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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...

CHAPTER I. THE YOUNG ADVENTURERS, LTD. "TOMMY, old thing!" "Tuppence, old bean!" The two young people greeted each other affectionately, and momentarily blocked the Dover Street Tube exit in doing so. The adjective "old" was misleading. Their united ages would certainly not have totalled forty-five. "Not seen you for simply centuries," continued the young man. "Where are you off to? Come and chew a bun with me. We're getting a bit unpopular... more...

I. The Period It was the best of times,it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom,it was the age of foolishness,it was the epoch of belief,it was the epoch of incredulity,it was the season of Light,it was the season of Darkness,it was the spring of hope,it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the... more...

CHAPTER I THE STRANGE MAN'S ARRIVAL The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself... more...

The remarks which Emily had made regarding the share Laura Middleton had had in opening up her ideas on the subject of the mysteries in which she had now been fully initiated had not escaped my observation. It so happened that at that very time I was under an engagement to pay a visit to the Middletons, who were very distant relations of my mother. It of course occurred to me that it was possible I might be able to turn the information I had thus... more...

TO INTRODUCE MR. JULIUS ROHSCHEIMER "There's half a score of your ancestral halls," said Julius Rohscheimer, "that I could sell up to-morrow morning!" Of the quartet that heard his words no two members seemed quite similarly impressed. The pale face of Adeler, the great financier's confidential secretary, expressed no emotion whatever. Sir Richard Haredale flashed contempt from his grey eyes—only to veil his scorn of the man's vulgarity... more...

Brackley Hall was a fine old place in the lovely country of Devon and had been in the possession of the Etheridges for centuries. The park was beautifully wooded, and stretched down on one side to the coast, commanding in all directions the most enchanting views. Mr. Etheridge was a man of some forty years of age, of singularly handsome appearance, and bore evident traces of the Italian blood which flowed in his veins. He had the appearance of... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH OF WASHINGTON.—HIS BOYHOOD. The Washington family is of an ancient English stock, the genealogy of which has been traced up to the century immediately succeeding the Conquest. Among the knights and barons who served under the Count Palatine, Bishop of Durham, to whom William the Conqueror had granted that important See, was WILLIAM DE HERTBURN. At that period surnames were commonly derived from castles or estates; and... more...

INTRODUCTION Among the few subjects which are still left at the disposal of the duly-gifted writer of romance is the Pirate. Not but that many have written of pirates. Defoe, after preparing the ground by a pamphlet story on the historic Captain Avery, wrote The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of Captain Singleton. Sir Walter Scott made use in somewhat the same fashion of the equally historic Gow—that is to say, his pirate bears about the... more...

Detective Sergeant Fitzgerald found a package before his door that morning, along with the milk. He took it inside and opened it. It was a remarkably fine meerschaum pipe, such as the sergeant had longed irrationally to own for many years. There was no message with it, nor any card. He swore bitterly. On his way to Headquarters he stopped in at the orphanage where he usually left such gifts. On other occasions he had left Scotch, a fly-rod, sets... more...