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My name is John Brenwalter. My father, a drunkard, had a patent for an invention, for making coffee-berries out of clay; but he was an honest man and would not himself engage in the manufacture. He was, therefore, only moderately wealthy, his royalties from his really valuable invention bringing him hardly enough to pay his expenses of litigation with rogues guilty of infringement. So I lacked many advantages enjoyed by the children of... more...

"I won't study another word to-day!" Helena tipped the table, spilling the books to the floor. "I want to go out in the sun. Go home, Miss Phelps, that's a dear. Anyhow, it won't do you a bit of good to stay." Miss Phelps, young herself, glanced angrily at her briery charge, longingly at the brilliant blue of sky and bay beyond the long window. "I leave it to Miss Yorba." Her voice, fashioned to cut, vibrated a little with the vigour of its... more...

by Various
INTRODUCTORY This book, as its title-page states, is made up of selections from the writings of California authors. Most of the selections refer to California—her scenic glories, mountains, valleys, skies, canyons, Yosemites, islands, foothills, plains, deserts, shoreline; her climatic charms, her flora and fauna, her varied population, her marvellous progress, her wonderful achievements, her diverse industries. Told by different authors,... more...

INTRODUCTION I was talking the other day to Alfred Coppard, who has steered more successfully than most English story writers away from the Scylla and Charybdis of the modern artist. He told me that he had been reading several new novels and volumes of short stories by contemporary American writers with that awakened interest in the civilization we are framing which is so noticeable among English writers during the past three years. He asked me... more...

Grateful acknowledgment for permission to include the stories and other material in this volume is made to the following authors, editors, publishers, and copyright holders: To The Pictorial Review Company and Miss Edwina Stanton Babcock for permission to reprint "The Excursion," first published in The Pictorial Review; to The Century Company and Mr. Thomas Beer for permission to reprint "Onnie," first published in The Century Magazine; to... more...


CHAPTER I. Where the North Fork of the Stanislaus River begins to lose its youthful grace, vigor, and agility, and broadens more maturely into the plain, there is a little promontory which at certain high stages of water lies like a small island in the stream. To the strongly-marked heroics of Sierran landscape it contrasts a singular, pastoral calm. White and gray mosses from the overhanging rocks and feathery alders trail their filaments in... more...

Have you seen the magnificent slope of our beloved Tamalpais, as it curves from the changing colour of the bay, till touching the fleecy fog rolling in from the Pacific, it passes from day to rest? If you have not, I hope you may, for the sooner you have this glorious picture on your memory's walls, the brighter will be your future, and you will have a bit of beauty which need not be forgotten even in heaven itself. There is one who, though... more...

CHAPTER I The bell of the North Liberty Second Presbyterian Church had just ceased ringing. North Liberty, Connecticut, never on any day a cheerful town, was always bleaker and more cheerless on the seventh, when the Sabbath sun, after vainly trying to coax a smile of reciprocal kindliness from the drawn curtains and half-closed shutters of the austere dwellings and the equally sealed and hard-set churchgoing faces of the people, at last settled... more...

CHAPTER I. THE rain had poured in torrents all day, and now, for the third time since morning, I came home, wet, uncomfortable and weary. I half dreaded to look at the slate, lest some urgent call should stare me in the face. "It must indeed be a case of life and death, that takes me out again to-night," said I, as my good wife met me in the entry, and with light hands, made active by love, assisted in the removal of my great coat and... more...

On a summer day, long gone among the summer days that come but to go, a lad of twelve years was idly and recklessly swinging in the top of a tall hickory, the advance picket of a mountain forest. The tree was on the edge of a steep declivity of rocky pasture-land that fell rapidly down to the stately chestnuts, to the orchard, to the cornfields in the narrow valley, and the maples on the bank of the amber river, whose loud, unceasing murmur came... more...