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CHAPTER I "There Are Heroisms All Round Us" Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth,—a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centered upon his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am convinced that he really believed in his heart that I came round to the Chestnuts three days a... more...

THE DOOR IN THE WALL I One confidential evening, not three months ago, Lionel Wallace told me this story of the Door in the Wall. And at the time I thought that so far as he was concerned it was a true story. He told it me with such a direct simplicity of conviction that I could not do otherwise than believe in him. But in the morning, in my own flat, I woke to a different atmosphere, and as I lay in bed and recalled the things he had told me,... more...

PART I "Well, Mrs. Warren, I cannot see that you have any particular cause for uneasiness, nor do I understand why I, whose time is of some value, should interfere in the matter. I really have other things to engage me." So spoke Sherlock Holmes and turned back to the great scrapbook in which he was arranging and indexing some of his recent material. But the landlady had the pertinacity and also the cunning of her sex. She held her ground... more...

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...

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...

BILL THE BLOODHOUND There's a divinity that shapes our ends. Consider the case of HenryPifield Rice, detective. I must explain Henry early, to avoid disappointment. If I simply said he was a detective, and let it go at that, I should be obtaining the reader's interest under false pretences. He was really only a sort of detective, a species of sleuth. At Stafford's International Investigation Bureau, in the Strand, where he was employed, they... more...

CHAPTER I RUNNING OUT OF PAY-DIRT To begin with, I am a Canadian by birth, and thirty-three years old. For nine of those years I have lived in New York. And by my friends in that city I am regarded as a successful author. There was a time when I even regarded myself in much the same light. But that period is past. I now have to face the fact that I am a failure. For when a man is no longer able to write he naturally can no longer be reckoned... more...

AN A D D R E S S TO ALLWell provided Hibernians. Gentlemen,   S Nature hath been so very Indulgent to ye, as to stock your Gardens with Trees of the largest Growth, for which Reason ye are caress'd, whilst Men of less Parts, tho' in some Things more deserving, are laugh'd at, and excluded all Company. As all Infants, especially of the Female Sex, are much delighted with Fruit, so as their Years and other Appetites increase, no Wonder... more...

CHAPTER I The 4.15 from Victoria to Lewes had been held up at Three Bridges in consequence of a derailment and, though John Lexman was fortunate enough to catch a belated connection to Beston Tracey, the wagonette which was the sole communication between the village and the outside world had gone. "If you can wait half an hour, Mr. Lexman," said the station-master, "I will telephone up to the village and get Briggs to come down for you." John... more...

From what is said in the Introduction to the Monastery, it must necessarily be inferred, that the Author considered that romance as something very like a failure. It is true, the booksellers did not complain of the sale, because, unless on very felicitous occasions, or on those which are equally the reverse, literary popularity is not gained or lost by a single publication. Leisure must be allowed for the tide both to flow and ebb. But I was... more...