upon my shoulders as any man alive. I have spent a great part of my life in action; and though the later part of it has been quieter and more peaceful than the earlier, and though I have enjoyed opportunities of study which I never had before, I am still anything but a bookish man, and I am not at all confident about such essential... more...

CHAPTER I I To take Mark Sabre at the age of thirty-four, and in the year 1912, and at the place Penny Green is to necessitate looking back a little towards the time of his marriage in 1904, but happens to find him in good light for observation. Encountering him hereabouts, one who had shared school days with him at his preparatory school so much as twenty-four years back would have found matter for recognition. A usefully garrulous person,... more...

THE ENCHANTED RING. One of the most imposing buildings in Boston twenty years ago was a granite hotel, whose western windows looked upon a graveyard. Passing up a flight of steps, and beneath a portico of dignified granite columns, and so through an embarrassing pair of swinging-doors to the roomy vestibule,—you would there pause a moment to spit upon the black-and-white tessellated pavement. Having thus asserted your title to Puritan... more...

CHAPTER I. On the afternoon of a warm day in the end of July, an open carriage was waiting in front of the painted toy-looking building which served as the railway station of Teignmouth. The fine bay horses stood patiently enduring the attacks of hosts of winged foes, too well-behaved to express their annoyance otherwise than by twitchings of their sleek shining skins, but duly grateful to the coachman, who roused himself now and then to whisk... more...

CHAPTER I Yes indeed, I say to myself, pen in hand, I can keep hold of the thread and let it lead me back to the first impression.  The little story is all there, I can touch it from point to point; for the thread, as I call it, is a row of coloured beads on a string.  None of the beads are missing—at least I think they’re not: that’s exactly what I shall amuse myself with finding out. I had been all summer working... more...